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(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft is said to be working on a 7-inch tablet specifically for gaming, to be known as the Xbox Surface. 

Talking to The Verge, sources knowledgeable about the matter in Redmond, Microsoft's hometown, are said to have confirmed that planning for the device is in process.

This isn't the first time we've heard rumours of Microsoft gaming tablet device, with hints of a 7-inch tablet appearing back in June, ahead of the current Surface launch.

The Verge speculates that we could be seeing an ARM-based system designed specifically for gaming and running a custom Windows kernel, but there seems little confirmed at this time. We're not surprised, as Microsoft did a good job of keeping its Surface details quiet and secrets locked behind closed doors.

Microsoft has acknowledged the success of the Xbox 360 with the recent release of Windows 8, not only unifying some visual experience across it's gaming, mobile, tablet and PC interfaces, but also leveraging the Xbox brand with Xbox Music.

In the past we've seen a nod to Xbox on Windows Phone, more recently expanded to include interaction with Xbox SmartGlass. But the Xbox gaming experience hasn't left the console. Whether there's a market for a dedicated gaming tablet we're not so sure.

The Apple iPad has enjoyed great successes in mobile gaming, but it's far removed from console play. Exactly what experience Microsoft would expect to bring to Xbox Surface is unknown - or is this simply a branding exercise to try to push into the consumer tablet market?

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 16 April 2013.