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Microsoft tipped for 7in Surface Xbox tablet release

07 Nov 2012
Microsoft Surface with Touch Cover

Microsoft is reportedly set to add a 7in tablet to its Surface device line.

Consumer electronics news site The Verge cited company sources in reporting that the company was currently in the planning and design phases for a smaller addition to its Windows tablet family.

Currently, Microsoft offers a pair of models under the Surface brand. The recently-released Surface RT relies on an ARM processor, while the upcoming Surface Pro will utilise a conventional Intel x86 chip.

According to the Verge report, the 7in device would rely on an ARM chip and would be primarily designed for gaming and entertainment use. The reports suggests that the device could debut as the Surface Xbox.

The release would add Microsoft to a growing field of vendors who offer both 10in and 7in tablet models. Apple recently entered the market with a highly successful launch for the iPad Mini, while Amazon updated its 7in lineup with the release of the Kindle Fire HD.

Thus far, analysts have likened Microsoft's tablet strategy more to Apple's approach than to Amazon. Teardown reports on the Surface RT have estimated that Microsoft could make an even higher profit on each unit sold than Apple makes for the iPad.

The report also comes amidst chatter that Microsoft will soon be entering the branded smartphone market. Reports have suggested that the company has entered the testing phases on a Microsoft-branded handset which would run the company's Windows Phone 8 operating system.

Microsoft has yet to provide official word on either of the rumoured devices.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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