Microsoft Hocus-Pocus PR Grabs Monday Tech Headlines

Microsoft's huge booth at CES 2011Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft’s PR agency, sent out a number of invitations to the press and industry analysts for a major announcement on Monday. No one knows yet what the big announcement is going to be, but everyone speculates. Rumors around the mainstream media and blogosphere, suggest that Microsoft will announce a tablet, that will, some say, compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire, or with Apple’s iPad.

According to a TechCrunch report, the wonder tablet is developed in conjunction with Barnes and Noble. The speculation is based on a “strategic partnership” announced by the two in late April, when Microsoft invested $300M into a joint business dubbed “Newco” for a 17.6% equity stake and Barnes and Noble owning 82.4%.

But The Wrap swears on an “insider’s tip,” saying that the secretive event scheduled for today at 3:30 p.m. in Los Angeles will introduce a Microsoft-manufactured tablet. According to the rumors, the tablet will work on Windows RT, a version of Windows 8 that uses an ARM microprocessor. Other various sources say that Xbox streaming is also on tap for the tablet.

The PR strategy employed to announce the mysterious event resembles a lot previous Apple announcements, but it does manage to trigger curiosity, generating a wealth of headlines before the fact. The strategy may lack originality, but it worked – and Microsoft will hold the tech headlines for the rest of the day.

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