In just a few hours, Microsoft's mystery event will take place in Los Angeles at 3:30 p.m. (Pacific time). While the tech world eagerly awaits Microsoft's major announcement Monday, the Internet rumor mill is flooded with reports saying that the event's main focus would be a tablet or an e-reader, built in collaboration with Barnes & Noble.
On Sunday, TechCrunch reported citing sources that Microsoft plans to announce an entertainment-driven tablet/e-reader in conjunction with Barnes & Noble, which may include Xbox Live streaming capabilities.
Although it's not yet confirmed what Microsoft will finally reveal at the media event, a report in ArsTechnica said that out of all the rumors so far, the one about the collaborative tablet/e-reader with Barnes & Noble makes a bit of sense. There are a couple of reasons to believe that.
First, Microsoft typically doesn't build its own hardware, instead it relies on OEMs. Second, both companies announced a strategic partnership in April, with Microsoft investing $300 million into the joint business, dubbed Newco, for a 17.6 percent equity stake and Barnes & Noble owning 82.4 percent.
That partnership would also result in a Nook application for Windows 8. A Nook-ified Windows 8 tablet isn't so far from the realm of possibility (even though the current Nook Tablet is Android-based), ArsTechnica reported.
After the invites to the LA-based Microsoft event surfaced Thursday, a number of reports started coming in suggesting that a tablet would be unveiled at the event. All Things D reported that Microsoft would introduce its own tablet implementing its own software and hardware to compete with the Apple iPad.
Another report in Wired pointed to Microsoft's recent partnership with Nokia and said that Monday's announcement could possibly be a new Nokia-built device with especially unique features that set it apart from other Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets.
Whether it is Windows 8 on tablets or a collaborative tablet/e-reader with Barnes & Noble, Monday's event will answer all the questions when it starts at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Take a look at a selection of time zones below. For more information on the worldwide timings and dates, click here.
12:30PM - Hawaii
02:30PM - Alaska
03:30PM - Pacific
04:30PM - Mountain
05:30PM - Central
06:30PM - Eastern
07:30PM - São Paulo
11:30PM - London
12:30AM - Paris (June 19th)
02:30AM - Moscow (June 19th)
07:30AM - Tokyo (June 19th)
08:30AM - Sydney (June 19th)