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According to MS_nerd, a guy renowned for leaking information about Microsoft, the Redmond company is planning the release of up three versions of the Surface tablet at some point next year. With most tablet vendors offering two or three different variants to consumers, Microsoft believes three models is the right number to curtail this most competitive of markets.

The lineup of three new tablets, intriguingly, doesn’t even include the upcoming Surface Pro, and in order to make up for lost time, the Windows 8 maker has been hard at work on the generations thereafter.

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First and foremost, the current Surface RT tablet will be cut down to size, which seems like a good move. It’s a large device, which is being marketed as a business tablet – despite not being supportive of legacy apps. Apparently, the Microsoft will go for a smaller, 8.6-inch display with a Qualcomm processor, as opposed to the current NVIDIA Tegra. Doing this will push it towards the consumption market, which I would say is perhaps where it belongs.

After the Surface Pro emerges in January, its successor – which we’ll presume to be called the Surface Pro 2 – will offer an almighty 11.6-inch display, while packing in the upcoming AMD “Temash” APU.

Not content with the follow-up to the Surface RT and Surface Pro, MS_nerd also offers the idea of a third Surface release. It’s being dubbed the “Surface Book” provisionally, and is said to offer a mahussive 14.6-inch display. At present, tablets range from 7-11 inches, but the Surface Book – if indeed it is a real product – would really set a new benchmark in display size.

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With that said, if any platform seemed adept to a larger display, it would be the Metro/Modern look of Windows 8, and although we’re taking the rumor with a pinch of salt, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. A 15-inch slate would not make sense to hold, but if, for example, Microsoft went edge-to-edge, things wouldn’t seem so extreme.

The devices are, as with the Surface RT cycle of this year, expected to be launched in the middle of the year, with a release occurring later on in time for that all-encompassing holiday season.

(via Neowin)

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