Microsoft has all but confirmed long-standing rumors that it is working on a 7- or 8-inch Windows-powered tablet.
Outgoing Microsoft CFO Peter Klein said during the company's third-quarter earnings conference call Thursday afternoon that Microsoft was working with partners to produce "a new suite of small touch devices powered by Windows" that would be available "in the coming months." Klein did not indicate that Microsoft itself would be making its own smaller Windows 8 devices, but considering the company's recent foray into the tablet market with its Surface lineup, it's not out of the question.
CNET has contacted Microsoft for comment and will update this report when we learn more.
The revelation comes a week after The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft was developing a 7-inch tablet for release later this year. Though a 7-inch tablet wasn't part of Microsoft's original tablet strategy last spring, executives reportedly realized they needed a slate to compete with Google's 7-inch Nexus and Apple's 7.9-inch iPad Mini, which have been well received by consumers.
The smaller version has been the subject of much speculation after Microsoft announced last month that it was relaxing the minimum resolution for Windows 8 devices, suggesting a 7-inch Windows 8 tablet could be around the corner. To claim Windows 8 certification, a tablet now must offer a minimum resolution of 1,024x768, down from the previous minimum resolution of 1,366x768.
During today's conference call, Klein also announced that he will be leaving the company at the end of the fiscal year after 11 years at the company, the past four of which he served as chief financial officer.