If you weren't aware, Microsoft is having a big shindig in Los Angeles tomorrow. The company is being extremely tight-lipped about what's to come, but not surprisingly, details are already starting to leak out. TechCrunch is reporting that the announcement may have two major players there, not just one. With Apple's iPad
on the rise, and Amazon's Kindle
Fire doing damage at the lower price point, there's clearly a desire for entertainment-minded slates at reasonable price points. According to the site's sources, a new entertainment tablet could be launched, with Barnes & Noble as the distribution partner.
The real kicker? It'll be based on either Windows RT or Windows 8. That could be a major shock to the system, and is almost certainly the best way to truly launch WinRT / Win8 to the masses in tablet form. The Nook line has been easy to digest, great on features and low on price. And a Nook tablet with Windows may be easier to "get" for the mainstream than a pure Windows tablet with no overlay and no "reading" mindset. Reportedly, it could be the first non-Zune device to support Xbox Live streaming, furthering its entertainment slant.
We'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out, but now that we're hearing the rumors, we certainly hope they come true. This could be Microsoft's best opportunity to push Windows into the tablet market. Windows 7 never made a mark when it came to slates, and Windows 8 is apt to be slowly adopted unless it's with a partner like B&N. Based on history, anyway.