May 3rd, 2012

Google IO is arguably Android’s biggest event of the year and that event takes place June 27th – 29th in San Francisco. We’ll be there. And apparently so will Microsoft… one week earlier. That’s right: Microsoft has just announced the Windows Phone Developer Summit which will take place June 20th to 21st in San Francisco.

This seems late in the game to announce a developer summit, not to mention one that coincidentally takes place in the same city, location, and time frame as Google IO. One can’t help but think Microsoft has something up their sleeve that they’re just dying to pull out. Allow me to speculate.

Windows Phone Developer Challenge?

Windows Phone needs developers and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Microsoft announce a Windows Phone Developer Challenge, knocking off the Android Developer Challenge that helped kick Android off so beautifully. Microsoft has obnoxiously deep pockets and they desperately need Windows Phone to make a big push in the next 12 to 18 months. They can’t do that without competing on the hardware AND software fronts. Plopping down a few hundred million in prize money could be well worth the investment.

Preview of new features?

We can practically guarantee that Google will get on stage at IO, flash a long list of impressive stats and accomplishments, give away some sick free stuff, and announce a boat load of new products and services that blow us away. I’m not sure Microsoft can wow us with something that Android and iOS haven’t already, not to mention what we’ll see this year, but don’t count out the possibility of Microsoft attempting. Whether it’s integration with Windows for Desktops/Laptops/XBOX, completely new services, or a look at the upcoming version of Windows Phone with developer access to the SDK, you’ve got to think they’ll show something new.

New hardware?

Android manufacturers are scaling back a bit on the number of devices they launch this year, choosing instead to focus on a stronger stable of products. With sales of Windows Phone devices slow to gain momentum, manufacturers are being especially picky here. Most are rumored to be waiting for the next iteration of Windows Phone, so I’d bet that new phone announcements don’t happen at this event.

But could they announce a Windows Tablet platform or Windows Tablet? Could they conjure up a Microsoft Surface or other upcoming device and give it a Windows Phone makeover? I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft used this opportunity to make public their initiatives outside of phones, simultaneously recruiting devs. But this would be on the slimmer side of the chance pie.

Your Guesses & Outrageously Crazy Possibilities?

I want to hear what YOU think will happen at this Windows Phone Developer Summit. Does it even matter? What if Microsoft announced they were buying RIM… then would you care? Or maybe you’d just consider that like HP buying Palm? Or maybe they’ll buy the open sourced WebOS?

I don’t know the answers, but I do know that this is very relevant to the Android world. When you take into consideration the event, the date, the location, and the entire dynamic surrounding the mobile space, you get the idea that this is about much more than having a dev summit. This is about a budding mobile rivalry.

We’ve already got Android vs. iOS… and now Windows wants in.