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Microsoft said to be planning next-gen Surface announcement for June

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Surface stock 2
Surface stock 2

Microsoft has long been rumored to be working on a 7-inch version of its Surface tablet, but a new report suggests the company may be preparing to unveil it in June. DigiTimes claims that second-generation Surface devices, with 7- to 9-inch displays, will be announced at Microsoft's Build developer conference in late June. If the report is accurate, then it suggests Microsoft may be preparing more than one Surface device.

An Xbox Surface device emerged shortly before Microsoft's official Surface tablet announcement last year, and we understand the Xbox and Surface teams have been working closely on the company's 7-inch plans. Microsoft is expected to launch a 7-inch Surface-branded tablet, with the company recently changing its Windows 8 tablet specifications to support smaller screen sizes. Microsoft has confirmed it's working closely with OEMs to bring cheaper and smaller Windows tablets to market. A leaked 8-inch Acer tablet suggests these types of devices are imminent.

Microsoft will update Surface Pro with new Intel chips

Microsoft's Build conference will focus on its Windows 8.1 upgrade and the improvements for 7- and 8-inch tablets, we understand. It also follows shortly after Intel's planned Haswell launch on June 3rd and the annual Computex event where OEMs typically announce devices. Intel's new Haswell chips are designed to improve battery life and graphics performance, and The Verge understands Microsoft will continue to update its Surface Pro with the latest Intel chipsets.

With Microsoft's continued insistence that it is a "devices and services" company, there has been a distinct lack of devices. Microsoft originally announced its Surface tablets almost a year ago, launching the Surface RT in October, but the company has remained silent on any further plans. Continued smartwatch and Surface Phone rumors suggest the company is investigating additional devices, but a focus on smaller 7-inch devices appears to be the more immediate plan for Surface.