Why Is Microsoft's Announcement So Secret?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Microsoft ( MSFT) is holding an event today in Los Angeles that came together very rushed and quickly over the past few days, with details few and far between. The uncharacteristic drama begs the question: Why such secrecy?

Speculation has been growing since Thursday when word first began to leak. Tech industry websites have different versions of the story, details are limited and hazy, and even the physical location has yet to be disclosed. It seems a ham-handed way to create buzz, assuming that's the goal.

AllThingsD is reporting a Windows ARM-based tablet, based off Windows 8.

TechCrunch reported that Microsoft is going to unveil a branded tablet capable of XBox Live Streaming, as a result of its partnership with Barnes & Noble ( BKS). Microsoft and Barnes & Noble announced a joint venturel earlier this year, with Microsoft investing $300 million into a new company.

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If it is indeed a Windows ARM tablet, that could be huge, according to Credit Suisse analyst Phil Winslow, who has an outperform rating and a $38 price target on Microsoft's stock.

"We remain encouraged by the potential of upcoming product releases, specifically Windows 8, which we anticipate to be available in the calendar Q3/Q4 timeframe," he wrote. "Based on a more tablet-friendly UI user interface, improved power consumption, Instant-On, and other capabilities, we believe that Windows 8, will have a more meaningful position in tablets than the market appreciates, which we believe will serve as a catalyst for the stock."

The venue of the event is not even known yet, with Microsoft planning to disclose the location no later than 10 a.m. PST. Even though Apple ( AAPL) is shrouded in secrecy, it at least let attendees of its Worldwide Developer Conference know where the event was being held weeks in advance. Microsoft clearly does not want any details of the event being leaked to the press.

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Whatever Microsoft decides to reveal tonight, it's at the very least one of Microsoft's more interesting announcements in a while. But a large portion of that may be a result of the secrecy surrounding it. If the actual news disappoints, it's set itself up for punchlines of Zune-like proportions.

The announcement is slated for 3:30 p.m. PST.

Interested in more on Microsoft? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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