Microsoft CFO Peter Klein on Thursday confirmed the company is looking into smaller touch devices, further fueling speculation we’ll see a 7-inch Surface later this year. During an investor call, Klein said Microsoft is working closely with OEMs to create small touch-based Windows devices, which are expected to land with competitive pricing. Klein’s comments add more weight to a previous report from Intel CEO Paul Otellini about cheaper Windows 8 devices.
The Redmond-based company has been quietly inching its way toward smaller tablets, backed up by Microsoft changing its minimum tablet hardware requirements down to a resolution of 1024 x 768. Smaller tablets such as the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD 7 and iPad mini have all proved enormously popular over the traditional 9-inch and above size. They’re not only cheaper, but offer greater portability, making them easier and more pleasing to use in most cases.
Klein also noted during Microsoft’s earnings call on Thursday that he is departing the company at the end of the fiscal year.
Microsoft’s own Surface tablets haven’t exactly lit the market on fire, and OEMs have found it difficult to hock devices running Windows 8 and RT, so a change is definitely in order. While Klein’s comments don’t specifically call out tablets as a point of interest, it’s certainly a logical next step for the company to take. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company doesn’t have anything more to share right now, so perhaps we’ll see an announcement over the busy summer months.