Microsoft to launch smaller, low-priced Surface devices

Bloomberg: Microsoft plans lower-cost Surface tablets to battle Apple

The good news is that Microsoft is finally planning to launch low-priced Windows 10 tablets under the Surface brand. What's more, these new tablets will feature USB-C connectivity instead of Micro-USB, something the Surface 3 featured instead of Microsoft's proprietary charging port.

The tablets are expected to be about 20 percent lighter than the high-end models, but will have around four hours fewer of battery life.

Back in 2012, Microsoft did offer a lower-cost tablet called the Surface RT, but it didn't hit with consumers.

Apple sold about 44 million iPads that generated nearly $20 billion in revenue during the past four quarters.

One of my contacts said Microsoft has been working on a low-end Surface device that would be priced at $399 without the separately-priced keyboard/cover.

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Microsoft shares are down 0.3% to $97.04.

Apple launched a new version of the $329 iPad in March, with a faster processor and Apple Pencil stylus support. Microsoft's Surface devices were always meant to be a reference for other manufacturers to follow.

The current professional-oriented Surface Pro lineup starts at $799. Like the Surface Pro, these models won't be bundled with the company's keyboard cover. Interestingly, the tablet will be priced around $400. The company is planning on releasing a revamped iPad Pro this year with iPhone X features such as facial recognition, Bloomberg News reported last year.

Intel will be reportedly supplying processors and graphics cards for the rumoured Surface Tablet, and we wouldn't see Windows 10 on ARM in this device. Microsoft is said to be planning 64GB and 128GB models, and all configurations will run Windows 10 Pro. Microsoft officials have maintained the raison-d'etre for Surface is to establish new, untapped computing categories, not simply to make hardware for the sake of making hardware.

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