Why Microsoft might be looking to make cheap Surface tablets again

Microsoft Surface Hub 2 Can Transform Your Office to Future

Microsoft Surface Hub 2 Can Transform Your Office to Future

The smaller size means that these models will have smaller battery, and Bloomberg expects a four hours difference compared to the Surface Pro.

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Microsoft is eyeing the end of the year to release a $400 version of the Surface created to compete more directly with Apple's ubiquitous tablet. The move is aimed at taking market share from Apple's iPad, which dominates the lower-cost tablet market. They are rumored to have 10-inch screens with more rounded corners than the current Surface tablets, and will weigh in around 20 percent lighter.

Microsoft has had their hand in the tablet market with the Surface line, but with a different approach. A $400 Surface might draw in new audiences that previously weren't interested due to the high-price of Surface products usually.

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I had heard several weeks ago that Microsoft was indeed prototyping a new 10-inch Surface internally, but my sources had suggested said hardware would be powered by an ARM processor. When sales failed to take off, the company went for the more-expensive Surface Pro, a line which has proved popular.

The current generation devices are significantly more expensive than iPads, and none of the Surface devices has managed to sell in significant amounts to make an impact on the tablet market.

Many would consider the Android tablet market to be all but dead and Apple to be the king of tablets.

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A representative for Microsoft declined to comment. The current keyboard cover costs an extra Dollars 160; the new keyboard will go for a bit lower.

In March, Apple launched a new iPad model for $329 geared toward education users. Multiple models are planed including versions with 64GB and 128GB of storage and LTE connectivity. Like previous Surface tablets, it will feature an integrated kickstand. It's likely, however, that it will come with Windows 10 S, which gives users the Windows 10 feel and numerous same features, but only allows apps obtained from the Microsoft Store.

A true desktop operating system with mouse support could be a big draw for Microsoft's new Surface device, however.

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