The rumors were unequivocal: Microsoft’s event yesterday was supposed to see the birth of a Surface Mini tablet. Preliminary specs were discussed, and early listings for Surface Mini cases even showed up on Amazon.
Only there was no Surface Mini. Yesterday, Microsoft gave us a jumbo Surface Pro with a 12" screen, a funky aspect ratio, and a $799 starting price.
How could the rumor mill have been so wrong?
According to Bloomberg, it kinda wasn’t. Microsoft did plan a Surface Mini for yesterday’s event—but the tablet was canned at the last minute by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Executive VP Stephen Elop. Here’s the scoop from the "people with knowledge of the decision" who tipped off Bloomberg:
[Nadella and Elop] decided that the product in development wasn’t different enough from rivals and probably wouldn’t be a hit, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans weren’t public. Engineers had been working on the device and had planned to unveil it as early as today at an event in New York, two of the people said.
Bloomberg’s sources also claim Microsoft "removed any references to Surface devices based on Qualcomm’s processors from the event." That tells me the cancellation really was a last-minute affair. Perhaps that explains why the rumor mill was going on about the Surface Mini until very recently.
Either way, it sounds like the baby Surface is dead. The unofficial scoop, according to Bloomberg, is that Microsoft no longer has an "approved project to create a smaller tablet." There’s only the vague possibility that the company could change its mind "in the future." (Thanks to Neowin for the link.)