According to a recent article in the WSJ, Microsoft is developing a new lineup of its Surface tablets, including a 7-inch version that is
expected to go into mass production later this year.
In 2012 Microsoft launched 2 versions of its Surface tablets: the Surface Windows Pro 8 and Surface Windows RT.
Both Surface tablets have screen sizes of 10.6 inches and are not selling as well as Google’s 7-inch Nexus tablet, released last summer, and Apple’s 7.9-inch iPad Mini tablet, released last fall.
A smaller 7-inch tablet size for the Surface could help Microsoft to better compete against Google and Apple for a greater share in the tablet market, although Microsoft still lags well behind the two tech companies in this growing market while it also has to compete against Amazon with their Kindle Fire tablet and Barnes & Noble with their Nook tablet.
Ryan Reith, program manager, Mobile Device Trackers at International Data Corp (IDC) said in a January 31st press release: “We believe that Microsoft and its partners need to quickly adjust to the market realities of smaller screens and lower prices. In the long run, consumers may grow to believe that high-end computing tablets with desktop operating systems are worth a higher premium than other tablets, but until then ASPs on Windows 8 and Windows RT devices need to come down to drive higher volumes.”
On Wednesday IDC released more data showing that the slumping personal computer market is getting weaker as more computer users are shifting to mobile computing because of their convenience and lower cost.
According to International Data Corp (IDC), first-quarter shipments of PCs fell 14 percent worldwide from the same time last year, representing the deepest decline since 1994 when the firm began tracking data.
Research firm Gartner had estimates for the first quarter showing an 11.2 percent decline in PC shipments.
Despite the gloomy news for the PC market, 300 million PCs are still expected to be sold worldwide this year compared to 200 million tablet devices.