We love Windows Phone, and for the most part that’s what 99% of our coverage is (and will be). But as you should know by now, we’re not out of tune with the rest of the industry and invite how Windows Phone plays a role in a rapidly growing mobile market.
So we find it astoundingly interesting that Apple and Google have both scheduled their own press events before or on the same day as two of Microsoft’s major product announcements. Instantly the following question popped up in our heads: are they scared of what Microsoft has to show?
First up is Apple, who had announced (on the same day as the official Surface pricing, no less) that they would be holding their own tablet-related press event. The announcement is going to be held next week on October 23rd — just three days before Windows 8 products and the Surface RT launches. If leaks are any indication, Apple is going to reveal an iPad Mini on stage which would likely start at a sub-$400 price.
To be direct, we don’t think Microsoft has much to be concerned about with the iPad Mini. Don’t get us wrong, if the Mini exists it will certainly make the tablet market even more challenging for Microsoft to enter. Since October 26th has been in the books from a few months ago as Windows 8 Day, Apple likely saw an opportunity to come out and steal some of the thunder. Yet at the same time, Microsoft is hellbent on showing why Windows 8 is completely different than any other tablet experience. In our opinion, Windows tablets and this iPad Mini are aimed at very different audiences; thus, the Apple event likely won’t take a huge toll on the excitement surrounding Microsoft’s big day.
Then there’s Google, who has recently fallen prey to a flood of leaks related to their next Nexus device from LG. When press invitations were received by the media last night, it basically confirmed what the whole industry already knew. What’s worrisome is that Google has scheduled their announcement on the same exact day as Microsoft’s big Windows Phone unveiling: October 29th.
This event could be the real threat Microsoft has to be wary of. Windows Phone is only a tiny part of the market, and several people around the world might not know anything about Microsoft’s phones at all. There’s a chance Google has recognized the appeal Windows Phone 8 might have to power users and decided to rain on Microsoft’s parade. The Nexus lineup in particular are devices aimed straight at the heart of gadget nerds and Android-loving influencers, and with every new device that love affair is reinforced.
However, Google has their work cut out for them because we are expecting a hurricane of news from the Windows Phone event in San Francisco. It’s not a stretch to guess that Nokia, HTC, Samsung, and Huawei will all be announcing pricing and availability of their devices in the United States and abroad. It’s also reasonable to expect that Microsoft really does have some tricks left hiding up its sleeve, which is risky for Google to go up against blind.
The next two weeks are going to be a wild way to close out Microsoftober™, but at the end of it all we think Microsoft will come out of the skirmish without a scratch. Alright, maybe with a couple of bruises but still.