Today in Connected Consumer

Here’s something you don’t see every day: folks buzzing about a rumored hardware release from Microsoft. Microsoft sent out media invitations yesterday for an event in Los Angeles on Monday promising “a major Microsoft announcement.” Website The Wrap found a source who said the news would be a Microsoft-branded tablet. AllThingsD later weighed in with a similar report. The question of just what kind of tablet Microsoft will release, however, is still keeping pundits busy. While most expect a Windows 8 or Windows RT (Windows on Arm) device, ZDNet speculates that it could be based on the Windows Phone OS, noting that the patent settlement last month between Microsoft and Barnes & Noble mentioned Windows Phone in the context of a possible Microsoft-branded e-reader tied into the B&N e-book store. More to come, I’m sure.