Microsoft is reportedly developing a new lineup of Surface tablets, including a 7-inch version expected to go into mass production later this year, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the company's plans.
Although Microsoft declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal, the company's move would make sense as it could help the company
keep pace with the growing popularity of smaller tablets like Google's 7-inch Nexus, the 7.9-inch iPad Mini and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
Last month, Microsoft made changes to its Windows 8 certification requirement, clarifying that it would allow devices with screen resolution lower than 1024 x 768 pixels. The lower resolution would allow for Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets with smaller screens.
Microsoft is also ready to allow development of Windows 8 smartphones with screens supporting the 1080p resolution. Currently, the Windows Phone 8 operating system supports a maximum resolution of 720p, which could limit the use of larger screens as the tiled UI could not look so good. Microsoft is ser to change this with the release of the General Distribution Release 3 (GT3) Windows Phone 8 update. GDR3 will add support for up to 6-inch devices with 1080p support. Along with the higher resolution, GDR3 also could include changes in the start screen and core Windows Phone 8 apps.
GDR3 is expected to be the last Windows Phone 8 OS update Microsoft releases before it introduces Windows Phone Blue. Windows Phone Blue is expected to arrive a number of months after Windows Blue, (Windows 8.1), possibly in early 2014.