Well this is interesting. Microsoft, which recently celebrated the launch of its first self-built tablet and is reportedly hard at work on a smartphone, will also develop a smaller tablet with a focus on gaming. This according to The Verge, which reports that the Windows maker is planning to launch a 7-inch device to be known as "Xbox Surface."

According to The Verge's sources, Xbox Surface won't run a full tablet OS like Windows 8 RT, but will instead have a custom built variant of the software specifically geared toward gaming. The tablet is expected to debut before the release of the next generation Xbox console.

Making a 7-inch tablet would be in line with Microsoft's recent, Apple-influenced strategy of developing leading-edge consumer devices to pair with its software. The formerly software-focused company already has its own iPad, and now it appears that competitors to both the iPhone and the iPad Mini are in the making.

[The Verge via The Next Web]