Microsoft reportedly releasing smaller Surface tablet this year


Microsoft's Surface RT, seen above, could get a smaller version later this year.

Rumors of Microsoft making a smaller Surface tablet began circulating earlier this year, though no release date had been revealed. Now it appears the tablet could launch this year, sometime after the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 release.

In a roundup of the Windows tablets expected to launch this holiday season, Paul Thurrott reported the tablet will "ship this year, but a bit later than the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2." Microsoft announced a Surface-related press event for Sept. 23, where it's expected to formally reveal the new tablets. The tablets will likely be launched on Windows 8.1's Oct. 18 release date or shortly thereafter.

Thurrott claims the smaller-sized Surface tablet will feature an 8-inch screen, as he's previously stated. An earlier report from The Wall Street Journal claimed the tablet would feature a 7-inch screen, though that was never corroborated.

The small Surface tablet is expected to run Windows RT 8.1 and feature a Qualcomm processor, Thurrott states, which is in line with previously reported specifications of the tablet. Neowin previously reported the Surface 2 will have a Tegra 4 processor, though its 8-inch sibling is expected to feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 chipset.

Source: Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows | Image via Microsoft

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I've had a surface pro since launch and love it, after using it alot I could go for a 8 inch surface RT. I've been able to do pretty much everything I want to do with metro apps. As long as the min surface runs well it should be useful to me. I like a smaller form factor tablet

The only way MS improves the app situation is to keep forging ahead with new hardware each year and new OS updates.

You guys seem to forget how Apple and Android started out in this space and how long it took them to get a decent app market going.

This is the same deal for MS. They are not immune to the same forces. Its even worse now because MS is competing against two entrenched companies.

Since we have seen growth in the Win 8 app store and have seen more quality apps, I think all the signs point to a growing platform as long as MS understands that they will have to accept slow growth for a couple generations of hardware. The Surface lineup is important, but I think MS would be just fine with oems succeeding with their own tablet designs as well. Surface started out as a way to showcase the platform, maybe invigorate oems to put out competitive tablets.

I was referring to their app market in general. Apple leveraged its existing iPhone app market to help the iPad have a good start. Apple had to start from zero with the iPhone as MS has had to with WP and now Win 8.

Android was in even worse shape than Apple and it certainly took them a while to get proper support.

My point is that people are quick to throw MS under the bus while ignoring market realities. If these companies ran themselves in reaction to people posting on the internet, they would all be out of business.

Any new tablet or smartphone competitor has to accept early losses, but be aggressive in improving their own platform. If MS keeps doing that, they have a chance.

CygnusOrion said,
The iPad had a good app market on day 1.

What you actually mean is it just had the iPhone apps scaled up. A common occurrence to this day.

And remember when the iPhone was originally released and it had no store/app marketplace?

I got the Acer Iconia W3 currently, and it's an awesome device (minus the weird screen issues). As long as this new Surface "Mini" has HDMI out on it, I may pick it up. Who wouldn't want a snapdragon after all?

Edit: I'm also hoping that a Windows 8 tablet arrives that has a cellular radio on it. Currently I don't think any Windows 8 tablet has this.

Pity, that Microsoft refuses to acknowledge that situation. They are hell-bent on making Surface a success, when it really is one of many players in a niche marketplace.

Getting sick of all the Surface rumors, can't wait to hear the news in 11 days. After the Asus T100 announcement, if Surface doesn't ship with Atom Baytrail + type cover for sub $400, it's DOA. Just my opinion, but I really can't see how you can top the 10" IPS tablet + dock + Baytrail for $350 that is the T100. I'm impressed. I really, really, REALLY hope the rumors of Surface 2 based on ARM are incorrect and that there'll be a Haswell Surface Pro, Baytrail Surface and Tegra4 Surface Mini... otherwise, very bad things will come to Surface...

As long as their battery doesnt suck arse....

How difficult can be to understand... a mobile device is not "mobile" if you have to charge it every 3 to 4 hours.

Euphoria said,
As long as their battery doesnt suck arse....

How difficult can be to understand... a mobile device is not "mobile" if you have to charge it every 3 to 4 hours.


I charge my surface once a day, and use it all day. I think you're confusing the RT and the pro.

Euphoria said,
I was talking about the Pro

Ok then. The battery life for the pro was on par with other ultrabooks with 2012 i5 processors and 1080p touch screens. I don't know what else you were expecting.

