Microsoft Preparing to Release 7” and 9” Surface


Windows prepares to release new 7" and 9" versions of its Surface tablet

Windows prepares to release new 7″ and 9″ versions of its Surface tablet

Microsoft is reportedly preparing two new Surface tablets for launch next month.

According to rumours posted by Digitimes, there will be a new 9 inch Surface tablet on sale over the summer, and a new 7 inch device too. Together they would open up a brand new market to Microsoft – a market that demands smaller, more affordable devices. In fact, the two new tablets would allow Microsoft to compete with a range of tablet PCs that have already proven themselves in that area, from the Nexus 7 to the iPad mini and the Kindle Fire.

According to the Digitimes article, production is already in full swing; Microsoft has secretly produced up to 1.5 million units in the last four months, according to insiders. That’s a fairly conservative amount, but it does suggest a launch could be imminent.

Microsoft Surface has, so far, mainly been marketed at corporate clients; that’s reflected by its premium price tag and the optional keyboard covers. However, the new tablets could mark a different direction and a move towards the home market. Crucially, a smaller Surface could be Microsoft’s ticket into the lucrative world of tablet gaming.

The original, full-sized Surface RT famously didn’t sell particularly well, and the top-end Surface Pro model has a RRP of $899, putting it well out of the reach of the average gadget enthusiast. Even though the Pro runs Windows 8 rather than RT, it makes a lot of compromises in its quest to be the best of tablet and desktop PC. Storage is limited, and bundled software is conspicuous by its absence.

The new 7 inch and 9 inch Surface tablets could be unveiled within the next eight weeks. Microsoft is hosting its Build Developer Conference in San Francisco from June 26th until June 28th. Given that it’s a massive hackathon event for app developers, it would be the ideal opportunity for Microsoft to grab some headlines with some new mini-hardware.

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