Will There Ever Be a Surface Mini? Sounds Like It.
During his appearance at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference on Wednesday, Microsoft CFO Peter Klein said the company is ready, willing and able to bring a range of new form factors to the mobile device market. It’s ready to go smaller, with a device akin to the iPad mini. And it’s ready to go larger, as well. And whether it chooses one route or the other — or both — will likely be determined by the consumer.
“We’re set up for that,” Klein said of extending Windows to devices of varying size. “The notion of flexibility and scalability of the operating system is intrinsic to our strategy.”
Specifically, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 share the same kernel. Because of that, the applications that run on them can easily be scaled up or down according to display size.
“We can have the same core code base driving form factors from four inches all the way up to 27-inch ones and everything in between,” Klein said. “So I think we are well set up to respond to demand as we see it. We can deliver a versatile set of experiences across form factors, whether they’re four-inch, five-inch, seven-inch, 10-inch or 13-inch.”
That’s a broad spectrum of device sizes to consider. But the one Microsoft is most likely focused on is that seven-inch sweet spot Apple recently tapped into with great success with its iPad mini. As Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently told CRN, the company is not going to leave any market segment uncontested to Apple.
“We are not going to let annyyyyyyyyyyyyy piece of this [go to Apple],” he said. “Not the consumer cloud. Not hardware/software innovation. We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself. Not going to happen! Not on our watch!”