Microsoft will hold a special press event on Oct. 25 that will center on the company’s Surface tablet. The date was chosen carefully. Microsoft will launch Windows 8 on Oct. 26. The Surface event will undoubtedly cover some of the features Microsoft has already unveiled in previous events discussing the tablet. The company will also likely want to focus much of its time on Windows 8.
However, in recent months, Microsoft has become more Apple-like in its announcements and events. The company likes to keep things secret, and at least so far, no major leaks have sprung related to its Surface event.
Believe it or not, Microsoft, a company that once leaked information and rumors like a sieve, has been able to keep quiet exactly what it has planned for the Oct. 25 event. But just the same there is plenty of speculation about what Microsoft will and will not discuss.
With the introduction looming in a few days it’s a good time to consider what Microsoft might discuss at its event. From the importance of tablets to reassuring investors, the event should provide a diverse mix of ideas and promises.
1. Tablet importance
First things first, Microsoft will focus much of its early remarks on the importance of tablets. The company has heretofore had no presence in the tablet market, earning criticism from those who say the space is integral to its future. At the Oct. 25 event, Microsoft will tell the world that tablets matter and it’ll show off the Surface to prove it.
2. The Surface’s finer points
Although the Surface has already been unveiled, expect Microsoft to spend some time discussing its finer points. The device’s 10.6-inch screen will be a major draw, as will its magnesium finish. Microsoft will also highlight the Touch Cover, which can act as a screen cover, stand and keyboard.
3. Windows RT
The Surface that will launch later this week will come with Windows RT, a version of Microsoft’s new operating system that runs on ARM-based chips. As a result it’s likely that Microsoft will focus much of its time discussing the value of Windows RT to users.
4. Windows 8 Pro
According to Microsoft, Windows 8 Pro will be coming to its tablet in the coming months. And since that operating system is what most consumers and enterprise users would want, expect the company to at least talk about its features and value. Windows 8 Pro is a must-have in the Surface tablet, and Microsoft and its customers know it.
Microsoft Surface Event: 10 Things to Expect from Table Debut
5. Issues with the iPad
Microsoft has never been shy about its discussing its views about competing products. That’s precisely why there’s a good chance that Apple and its iPad might enter the company’s crosshairs at the Surface event. The iPad is the world’s most popular tablet. Why shouldn’t Microsoft try to take it down a peg or two?
6. A look at vendor devices
Microsoft isn’t alone in its desire to bring Windows 8 to the tablet masses. So, expect the software giant to share some of the spotlight with other Windows 8-based tablets from companies like Acer and Dell. There is no way for Surface, alone, to beat the iPad. But several Windows 8-based devices working together might just pull it off eventually.
7. The trouble with Android
Aside from striking back at Apple and the iPad, Microsoft might also be expected to take on Android. In the tablet market, Android is Microsoft’s chief competitor, since Google is also trying to woo third-party vendors. It’s absolutely imperative for Microsoft to make Google look like a poor bet as an OEM partner.
8. A roadmap for future success in tablets
Although the Surface is Microsoft’s first tablet, Microsoft will tell the world that it’s only the beginning. Expect Microsoft to talk about a roadmap for future success in tablets and outline what it believes is central to its ability to establish itself as a true contender. A little hope goes a long way.
Microsoft will undoubtedly spend some time reassuring the many critics and shareholders who have called on the company to start improving its standing in the mobile space. The company will argue that it’s on the right path and reassure increasingly wary investors who wonder if it truly understands what’s needed for tablet market success.
10. Ballmer’s excitement
Get ready for a little Steve Ballmer. If history is to be our guide, Ballmer will express extreme excitement at the event. Of course, that’s nothing new. For every major launch, Ballmer gets (overly) excited. Expect that energy to be a key component in his company’s Surface showcase.