Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) plans to release a low-priced line of tablets to rival Apple's iPad, according to Bloomberg. The move is aimed at taking market share from Apple's iPad, which dominates the lower-cost tablet market. Microsoft is rumored to have softened the appearance of the tablets, rounding off the corners to make them more like the iPad, rather than leaving them square, as with the current Surface Line.
Microsoft previously released the $499 Surface RT in 2012 to limited success before switching to the Surface Pro line.
Microsoft has struggled to find a high-volume hit with the Surface devices as well as to introduce a flow of new choices to keep growth steady. After the tablets didn't resonate with consumers and product reviewers, Microsoft pivoted to the more-expensive Surface Pro, a line which has gained steam and likely contributed to demand for a pro-oriented iPad, which Apple launched in 2015.More news: Stephen Piscotty to honor late mother with special gesture following HRs
Microsoft's Surface Pro (its most recent, fifth-generation device) with an Intel Core m3, 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD, now sells for $799.
The new Surface tablets will debut in 2H18. The new cheaper Surfaces could likewise appeal to students and teachers, and to schools that buy less-expensive devices in bulk.
Apple recently launched a 2018 iPad model for just $329.More news: What Pope Francis said about Gaza killings, violence in middle
The only tablets that have got a good response from the customers were Apple's iPads. It will have a 10-inch display, and it won't resemble the look of the traditional Surface devices.
The existing Surface Pro tablets use Intel processors with SSD storage, similar to the CPU chips seen in the 12-inch MacBook. As always, there will also be 64GB or 128GB variants, along with an LTE model for cellular connectivity too. Interestingly, the tablet will be priced around $400. Like Microsoft's other devices, it will run Windows 10 Pro. The company stopped making it at the end of 2016.More news: 4A Games' Metro Exodus Has Been Delayed into 2019