There's always a few people in the Microsoft world that we feel are worth paying attention to, and that shortlist of VIPs includes The Verge's Tom Warren. He's scooped quite a lot about Microsoft's plans and everything has proven to be correct so far. Now Warren has written an editorial that speculates Microsoft's probably-a-tablet announcement tomorrow will be directly linked with the new Barnes & Noble founded subsidiary following the partnership between the two.
Unlike most fans on the internet though, Warren actually tries to support his reasoning with evidence from the past few months. It begins in an especially interesting way too -- with former Windows Phone head-honcho Andy Lees. For those who missed it, Lees was tagged out in favor of current boss Terry Myerson but remained at Microsoft for vague reasons. We'll quote Warren as he explains the correlation between Lees and this new mystery project:
In December 2011, Microsoft replaced its head of Windows Phone, Andy Lees, with Terry Myerson. The move essentially benched Lees and was described as a demotion by some. However, CEO Steve Ballmer asked Lees to focus on a "time-critical opportunity" in his internal memo to employees, designed to drive "maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8." Ordinarily, you'd assume this was some type of marketing project, or a way to ensure both Windows 8 and Windows Phone shared a similar interface and applications — but Microsoft has been preparing that particular move for a long time.
On April 30th, Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Barnes & Noble to spin off its digital Nook business with an investment of $300 million. Referred to as "Newco," the co-owned subsidiary is designed to "accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices," according to Microsoft's Andy Lees (yes, Andy Lees). After four months of working on a "time-critical" project, Lees was put in charge of discussing a major partnership for the company. The press release for Microsoft's Barnes & Noble deal was vague on software and hardware details, but an SEC filing, discovered by Mary Jo Foley, contains references to a "Microsoft Reader" and lots of mentions of Windows Phone.
Coupled with the appearances of unknown Windows Phones with peculiar resolutions around the web, as well as this new subsidiary with Barnes & Noble needing a product to show, Warren's guess is more reasonable than we initially thought. He also points out that Andy Lees was the first to properly introduce the world to Microsoft's new ecosystem at the Worldwide Partners Conference last July, which suggests he has been involved with developing the integration of all of these platforms for a decent length of time.
Check out the full article at the source link below. What do you think about this prediction? Is it a Barnes & Noble (and Microsoft) tablet, or does it make more sense to be a Windows RT device?