The world’s largest software company, Microsoft sent a special invitation to some tech analysts and news writers on Thursday, June 14, and scheduled a special event to announce "something" on Monday June 18 in Los Angeles. Before we heard the real Microsoft‘s announcement, let's check out some signs that occurred during the past one month.
At Computex conference in Taiwan which occurred during the first week of June 2012, computer manufacturers were told that the cost of licensing Microsoft operating system Windows 8 RT will be around $85 per license. With this high asking price, many think it is a bad move by the giant company. Compared to two leading OS for tablets, Google Android is free and Apple iOS is almost free. The high licensing cost will hurt the hope of PC manufacturers (i.e., Samsung, Acer, Dell, and HP) to produce such devices. It appears that Microsoft is distanced itself from manufacturers. The giant could lose the tablet war with Android and iPad. Therefore, to cover the licensing cost, Microsoft is more likely to produce its own tablet device.
In the first week of May 2012, Microsoft signed an agreement with Barnes & Noble to use the second largest bookstore catalog and content thru electronic reader called Nook. This device is resembled of an Amazon Kindle Fire. In order to take advantage of this partnership, Microsoft could launch a new generation e-reader to fight the Kindle Fire.
Why in Los Angeles? This place signals that Microsoft will be building something with the help of the entertainment industry and Hollywood moguls. Consumers may need a device to watch movies, listen to music, and play games. A tablet will fit these needs.
With these signs, speculation of Microsoft to announce a tablet device will come true this Monday. Microsoft is very capable to build its own device similar to the success of Xbox game console. The company will be never say "it's too late" to be the tablet manufacturer. The device is expected to be called "Xbox Tablet" or "Xbox Pad" or "XPad." This will put the company head-to-head competition with Apple and Amazon.