Microsoft is rumored to be working on an update to Windows 8 that's code-named Blue. This will reportedly enable tablets with 7- to 9-inch touchscreens.
Windows 8 was developed with tablets in mind, but these have to have screen that measure at least 10 inches. This means the devices start at $500 and go up from there. Much of the demand for tablets, however, is for smaller, cheaper models.
An update coming from Microsoft is supposedly going to tweak the user interface on this operating system so it is usable on smaller displays, which could lead to less expensive tablets.
This could lead to 7-inch Windows-based tablets for as little as $200.
Microsoft hasn't talked about this in detail, but a high-level company executive spoke recently about bringing Windows to a wide range of screen sizes, "We can deliver a versatile set of experiences across form factors, whether they're 4-inch, 5-inch, 7-inch, 10-inch or 13-inch."
Windows 8 or Windows RT?
What's not clear at this point is what version of Windows 8 the unconfirmed reports are referring to: the full version or Windows RT.
Tablets running Windows RT are consumer-oriented and use ARM processors. This lowers their price considerably, but prevents them from running software written for earlier versions of Windows. The 10-inch models running this version that are available now start at $500, and could drop considerably with smaller displays.
The regular version of Windows 8 has much higher hardware requirements, but supports software written for all versions of Windows. Tablets running Win8 start at around $700, and are unlikely to get down to $200, no matter what screen size they include.
More information will become available in the coming months as the release of Windows Blue get closer.
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