Science

Microsoft plans to launch low-priced Surface tablets to compete with iPads

Microsoft plans to launch low-priced Surface tablets to compete with iPads

The software giant is planning to release a new line of low-priced Surface tablets as early as the second half of 2018, Bloomberg reports. The smaller size means that these models will have smaller battery, and Bloomberg expects a four hours difference compared to the Surface Pro.

Back in 2012, Microsoft did offer a lower-cost tablet called the Surface RT, but it didn't hit with consumers. 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 screen can also easily be rotated between portrait and landscape depending on the content being viewed
Microsoft plans to launch low-priced Surface tablets to compete with iPads

Microsoft hasn't really refreshed the design of its Surface tablets since the 2014 Surface Pro 3, so it will be interesting to see Panos Panay's team can out-innovate Apple's popular but slightly dated iPad design. The device would better compete with Apple's entry-level iPad and would return Microsoft to a market segment it abandoned when it stopped selling the Surface 3.

Citing "people familiar with the matter", Bloomberg said some features of the new Surface tablets will more closely emulate Apple's iPad. A $400 Surface might draw in new audiences that previously weren't interested due to the high-price of Surface products usually. Microsoft is said to be planning 64GB and 128GB models, and all configurations will run Windows 10 Pro. While iPad sales have shown some signs of slowing down, Bloomberg said Apple still sold around 44 million iPads, and brought in almost $20 billion in sales from the tablets, over the last four business quarters.