Microsoft puts Surface mini tablet on backburner

Microsoft Surface logoWhen news hit of Microsoft’s latest Surface event first hit, speculation ran high that the company was finally about to unveil its oft-rumoured Surface mini tablet. Microsoft earlier today unveiled the new Surface Pro 3 but its smaller sibling was a no-show. It turns out that Microsoft may have been planning to unveil it today but decided rather abruptly not to do so. Bloomberg reports that both Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Executive Vice President Stephen Elop decided that “the product in development wasn’t different enough from rivals and probably wouldn’t be a hit.” And just like that, the Surface Pro 3 did not have to share the spotlight today.

The decision to pass on the Surface mini came late enough that Microsoft had to remove references to Surface devices based on Qualcomm’s processors from event materials. Had it moved forward with the Surface mini, Qualcomm would have ousted NVIDIA as the processor behind the latest ARM-based Surface models.

With Microsoft struggling to make inroads in the tablet space, it likely decided to concentrate on a single front where it can better distinguish itself from its competition. Combined with a greater focus on the business sector and the fact that its Surface Pro series is already outselling the Windows RT-powered Surface devices by a margin of about four to one, it’s likely that Microsoft simply recognized that the odds are stacked against it in the smaller tablet space.

It remains to be seen if the Surface mini will ever see the light of day. Panos Panay, corporate vice president, Microsoft Surface, confirmed after the event that Microsoft was still working on smaller versions but provided no details as to if and when they could be released.

Source : Bloomberg