Microsoft seems to be taking its hardware ambitions very seriously indeed, as rumors of an imminent Surface Smartphone release date are joined by stirrings of a 7-inch Surface Tablet Mini also in the pipeline. Along with the Surface Pro Tablet with a release date earmarked for Q1 of next year, Microsoft appears to be covering all bases in terms of a range of tablet PCs able to cater to ever major market.
According to a string of reports from the consumer tech industry, Microsoft is currently developing the smaller 7-inch Surface Tablet in California. With regard to specs and features, the Surface Mini is expected to run with a custom build of Windows RT and be powered by an ARM processor. It has also been suggested that the 7-inch Surface Tablet could in fact be the rumored Xbox Surface Tablet – a min-tab designed to work seamlessly with the Xbox 360 or Xbox 72-0 for highly enhanced gaming.
Microsoft has so far failed to pass comment on the existence of either – the Surface Pro Tablet however is a given.
The idea is less of a wild premise and more of a natural progression to follow on from the recent release date of the standard Microsoft Surface RT Tablets. Set to be followed by the less-restricted, full-fat Surface Pro Tablet running Windows 8 over the next couple of months, it seems highly unlikely that Microsoft will have set its sights on producing just two devices for its first foray into the world of hardware.
It has also been suggested that Microsoft’s move into the hardware industry constitutes unshakable proof that the company as a whole is looking to become more like Apple, by offering its own hardware and software in a fully cross-compatible ecosystem. This gives further credence to the idea of the Windows 8 Microsoft Surface Phone, which is expected by some to launch in the near future to rival not only the current Windows Phone 8 flagships from Nokia and HTC, but also the iPhone 5.