Microsoft to launch Windows 8, Apple hosts product launch this week

This is a big week for Silicon Valley, as both Microsoft and Apple are launching products in time for the holiday season.

Tech lovers are buzzing about Apple's rumored iPad Mini event on Tuesday, October 23rd, and Microsoft's Windows 8 launch on Friday, October 26th. However, industry expectations vary for the two products.

So far, all that's known for sure is Apple is hosting an event on Tuesday in California at 1:00 p.m. eastern time. Analysts have predicted the company will unveil the iPad Mini -- complete with a screen about one-third smaller than the current iPad.

The smaller screen means fewer pixels and less memory.

Price predictions are all over the place -- anywhere from $249 to $349. Either way, that's cheaper than the cheapest iPad, and could cut into iPad sales.

While the tech world eagerly awaits Apple's product launch, expectations for rival Microsoft's Windows 8 aren't as high.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has high hopes. He said in July he expects Windows 8 to kick off "the most epic year in Microsoft's history." However, analysts aren't so sure. After all, PC sales are in a slump, and that's where most Windows sales come from.

Windows 8 has a radically designed interface, which could turn off buyers. Eventually, sales could pick up, given Windows' brand power. As one analyst says, it just won't blow the doors off.

CLICK HERE for additional details on Microsoft's Windows 8.

CLICK HERE to visit Apple's website.