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

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Microsoft might be planning to launch low-priced Surface Tablets to take on Apple iPads.

After abandoning both the Windows RT operating system and long-gestating plans for the release of a diminutive, affordable Surface Mini tablet, Microsoft chose to focus the consumer hardware efforts of the software-first company squarely on higher-end products.

It claims that Microsoft is "seeking a hit in a market for cheaper devices that Apple dominates with the iPad" and cites people familiar with the matter.

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The first 10-inch member of the classroom-friendly family could be unveiled "as soon as the second half of 2018", according to rock-solid sources on the inside, fetching around $400 with iPad-like rounded edges and a USB Type-C port that's still notably absent from the Surface Pro.

Microsoft receives a lot of criticism these days for its increased focus on the cloud and business customers, but it seems that the company remains very interested in the consumer market.

Microsoft is reportedly working a smaller, cheaper alternative to the Surface Pro.

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Of course, along with a new Surface come updated accessories, and the new 10-inch form factor will see updates to the Surface keyboards, stylus and mouse at this size.

There will be versions with 64 and 128 GB of storage, and models that connect to LTE cellular networks. And it will run Windows 10 Pro. Bloomberg's report claims a new 10-inch Surface will be powered by Intel instead. 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.

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