Microsoft has tried this before. Microsoft went for cheaper options with its Surface RT, Surface 2 and Surface 3, but none of those has the success of the more powerful, high-end Surface Pro lineup. The new tablets will also supposedly be the first Surface devices to sport USB Type-C port, and those universal connectors will be used for charging instead of the proprietary Surface Pro power connector. In-part the report covered the coming Microsoft Windows 10 on Qualcomm 2-in-1's launching shortly in an effort to attract students for a back to school effort to make the Surface tablet closer to the iPad by using an always-on ARM Snapdragon processor.
Similar to the iPad, Microsoft is also planning to release a model of the budget Surface tablet that features LTE connectivity. That size reduction will reportedly net a 20-percent reduction in overall weight, making the new Surface tablets very portable.
Peter Wootton, a spokesman for Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, declined to comment.
A couple of months ago we saw the first brushstrokes of this supertablet for conference rooms and collaborative companies and yesterday Microsoft offered the launch date and more details of a device focused on business environments, finance, automotive, retail, education, and healthcare sectors.
Microsoft has dabbled with more affordable tablets in the past. That compares with 9.1 million iPads sold in the same period.
Apple has seen some renewed interest in its iPad family of tablets over the past year.
Fans of the Surface kickstand will be happy to hear that the feature will be sticking around with the cheaper surface tablet as well - although we won't see the new models shipping with a keyboard or stylus in the box. Like the Surface Pro, these models won't be bundled with the company's keyboard cover.
This is the second time Microsoft has attempted to enter the low-priced tablet market, following on from its Surface RT tablet which it released to poor reviews in 2012. A $400 Surface might draw in new audiences that previously weren't interested due to the high-price of Surface products usually.