Barnes & Noble has categorically denied it has anything to do with it, rumours persist that it will be some kind of Windows 8 tablet announcement, and now the gaming community is in a frenzy over claims we might be about to see some kind of Surface tablet controller for the Xbox. Just what has Microsoft got in store for tonight’s “major announcement”?

Gaming device?

The announcement is taking place in Milk Studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Many feel this could indicate that Microsoft is going to announce some kind of gaming device or a tablet with Xbox streaming capabilities.

Specs have allegedly been leaked that detail a Surface controller for the Xbox, complete with ARM processor and a 7-inch display and a resolution of 1280 x 720. So could we be about to see some kind of SmartGlass Xbox tablet?

LA is certainly a major gaming hub and therefore an ideal setting for such an announcement. However, with E3 having only just concluded why would Microsoft wait until now?

True, it might be to avoid the news disappearing among all the other announcements, but then to not utilise a platform that’s the biggest gaming event of the year would seem strange.

Windows 8 tablet?

Maybe the delayed venue announcement is simply down to bad planning on behalf of Microsoft, or maybe it really is that it wants to build up the suspense by maintaining a high level of secrecy.

Despite our own misgivings, the Windows 8 tablet rumour refuses to go away. Though the operating system won’t be available until towards the end of this year, a preview of the OS did become available at the end of May. 

Could Microsoft be about to show an early version of what we might expect? We’ve already cast our doubts, suggesting Microsoft would be foolhardy in announcing a piece of hardware that we won’t be able to use for up to six months.


At least book retailer Barnes & Noble has spoken up to rule out any tablet stroke eReader device. However, perhaps Microsoft is going to go it alone as it looks to compete with the likes of the Amazon Kindle Fire. 

One thing’s for sure, whether pre-orchestrated or via sheer bad organisation, Microsoft has got our attention and Pocket-lint for one will be tuning in for the announcement at 11.30pm (BST).

What do you think it will be? Let us know before the big reveal.