Microsoft said to be working on 7-inch tablet

Microsoft's Surface tablet line may soon include a smaller variant featuring a 7-inch screen.

When the Surface RT launched on Oct. 26, there was commentary that Microsoft was missing out on a major opportunity by not releasing a smaller-sized tablet as competitors Apple, Google and Amazon had done around the same time. Microsoft may be working to remedy that complaint, however, according to a new report.

The Wall Street Journal reports Microsoft is working on a 7-inch tablet, citing unnamed sources. According to the report, the move was made in reaction to the market shift, as consumers have rapidly adopted smaller-screened tablets from Microsoft's aforementioned competitors. If the report is accurate, the tablet would enter mass production later this year, possibly hinting at an announcement in advance of the holiday season.

Last year, shortly after the launch of the Surface RT, a report claimed Microsoft is working on a 7-inch gaming tablet called "Xbox Surface," though that device may be separate from the tablet The Wall Street Journal is referring to. Leaked specifications that accompanied the report indicated the device would use a custom ARM processor and 5GB of high-bandwidth DDR3 RAM, which would be an improvement on the strategy used with Surface RT, as that tablet launched with a dated Tegra 3 ARM chip.

The report also claimed the tablet would run a custom version of the Windows kernel that would feature an interface emphasizing entertainment services such as games, music, movies and television shows. While the Xbox Surface is said to support certain standard tablet functions such as email, they reportedly took a back seat to Microsoft's expanding entertainment services.

No additional information has since been released about the Xbox Surface, however, as Microsoft is rumored to have built its own factory to build Surface tablets, possibly in an effort to halt information about new devices from leaking to the press.

Microsoft is widely believed to be hosting an event to reveal the next-generation Xbox gaming console on May 21. That event is also said to include the announcement of a new, $99 version of the Xbox 360. It's unclear if any potential Xbox Surface tablet announcement would take place at the same time or a later date, however.

Source: The Wall Street Journal | Image via Microsoft

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I have the Win8.1-B.9369 installed on VM, so I see where Microsoft is going in BLUE.
however if Microsoft are building 7-8 inch tablet, I wish it to be a phablet, a tablet with 3G Connectivity, I mean that I wish that they will integrate phone features into the OS

I'd kill for a 7 inch version of the surface pro, People don't really understand how useful a full pc would be you could hold in one hand and put in your coat pocket.

I also like choice and options, wish people would freaking, their is more than enough room for MS to introduce various hardware for sale. I would really hate it if Apple and Android were the only options.

Why are people so against options? It does not have to outsell apple to be worthwhile.

Edited by swanlee, Apr 11 2013, 1:05pm :

I wonder if it could be done using a book cover like the Surface smart cover to connect to 2x 7" Surface tablets and run a metro version of Windows Journal.

Maciej Kuczara said,
Despite owning Surface RT I would be really tempted to buy Small Surface if it had desktop removed

Just unpin the desktop tile... but Windows Blue adds a lot more to metro, so you won't miss the desktop. But there's no reason to actually remove it... just make it optional.

Microsoft is cutting the cost of windows for cheap devices,and blue is going to add support for smaller and lower resolution screens. Get ready for netbook 2.0. The market is going to be flooded with cheap windows tablets in the second half of 2013. That is why the likes of acer have completely backtracked and changed their tune. Companies would rather sell in volume and make less on each product than sell a lower amount and make bigger profits. I guess the idea of selling less product scares the crap out of them.

20legend said,
Meh, I'll be sticking with my Nexus 7 thanks MS.......

I've had an iPad 3 and currently we've got a nexus 7 and 10 in the house. At work i've got an activ pro (sammy) which has surprised me - it's far from perfect but the flexibility of having a proper OS and it's applications is pretty bloody persuasive. Gen 2 devices based on intels new chips this year will only make it more appealing if you ask me..

Uhh why? their are a million android tablets that are all pretty much the same, at least running a real OS make it different then your standard android tablet.

People like choice.

What is it with the "late" comments? Using this logic apple was late with the iPad mini but that didn't stop them. The tablet market isn't anywhere close to mature and at the rate it's expected to grow in the next 5 years jumping into the 7" market this year is hardly late.

myxomatosis said,
Once again, you're late Microsoft…

The iPad mini and the Nexus 7 agrees with me

WTF? Dude, Microsoft is always late! Take a look to Windows and the Xbox, both ware launched way after the market was already taken by others, and look now. Being late doesn't mean anything, and if it would, what is the point of competition then?

Someone needs to tell Microsoft that they need to crawl before they can walk, and then they can jog, leading to a run towards the finish line.

JHBrown said,
Someone needs to tell Microsoft that they need to crawl before they can walk, and then they can jog, leading to a run towards the finish line.

There is no finish line.

Definitely has potential. The rumor creators or journalists obviously don't understand OS terminology because running a "custom kernel" is not equivalent to the UI being changed... Anyway the rumour could also be pointing to transforming Windows RT into more of an entertainment centric OS but I don't know if they are willing to fork off Windows Blue that much.

They never have thought of using Windows 8/RT for that, they should have used the phone os, they caused more issues then they should have.

They never should have thought of using Windows 8/RT for that, they should have used the phone os, they caused more issues then they should have.