Earlier today, The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft is working on a 7-inch tablet that will debut later this year. This is not the first time we’ve heard about a device in this size, but the previous report said it was an Xbox theme device.
Not wanting to miss out on a good rumor, Paul Thurrott is stating that the smaller Surface will be in the 8-inch class, not the 7-inch device The Journal reported. Paul has a reasonably good track record for these types of things, but only time will tell who is actually right. It could be possible that Microsoft is making a device in the 7.7 inch or above class size that would appear to be an 8-inch device and this is what is causing the confusion. For now though, it’s only speculation until Microsoft unveils the product.
It is inevitable that Microsoft will eventually release a smaller-sized Surface, as there is considerable demand in that arena including the Kindle Fire HD, the Nexus 7 and the iPad mini. With Microsoft entering this market as well, it will give consumer a wide range of options for their next small tablet.
The other large unknown is what the price point will be. To be competitive, it would need to be the same price range as the $329 iPad mini, but to sell in bulk it would likely need to come in at under that price point.