Microsoft could be preparing to launch an 8-inch addition to its line of Surface Tablets this June, and an updated 10-inch design later this year.
That’s according to Digitimes who spoke with sources inside the supply chains of Taiwan’s technology components industry. These sources have indicated this 8-inch Surface would use touch displays created by Samsung along with NVIDIA’s processors to create the tablet. Production would be managed by ODM Pegatron.
Instead of launching this summer, the sources believes that Microsoft is attempting to clear out its current stock of the Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets before launching a new 10-inch Surface. The outlet’s sources also believe that it’s possible that this device’s screen size could be slightly above or slightly below 10-inches. Currently, the Surface RT and Surface Pro both have 10.6-inch screens.
Reportedly, Microsoft is also bullish on sales of these new Surface additions. Microsoft is said to be expecting monthly shipments of both of these devices to reach one million. If that’s true, it would be a sea change for a line of tablets that only sold 900,000 in all of the first quarter according to IDC.
Initially, reports from the Wall Street Journal had predicted that the company would be following up last year’s Surface devices with a design around 7-inches to compete against devices like Apple’s iPad mini, Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets.
While the company has made any public declarations of how it will expand on the Surface tablet line, recent moves by the company’s Windows Team does indicate that at the very least, Microsoft will be allowing it’s partners to ship devices with smaller screens running Windows 8.
Microsoft recently modified the rules governing its Windows 8 certification program to allow devices with screen resolutions as small as 1024 x 768 pixels. That change means that Windows 8 can now be certified to run on devices with even smaller screens than it does today. Currently, the company requires that a device running Windows 8 must have at least a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels.