Tablet aside, there could be Windows 8 products unveiled at Microsoft’s keynote.
If Microsoft doesn’t unveil a tablet, what’s coming? Windows 8, a Hulu buyout and a new music service are possible
Bets for Microsoft’s upcoming announcement seem to be on a tablet, but there are plenty of other announcements Microsoft could make. From a Hulu buyout, to a Windows 8 release date, to the Xbox Live Music service, Microsoft’s could yet throw a curveball.
1. Nokia ‘Lumia’ Tablet
Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft has done little to manage the company’s woes, including the falling stock price and layoffs. Nokia isn’t helped by the fact that Windows Phone is struggling to compete with iOS and Android, so Windows – or an Xbox Live tablet – could be a better platform for Nokia. The company certainly has the capability to produce unique designs.
2. Zune Replacement
Woodstock is reportedly the codename for an upcoming Xbox Live music service, replacing Zune, which has been consistently rumored. Integration across a tablet, Windows Phone and the Xbox would be an ecosystem to rival iOS (plus a gaming console, with is no big deal).
3. Windows 8 Release Date
Windows 8 is expected around October, but Microsoft still hasn’t announced a release date. The Release Preview looks near-final, and Microsoft was rumored to be meeting with OEMs now, so maybe we’ll finally get a launch date for the upcoming OS. Though why LA, and why now, for a Windows 8 release date?
4. Windows Phone 8
Windows Phone 8 is also coming out around the same period, and there’s been no news on Apollo – the codename – outside of a leak where Joe Belfiore was showing the mobile OS to Nokia employees. The conference could be an in-depth preview of the operating system, and combined with an acquisition of Hulu could bring interesting features to Windows Phones. I can’t help thinking that would be a little underwhelming, though.
5. New Xbox 360 Model
This is definitely the least likely, but certainly not impossible. An Xbox Lite has been rumored before, so Microsoft could unveil some full-featured but limited version of the Xbox 360. We’re seeing the 4GB models and the Kinect bundles, along with the $99 contract-based Xbox 360, but a smaller Xbox pitched as a media-only device would be attractive.