Wall Street Journal Believes Microsoft Will Launch 7-Inch Slate

Good old Microsoft currently has two unique tablets under the Surface banner, the RT and the Pro. The technology titan has, in recent interviews, toyed with the idea of more hardware devices soon.

Rumors have been rife that a smaller Surface tablet could be set for arrival in the near future.

Various sources have weighed in on this, some saying that Redmond could be launching a 7-incher as early as this summer, while others believe that an 8-inch device is incoming, before the Holiday spree.

This much is sure — something is cooking.

And now a new report by the Wall Street Journal indicates that the company’s 7-inch tablet is projected to hit the store shelves later this year. And the device will most likely be powered by Windows 8.1, the first major update to Windows 8 that is scheduled for August.

From where things stand, it appears that Microsoft only recently decided to develop a smaller slate.

The competition in the mini tablet market is getting fiercer, and the company feels the need for a challenger that can duke it out with rivals from Apple, Google and even Amazon. A smaller Surface tablet will compete directly with the iPad Mini, Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire.

Additionally, the technology titan is also believed to be working on a different 7-inch tablet, specially tailored for gaming. This particular slate could enter mass production later this year, or early next.

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