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Rumor: Microsoft working on Xbox Surface 7-inch tablet

updated 12:27 pm EST, Tue November 6, 2012

Sources suggest Xbox-centric tablet to have custom ARM processor

Microsoft is looking into making its own 7-inch tablet specifically for gaming, despite only recently launching the general-purpose Microsoft Surface. Rumors suggest that the software giant is working on the hardware, which will allegedly have a custom ARM processor and high-bandwidth RAM for gaming, though it is not clear if it will be for the current or next generation Xbox..

Sources close to The Verge claim that the Xbox Surface will not run a full version of Windows, instead running a custom Windows kernel specifically for gaming, but general tablet use will still be supported. Microsoft has also created a hardware manufacturing process separate from any hardware partners that create the Xbox console, though work will be moved to these same factories when it enters full production. It is even possible for the tablet to come out ahead of a future "Xbox 720" launch, and work with existing Xbox 360 consoles, something that Microsoft is already doing with its SmartGlass app.

While the company has flirted with handheld hardware before the Surface launch, it has been quick to take failing products out of production. The Kin was pulled after slow sales, while the Courier failed to even become a full product. There is speculation that the company is designing a mobile phone that will run Windows Phone 8, after the apparently successful Surface launch. If true, a Microsoft-developed Windows Phone may put the company's relationship with Nokia in jeopardy.

by MacNN Staff



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