iPad Mini, Windows 8 Intros Make for a Fateful Week in the Digital Universe

This coming week will give us a huge window into the state of the digital universe — and its winners and losers. Apple will hold its latest product unveiling, rumored to be the iPad Mini debut, on Tuesday in San Jose, Calif. While Microsoft will close the week with the debut of its Windows 8 operating system and Surface tablet. Those two events represent a titanic struggle for the future of computing on mobile devices — potentially the largest technology market of all.

Along with those events we will see the latest tech earnings reports, starting with Yahoo on Monday. On Tuesday, just after Apple’s event, Facebook and Netflix will report earnings. AT&T and Zynga will report on Wednesday, and then Apple and Amazon will report earnings on Thursday. Each one of those events will provide more visibility into how technology CEOs view the outlook for the all-important holiday tech season and the months beyond it. Each report will tell us more about how relevant the big tech players will be.

To be sure, every week is busy when it comes to news about technology companies. We don’t want to exaggerate the importance of one week too much. It will be at least another 90 days before the earnings reports come in to tell us how successful the launch of Windows 8 was, and it may take several quarters to determine its full impact.

But rarely do we see the stars align on such bellwether events. Apple surely calculated that it could steal some of the limelight from Microsoft by launching the iPad Mini, which reportedly has a smaller price tag and a 7-inch screen, just before the debut of Microsoft’s tablet and new operating system. More affordable devices could help seal Apple’s dominance in the tablet market.

But for all intents and purposes, Windows 8 is going to be a much bigger event for the larger tech industry. And for Microsoft, it better be. With Windows revenue down 33 percent
Read more: Dean Takahashi, Venture Beat




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