It did not make sense for Microsoft Corp. to release its second-generation Surface tablets before the set of Windows “Blue” updates for the operating system, but it appears that the new tablets will arrive even later. According to a media report, the 7.5” version of the second-gen Surface will sport rather high-end display by today’s standards, but it will only be mass produced starting early next year.
“From the supply chain side, we are seeing the panel specifications, the touch module, the mass production schedule being made. Mass production is Q1 2014. Apparently, pretty significant volume. Multiple millions. Production could possibly start earlier at a lower level then ramp up to mass production in the first quarter,” said Richard Shim, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, told Cnet News web-site.
Microsoft Surface 7.5” media tablet is expected to use a panel with 1400*1050 resolution and pixel density of 233 pixels per inch. The display clearly outperforms those found on today’s Apple iPad mini (7.85”, 1024*768) as well as Google Nexus 7 (7”, 1280*800), however, it will look pale against updated versions of both slates (which will feature retina-class screens) that will be available later this year.
The 7”-class slate was not in Microsoft’s plans a year ago, however, given the rising popularity of smaller tablets, the software giant decided to address the segment as well.
Microsoft’s Windows RT platform, the Windows 8-like operating system compatible with ARM architecture microprocessors and incompatible with programs written for traditional Windows OS, has failed to become popular among consumers and hardware makers. Nonetheless, Microsoft Surface-branded slates have sold in relatively high quantities. Recently, Asus, Dell and Lenovo slashed pricing of their Windows RT-based tablets, which may signal either of two things: the companies are testing the demand for low-cost Windows RT tablets and want to see if low price results in higher sales; the platform has failed and they are selling-off inventory at discount.
Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.