It looks like Microsoft is set to launch its long-anticipated Surface "mini" this month. Microsoft is holding what it described in an invite to media as "a small gathering" on May 20 in New York. While the invitation didn't offer much detail other than the time and place, it indicated it was a private press event regarding the Surface line of hybrid tablet PCs.
Given the subtle hint in the title of its invitation and the fact a small tablet is one of the fastest-growing device types these days, it's a reasonable assumption the company is finally filling this gaping hole in its Surface line. Also suggesting this will be a major launch, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will preside over the event, reported Mary Jo Foley in her All About Microsoft blog.
The big question is will Microsoft offer an ARM-based Surface like the Surface 2 that runs Window 8.1 RT or one powered with an Intel processor running Windows 8.1 Pro? Or perhaps we'll see both? The other key question is size. Will it come with a 7- or 8-inch screen? I'd bet on the latter.
If Microsoft wants its Surface line to succeed, it needs a mini in the lineup. Just ask Apple, which reluctantly released its iPad Mini nearly two years ago, not to mention all the Android-based tablets in that form factor.
Price will also be key. With a slew of sub-$300 mini Android and Windows tablets, cost will be critical. Yet I'd be surprised if it's less than the iPad Mini's $329 price tag and if other features are tacked on, it could cost more. It's also a reasonable bet that Microsoft won't undercut its OEM partners.
Posted on 05/07/2014 at 9:57 AM
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