No matter how well designed, Microsoft’s marquee tablet, the Surface, has failed to gain much traction, and the iPad still sits high atop the market share list — although Android competitors are closing the gap. And early Tuesday, Apple finally made its latest move on the mini tablet front: The iPad Mini with Retina Display went on sale in the United States and a handful of other countries.
But Microsoft’s play against the iPad may increasingly have less to do with the Surface, and more to do with smaller tablets running Windows 8 and 8.1 software. Only recently — since the second half of this year — has Microsoft had Windows 8 offerings on smaller display tablets like the Acer Iconia 8.1-inch tablet. That one goes for as little as $321.77 (though it’s also worth noting that Microsoft’s original Surface now goes for $350.) More