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Low Cost Tablet Planned By Microsoft To Compete With iPad: Reports

Low Cost Tablet Planned By Microsoft To Compete With iPad: Reports
According to media reports, a line of lower-cost Surface tablets is being planned to be brought into the market segment that is dominated by Apple ‘s iPad, by Microsoft Corp. The devices would be cheaper than the Apple products and hence rival them.
This has bene attempted by Microsoft earlier also. The original Surface RT was launched the company in 20912 in a hardware push. It was priced at $499 at that time. However following unfavorable response from customers and reviewers, the company reverted back to its more-expensive Surface Pro.
According to media reports quoting sources with knowledge of the matter, the devices would come with a 10-inch screen – which is roughly the same as the standard iPad, but smaller than the 12-inch screens used on the Surface Pro laptop line. Sources said that the devices would be priced around $400.
While being about 20% lighter compared to the high-end models, the devices would also have four hours less of battery.
Microsoft has not managed to break into the segment with the Surface devices in addition to the launch of a continuous flow of new models to ensure continuous growth. The aging models of Surface Pro is one of the reasons for the low volume of sales of its Surface line of products and the company reported a 2% decline in revenues for the fiscal year that ended last June. However, there is an apparent interest in Microsoft’s hardware reflected in the 32% increase in revenues in the most recent quarter.
During the past four quarters, about $20 billion in revenue was generated by Apple from the sale of its iPads numbering to about 44 million. In comparison, in the same period, about $4.4 billion was the revenue generated by Microsoft’s entire Surface hardware business.
A new model of iPad priced at $329 was launched by Appel in March and was aimed at the education sector. Similarly, the student and teachers and educational institutions that seek to buy low priced devices would be the target market for the new cheaper Surfaces.
A starting price of $799 is attributed to the current professional-oriented Surface Pro range. It is anticipated that the new devices would be priced at around $400 even though reports said that the company is yet to finalize its pricing strategy. These models however would not come with the company’s keyboard cover as it does with the Surface Pro. Sources also said that less-expensive versions of its keyboard cover, stylus and mouse are also being prepared by Microsoft to be tagged along with the lower-cost device.
New value additions and productivity tools have been regularly added to its iPads by Appel since 2015 to rival some of the features of Microsoft such as integration with digital drawing pens and with the use of multiple apps.
Microsoft has been attempting to develop a large ecosystem of hardware apart from the tablets, and includes devices like the Surface Laptop, Surface Book laptop that has a detachable screen, and the Surface Studio desktop computer.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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