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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Microsoft Plotting Next-Gen Surface Tablet

Analysts have been questioning the success of the Surface tablet computer for a while, but the buzz got louder at the end of May when Microsoft trimmed $150 off the price of the unit. At the end of July, a report to the Securities and Exchange Commission showed Microsoft lost more money on the Surface than expected and apparently took in just $853 million in revenue related to the device, nearly $50 million less than the $900 million write-down required to accommodate the price reduction.

Despite the bleak outlook, recent information suggests that both Nvidia and Qualcomm are working with Microsoft on a second-generation device. The new tablet will allow Microsoft to offer Outlook, which was not available on the first-generation Surface.

“It’s a killer app for Windows,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia, to c/net. "Now, we’re going to bring it with the second-generation Surface. We’re working really hard on it and we hope that it’s going to be a big success.”

Bloomberg reported that Microsoft could be planning at least two more Windows RT devices with a smaller 7- or 8-in. screen using the Qualcomm chip and the 10-in. screen currently in production staying with the Nvidia processor. While Microsoft isn’t commenting, it did present a slide show in July that included updated Surface tablets and accessories in a variety of colors. CEO Steve Ballmer reportedly told employees that new devices are being tested.

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