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Microsoft Hints of Full Readiness to Issue iPad Mini, Galaxy Note 2 Rivals

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By Erik Pineda | February 15, 2013 12:42 PM EST

A 7-inch Surface tablet or something like Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 are strong possibilities, according to a top Microsoft executive, also pointing out that the Windows 8 kernel is hardwired to support applications running on different device screen sizes - big and small.

Does this mean consumers can expect Microsoft and its allied OEMs to play the increasingly hot-game in the 7-inch plus tablet class? The segment is currently dominated by Apple's iPad Mini, Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD.

Microsoft chief financial officer Peter Klein answered to the affirmative in a recent talk for Goldman Sachs' Technology and Internet Conference. "We're set up for that," Mr Klein said.

"The notion of flexibility and scalability of the operating system is intrinsic to our strategy," the Microsoft official was reported by AllThingsD as saying.

Windows 8 is genetically capable of effectively supporting screen sizes that go as high as 27 inches to as small as four inches found in many smartphones, Mr Klein said, assuring too that "can have the same core code base driving form factors."

Should market demands point to specific screen sizes that consumers would favour, Microsoft, he added, "can deliver a versatile set of experiences across form factors, whether they're 4-inch, 5-inch, 7-inch, 10-inch or 13-inch."

His declaration underscored Microsoft's wiliness to go where the market trends are pointing. Currently, the tablet market appears to be on a transition phase, according to analysts, in which players could shift into producing smaller slates following the early dominance of Apple's 9.7-inch iPad.

But with the introduction of iPad Mini in Q4 2012, that market saw a game-changer and Apple itself felt the magnitude of the iPad Mini tremor when its regular-sized iPad was relegated to second-choice by consumers hunting for powerful gadgets with maximum portability.

It was not discussed by Mr Klein but the broad range he provided on what screen sizes Windows 8 can fit in also suggests that Microsoft is fully capable of also competing in the hybrid smartphone segment, more popularly known as phablet.

Already, Apple is reportedly prepping for its new front of clashing with Samsung by issuing a gadget that will match up with the global hit Galaxy Note - the 4.8-inch iPhone 6 that is slated to crash the scene Q1 2014 at the latest.

And Microsoft, from all indications provided by the company lately, will join the small tablet and phablet scuffles in the quarters ahead.

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