So an episode of mass hysteria occurred around midnight CMT on Thursday in the online world. The reason, rumor hit that Microsoft would announce a branded tablet Monday June 18. Now this is at two days before another Microsoft event showing off Windows Phone 8 aka Apollo.
Now what’s interesting is that the news about the event happened earlier Wednesday, and while there was online speculation, there was no level of hype. Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet and Ina Fried of All Things D speculated it would be to show off Windows ARM tablets. Most treated the whole thing as a joke; because there was another rumor about Microsoft buying Yammer (a business focused social network).
So then this happened. (I’ll recount the way I found out)
Someone on the Verge forums posted a story about the Microsoft announcement was about a branded tablet; citing Mashable, who in turn cited an entertainment site called the Wrap. These stories were followed by updates by All Things D and All About Microsoft (All Things D’s Ina Fried had written earlier about the event possibly being about Windows RT). And that was within a two hour period.
And from there it’s only got crazier.
So here’s the outline. A number of journalists and bloggers received invites for an event on June 18 in Hollywood at an undisclosed location. According to Mary Jo Foley, the PR Firm handling the invites are responsible for the Xbox account (but also Windows and Windows Phone); so the consensus was it would be about Xbox content . The other rumor was that it would be about Microsoft acquiring Yammer. Many say that the event was hastily made. And that between Thursday and now Nokia and Verizon have put out teasers for the same day (which according to a number of sites not related to Microsoft’s event).
As of now, the only thing we know about the event is what its not about; it’s not about Windows Phone (the preview for the next release is two days after the event), Yammer, or Nokia (people are reporting that is about the Nokia 808 coming to America).
Man, it’s like waiting for Christmas.
Okay so I wanted to post my theories about what this event will be about, I’ll begin with the one I’m most certain of.
Theory 1: The event will reveal Xbox Music and Video services along with the announcement of content partners and pricing.
Theory 2: same as Theory One but with the addition of an Xbox TV (similar to the Apple TV) along with talk of apps running on the Xbox.
Theory 3: Yammer buyout (highly unlikely and may cause a riot amongst the reporters assembled)
Theory 4: Trap (I mean you have date and time but no location)
Theory 5: Tablets built on either Windows 8, Windows RT (ARM version), Windows Phone (see here as to why), or other. This theory includes showing off Windows RT tablets or a branded device.
Now my bet is theory one, to me it makes the most sense. But since we are just throwing out wild ideas about a branded tablet, here’s mine.
Microsoft will reveal two tablets, a 8 inch and ten inch model, under the name Codex and/or Courier. They will be Windows RT tablets running a modified metro interface and cost around $199-400. It will be essentially the Courier redesigned and come with a pen. Microsoft will show off its new e-reader/textbook service with tools. The tablets will be aimed at the student market. Microsoft will also say its producing these tablets so developers can have hardware to develop apps on. The tablets will be taking preorders day of event. The tablet UI will look like merger of Windows 8 and the Courier, with Microsoft showing off Microsoft Journal. All apps will be part of Windows 8.
So Monday will either go down in history or infamy, see you then.
Update: here’s the invite, from Mary Jo Foley
You are invited to an exclusive Microsoft media event in Los Angeles, California on Monday, June 18th. Doors open at 3:30 PM
images from the Verge and Microsoft