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Microsoft Schedules Two Major Mystery Media Events Next Week

Best guesses so far focus on Windows 8 RT tablets and/or Windows Phone 8 announcements.

Microsoft has two days of big news planned for next week that could include a look at Windows RT tablets and Windows Phone 8.

On Monday, June 18, Microsoft will host a media event in Los Angeles, but the company hasn't provided any other details. An invitation, received by PCWorld and other news outlets, says to expect “a major Microsoft announcement.”

Speculation is already rampant about what the news will be. All Things Digital, citing sources outside Microsoft, claims that the company will demonstrate tablets that run Windows RT, a special version of Windows 8 for ARM-based processors. Although some hardware makers have already announced Windows RT tablets, Microsoft has not yet allowed any hands-on time. That could change next week.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, meanwhile, wonders whether Microsoft will talk about its Xbox Music service. Microsoft announced Xbox Music at its E3 press conference last week, but didn't get into specifics. Los Angeles is an entertainment hub, so the venue makes sense especially if any record companies will be involved in the announcement.

Windows Phone Summit on June 20

But this mystery press conference isn't the only event Microsoft has planned for next week. On Wednesday, June 20, the company will host a Windows Phone Summit, where it will provide a “sneak peek of the future of Windows Phone.”

Leaked details from February suggest that Microsoft will use the Windows 8 codebase for the next version of Windows Phone, possibly allowing cross-platform apps. Windows Phone 8, or “Apollo,” may also allow for dual-core processors and a wide range of screen resolutions.

June is turning out to be a pretty big month for tech titans, between Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 11, Microsoft's announcements, and the Google IO conference on June 27-29. By the end of the month, we should have a good idea of how the operating system wars will play out over the rest of the year and beyond.

Follow Jared on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ for even more tech news and commentary.


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