Wonder what a Nexus 7 / Kindle Fire / iPad Mini fighter from Microsoft would look like? You may find out soon, as the Wall Street Journal has just posted a "breaking news" alert that it's heard Microsoft is developing a new lineup of Surface tablets (which it's confirmed before) including a 7-inch version, which it expects to take into mass production later this year. We've seen hints of smaller tablets already, with recent Windows 8 policy changes allowing devices featuring lower-res screens. It's filled out a few other details now, crediting the info to unnamed sources familiar with its product plans who claim Microsoft realized it needed something to compete with the smaller competition (shocker). The report ends with a footnote on the rumored Microsoft-branded phone, which is said to still be in testing but component suppliers are not sure if it will actually come to market. While we wait for further updates, consider this your opportunity to make suggestions on what should change in Redmond's second assault on slates.

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WSJ: Microsoft's next generation of Surface tablets includes a 7-inch version