As if on cue, the rampant speculation about Microsoft’s mysterious LA event today reached new heights over the weekend. Initially believed to be a tablet related announcement, more recent reports indicated that it could be the debut of a new device developed together with Barnes & Noble.
But the bookseller threw cold water on those rumors this morning, as spokespeople confirmed with several sites that Barnes & Noble isn’t involved in today’s event. It’s unlikely that B&N is lying — if the company wanted to keep its involvement secret, it wouldn’t be offering any definitive statements to the press.
Many pointed to Microsoft’s massive $300 million partnership with B&N as a reason for its involvement, but that never made much sense to me, as the companies only announced that deal in late April. Even if they were working together for months prior, it would still take much more time to develop a product mature enough to show off. And would it even make sense for B&N to develop another tablet-like device, since it already has the Nook Tablet?
With B&N out, it seems more likely than ever that Microsoft will unveil its own tablets today — something that could end up being a major concern for all of those Windows 8 and Windows RT manufacturing partners. At this point, I’m not holding out much hope that a Microsoft-branded tablet would do well.
VentureBeat will be reporting live at Microsoft’s LA event later today, which is set to begin at 3:30pm PST at an undisclosed location.
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