Digitimes: Microsoft May Not Even Launch Surface Mini In The Market

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Microsoft was expected to announce a Surface Mini device at an press event on May 20th. But, it never happened as Microsoft chose to announce only the Surface Pro 3 device. Later we reported that Microsoft decided to delay it for some reasons. According to Bloomberg, Microsoft was not confident that the product offered enough differentiation from the competitors to release in the market. Microsoft didn’t want to repeat the same mistake it did with Surface RT. Another report claimed that information from supply chain of component manufacturers hints us that the device might be coming later this year. Neowin reported that Microsoft has already produced thousands of units and Microsoft has just delayed it to offer more compelling product in the market after sometime.

Earlier this month, the existence of Surface Mini was confirmed by the user guide released for Surface Pro 3. In some places, Microsoft has mentioned Surface Mini instead of Surface Pro 3.

Today, Digitimes reported the information which we already know about Surface Mini as per their sources,

Microsoft reportedly has called off a plan to mass produce its small-size Surface Mini tablet because of fierce compeition in the small-size tablet segment, as well as negative responses from its brand vendor clients, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

Microsoft has finished developing the Surface Mini and also completed the product tests; however, mass production did not start as scheduled in May, the sources said, adding Microsoft still paid the costs for the module development and production equipment, the sources said.

They also added that Microsoft may not even launch it to the market at all. My guess is that Microsoft has just delayed the project and the product launch is still in the cards. What do you think?

Based on previous rumors, here are the details about the upcoming Surface Mini,

  • No built in Kickstand
  • An accessory cover will work as a kickstand
  • Likely to be available in Silver, similar to the Surface 2
  • ARM based device (Windows RT)
  • Ships in June
  • 7.5-inch device
  • 1440 x 1080 display
  • 4:3 aspect ratio similar to iPad (unlike 16:9 Surface & Surface Pro)
  • Active Pen support (similar to Surface Pro)

Source: Digitimes



About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • Wtechrover

    Frankly only the Venue8 Pro is competition. Great tablet. But would love to see a Surface Mini and get that one also.

    • skruis

      Yea but the pen sucks. I went Asus VivoTab Note 8…

      • jimski27

        +1 Ditto. That’s the bar the Surface Mini would need to raise.

  • LexicoRed

    Let’s hope this is the first step of walking away from hardware all together. Too much waisted time and money spent building stuff that doesn’t sale and losses money.

    • whatup12

      breaking news: MSFT is spinning off Msft mobile Oy to an undeclared buyer–my money is on Nokia! You called it!!!

      • LexicoRed

        More likely Dell but Lenovo is a possibility but don’t count out Compal or even Hon Hai.

        • whatup12

          ok, we’ll see. it would be interesting if it were dell as isn’t 2 billion of this msft dollars anyway? how about this: i will run around the halls of my workplace naked if this happens in 2014 (and i don’t work in a stripjoint).

          • LexicoRed

            “as isn’t this 2 billion of this MSFT dollars anyway?”

            Sorry Bugbog but lack of clarity of thought in that statement makes a thoughtful reply difficult.

            Regarding your “bet” I have no interest in your self humiliation. I support my positions through investment decisions in the market. That said 18 months is a more likely time line.

          • whatup12

            i am whatup, not bug bog :)
            in aug, 2013, msft gave dell 2 billion as part of their privatization plan–silverlake or something like that.
            the bet was a joke…relax. that said, i would have taken the same bet over an 18 month period in terms of MSFT walking away from hardware.

          • LexicoRed

            My error whatup12.

            That $2 billion is actually a contributing factor to make it happen. Microsoft has a deep interest in Dell surviving. Furthermore MSFT is losing money with hardware but Dell with make slim margins on the same items because BOM volume. It would be a win for both.

          • LexicoRed

            BTW whatsup12, while we may not agree on this position, I do extend my appreciation for your relevant challenges done in a consistent non-derogatory manner. Thank you.

            And GO MSFT! :)

          • whatup12

            thanks and ditto! having anonymous arguments that get personal online is just silly! clearly we are here taking the time to post because we are interested/care etc in MSFT as a company. and also imagine that in the life of zero-sum games, that is time not spent doing something else. indeed, i think MSFT makes great products and think they can succeed as a services and devices company. but I also masquerade as a scientist in my work life, and the reality is that we all guess about the future.

