Microsoft Readying Smaller Surface Tablet PCs: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has hinted that smaller Surface tablet computers could be released in the near future. The hint comes in the form of new Windows 8 certification guidelines.

According to these new guidelines, Microsoft will soon be able to support compact resolutions (and screen sizes), allowing manufacturers to create Surface tablet displays measuring between 7- and 8-inches in diameter.

The document goes on to suggest that support will be offered for resolutions as low as 1024x768. Coincidently, this is one of the most popular resolutions for smaller tablet screens.

In comparison, current Microsoft tablets must have a resolution of at least 1366x768 in order for manufacturers to include the Windows 8 symbol on their Windows 8 device. (Source:

Microsoft Hoping to Compete with iPad Mini, Nexus 7

Microsoft is hoping that a smaller Surface tablet will allow it to challenge competitors like Apple, Google, and Amazon -- all of which have 7-inch tablets on the market right now. 

Research shows that consumers are currently migrating towards the smaller, cheaper, and more portable tablet models. These devices continue to outsell their larger counterparts across the growing tablet market.

A smaller Surface tablet could also help Microsoft tap into the e-reading craze that has become popular in recent years. In this respect, Microsoft carries an ace up their sleeve: Barnes and Noble. The two companies continue to enjoy a longstanding partnership with each other. (Source:

If Barnes and Noble would allow Microsoft to tap into their enormous library of reading materials, a smaller Surface tablet would become an instant threat to the competition.

Experts Predict June Release

The obvious question is: when would Microsoft expect to release their new and smaller Surface tablet PC?

While no date has been confirmed, Brent Thill, managing director and senior analyst for the software group UBS, believes that such a product could arrive as early as June 2013.

Microsoft is expected to release the first public beta of Windows Blue around this time. A new device employing Blue's new features would certainly help Microsoft market both products.

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