Microsoft and Apple once competed directly against one another over the home computer market. Today, Apple has diversified its product line to encompass music players, tablets, phones, and so much more. Microsoft is trying to do the same with the launch of Windows 8, although its efforts might be derailed by an event that Apple has booked for October 23.

What will Apple announce on October 23?

October 23 is the day Apple is widely expected to announce the new iPad Mini. With a 7-inch screen, the iPad Mini would compete against small-sized tablets like the Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle, although it’s expected to cost a significantly higher price than either of those two tablets.

However, everybody knows that Apple will announce the iPad Mini on October 23. In fact, the company has basically announced that the event will showcase the iPad Mini.

But Apple might have more tricks up its sleeve. Some are suggesting that Apple will announce a new MacBook Pro with Retina display at the event. That laptop is expected to have a 13-inch screen size.

Others have also suggested that Apple might release a new version of the Mac mini, a small enclosed computer system that looks sleek on any desktop. Like many Apple events, all of the announced devices would begin shipping soon after the address was over.

But what about Microsoft?

It’s no secret that some of the biggest players in the tech industry are biased towards Apple. As a result, every Apple launch event is surrounded by a flurry of news articles, interviews, hands-on reviews, and all sorts of other frivolous hype. If anything else happens in the tech industry in the days leading up to – or following – an Apple event, it’s easy for that news to get lost in Apple-mania.

That’s bad news for Microsoft. The world’s largest software company is planning one of the biggest events in company history on October 26. On that date, Microsoft will user in the era of Windows 8. It will also release its Microsoft Surface tablet on that date as well as new updates to Microsoft Office (okay, that last one will be pretty boring).

But Microsoft is going all-in on Windows 8. The company is reportedly spending $1.5 billion (with a ‘B!) on advertising campaigns for Windows 8, and if the operating system fails – or if nobody hears about its features and benefits – then Microsoft could be in big trouble.

In any case, it’s too late for Microsoft to move its event – not that it would want to do that. In two weeks, we’ll know exactly how special the month of October has been for Microsoft and Apple. Just don’t be surprised if Windows 8-mania never shows up.

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