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It is expected to go into mass production later this year

Joining the likes of Apple and Google, Microsoft is now also rumored to be making a 7-inch version of its first homemade tablet -- the Surface.

According to a recent report from Reuters, Microsoft is in the midst of creating a whole new batch of Surface tablets, which includes a 7-inch version. 

The 7-inch tablet is expected to go into mass production later this year.

Microsoft, which released its first Surface tablet on October 26, 2012, hasn't seen the sales success it expected. Last month, a Bloomberg source anonymously revealed that Microsoft had sold 1.5 million Surface tablets at that point. More specifically, the company had sold a little over a million Surface with Windows RT tablets (features the Windows RT version of Windows 8 specifically for ARM processors) and about 400,000 Surface with Windows Pro tablets (features the full version of Windows 8 and an Intel Core i5 processor). 

These figures missed analyst expectations of about 2 million Surface RT tablets in just the December quarter alone.

Microsoft launched Surface with Windows RT in October and Surface with Windows 8 Pro in February.

Microsoft likely wants to run with the big boys like Apple and Google in the tablet sector, and both have already released 7-inch tablets (which tend to be more affordable for consumers). Google's 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet was a hit at only $200 with a load of impressive features, and Apple released its 7-inch iPad mini for a little over $300 last November. 

However, Microsoft may want to steer clear of releasing any more Surface tablets with Windows RT, since the operating system has largely been a bust. RT-powered tablets have dropped significantly in price in some cases due to lack of consumer demand, and many hardware makers are looking to just clear the dead weight out of their inventory.  

Even analysts believe Windows RT will, at some point, just fade away. 

"I think you're seeing discounting based on user demand. I never thought RT was going to be that successful," said Jack Gold, principal analyst at J. Gold Associates. "RT will fade away over time. It's not a full Windows 8 experience. That said, why wouldn't I spend more and get a full Pro version of the device?" 

Source: Reuters

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RE: Before trolls jump in to say MS is crap
By tayb on 4/11/2013 2:39:36 PM , Rating: 1
Developers will give up no more control to Microsoft than they currently give up to Google or Apple.

Then you have custom applications for business that you wouldn't want in the app store, but with Windows RT that's the only choice.

Why would anyone develop a custom business application to be run in the Metro UI? No one will do that. Custom business applications will always be desktop applications.

By invidious on 4/11/2013 3:50:44 PM , Rating: 4
You have a point with Apple, but that's not true at all for Google. Android supports side loading and 3rd part app stores.

I have bought android apps from websites such as humble bundle. The humble bundle site allows me to manage my apps bought through them with an app manager app on my android devices or I can download it directly from their website. I can download it to my PC or directly to my device.

Google gives a lot of power to the developer and consumer. If anything they can be criticized for giving too much power. But you can't have your cake and eat it too.

RE: Before trolls jump in to say MS is crap
By karimtemple on 4/11/2013 4:26:57 PM , Rating: 2
win32 (What you're calling "desktop") is now a legacy platform. Windows Runtime software runs on all versions of Windows 8. Once given a reason to move from win32 to RT, there will be absolutely no turning back. The ability to run win32 software in Windows 8 is nothing more than a backwards-compatibility feature.

The (near) future Microsoft is betting on is one where your $200 7-inch Surface runs the exact same software as your $1000 Surface Pro. They've got the architecture in place right now, but they're doing an awful job of marketing and positioning their vision. It also doesn't help that the Start Screen has a handful of design failures.

RE: Before trolls jump in to say MS is crap
By 91TTZ on 4/12/2013 11:25:04 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure Microsoft wants that, but I don't think that's happening. Microsoft's main reason for switching to Windows Runtime apps on the Windows Store is because they take 30% of all money from app sales. Software developers hate this idea.

Windows 8, Windows Runtime, Windows Phone 8 and Microsoft Surface were all components of a larger initiative within Microsoft to make a strong push into the mobile space. It's failing on all fronts. Windows 8 isn't selling well at all, Windows Phone isn't selling, Surface isn't selling well, and people are ignoring the Windows Store.

Microsoft tried to bring this entire ecosystem online that required substantial internal investment on their part. While people think they're fine because people who avoid Windows 8 are buying Windows 7, Microsoft has to be shaking in their boots. They see that this strategy is failing and their future is being taken away from them.

By karimtemple on 4/12/2013 3:21:09 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't seem that way to me. Microsoft saw a possible future where x86 was no longer the end-all-be-all, and they acted. Not that betting against Intel is too smart, lol. Still, Windows could no longer rely solely on x86 to thrive.

The mere existence of Runtime solves that problem. CE runs on x86, ARM, and even MIPS, but CE is also terribad and doesn't even share the same kernel as Windows proper. RT brings the all the codebases together. And now that the heavy lifting has been taken care of, Windows can suddenly show up on whatever platform turns out to be strong and popular enough (not just ARM). Naturally they'd want to take the opportunity to increase their revenue streams with a Windows Store; hell, Apple is doing it.

At the same time, they probably wanted to address their concern that we may hit a Supertablet Era, where one phone or tablet is so powerful and cheap that it would make more sense to just plug it into desktop and laptop docks (and probably others!) when you sit down. That's where unifying the interface came in.

To be honest, as long as a platform is competent, all it ever really needs is a competitive value proposition and an attractive software library. RT of course has none of that lol, but that doesn't mean it can never get that. If they handed me the company, I'd have everyone else buckling under raw product superiority, and I don't think I'd have to change Windows 8 that much. They'd have to hit MS with another round of antitrust suits because people wouldn't buy anything else.

By Breakfast Susej on 4/15/2013 9:29:05 AM , Rating: 2
The company I work for has a custom android application used by field agents on a daily basis.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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