Microsoft to hold mysterious media event on June 18

Microsoft to hold mysterious media event on June 18

Summary: What's Microsoft announcing on Monday in Los Angeles at its hush-hush media preview? Guesses?

TOPICS: Microsoft

Microsoft has sent e-mail invitations to reporters far and wide about a mysterious announcement in Los Angeles on June 18.

(Yeah, that's Monday. And this is Thursday. Four days from now.)

"You are invited to an exclusive Microsoft media event in Los Angeles, California on Monday, June 18th.  Doors open at 3:30 PM," reads the invitation from Microsoft's Waggener Edstrom PR agency.

I don't know what this might be.

One guess: Perhaps this is the Xbox Music unveiling. Xbox Music is the replacement for Microsoft's Zune Music service. Microsoft officials noted the importance of Xbox Music during the recent E3 conference when they shared an overview of their SmartGlass Xbox companion app, but didn't discuss specifics about plans for ZunePass, multiplatform support or other Xbox music/video futures.

The reason I'm guessing this: It's in Los Angeles, so most likely entertainment related. And it's two days before Microsoft's day-long Windows Phone summit in San Francisco, where the Softies are expected to finally shed official light on what's in Windows Phone OS 8, a k a "Apollo."

But another guess: Maybe this is Microsoft advertising related. The Cannes Lions ad-fest is next week. Could this be some kind of a roll up of how Microsoft is helping partners bring new kinds of ads to even more of its properties? (Yay?)

But (inside baseball alert), Edelman is MIcrosoft's PR agency for Xbox. Waggener is Microsoft's agency for Windows and Windows Phone, among other accounts.This invitation came from Waggener.

Other guesses? (And don't say Yammer acquisition, unless you have a good reason why the pair would make that announcement in Los Angeles)

Update: A couple of other sites (AllThingsD, for one) believe the announcement might be more of a glimpse of Windows RT tablets and services running on them. The timing kind of makes sense, as Windows RT, the operating system running on these tablets, will share a number of the core elements that are expected to be part of Windows Phone 8 -- which Microsoft is going to detail on June 20. Still, why Los Angeles, for a Windows RT media event, I wonder.... And why so late in the day (3:30 pm PT)...

Update No. 2: Another interesting (and plausible-sounding guess) comes from Brier Dudley at The Seattle Times. He thinks Microsoft is either buying outright or partnering with Hulu.

Topic: Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Kinect Integration into Windows 8

    Possibly this is a Kinect announcement for Windows 8. It comes before the WP event because there will be so many integration points between WP8 and W8 devices because of NUI.
    • This was actually shown at Tech Ed this week

      They had a cool flight tracking demo app that was being controlled by using the Kinect. Pretty slick, but still wondering who wants to control apps with their hands and fingers...
  • a little teaser

    I think it will be a taste of Windows Phone 8 since they can't usually keep these things quiet a few days before a developer event anyway.
  • Nokia Tablet

    Nokia unveiling a W8 tablet?

    total guess. I can't think of any reason they'd have yet another gathering after Computex, E3 and TechEd, and 2 days before the WP developer summit.

    I think I should just take next week off of work. it's obvious i'm going to be just glued to news feeds anyway :)
    • ooh I like that rumor

      but why would it be in Los Angeles? MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • well...

        Lots of infrastructure, a short 2 hour flight from Redmond, tons more media outlets in LA than Seattle, etc...

        Just my guess...
    • I'd be happy to see that!

      William Farrel
    • Yup useful tablets

      They'll also announce a trade-in promotion for Android and Apple tablets users under the Toys into Tools initiative.

      They'll also be announcing display glasses for your Windows 8 phone with built-in Kinect hardware.
  • Future SJVN Headline: Microsoft to declare a Fatwa against Torvalds 6/18

    or something similarly nefarious
    Your Non Advocate
    • Microsift declares a Fatwa on it's own endusers

      June 18,2012 in an exclusive Microsoft media event in Los Angeles, California, Microsoft raises the stakes in it's Jihad against endusers. Microsoft announces new licensing terms where by owners of Android phones, and iPhones will no longer be able to sync these phones with the Windows desktop. Microsoft leader Steve Ballmer prociamed the end of these "infidel phones" leaching off the holiness of Windows. Noting Microsoft has every intention of ridding the world of the "Evil" products made by Apple inc, and the other "Evil" company Google.

      Microsoft has struck a deal with AT&T to lower your ETF if you buy a WP 8 phone on launch day. Depending on your phone, you can save between $5, and $25 off your ETF if you're an early adopter. The Windows Phone Zealots cheered, and began chanting [b]"Death to Apple, Death to Google, Death to the evils of the world"[/b], They then lined up for a cup of Grape flavored " Flavor-Aide" :D :p
      Jumpin Jack Flash
      • Boy! Your blood must boil anytime anyone mentions Microsoft or Windows

        or any products related to Microsoft's ecosystem.

        Your life must be a living hell, having to put up with Microsoft here, and Microsoft there, and in all directions. Do you still have any hair left on your head?
  • Microsoft buys Nokia

    Why not?
    • nope,

      Ballmer leaving the sinking ship, more likely that that.
      The Linux Geek
      • You're just unhappy

        because the Linux ship cannot even float and is stuck in dry dock
      • Sinking?

        Record revenues for Microsoft

        What did the sum total of Linux revenues look like?

        What defines "sinking"?
      • drivellc: A sinking ship might be one that sinks when it's overloaded

        with all the dough that has been brought on-board, like Microsoft. Perhaps Microsoft needs to get a much bigger ship to hold all its profits.
  • Couple guesses:

    Office 2013 "15" Beta
    Kinect for Windows 8
    Windows RT
    Firing of Stevie Ballmer
    Windows Phone/ Nokia announcement
    Windows 8 re-design

    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • As much as I doubt it, I

      Am hoping the do fire Monkeyboy Ballmer
      Jumpin Jack Flash
    • In order:


      Those are my guesses and I'm sticking by them. For other commentary, see below.
    • Nope

      No (already announced)
      No (Nokia world)