          • LexicoRed

            Truth comes out…even if you did lose the “bet” you wouldn’t have really run around naked just naked under a lap coat ;)

          • whatup12

            yep, and also not far from locked psych wards… ie, they wouldn’t need to carry me far.

          • whatup12

            interesting–and some people postulated the other way around, ie that the 2 billion was a down payment on eventually buying a full computer hardware manufacturer–ie Dell. you are theorizing that the 2 billion was a payment to help get Dell back on its feet and then eventually buy the hardware business from MSFT? hmm!

    • JohnCz

      If Windows OEMs were winning over a large percentage of consumers then I might agree that they could start to step back a tad.

      • LexicoRed

        To that it has just been reported HP showed a 55% growth in laptops in May. As a whole 6.5% growth for the month for all OEM.

    • http://www.spauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

      Let me get this straight, Microsoft just but Nokia’s hardware division and now you think Microsoft is taking steps to back away from hardware?

      I think someone forgot their coffee this morning. Their Surface lineup is pretty awesome and while they might not sell like hot cakes, people are intrigued and ask me about mine all the time.

      • José Villaró

        “I think someone forgot their coffee this morning”
        Maybe that’s not the problem, I think he sits on his head and thinks with his @ss

      • LexicoRed

        The hardware strategy was a Ballmer initiative that the board was uncomfortable to began with and shortly after one of the reason he was ask to leave. Moreover there has been new board members whom favors a greater value maximizing position toward the company. The amount of loses hardware is producing precludes a sustainable value model.

        Your anecdotal evidence as strong as it is, and I have no reason to question it, continuing data tells us those intrigued people’s asking is not amount to any significant upticks in sales.

        • dev

          It’s no surprise that nobody makes you a gift and you won’t get any success after hard work. Hard competition will ever be the rule, not the exception.
          What makes you believe that Microsoft will have more success without hardware? Do you think they would sell more Windows Phone licenses without Lumia? Do you think they sell more Windows 8/RT licenses for tablets without their Surface line?
          Without own hardware OEMs would badly blackmail Microsoft to preload their OS. Another fact is that Google and Apple comes from consumer market, but at least Google and Amazon is aggressively heading for the enterprise.
          There are virtually no new phones/tablets with Windows (Phone) from other OEMs anymore!!! Even if they waste money with hardware they need it to stay relevant, to push their software into the market… etc.
          There is no single reason why Microsoft should be more successful with their software. If everybody would use Android or some future Android version even in the enterprise, why should enterprises continue to use Microsoft software instead of competitive software from possible newly market leaders like Google?
          Ballmer was right! But again, the main problem is bad execution at Microsoft.

          • whatup12

            Did you create a name identical to the person you are disagreeing with? A little dizzying… Other OEMS are making windows phones, but only because they don’t need to pay for windows. And do agree that if MSFT paints themselves into a corner, someone may eventually paint over them (a la blackberry, etc). on platforms, they have increasing competitors. for services (office, servers), they have increasing competition, etc. So they need to out on the offense for a few years and spend some money and see…they can afford it for now. but eventually, they may not be able to afford it….

          • LexicoRed

            I not following your post well, sorry. What I think your saying is you feel MSFT should sell hardware because it give them leverage with OEM but this is a mistaken belief for it encourage OEM to pursue other OSs of Android and chrome. Furthermore, it would only give MSFT leverage is the hardware was successful then MSFT could say “you have to do it this way”

            Secondly needing manufacturing hardware to “get software out” is false. iPad has sold more office subscriptions in one year then Surface will ever, just iPhone 5 generates more Bing inquiries then all of windows phones sold to date, Google sells no hardware and has no problem getting services used.

          • dev

            Google don’t need to sell hardware, because they are paying OEMs to use Android! This is Google’s business that works very well in the moment. Every Google search creates revenue, but also has a cost. This is called traffic acquisition cost (TAC). The more devices are distributed with Android and Google services, the more revenue is created through search and OEMs will get more profit. Google pays BILLIONS of dollars to their OEMs every year!!!
            This is why Bing is crucial to Microsoft. The cost-free Bing versions of WP and Win8 could much better drive this vision. It’s just a matter of time when Bing hits the critical mass that it will be valuable for Microsoft and it OEMs.
            If Microsoft wouldn’t own Nokia virtually no one would produce Windows Phones. If Surface wouldn’t exists virtually no one would produce Windows 8 tablets. By the way, the quality of the OEMs tablets is mostly terrible. I can assure you that i have no problem to play movies via Maracas from my Surface 2. The Toshiba encore 8 of my father has terrible driver support. There are still serious issues with Intel’s WiDi drivers. You simply can’t use Windows 8 the way it was meant to use.

