Microsoft may be about to go below the surface in an effort to boost its Surface tablet business.
Microsoft is preparing to launch a new line of lower-cost Surface tablets in an effort to challenge Apple’s iPad, and could have the tablets on sale by the second half of the year, according to a report from Bloomberg. That would give Microsoft a chance to score more sales during the Christmas and holiday shopping season, which is typically the busiest business period of the year for consumer-electronics sales.
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Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg said some features of the new Surface tablets will more closely emulate Apple’s iPad. The Surfaces will reportedly come with 10-inch screens, rounded edges, weigh around 20 percent less than current higher-end Surface models, and cost around $400. The tablets will also come with USB-C connection technology, which is a standard being found in use by more laptops and smartphones.
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It’s possible that Microsoft may target the new Surface tablets toward the education market as an alternative to a recent move by Apple, which in March released a new iPad aimed at students and educators, for $329.
Whatever Microsoft does, it has its work cut out for it. While iPad sales have shown some signs of slowing down, Bloomberg said Apple still sold around 44 million iPads, and brought in nearly $20 billion in sales from the tablets, over the last four business quarters. During that same period, Microsoft saw $4.4 billion in sales from its entire Surface hardware business.
Source:: The Mercury News – Business