Microsoft’s Surface tablets have been a mixed bag. The Pro version is a beast of a tablet, with slick hardware and Ultrabook power. But the RT model has a barren app selection and a confusing, bipolar operating system. With this less-than-stellar launch, it’s no surprise that Microsoft has something new in the oven: a smaller 7-inch Surface tablet.

The scoop comes from the Wall Street Journal, who spoke to “people familiar with the company’s plans.” Those leaky sources stated that a 7-inch Surface is on Microsoft’s menu, and will go into production later this year.


You know what else Microsoft is putting into production later this year? A new Xbox. Back in early November, word leaked that Microsoft was working on a 7-inch Xbox Surface tablet. Are we talking about the same thing here?

The WSJ story doesn’t mention Xbox. The Xbox tablet could have been scrapped. It could have been a bogus rumor or a separate device. Or maybe it’s just a regular Surface tablet with a few extra Xbox goodies.

But a Surface/Xbox slate could make sense. We’re talking syncing with the new console – not just for games, but media of all kinds. Start watching something on your TV, pick it up on your tablet. Stream games locally. Lots of cool stuff that could benefit Microsoft and its customers.

It also provides a halo effect (not to be confused with a Halo effect). Make the tablet an essential companion to the Xbox 720 (or whatever it’s called), and Microsoft succeeds in tying the struggling Surface brand with its extremely-successful Xbox brand. That’s a win for Microsoft no matter how you look at it.

Source: Wall Street Journal