During Microsoft's quarterly earnings call yesterday, CFO Peter Klein mentioned that the company is working with OEMs to manufacturer "a new suite of small touch devices powered by Windows." Klein didn't specifically mention what exactly these devices would be, but it's a good guess that we could be talking about the smaller 7-inch variety.
We've been tipped before at the possibility of Microsoft getting into the 7-inch tablet game, but we have yet to hear anything official from Microsoft. Klein notes that these "small touch devices" will have "competitive price points," and they're said to "available in the coming months," according to Klein.
However, it's also possible that other manufacturers will develop smaller tablets that will run Windows. An update to Windows 8's hardware requirements last month hinted at the fact that the operating system may soon be fitted for smaller-form tablets, as Microsoft lowered the minimum resolution down to 1024x768.
We're not sure exactly if Microsoft will be making their own 7-inch tablets, or if they'll leave the task up to their OEM partners like HP, Acer, Asus, etc. However, we at least now know that we should be expecting these device to release sometime over the next few months, which means we'll be going into the holiday season with smaller-form Windows-based tablets.