Now that Surface RT is here (and Surface Pro not far behind), it appears Microsoft wants to turn its attention to the 7-inch tablet market next, but with a twist. Unlike the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD, and Nook Tablet, Microsoft's 7-inch slate -- dubbed Xbox Surface -- will be squarely aimed at gamers, the same ones who go out and buy handheld gaming consoles like the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS.
Citing "multiple sources familiar with plans within Redmond," The Verge reports that Microsoft is already working on the final implementation of the Xbox Surface, so this is a device that could debut sooner rather than later.
The smart money is on Microsoft using a custom ARM processor with high-frequency RAM to balance game performance and battery life, though The Verge says not to rule out an unannounced Intel SoC (System-on-Chip). Either way, it won't be a full version of Windows, and instead will sport a custom Windows kernel.
Assuming Microsoft doesn't axe the product at the last minute, expect to see Xbox Surface launch before Redmond's next generation Xbox console.