Smaller Windows 8 tablets could soon take on the Nexus 7 and iPad mini, according to Microsoft's chief financial officer Peter Klein, speaking during a Q&A session at the Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet conference yesterday.
When asked about Microsoft's plans to address different sized form factors, ranging from 4 inches all the way up to 13 inches and even bigger, Klein said that the company was ready "to respond to demand".
Klein is not the first person from Microsoft to hint at a future of 7-inch Windows tablets. Windows exec Tami Reller said earlier this month that Windows 8 was designed to run on all different sizes and resolutions.
Klein didn't confirm that 7-inch tablets were likely to launch anytime soon -- opting for a non-committal "we'll see what the customers want". But it's a noticeably different tune from last year, when Microsoft execs said there were disadvantages with 7-inch devices, even with everyday tasks such as watching movies or writing documents.
A Windows running on all different sizes of screen wouldn't be all that surprising, given Microsoft's rumoured plans to combine the Windows and Windows Phone stores, giving apps the ability to run on either platform without needing to code a separate app. "We are getting closer and closer every day to write once and run anywhere," Klein said.
Microsoft is rumoured to be working on a 7-inch gaming tablet, supposedly dubbed Xbox Surface, but the company, nor any of its partners, have yet to announce anything at that size.
7-inch tablets also came out on top in our Facebook poll in December, with the Nexus 7 winning with an overwhelming 60 per cent of the vote.
Would a 7-inch tablet entice you to dive into Windows 8, or is it more suited to larger screens? Expand your thoughts in the comments, or over on our write-once, run-anywhere Facebook page.
Additional reporting by Jordan O'Brien.