Microsoft has long been rumored to be working on a 7-inch version of its Surface tablet, as numerous previous reports have echoed time and time again. According to a recent report from the sometimes-accurate DigiTimes, however, Microsoft may finally be getting serious about the idea, and planning to launch a new 8-inch Surface next month – around the same time as their annual Build developer conference.
The tablet will reportedly be priced very competitively at just $249, and could bring an extra boost to ailing sales of the existing Surface RT and Surface Pro. From DigiTimes, citing sources in Microsoft’s supply chain:
The 8-inch Surface will use touch panels supplied by Samsung Electronics and Nvidia-developed processors, and Taiwan-based ODM Pegatron will be responsible for production.
Microsoft is also said to be planning their first public previewof Windows Blue (officially known as Windows 8.1 now) at Build, So the stage of Build may become the stage for a whole host of announcements. It’s hardly surprising to see Microsoft pursue this direction. When Apple moves, Microsoft follows, as they have show time and time again through their desktop platform, the Zune, and now, finally, their Surface tablet (which itself is difficult to see as anything but a direct response to the iPad).
Previous comments from Microsoft CFO Peter Klein also suggested that Microsoft was considering a smaller Surface – and as I said in response to those comments, Steve Jobs’ famous quote “Redmond, start your photocopiers!” comes all-too-quickly to mind…
Considering that sales of their Surface tablet have been underwhelming at best, it’s hard to imagine that shaving a few inches off of the Surface will turn things around for Microsoft’s ill-fated tablet – but as always, only time will tell.