Depending on who is doing the talking, Microsoft missed a boat when it decided to go along with a 10-inch display size for its premier Surface tablets. Then again, it seemed the perfect form factor back then.
But while the Surface slates were in the development and production stages, end users were shifting attention to 7 and 8 inch tablets, owing to the increased portability and convenience they provided, without sacrificing (too much) of the display.
Companies like Google and Amazon made the case (both literally and figuratively) for smaller and more affordable choices like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire. It was not long before Apple had to give in to a smaller iPad, in the form of the successful iPad Mini.
All three companies still produce larger tablets, but smaller devices are, for the lack of a better word, in.
It stands to reason, then, that for Microsoft to offers its own solution in the form of a smaller Surface tablet. Rumors have been rife of a 7 or 8 inch Surface slate powered by the upcoming Windows 8.1.
In fact, the software titan recently lowered the screen resolutions requirements for its platform — a sure enough hint that smaller devices, be they laptops or tablets, could be unveiled in the near future.
And now the company confirmed during its earnings call conference that such units are all set to be unveiled in the comings months.
Microsoft’s CFO, Peter Klein was noted as saying during the call with investors that the company is already working with partners to bring smaller Windows 8 devices to the market. He stopped shy of providing any specifics — but then again it would be imprudent to expect otherwise.
Considering just how secretive Microsoft has become in the past few years, this is as close to an official confirmation one should expect.
But the good thing is that we could soon be treated to smaller Windows-powered slates — not just from Microsoft (under its Surface brand) but also from other hardware vendors at various price points.
And this, friends and foes, could be just what leads to the company’s new platform taking off.