Just what does Microsoft have up its sleeve? That's the $64,000 question everyone from tech journos to Wall Street executives are asking themselves in the lead up to the company's big event scheduled for later today. Rumors have been running rampant since Microsoft first announced it was holding a press conference late last week, with next to no information about what the event would entail.
Update: The rumor mill is spinning at light speed for Microsoft today. Shifted2U has gotten its hands on an alleged spec sheet for what appears to be a two new Microsoft branded products, a tablet and "stationary computing device" dubbed XboxSurface. The tablet features a 7-inch touchscreen display, rechargeable battery, SD card slot and 288 MB of RLDRAM. The stationary device packs much more processing firepower including two IBM Power7 SCM processors, 5GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive.
Could this be the topic of Microsoft's big announcement today? The timing of the leak seems suspect, but it's doubtful that the company would hastily put together a press event to announce the follow-up to its über popular gaming console. We'll update this story as it develops.
Initial reports had Microsoft teaming with Barnes & Noble to offer an entertainment-driven tablet complete with video streaming services via Xbox Live. However, according to The Verge, a Barnes & Noble spokesperson has denied the company's involvement with Microsoft on the rumored tablet. Business Insider is also reporting that the Barnes & Noble rumor is not true.
The Microsoft/ Barnes & Noble rumored was based on the fact that the two companies had entered into strategic partnership to form a jointly owned business called Newco earlier this year.
Still, that doesn't mean that a Microsoft tablet with Xbox Live integration isn't on the way. Let's not forget that Microsoft recently announced its new SmartGlass initiative, which allows users to interact with Xbox games via their Xbox 360, tablet and smartphone, at E3 2012. The company also introduced several enhancements to its Xbox Live service at E3 2012. So a tablet with full Xbox Live integration seems to be completely within the realm of possibility.
Microsoft's announcement is scheduled for today at 6:30 P.M. EST. and we'll be there to bring you all of the latest news as it breaks.