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Microsoft Rumored to be Teaming Up with Barnes & Noble in New Xbox Tablet Venture

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Skepticism surrounding an announcement from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is at an all-time high as many have been led to believe the tech-giant company will be introducing a tablet with Xbox live streaming Monday. The software distributor has been rumored to be teaming up with Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) for the innovative design.

Eyebrows were first raised last week when media outlets began reporting that Microsoft would be introducing its own tablet. The company has said in the past that it plans to dig into the popular tablet craze through its many partners, but rumblings have now caused interested parties to believe that a deal with Barnes & Noble will be the focus of the event, launching Microsoft into the tablet market more directly.

While avid tablet users and dedicated Xbox players will likely be intrigued by the news, some are stating that despite whatever the company announces today, nothing will be more successful for Microsoft than its Windows 7 upgrade.

"Despite the upcoming Win 8 launch, we think the Win 7 corporate upgrade cycle is more significant for MSFT. Management estimates that only about 40% of corporate PC's are currently running Win 7. Software Assurance is an additional growth catalyst, with only low-teens attach rates currently," J.P. Morgan stated in a research report this morning.

As undisclosed sources continue to spill details about the event (set to be held at 3:30 p.m. PST) the absence of usual particulars has only heightened swirling speculation. For instance, Microsoft did not divulge the venue location or give any indication what the event would be regarding in the plain text invitation.

According to Tech Crunch, the peculiar circumstances do not end there. If the tablet were to be a simple Windows 8 venture, the company would not be producing it in Los Angeles and wouldn't be developing it this early.

Further proving that Windows 8 is not the sort of tablet being introduced today, Microsoft and Barnes & Noble announced a strategic partnership over a month ago that entailed a $300 million investment from the software provider. No further details concerning the basis of the partnership were provided by either company at that time.

The invitation-only event will occur this afternoon in California, with guests being informed of the location at 10 a.m.

MSFT closed Friday at $30.02, up 15.64% year-to-date, while BKS closed Friday at $15.60, down 7.73% year-to-date.

Posted-In: AllThingsD J.P. Morgan techcrunch windows 7 Windows 8 xboxAnalyst Color News Topics Retail Sales M&A Analyst Ratings Tech General Best of Benzinga

 

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