Following Microsoft's too-secret, ill planned, last minute Surface announcement on Monday, today we have another big Microsoft event, thankfully minus all that contrived hype we got the other day. While tech watchers are guessing at what, exactly, Microsoft will be announced in San Francisco today, they've got some ideas: A save the date email calls it Developer Summit, and shows a Windows 8 phone.
The directness of the email is marked contrast to Monday's announcement of the Surface, which took a page from Apple's playbook, and had Microsoft trying to play it cool, putting out a nondescript invite to an unnamed far away Los Angeles venue with few other confirmed details. Bloggers complained about the short notice and whined even more when the event started late. But, as annoying as we found it, Micrsoft's tactic kind of worked: The bloggers blogged. They rumored, speculated and ruminated. And then freaked out when Microsoft launched an actually nice product with the Surface tablet. (The announcement itself was smartly juxtaposed with Apple's iPad announcement by Read Write Web.) Today, however, we see a very different kind of Microsoft event with a very different kind of response.
Microsoft hasn't given away every detail of today's announcement, but it has shown a more open approach compared to Monday's. Let's compare:
- Unlike the cryptic text only invite to the Surface announcement, today's invitation has pictures and words that indicate what it's about. We see a phone on there and we know we're going to talk apps with developers. Considering Windows just released its Windows 8 tablet, the rumormongers have a pretty good idea that the headline announcement will involve Windows Phone 8.
- This event has been on the books for about a month and nobody has to speculate about what the locale means. It's in San Francisco, a logical place for a tech announcement.
- The event begins at 9 a.m. PST, a more reasonable, albeit less dramatic, hour than 3:30 PST, which gave Microsoft the spotlight at the end of Monday's news cycle. But also made certain east coast bloggers irritated and sleepy.
- Microsoft already announced a tablet on Monday nor has it said this is anything "major," so we are pretty sure it won't do that today.
Just because Microsoft followed a standard trajectory for today's festivities, does not mean the techies aren't buzzing. We still see some speculation, though it is not as rampant as earlier in the week. Here's what the tech-whisperers are saying:
- We will see a Windows 8 phone, codenamed Apollo.
- It will have a upgraded multi-core processors.
- It will have better screen resolution.
- Some sort of "wallet" app.
- We'll get "Daphne," a Zune phone-to-PC update software upgrade.
This stuff may be exciting by virtue of its newness, but we haven't seen predictions for entirely new products, or anything like that. Perhaps Microsoft played this one right, getting the bloggers all tuckered out Monday before what looks like a lackluster announcement today. But we won't know for sure until Microsoft makes it official later this afternoon.