Microsoft Reportedly Prepping Budget Surface Tablet To Counter $329 iPad

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Microsoft will release low-priced Surface devices to better compete with Apple's cheap iPad, according to a report from Bloomberg. In 2012, Microsoft moved to Surface Pro after a Surface RT debacle.

Microsoft's current range of Surface tablet convertible devices concentrate on the premium end of the market.

The cheaper Surfaces will also have rounded edges rather than the square corners the existing Surfaces offer. The current Surface Pro is rated to last 13.5 hours on a single charge, according to Microsoft.

Bloomberg's sources say that Intel will be providing both the processor and graphics chips, and indicate that the Surface will be 20 percent lighter than its big brother.

Microsoft declined to comment on the report. I think the target market of students and schools is correct, but some perceived threat from iPads isn't the reason that Microsoft is launching a cheaper device: It's all about Chromebooks. It is expected to launch the new line of Surface Pro tablets at a cost of around $400 (Rs 27,100 approx) which is likely to be coupled with a less expensive version of stylus, mouse and keyboard. However, in the last quarter, it registered a 32% rise in the revenue.

Apple's iPad business generated revenues of nearly $20 billion in the past year through sales of over 40 million iPads, according to Bloomberg. Following its failure, Microsoft tried again in 2015 with Surface 3 for a similar price, only to stop its production by 2016. Coming to the tablets industry, Apple is now leading the market with its iPads lineup ranging from budget segment to premium segment. That compares with 9.1 million iPads sold in the same period.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the new tablets will come loaded with 10-inch screens, which is same as found in standard iPad.

While the first generation Surface Hub could only be used in landscape mode, the new version can be rotated and turned into a portrait screen.