Should Microsoft Create the Surface Mini, or Should They Work with Nokia Instead?

Recently we are continuing to hear more and more news that suggest Microsoft is hard at work on the Surface Mini, to debut right around the same time as Windows Blue (aka Windows 8.1). The latest word is that Microsoft is possibly hiring designers to work on the Mini as we speak.

Still, is this the best move for Microsoft? I like the Surface brand and think that it has a solid future ahead of it, but shouldn’t they get their ducks in a row before expanding the line? This holiday season would be a good time to release a new version of the Surface RT that takes the design far beyond what we have right now.

Introducing a Surface Mini just doesn’t seem like the right idea – at least not yet. That said, a 7-inch or 8-inch flagship tablet is absolutely needed. So what should Microsoft do? Personally, I’d love to see a Nokia tablet that is endorsed directly by Microsoft, sold at Microsoft retail locations and helps further push Nokia and Microsoft’s partnership forward.

There are several reasons to do this. First, Nokia is a proven brand, and not someone “new to PC hardware”. Additionally, with Nokia’s recent popularity, Windows Phone 8 has managed to snag 4.1 percent of the market in the United States, up from 2.7%, according to a recent report from Kantar.

Bottom-line, Nokia is popular enough that it could be the perfect partner for creating a low-cost flagship in the small tablet sector. It would also free Microsoft to focus on the larger Surface line, all while testing the waters.

Perhaps after a few months or even a year, Microsoft could then jump in to the 7 or 8-inch tablet market itself.

Nokia Lumia Tablet – a good idea for Nokia?

For Microsoft, the Nokia Lumia tablet would give them a flagship device that wouldn’t detract from existing Surface options and would allow them to focus on their current offerings. It would also bring strong brand recognition.

What about Nokia, though? For Nokia it could help them move beyond just smartphones, but it also brings some new risks. Unless Microsoft somehow creates a new version of Windows 8 for 7 and 8-inch tablets that is basically somewhere between WP8 and Windows 8, this would be a whole new OS for Nokia to deal with, as well as a new form factor.

They also have to consider that Windows RT tablets haven’t exactly been wildly popular and Nokia is just starting to stabilize after several hard years so any risk is big risk.

What do you think, should Microsoft work with Nokia for a Nokia Lumia tablet or is it best if Microsoft moves forward with a Surface Mini? Share your thoughts below.

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