Microsoft plotting cheaper Surface tablet to battle Nexus 7, Kindle Fire

Microsoft says it hopes to find the right balance between specs and affordability

Let's face it. Sales of Microsoft's Surface tablet haven't set the world on fire, but the company is getting its head around the idea of offering cheaper solutions.

The Microsoft Surface tablet running Windows RT may have impressed critics, but a price point that's more iPad than Google Nexus 7 has meant sales have not matched that early promise.

Microsoft, it seems, is perfectly aware of this, and during yesterday's earnings call, revealed that a wider range of Surface devices are on the way, in the hope of snaring the crowd currently lapping up high-spec, low cost Android-based options like the Amazon Kindle Fire and Nexus 7.

The Surface tablet starts at £399 in the UK, which at least is twice as high as some of the super-popular 7-inch models on the market and the same price as the full-size, all-conquering iPad. With that in mind, it's little wonder only Microsoft loyalists seem to be the only ones jumping on board.

Microsoft CFO Peter Klein told investors during a conference call that the company is looking to rectify that by "working closely with chip partners and OEMs to bring the right mix of devices."

Klein also said Microsoft was keen to “expand the product lineup [to provide a] greater variety of devices at a bigger variety of price points."

The company is believed to have sold anything between 600,000 to 1,000,000 Surface RT tablets during the last quarter, which SlashGear points out is around 3 per cent of all iPad sales during the same period.

Microsoft is launching a Pro version of the Surface RT (although there's no sign of a UK launch yet), but one feels that Redmond has to embrace the lower end of the market if it is going to improve on those disappointing returns.

Would you fancy a Windows RT tablet if they were able to compete with the Nexus 7 in terms of price, while maintaining a respectable spec sheet? Let us know in the comments section below.

Via SlashGear