Microsoft Looks to Add a Little Tablet to the Xbox Family
November 6, 2012 2:17 PM
Is Ballmer eying market penetration with his 7-inch surprise?
Amazon.com, Inc. (
) vaulted itself into that tablet discussion overnight with its
7-inch Kindle Fire
tablet last holiday season. That in turn inspired Google Inc. (
Computer Inc. (
) to pop in a 7-incher of their own -- the
. Even Apple, Inc. (
) looked to
jump on the bandwagon
, although its iPad Mini offering
came up a bit short
thanks to a relatively meager screen resolution and hardware set.
Microsoft Corp. (
), as has often been the case recently, is arriving a bit late to the party. But
, CEO Steve Ballmer has big plans to penetrate this growing market, and in the process add a new member to the Xbox brand.
Like Google's Nexus brand, Microsoft offers a 10-inch tablet, and is rumored to be cooking up a 4-inch Surface smartphone up. That leaves one gaping hole in the lineup.
Microsoft's looks to fill that void with a high-end gaming device that supports current Xbox peripherals, sports a custom ARM processor, and uses high-bandwidth RAM. The device will run a custom Windows kernel.
A working title for the tablet is "Xbox Surface".
Microsoft is reportedly planning to make a "baby" Surface tablet.
Of course it isn't unthinkable to that Microsoft could abort the fledgling tablet. After all,
that's what it did
after conceiving and
incubating the Courier concept
for months. It would take Microsoft two years after the death of Courier to finally pop its first first-party tablet hardware out.
The new device may join the upcoming "
". But unlike the Xbox 720, which will likely be built by traditional Chinese third-party mass-manufacturers, the Xbox Surface may be built at the same secret facility as the original Surface. Microsoft has not disclosed the location of that lower-volume facility, but
suggest that Microsoft built its own small factory in China to keep a tighter grip on the production process.
"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
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