HARDWARE UPSTART Microsoft reportedly will add a 7in tablet to its Surface device line.
The Verge cited sources at Microsoft in reporting that the company is in the planning and design phases for a smaller addition to its Windows tablet range.
At present Microsoft offers two models under the Surface brand. The recently released Surface RT has an ARM processor, while the upcoming Surface Pro will have an Intel X86 chip.
According to the report, the 7in tablet will have an ARM chip and will be primarily designed for gaming and entertainment use. The reports suggests that the device could be called 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 its launch of 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's. Teardown reports on the Sureface RT have estimated that Microsoft could make an even higher profit on each unit sold than Apple makes on the Ipad.
The report also comes amidst chatter that Microsoft will soon be entering the branded handset market. Reports have suggested that the company has entered the testing phases on a Microsoft branded handset that would run the company's Windows Phone 8 operating system.
Microsoft has yet to announce either of the rumoured devices. µ