The world may be wondering when Microsoft will launch the long rumored Surface Mini, but the company, it appears, has already set into motion even grander plans.
It has been just a few months since Redmond released its second generation Surface slates, and now it has shifted attention towards bringing affordable lost cost devices in developing markets — in collaboration with local vendors, of course.
As this report reveals, Microsoft is planning to work not just with established brands like HP and Dell but local Indian manufactures, in this case companies like Karbonn and Lava.
This decision is fueled by the complete dominance of Android devices that are available all over the world. Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 can compete fine with premium Android devices, but Redmond is aware that it is leaving opportunities at the lower end of the spectrum.
According to Amrish Goyal, director of Windows business group:
“We are reducing our required hardware specification for Windows to bare minimum that is needed for good experience. We want to be price competitive with Android. We want to get the bill of material for Windows tablets down.”
If this pans out, Windows powered devices in the $149 range could soon be a reality — soon in this case being the middle of this year, according to the above report.
One of the more notable features of the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1 is its support for lower end hardware and decreased system requirements. Microsoft seems to have optimized this version of its modern platform for it to be able to run on devices with just 1GB of memory.
A move like this could be the golden ticket for Redmond to gain more ground in the tablet industry.