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Microsoft announces ‘small’ event for May 20, 8-inch Surface expected

Rumors that Microsoft is looking into launching a smaller Surface slate have been knocking around for some time now, with an event invitation sent out to media outlets Monday appearing to confirm its existence.

“Join us for a small gathering,” reads the invitation, which also happens to include the words ‘Microsoft Surface’. Small? Microsoft Surface? Whatever could that be about?

The event, which takes place in New York on Tuesday, May 20 at 10am, is expected to be for the so-called Surface Mini, a tablet with dimensions thought to be around the 8-inch mark, if recent rumors and leaks are anything to go by.

The Surface Mini appeared to turn up by mistake in an Amazon listing at the end of last month when tech vendor Vostrostone posted details for a “detachable Bluetooth keyboard stand case/cover” and an “ultra-thin smart cover case” designed specifically for the “Microsoft Surface Mini” tablet, with both accessories indicated as being in stock from May 18. The ads put the dimensions of the tablet at 8 inches.

With PC sales on the slide, Microsoft has been looking around for new revenue streams. However, just as with its larger Surface slates, its expected arrival in the small-size tablet market seems like a case of ‘better late than never.’

Many smaller tablets, including Google’s Nexus 7, Amazon’s Kindle Fire offerings, and Apple’s iPad Mini, have sold well since launch, so it’ll be interesting to see how much of an impact – if any – a smaller Surface tablet can have in such a fiercely competitive market.

At this stage, details on the expected Surface Mini’s specifications are of course scant, but for more information on what we might see with the new tablet, check out DT’s dedicated page here.

As for Microsoft’s “small gathering,” we’ll be sure to keep you in touch with developments as and when they occur on May 20.