Microsoft has announced it will hold a press event May 20, and it is heavily expected the company will unveil a mini version of its Surface tablet.
The Redmond, Wash., tech giant began sending invitations to media outlets Monday. The event will be held in New York and begin at 11 a.m. EDT. No word on whether Microsoft will live stream it.
On the invitations, Microsoft wrote "Join us for a small gathering," fueling speculation it is getting set to announce a "small" Surface device.
For weeks, rumors and reports have been flying around the Internet saying the company is working on a mini version of its Surface tablets.
The gadget is expected to feature a full 1080p HD 7.5-inch screen, which would be much smaller than the Surface 2's 10.6-inch display. The so-called "Surface Mini's" screen is also believed to have a square 4:3 aspect ratio -- that's different from the Surface 2's wide-screen ratio and it is very similar to the type of screen that Apple has on its line of iPad tablets.
Microsoft has always intended for its Surface devices to be its answer to Apple's iPads, so the rumored Surface Mini would be the rival to Apple's 7.9-inch iPad mini with retina. However, Microsoft has had a tough time gaining any kind of foothold in the tablet market thus far.
The Surface Mini is expected to run Windows RT, which is a light version of the company's Windows 8.1 software. The most notable limitation of Windows RT is that it cannot run any desktop programs download, such as iTunes. It can only runs apps downloaded from Microsoft's Windows Store.
The tech giant launched the Surface RT, the first version of the device, in late 2012. Most recently, the company refreshed its line of Surface devices this past fall, when it announced the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro.
Microsoft could not be reached for comment regarding whether this event will be for the unveiling of a new tablet device.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
9:41 a.m.: Microsoft said it will stream the event. The company did not comment on rumors regarding a "Surface Mini."