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Sources close to Microsoft tell me the company is preparing new Surface tablets. I’m not one for writing speculative stories, but my sources are good here.

The new models will extend the range with new screen sizes and, possibly new formats. There will almost certainly be a Surface Mini with a screen between seven and eight inches in size — although the device will probably not use that name.

Also under consideration is the 4:3 screen ratio used in the iPad. Existing Surface models have the more letter box-shaped 16:9 ratio used by TVs. This shape is more book-like when the device is held in the portrait orientation.

The only other information I have is hints that the new models will ‘most likely’ be based on Arm processors. This probably means they will run the RT version of Windows 8 and, presumably, come bundled with versions of Office apps.

That’s all I have. Meanwhile, Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet reports a Surface Mini could appear as soon as next month. She also says the new launches may involve styluses. If they do, I wonder if they can handle my awful shorthand.

Microsoft is doing a lot of things right at the moment despite the stumble over Windows 8.  The iPad Office apps are stunning, the web apps are solid and the company’s OneDrive is emerging as a compelling cloud option.

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