from osOpinion.com Many have suggested that the secret device will be the first of a series of products meant to realize the company’s vision for making its brand the “digital hub” for all external devices. The product, which Apple is calling a “breakthrough digital device,” will be revealed only two days before the official launch of Windows XP (news – web sites), the new operating system from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT – news). The strategically timed press event has caused some analysts to believe that Apple hopes to steal Microsoft’s thunder. Playing Clue Although most are speculating that Apple intends to unveil an integrated digital music device to work in conjunction with the company’s iTunes software, others have speculated that Apple may unveil a PDA, a Web pad or even a set-top box. If the soon-to-be unveiled item is a digital music device, as most are speculating, it’ll have to be something far more compelling than simply another MP3 player. A Game of Strategy Throughout the year, Apple has been working to create incredibly powerful and easy-to-use software for MP3 audio and DVD production, as well as digital video. In doing so, the company has all but done away with the idea that it is only a hardware and operating system company. In my view, the new device will probably take advantage of Apple’s work in at least one of those areas. While I tend to agree that Apple will most likely unveil a product focusing on MP3 audio, I can’t imagine what sort of features could make it a “breakthrough digital device.” Let’s hope that Apple knows something I don’t. My eRing Key Ring Who knows, maybe Apple caught wind of my eRing key ring video-to-video communication concept device and is unveiling it for Tuesday’s event. I sent an e-mail to Steve Jobs (news – web sites) about the eRing, but didn’t get a reply. Perhaps he knows I’m a blabbermouth and would brag to the world. If the device is indeed my eRing, remember that you heard it here first. Author’s background: Kelly McNeill is the creator of osOpinion.com as well as the talent behind many of those cool graphics you see each day on OSO’s home page. He appreciates comments in regard to this editorial, and hopes you’ll post them to osOpinion’s forums for all to see, but he can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.