Windows 8 might not be selling like hot-cakes, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a success at least at some level. With the mobile-centric OS, Microsoft hoped to push into tablets in a more meaningful way than ever before. That mission has been accomplished, at least to some degree.
According to the latest IDC stats, Windows say a measly .2 million tablets shipped last year, which for most of that year means Windows 7 devices. Three months into 2013, tablet shipments are up 700% with 1.6 million units. Microsoft also now represents 1.8% of the tablet market thanks to its Surface line, making it the fifth most significant tablet brand if IDC’s numbers are correct.
Sure, these numbers are paltry compared with Apple, Samsung, Asus and other brands – but it is still a foot in the door, and that’s what Microsoft was aiming for. Now they just need to push on with the Surface brand, and with the upcoming Windows Blue. It won’t be an easy road, but the groundwork is perhaps finally there to at least allow Microsoft to compete as a solid third place contender in the mobile world.
So what’s next for Microsoft? While we can’t say for sure, DigiTimes claims to have some insider information. Before we go forward, just remember that DigiTimes has a very mixed reputation when it comes to rumors, so speculation is needed.
The latest gossip ships to indicate that the second generation Surface line is coming in June at Microsoft’s BUILD Conference, which could see not only a new 10-inch model, but also 7 and 8-inch variants.
While this is a rumor, it isn’t terribly far-fetched. We already know that Windows Blue is going to be officially shown off at BUILD, and even a Preview version might be released. We also know that Microsoft has previously talked about the possibility of 7-inch tablets, and that rumors indicate Windows 8.1 Blue will be more tablet friendly.
Smaller Windows tablets and a smaller Surface are coming eventually, it’s just hard to say if June is too early or not. What do you think, would you be interested in a smaller-screen Microsoft Surface tablet if Microsoft can position the device at a price equal to or lesser than the iPad Mini?[ source ]