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Microsoft tablet – last minute rumour round-up

Microsoft is widely expected to announce its very own tablet later today, in a bid to take on Apple’s monopoly of the tablet market. The US software giant has long said it wants to move into manufacturing, after seeing how successful Apple has been over the years.

There have manufacturing attempts in the past, but the only real success has been the Xbox. The likes of the Zune have ended in embarrassment for the company.

Microsoft has a press conference set for later today in LA, but the event is shrouded in rather a lot of mystery at the moment.

Some reports suggest we’ll see an entertainment-based announcement, possibly the launch of a content store to rival iTunes or the Play Store.

A far more likely outcome, though we don’t know anything for sure yet, is that Microsoft will unveil its own tablet at the event. So what are the latest rumours surrounding this suggestion?

Microsoft collaboration with Barnes & Noble

Microsoft announced plans for a collaboration with retail giant and ereader manufacturer Barnes & Noble earlier this year, leading to reports that today’s conference will involve the new venture.

Rumours abound that we’ll see a tablet-come-ereader announced later today, which will be largely entertainment-driven.

Given that the press invite to the event was very vague, this suggestion is fairly likely as the two companies would have wanted to unveil their new venture on as grand a scale as possible.

Windows 8/Windows RT tablet

Another suggestion has been that we’ll see a tablet made entirely by Microsoft, using its own chip technology known as Windows RT.

But this rumour is looking fairly unlikely, as an announcement of this sort would be more suited to a developers’ conference – not a dedicated press event.

Xbox Live streaming

Sticking with the entertainment focus, other reports have suggested we’ll see Xbox Live appear on the device.

If this is the case, the tablet would be the first non-Xbox device to feature Xbox Live streaming capabilities – a very interesting prospect.

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