Microsoft exec alludes to smaller Windows 8 tablets on the horizon

So far, there have been no tablets released for Windows 8 or Windows RT that are smaller than 10.1 inches. Microsoft's own Surface tablets are 10.6 inches in size. Yet, the growth in the overall tablet marketplace is coming largely from smaller tablet products, such as the iPad mini, the Amazon Kindle Fire family and Google's Nexus 7 tablet.

So does that mean that we could see a seven inch Windows 8 tablet in the future? reports that Microsoft's chief financial officer Peter Kline stated today:

 ... I think we’re really set up to deliver the most versatile set of experiences across form factors, whether that’s 4-inch, 5-inch, 7-inch, 8-inch, 10-inch, 13-inch. And along with our partners in the ecosystem, we’ll work through that based on underlying demand.

Klien's remarks, which he made as part of his Q&A session at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, would seem to be a hint that there are smaller Windows 8 devices already in the works. So far, there's been no official word that Microsoft has plans for a smaller Surface tablet, although there are rumors that the company is working on a gaming themed Xbox Surface tablet that will be seven inches in size.

Source: | Image via Microsoft

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This is news?

Windows has a scalable UI with an even more advanced flow based scaling UI that makes up the Modern UI.

There are no limitations to device size as long as minimum pixels are met. (And with scaling, this can also be circumvented to subpixel a >768 height screen on 480 and 600 pixel height screens.)

There are also no limitations when scaling up to 4K and 8K and beyond either.

So a smaller device, why would this be news that some MFRs are considering it?

I swear the world is so locked into iPad and OS X thinking with the retinal resolutions that required so many Applications to be 'fixed' for the higher resolution UI. However, this is something Windows has been doing for a long long time even in the traditional desktop metrics, and with the WDDM era and the new Modern UI is moot and automatic.

HP to sell Android tablets (off of the back of recently releasing Chromebooks).

I am just wondering how long MS will take before it fill the gap being created in the retail channel and OEM's. This is an unusual time for Windows in that PC's are not selling as well as needed by the OEMs and the retail channels are pushing non Windows PC's with far more capability and care than they are pushing Windows PC's.

If the PC OEM's were not suffering with the decline in PC related revenue I would think MS to still be comfortable as the retail chain has never been good at selling anything they didn't favour. However with almost all retail chains having prominent Apple displays, staff who are keen to push them, and OEM's taking retail floor space traditionally held by Windows PC's with Chrome books I think there is a trend that will be difficult to reverse if MS don't make a bold move soon.

I would suggest increasing the number of MS staff at retail chains is probably the quickest way to stem the tide, this allows customers to be better advised. However there will need to be dramatically more MS stores. If this has an effect on PC sales it will reduce the pain OEM's are feeling and may reduce the search for non PC related revenue streams. However if this doesn't work (because the hardware is not compelling enough as has been the case in the last 5 years) then the next step is a bold one indeed. They need to increase their hardware manufacturing and run the risk of having a much smaller OEM pool as they will be competing head on.

What does all this have to do with the story? Well if MS are looking at increasing their tablet hardware portfolio they had better start to look where the current money comes from - laptops and PC's. It's easier to keep customers through laptop upgrades than it is to attract customers to a new form factor. Tablets is a good opportunity but they have to decide who is going to defend their current laptops and PC's (them or the OEMs). My money is on the fact that more and more OEMs will push Chrome as the only alternative to tyhe weakening PC revenue (as Apple is not an option).

MS in my opinion need to produce top of the range PC's laptops and tablets and stop ***** footing around.

Rubbish. If Microsoft want to increase their sales they shouldn't be dicking around in over-the-hill little backwater markets like the USA. They should be focusing on China, India, Japan and all the other countries that have been ignored by Apple and others - e.g. making people type on an English onscreen keyboard to enter Chinese characters.

Interesting to see that that is precisely what they're doing. Same as Nokia and Samsung. Nobody really cares what American consumers think or want any more.

After owning a Kindle Fire, I simply can't imagine buying a 7-inch tablet again. The iPad mini is a better size, but I think Amazon got it right with the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD -- that seems like the sweet spot for tablets to me.

Further confirmation that Windows-8 was designed for the smartphone and tablet form factors; instead of for laptops or desktops. Phone-8 on steroids?

They better change screen dimensions rather than making them smaller. 16:9 is not compatible with games and internet. Stands only for video.

coth said,
They better change screen dimensions rather than making them smaller. 16:9 is not compatible with games and internet. Stands only for video.

What a load of rubbish.

Hope something comes before August... It would be really awesome to have something for clinical rotations then that would fit in my lab coat pockets Hope we see something with digitizer support too.

I'm still betting on Nokia being the first to release a 7 inch tablet. I don't think MS will rush to fill that size gap itself and let it's OEM partners go first. After that we'll probably see a 7 inch surface come.

I wouldn't be surprised if we find that you're right at MWC. Still, the Surface keyboards use a magnet smaller than the width of the Surface, which makes me wonder that they might have designed their connection for 7" tablet support as well.