Microsoft reportedly planning low-priced Surface tablets to compete with iPad

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The tech giant could release a line of cheaper Surface tablets as a way to better compete with the iPad, Bloomberg reported, citing sources close to the situation. Indeed, after canceling the 8-inch Surface Mini back in 2014 and leaving the 2015 Surface 3 without a successor, the company may bring a new 10-inch affordable Surface tablet to the market in the second half of 2018. Additionally, the report says the devices will be 20 percent lighter than a Surface Pro. At $400, Microsoft's entry would run $70 more than the budget iPad's starting price, but would still run considerably less than the $799 Surface Pro. The new devices are also set to include smaller storage options and USB-C connectivity. For your reference, the Surface Pro can last up to 13 hours on a single charge. Cupertino-based Apple sold about 44 million iPads that generated nearly $20 billion in revenue during the past four quarters. "If the rumor is true that this is low cost, then I believe the company is targeting the education market", said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. Surface tablet sales were up 1.8 per cent in the most recent quarter and the entire Surface hardware business brought in $4.4 billion over the previous year. Previous attempts at Surface tablets didn't go anywhere near as well as its higher-end push with the Surface Pro range, which has proved competitive with the wide array of alternative, convertible laptops out there. Since then, Microsoft has positioned its Surface devices for the business and professional markets. However, the bad news is that battery life will be approx four hours shorter.

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While the new Windows 10 + Qualcomm initiative may have some potential this year, today's news of a Microsoft tablet refresh is a Bloomberg borefest of a rumor. This announcement is more than a heads up for businesses it is also a statement that makes clear Microsoft's powerful Windows 10 software.