Sales of the 7 inch Apple iPad have been exceptionally good since it was launched and Microsoft are planning to release a 7 inch version of their Surface tablet computer, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The unnamed sources confirm the Microsoft move is to target the audience that are buying the iPad Mini and Google’s 7 inch Nexus. Half of all tablet computers shipped in the fourth quarter of 2012 were smaller than 8 inches.
Research firms IDC and Gartner released their quarterly vendor estimates on Wednesday, noting the first quarter saw one of the steepest declines in PC shipments ever recorded.
In 2012 there were rumours that Microsoft were planning to develop a 7 inch tablet, based around the Xbox hardware and sold under the Xbox brand.
Microsoft have not seen great sales from the Surface range of tablet computers, with one report from March estimating that the company had only claimed 1.5 million sales since the Surface RT launched in October 2012. The Surface Pro which was launched in February, running a full version of Windows 8 accounted for less than 500,000 of those sales.
Kitguru says: The move to a cheaper 7 inch Surface may be the last move for Microsoft.