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Microsoft Reportedly Preparing Windows 8-powered Nexus 7 Rival

Microsoft reader might be the name of a new Surface tablet, that packs a 7-inch display and Windows 8 and comes at an accessible price. Just like its name suggests the new 7-inch Surface tablet will also come with e-reader functionality, providing access to a vast ebook library. Still, the tablet will also be used as a multimedia device, with access to Xbox services.

Microsoft has recently announced a bunch of changes when it comes to the hardware requirements of the Windows 8-certified devices, lowering the minimum recommended resolution to 1,024 x 768 pixels. In the same time, Microsoft said that this change is not meant to encourage its partners to use lower resolution displays, but it offers them the possibility to experiment with more designs.

No matter what product is being developed, tablet, PC, or smartphone, the physical dimensions of the display will have to respect the aspect ratio of the native resolution. Considering that Microsoft specified an aspect ratio of 4:3 and a resolution of 1,024 x 768 pixels might indicate that the Redmond-based company will launch an iPad Mini competitor, a tablet with similar specifications.

Moreover, it seems that the Microsoft Reader will pack a 7-inch display, which will fit the tablet in the same category as the popular Nexus 7.

Unfortunately, Microsoft announced that the lower resolution will deactivate the Windows 8 native feature that allows the user to split the screen and view two Windows Store apps in the same time.

The new changes announced by the software giant correspond to Microsoft’s previous plans, as they announced they are eager to contribute to the development of devices that have various display sizes, starting from 4 inches, to 7 or 8, and even 13 inches.

In order to encourage more OEMs to choose Windows 8, it seems that Microsoft will also provide the Office suite at a price of only $30 for the devices with displays smaller than 10 inches.

Microsoft will reportedly develop their own Surface tablet, the Microsoft Reader, which will be an affordable 7-inch device with a display resolution of 1,024 x 768 pixels and access to a series of ebooks provided by Barns & Noble. Of course, the tablet will also have access to music, video content, and games via XBox Live services.

As the previous rumors talking about the XBox Surface gaming tablet were not accurate, and Microsoft refused to comment the speculations, more details might become available in June, when the Redmond-based giant is expected to unveil Windows Blue and Microsoft Office Gemini.