It's no secret that Microsoft has invited the world's leading tech bloggers and journalists to an event taking place in just a few hours. While no one knows what the topic will be, the consensus is that this will be a tablet event, quite possibly the launch of product stemming from the Barnes and Nobles / Microsoft joint venture.
If I were Microsoft, here's how I would play this:
- A new tablet is unveiled, and early models are given to every attendee ala Google IO.
- This tablet runs Windows 8.
- This tablet shows off everything Windows is planning for Windows 8 including full Office integration and a deep streaming media offering.
- Release this tablet into the market well before the general Windows 8 release date, or at least in time for back-to-school.
Here's why this makes sense:
- Windows 8 looks and feel like a tablet OS. There has been a good deal of speculation that the Metro UI will not be as natural of intuitive on a desktop or laptop experience. Show the world why it rocks before they have a less native or enjoyable experience in a more traditional environment.
- Apple is mid-cycle on iPads and Google IO is around the corner, possibly bringing a new OS to the table. This is perfect timing for a big Microsoft unveil.
- Nobody outside of Microsoft knows just how well Office will port to a tablet. The demand for Office on iOS is incredible. Releasing Office for this tablet will give it a strong enterprise market advantage.
- iOS is fantastic for watching movies residing on the device. Microsoft is already a streaming partner with Hulu on MSN and Xbox, and works with pretty much everyone on XBox. Streaming media and a windows tablet are Microsoft's peanut butter and jelly-like angelic media solution.
- Calling the tablet experience a beta or preview experience, with updates to come will create early-adopter cache while giving Microsoft license to issue updates to improve the experience over time.
- There will be plenty of third party manufacturers building poorly designed and implimented Windows 8 tablet. If Windows wants to win, they need to start out by setting the quality bar.