Microsoft Gearing up for iPad Mini Competitors

Microsoft Surface RT | Wikipedia

Microsoft Surface RT | Wikipedia

In the next few months, industry watchers may see Microsoft competing in the small-form tablet market. That’s because the Redmond-based company is prepping one or more similarly sized Windows device.

Microsoft Eyes Smaller Tablet Market

The reports were confirmed last week during a conference call after Microsoft’s earnings report. Outgoing Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein slipped that the company is eyeing smaller tablet market.

[W]e also are working closely with OEMs on a new suite of small touch devices powered by Windows. These devices will have competitive price points, partly enabled by our latest OEM offerings designed specifically for these smaller devices, and will be available in the coming months.

By “competitive price points,” Klein meant the results of price cuts that Microsoft has instituted due to faltering PC market and weak demand on Windows 8. According to industry pundits, part of the matter can be due to the expensive nature of full-sized touchscreen devices. Thus, the company is encouraging the development of smaller and cheaper devices to increase their market share.

In the Horizon: Microsoft and Small-Form Factor Devices

Microsoft’s plan for a mid-size Windows 8 device is not surprising. In late March, the company had changed their hardware certification rules to allow devices with 1024 x 768 pixel resolution.

Although smaller form devices will be missing some features, like the Windows 8 “snap” multitasking ability, they may become a more able competitor in terms of price.

What’s yet to be known is whether Microsoft will be among the hardware manufacturers that will release a Windows-base 7-inch tablet. In relation to this, it was rumored last November that such device could be tied in the next-generation Xbox gaming system.

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