Late last month, we heard from an exec at Microsoft that the company had no plans to introduce Windows 8 tablets in any sizes below ten inches, apparently negating hopes that we’d see a Microsoft device go head-to-head with the likes of the Nexus 7 and iPad mini. While Microsoft may not have any Windows 8 plans along those lines, what if it has something slightly different in mind? A rumor out today suggests that Microsoft could be developing an Xbox-themed seven-inch tablet, running a custom Windows kernel.
While it’s not clear when Microsoft might hope to release such a product, The Verge reports hearing from multiple sources within the company that development is well underway.
We’ve heard about this hardware before, thanks to a leaked specs sheet back in June, revealing a seven-inch, 720p tablet with some pretty high-end-sounding specs. Supposedly, that’s the very same device we’re talking about now, although final decisions about SoC choice and other components may not have yet been made.
The Xbox Surface tablet would likely focus primarily on gaming, but we could see Microsoft retain some broader functionality. So far, capabilities like messaging features have been mentioned, but the full picture on just how flexible a tablet this would be continues to elude us.