A couple days ago I mentioned that users seem to favor 7 inch laptops. Now comes word that Microsoft is considering launching a 7 inch Surface tablet.
Outgoing CFO Peter Klein made reference to a newer, down-sized surface tablet and the web has seen the rumor bubbling for weeks. The problem for Microsoft is that Windows 8 has steeper hardware requirements for screen resolution than most 7-in tablets are going to be able to produce and Windows RT gets roughly the same reception from users as Windows Me. One wonders if there is anyone clamoring to run desktop applications on small screen tablet, which seems unlikely.
When you consider the fit and finish of the hot products like the iPad-mini, Kindle Fire and Nexus 7, this whole discussion is bringing back visions of the Zune. Microsoft coming late to the tech party with a product that they obviously hadn’t anticipated.
I’m doubtful consumers are going to flock to this new product and it’s hard to imagine there’s room for a lot of growth in a market segment that’s already saturated with competitors.