The buzz for the coming week is the release of the highly anticipated iPad 3...or maybe it will be the iPad HD...or based on the last phone version, maybe this will be the iPad 2S. Whatever. It will be huge. It will be covered in depth including the mandatory video clips and interviews of hundreds of goons camping out on the street in front of Apple stores to be in line for the first boxes delivered.
I don't know what they can do to make it dazzling. The OS isn't updated yet so there won't be new core features. A higher definition display might appeal to some, but at that screen size I'm not sure where that gets me. Regardless, it will be a major media event.
Along the way to this gala, we largely overlooked Microsoft's gasping effort at relevance. Last week the software giant released a development beta of their upcoming Windows 8. The history is that MS tends to over-promise and under-deliver, usually well beyond the scheduled release. When it does come out, there is often as much negative blogosphere commentary as a Republican primary race.
I don't see the touch screen feature as being compelling for the core MS constituency. Yes, an OS to power tablets, ultrabooks and phones will be a shot at MS grabbing some 'Droid and iOS users, but the package for Windows has always been about corporate and desktop environments. To get a touchscreen into that population you will have a couple of years of conversion time for equippage and possibly an even longer period of user adaptation.
I'm thinking this will be an uphill climb.