Smaller? Hmm... I don't know how I feel about that yet. I think the Surface is at a very appropriate size right now.

The hardware has to be truly killer for this to succeed. The market is full of great devices.

Sadly, it is not enough to have just killer hardware. High quality, functional apps are another. Windows 8.1 / Windows for ARM are not there yet. Try living with the jabber apps that exist today. They all have major usability flaws.

I am scared for my favorite platform. Applications from 3rd parties have to get better. No one wants to use buggy software. The relative immaturity and lax standards of the windows store are contributing to this. Microsoft needs to stop with the 100k + app fixation, and start eliminating and rejecting "information apps" , working more closely with developers to fix flaws after a through test. Apple did this right from the beginning. iOS apps are some of the best functional quality apps out there. Even going to Android, you can feel and perceive a quality loss. There are obviously exceptions .

ObiWanToby said,
The hardware has to be truly killer for this to succeed. The market is full of great devices.

Sadly, it is not enough to have just killer hardware. High quality, functional apps are another. Windows 8.1 / Windows for ARM are not there yet. Try living with the jabber apps that exist today. They all have major usability flaws.

I am scared for my favorite platform. Applications from 3rd parties have to get better. No one wants to use buggy software. The relative immaturity and lax standards of the windows store are contributing to this. Microsoft needs to stop with the 100k + app fixation, and start eliminating and rejecting "information apps" , working more closely with developers to fix flaws after a throughough test.


I don't know that I agree with the usability concerns. Most of the well-known apps I've used for Windows RT/Windows 8 have been great -- the problem is the amount of well-known apps released for the platform.

Definitely agree that apps have to get better, however. That will come in time if the operating system is refined, which is up to Microsoft. I still think they need to drop the desktop completely for Windows RT tablets -- it's just unnecessary, especially with Metro Office apps scheduled for release (though maybe that's what they're waiting for?).

The issue is that no one knows how to program for Win8. I learned C# to make an app for WP7, and Windows 8 is just slightly different enough that it's like learning a new language. The UI design is slightly different, the API's are just slightly different... It takes time, which I don't have much of anymore.

And there's no marketshare. It's on my list of things to do, but towards the bottom. I suspect a lot of developers are in my shoes.

Well sure, there are applications that work reasonably well, especially the 1st party ones. But even then, Applications like Skype are a compromise of their desktop counterparts. The photos app was great in 8, with Flickr integration, but since that has been removed, all the 3rd party flickr apps are awful (go check them out).

And some developers have the strangest apps out there, and are trying to nickel and dime users!

http://apps.microsoft.com/wind...7f56-4ea2-b649-723183b04003

On iOS, that would never exist, ever. I think this is bad for consumers. It clutters the store.

Microsoft needs to quadruple their effort in this space. It has to be ready for the holiday season. It just has to.

Windows 8 has a huge potential user base. http://www.pcworld.com/article...t-so-do-older-versions.html

PCs are still essential to the digital life. Scanning, printing (while possible on other platforms, is not as simple), using tax software ... etc. This can change fast. It is essential to the market and consumers that Microsoft somehow succeeds. We need a strong 3 player market.

I'd say, wait until Office is released for the modern environment (should happen by next spring). I bet that's going to spur lots of excitement and growth.

Xabier Granja said,
I'd say, wait until Office is released for the modern environment (should happen by next spring). I bet that's going to spur lots of excitement and growth.

Because Microsoft Office is the great standout feature that makes Surface better than the competition?

Please, don't be so delusional. It's the same excuse people were using for the original Surface and we all know how that turned out.

Next excuse please.....

stevan said,

Because Microsoft Office is the great standout feature that makes Surface better than the competition?

Please, don't be so delusional. It's the same excuse people were using for the original Surface and we all know how that turned out.

Next excuse please.....


Office coming to the Metro environment has more to do with supporting the touchscreen interface and less to do with being a "great standout feature." Office on tablets has a shoehorned interface that doesn't work well with touch capabilities at the moment. Showing support for the Metro interface and moving away from the desktop on tablets have bigger implications than the Office apps themselves.

ObiWanToby said,
The hardware has to be truly killer for this to succeed.

Rumor has it the next iPad will use 64-bit ARM chips and the next surface will use 32-bit ARM chips. So no, the next Surface hardware will not be truly killer. Very much out of date, in fact.

MaddddHatter

I sold my iPad even after using all those high quality apps. Didn't like it. There is no customizable.

Plus iOS is missing one huge killer app. Don't worry Android is too.