          • dev

            ^^ I mean Miracast.

          • dev

            But Google’s actual business makes them highly susceptible to be blackmailed from their OEMs. I bet that behind closed doors Samsung did blackmail Google, because last year they said to replace everything with Tizen. Even Microsoft was possible. You can be sure that Google had to throw lots of money on the table that Samsung remains in the Android eco system.
            This is the strength of Apple, because they simply create a strong demand at the end consumer. If Microsoft could create the same charm OEMs can’t blackmail the same as now, because they simply need to deliver the demand of the consumer.

          • LexicoRed

            If MSFT did not own Nokia they would generated $8 in profits last year, not revenue but profits. Money that could have been invested in developing next generation cross platform in services and software.

            Microsoft makes its money from Services and Software, as long as they produce best of class cross platform products, they will continue to succeed. Losing billion at being a hardware makers will not change that fact. It not as sexy or exciting to support a company that is a backend solution provider but in this case this is MSFT future.

          • dev

            This is foolish, because every investion has risks. Regardless what you are doing, you need to put a lot of effort in your products to be successful.
            You completely ignore the fact that other companies – regardless where and what they do – will always take advantage of the situation of other companies.
            Just look at Amazon. Why do you think Microsoft has partnered with Best Buy or has it’s own stores? Because Amazon is dictating strong conditions and where it’s strategical for them they will simply not allowing to sell competing products.
            It’s completely childish to think Microsoft could ignore any competition and simply build some online services.
            Fact is without own hardware Window Phone would have ZERO market share!!! Fact is without own hardware OEMs still wouldn’t produce convertibles and everybody would say Windows 8/RT is bad designed and doesn’t fit to the hardware!!!
            Only with own hardware they can produce their visions and integrate all their software and services it’s meant to be. And if it’s successful other OEMs will follow and compete.

          • LexicoRed

            Your position would have a level of validity if it wasn’t for the fact Surface has sold so poorly and WP where latest figures show it is sinking market share in US and China while stalling in EU.

            Either hardware is successful and proves the validity of the OS or unsuccessful and proved it not to be. In both cases MS trying to sell hardware has not made the OS any more successful.

          • dev

            This is like saying Apple should have never sold Macs, because their market share was always only 2%. The underdog image was one of their biggest success.

          • LexicoRed

            Yes Apple holds a small market share but they generate industry leading profit margins on from that market share. They established themselves as low volume premium product. Sadly this is not the case for MSFT hardware.

  • http://yourig.livejournal.com/ ZloiYuri

    I know some people who waited for 8″ but Windows 8Pro tablet on Core i3 at least processor. So decline RT device maybe right step

  • Gregory C Newman

    I wish microsoft would bring it out with an atom CPU with full windows 8.1 it would be a hit on the market place. microsoft needs to sell a tablet under 500 dollars to stay in the tablet game it’s surface Pro line is too expensive the cheapest one is 800 dollars!

  • Stuart

    I can understand them not releasing an x86 tablet as it would piss off the OEMs who are already in this space, but they can’t complain about an ARM based RT tablet if they aren’t going to make them.
    Makes more sense for them to release this when the Office Touch Universal App is ready to ship

  • Jeff Hung

    Why do other vendors care about Surface Mini? It’s an ARM-based tablet, which currently no one else is making. All the vendors say that Windows RT is irrelevant so they only make Intel tablets, and suddenly they feel their Intel tablets are threatened by Microsoft’s own Windows RT device?
    Sounds like a bunch of cry babies to me.

  • Luizio X

    I think they are also waiting for Office Touch to reach RTM.

  • Ruufus

    I actually think the table is distinctly “Surface”. I particularly like the white version.

  • pirate78

    I hope not. I loved my Surface 2 and was (and still am) looking forward to the Mini with a Pen. I hope they stay with the RT and ARM processors. Battery life is important and while Intel is starting to make some headway with their mobile chips…it is still find it lacking. Desktop should not be present on the 8″ device.