Report: Microsoft to Release 7-Inch Surface Tablet
April 11, 2013 11:49 AM
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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
, 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
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).
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?"
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The key to windows RT is cost.
4/16/2013 10:57:09 AM
No matter what happens Microsoft cannot afford to put all of their eggs in Intel's basket.
the issue with Intel is cost. you cannot afford to make 7 inch tablet that sells for $300 dollars and use an Intel processor. ARM processors are by some estimates as low as $10, Intel even with Atom cannot afford to compete at that price point.
to reach the $300 price point required MS will have to lower the price of the OS, it makes no sense to have $300 device with a $100 OS on board, going forward MS is moving towards free OS model at least for the low end, with the OS subsidized by app sales.
look at the cost breakdown for the Kindle
It costs $174 to build the Kindle and $199 to make the Ipad mini, excluding software. the Ipad uses $12 processor, how much would it cost to use an atom instead if the surface pro's processor costs $220?
So by abandoning windows RT Microsoft cedes the entire less than $500 tablet market to Google and Apple. how silly would they be to let that happen?
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