Microsoft's mysterious media event scheduled for tomorrow has generated a lot of speculation about what the software giant has up its sleeve, with many bets being placed on a new tablet to challenge Apple's iPad.
Now we are hearing that while the tech titan is indeed expected to unveil a tablet, the new product is being developed in conjunction with Barnes & Noble and will focus on entertainment, according to a TechCrunch report. Another source says Xbox streaming is also on tap for the tablet.
If true, the report suggests that a new Microsoft tablet would be aimed at Amazon's Kindle Fire rather than Apple's slate. While Amazon's tablet is popular in the e-reading sector, its modified version of the Android operating system tends to make it less optimum for Web surfing than its focus of e-reading magazines and books, listening to music, and streaming video through Amazon Prime. (This was a possible strategy that was, my colleague at ZDNet.) Additionally, the two booksellers have for years been for content and customers.
Not long after the media invitations to tomorrow's event in Los Angeles surfaced, speculation swirled that Microsoft was getting ready to unveil a tablet running either Windows 8 or Windows RT. The Wrap went so far as to report that the new device would be a "Microsoft-manufactured tablet" that would "put the company in direct competition with giant rival Apple."
The two companiesin April in which Microsoft invested $300 million into a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary that would focus on Barnes & Noble's Nook digital and college businesses. In exchange, Barnes & Noble agreed to load its Nook digital bookstore with Windows 8, the software giant's next-generation operating system that launches later this year.
The doors open Monday at 3:30 p.m. PT, with the event itself presumably beginning at 4 sharp. To follow along with CNET, you can just bookmark this link and come back to it tomorrow.