Google and Apple and Amazon are all pushing hard for the mini-tablet class of devices, but Microsoft will be sitting this one out.

As first reported by Wired, the Windows maker is planning on tablets of 10.1-inch screen sizes or larger for its Windows 8 launch.

This information comes courtesy of Microsoft Windows group VP and CFO Tami Reller, who confirmed to a reporter that Microsoft is staying solidly out of the 7-inch space — at least for now.


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That smaller tablets are already wildly popular with consumers is beyond question. Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets have been selling like the proverbial hotcakes since their launch. And Google’s Nexus 7 tablets have seen huge demand from consumers, as well.

As for the just-launched iPad mini, analysts are already predicting Apple will see demand that outstrips supply.

And a recent study shows that the smaller tablets are leading to more pageviews and engagement from users.

But perhaps the most attractive part of the 7-inch class is — let’s be quite realistic — the more accessible price points. Ranging in the $150-$300 neighborhood, these devices give a broad swath of consumers access to fun, useful gadgets that, while still not price-accessible to the vast majority of Earth’s population, are appropriate for the budgets of more families and individuals around the U.S. and the world — a lot more appropriate than, say, an LTE-supporting iPad or a larger Android tablet.

So, is Windows, the most popular operating system in the world, sitting out a big opportunity to get into the hands of more consumers with a more affordable, accessible device? Or is it sitting out a stupid fad — the laserdisc of tablets, if you will?

Time will tell, and we’ll keep an eye on what Microsoft has planned for Windows tablets in the near future.