On Oct. 22, Microsoft will be releasing its second-generation Surface tablets to the public, and Nokia will announce several new Windows Phone devices and possibly a new tablet. But, to spoil the fun, Apple has scheduled a press conference for its new tablets on the same day and knowing how the market reacts to Apple news, Microsoft’s big day will be spoiled.
In an effort to generate more noise than Apple, we have created a list of five things that Microsoft could announce that would create waves across the industry that will muffle, if ever so slightly, the PR blast that Apple’s iPad event will create.
The list below is ranked from most likely to occur to least likely to occur and was created out of pure jest against Apple smoothing Microsoft’s Surface 2 launch day.
#5 Microsoft releases updated Windows 8 sales figures
Microsoft has been rather quiet on the sales figures for Windows 8 with the last announcement coming back in May with 100 million licenses sold. If Microsoft could come out with a huge number of Windows 8 sales, it could put a small dent in Apple’s information that will undoubtedly slam Microsoft when it talks about OS X Mavericks.
Of course, that number would have to be quite large since it has been since May, and if the number was anything less than Windows 7 sales rate, it could spell disaster for Microsoft.
#4 Xbox One pre-order sales figures
Microsoft’s Xbox One pre-orders appeared to be a hit as Microsoft indicated that the initial batch of Xbox One consoles were spoken for. Announcing these sales figures will surely get the gaming community talking about the success of the Xbox One and would generate a bit of noise alongside the Surface 2 announcements.
This announcement is less likely to occur than the Windows 8 sales figures, because Microsoft will be keeping this number close to the chest as they would hate to announce sales figures only to be trumped by Sony and its PS4. In addition, the Xbox One is not on sale yet and pre-orders are still being taken, so the number is constantly changing.
#3 Surface 2/Pro 2 sales figures
After all, Oct. 22 is the day of the Surface 2/Pro 2 launch, and if Microsoft announced sales figures it would be an unprecedented move as the company has yet to publicly disclose any Surface sales figures at all. While pre-orders for the Surface 2 and Pro 2 were off to a good start, if Microsoft was able to announce that they sold a million of the devices in the opening weekend, it would be a huge success for the company.
We would be surprised if Microsoft announced these sales numbers, as the company has not revealed the sales figures of the previous generation of Surface devices. Announcing Surface 2 sales figures, provided the number is quite large, would be a huge boost of confidence for Microsoft (and its stock price) but we wouldn't hold our breath here.
#2 Windows Phone sales figures
Windows Phone has been on sale for more than three years, but Microsoft has remained relatively quiet about the sales of those devices. If Microsoft were to come out and show significant momentum with Windows Phone on Oct. 22, it could put a small damper on Apple’s big day.
This announcement is probably unlikely as Microsoft has yet to muster a peep when it comes to hard sales figures for the platform. While the OS is gaining market share, it has a long way to go before it commands a significant footprint in the market. Still, if Microsoft could prove that users were moving to Windows Phone at a rapid pace, they may be able to attract more developers to the platform.
#1 The next CEO of Microsoft
Microsoft is currently, and very publicly, searching for its next CEO. If Microsoft were to announce that the candidate had been found and signed, it would smother any other news that came out that day. While the rumors persist that Microsoft is looking to find its next CEO by the end of the year, there is no shortage of rumors on which individuals are on the shortlist.
While this would be massive news for Microsoft and the industry, we doubt that Microsoft would make this announcement on the 22nd as there is a good chance the candidate has not been picked or even if that has occurred, contract negotiations can take a long time too.
But, if all the pieces are in place, it would be an easy way for Microsoft to take charge of the news cycle.