Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Microsoft rumoured to be working on 7-inch Xbox Surface gaming tablet, big rival to iPad Mini

According to the information from Tom Warren of The Verge, Microsoft now is building its own 7-inch Xbox Surface gaming tablet, in order to compete with Apple’s iPad Mini after announcing the Surface tablet to counter the Apple iPad tablet, which has a 50.4 percent share in the tablet market. In fact, Rumours of the Xbox Surface had first appeared in June, ahead of Microsoft announced Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets.


The report by The Verge states that the Xbox Surface, possibly, will features a custom ARM processor and high-bandwidth RAM designed specifically for gaming tasks. Multiple sources familiar with the plans have stated that these specifications could be changed to accommodate an unannounced Intel SoC, and that the Xbox Surface is being developed independent of specific hardware architecture.

Reportedly, the Xbox Surface tablet will not run the full version of Windows as the Surface Pro tablet does. Instead, it would feature a custom Windows kernel. This tablet will primary focus on gaming though messaging and other features may be supported. So this is good news for those who are game lovers.

Microsoft has recently developed a secret hardware production process for the Surface tablets that is separate from those of its partners, which usually manufacture the company’s Xbox consoles, the device Microsoft have confirmed that more than 70 million XBOX 360 consoles had been sold worldwide Last month.

Sources from Verge also says that this Xbox Surface is likely to be manufactured in the same factory, but that any future "Xbox 720" console will be manufactured in mass quantities by companies like Pegatron or Foxconn, a company that makes phones for Apple.

The report in the end also says part of the Xbox Surface is being developed at Microsoft's offices in Silicon Valley, where security has been boosted like as locked down several Xbox-related buildings and employee access are limited into various Xbox buildings.

Not for Movies and Music, but Games

With its 7" size, the Xbox Surface seems to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet, Google Nexus 7 ,but the biggest competitor is the new iPad mini with a 7.9" screen, which have a huge amount of game software and have sold 3 million in 3 days.

As Enderle sees it, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, an Xbox Surface would fill an obvious gap in Microsoft's new tablet line up. Microsoft does not yet offer a 7-inch tablet. At the same time, the Xbox brand carries plenty of weight with gamers, so much so that Microsoft recently introduced the concept of Xbox Music.

"A Surface Xbox could be substantially better than either Nintendo or Sony's offering because the platform is much stronger and more robust," Enderle said. "Like Google, Microsoft would have a family of products that would address different needs that could easily interoperate. You could have a large Surface and a small Surface and play games on both." The Xbox has not only games; it's got movies and music.

Price Guess: 

The Surface RT model with the minimum 32 gigabytes of RAM and an optional black Touch Cover carries a bill of materials of $271, according to a preliminary estimate from the IHS iSuppli Teardown Analysis Service. When the $13 manufacturing expense is added in, the total cost to manufacture the Surface rises to $284. Of course, a 7-inch tablet would presumably cost less to manufacture. Price would be an important factor in the Xbox Surface's success, so it could slide in at a reasonable price, not as high as the Surface.

There's no official comment about the XBOX Surface from Microsoft. Well, we’ll bring you further information in time.

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