Report: Microsoft Dropped The Rumored Surface Mini Plan Due To The Lack Of Enough Differentiation From The Competiton

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Microsoft’s Surface event got over few hours back. While everyone of us were expecting Microsoft to reveal a 7-8 inch Windows RT tablet based on Qualcomm processor, Microsoft revealed Surface Pro 3 device based on Intel Core CPUs. So, What happened to much rumored Surface Mini. Microsoft decided to delay it for now due to couple of reasons. Bloomberg reports that Microsoft was not confident that the product offered enough differentiation from the competitors to release in the market. Microsoft doesn’t want to do the same mistake it did with Surface RT.

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer 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, 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.

Instead, the company removed any references to Surface devices based on Qualcomm’s processors from the event and unveiled Surface Pro 3, an upgraded version of its pricier Windows-based tablet, which uses chips from Intel Corp. (INTC) and features a larger 12-inch screen. Microsoft is still working on smaller versions, Panos Panay, who runs the Surface business, said in an interview after the event. Panay declined to provide details on future products.

Microsoft however confirmed that they remain committed to the Windows on ARM project and as per report from Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft may be waiting for Office Gemini (touch based Office for Windows) and Windows 9 ‘Threshold’ release to release a fully optimized Surface Mini tablet.

Source: Bloomberg



About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • Andreas Luebbers

    I think here was a market for the 8 inch devices, I love the dell one and would like to buy an Microsoft device. If I had this Info before, I bought an other device like from Lenovo and dell. But like the price discussion in the other posts here showed, Microsoft seems not to have too much customers on their devices. Many people love the surface devices, but many are not able to pay so high prices.

    • Bugbog

      That’s why it looks like they are targeting enterprise with this release.

      • Andreas Luebbers

        and I like the Focus on the Enterprise, but I think they learnded that the private customers have to like the operating System, so it is easier to get it to the Enterprises. And I think so also for the Devices like Surfaces…

  • Kaino

    Silly reasoning. It doesn’t have to be ‘different’ from the competition, just better, and marketed properly.

    This, like the nixed Courier, is going to disappoint a lot of people. I know i was prepared to buy one, but i’ve no interest in the Surface 3, especially at that price.

    • Bugbog

      That just isn’t necessarily enough. I want one too, but it would need to be sold with some additive qualities (like what they’ve just demo’ed for the Surface Pro 3).

      As we’ve seen with the deployment of Windows 8/8.1/RT (free) & Surface 2 , just being better hasn’t made any dent in low-cost Android or Chrome, or IOS.

  • vmxr

    a small tablet would make more sense when RT and WP merge together

    • Joe_HTH

      That’s probably what they’re doing, as well as figuring out a way to make their Mini stand out in a very crowded field.

  • redtidal

    I already have a 15″ laptop, I am not going to drop that and replace it with a 12″.

    A 7-8″ tablet makes perfect companion device.

    MS’ reason makes very little sense to me.

    • Joe_HTH

      Nobody said you had to. The Surface Pro makes perfect sense. Nobody wants a 15 inch tablet or hybrid. 12 inches is the max. Stick to your thicker, heavier, hotter laptop with worse battery and build quality.

      • redtidal

        you are clueless how real world functions, and what consumers want.

  • Rainzo

    Then give me a phablet instead with that stylus! :D

  • Tirinti

    Have I missed something?
    I would buy ceap Win RT 8″ tablet but as far as I know there are only 10″ RT and 8″ W8 tablets.
    They should fire elop as soon as possible. He already destroyed Nokia, because he don’t understand what consumers wants to buy.

  • http://www.behance.net/stephen_victor Stephen Victor

    I was looking forward to dropping $300-$400 on an 8-in Surface, even if it had Windows RT. I want to replace my iPad Mini with something better suited for my increasing work needs. The other 8-in WinTabs look cheap…

  • Lj

    Not enough differentiation? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. The differentiation is that its an 8″ MICROSOFT device running whatever version of WINDOWS. Because let’s face it, their competition is Apple or Google. The small Windows tablets out there just don’t cut it. they’re OK, but not great and none of them are running RT which is (my opinion) the best thing for a small mostly consumption oriented device. AND if it had the rumored digitizer pen… sigh..

    • Bugbog

      Maybe they just didn’t wish to compete with themselves if they released a cheaper Mini with a Pen?

  • NITSUK

    Was very much looking forward to a Surface Mini (approx. 8″) with a stylus/pen also a good price larger Surface… Sadly will have to wait longer for the smaller Surface and also bigger Surface as the prices are rather high again considering there is no Office included.

    P.S. The presentation looked rather cheap and cheesy though the product itself is the most perfect version of the Surface range to date despite the price tag.

  • Pookiewood

    I was so ready for a Surface Mini.

    • Joe_HTH

      Then you already have an 8 inch Windows tablet.

      • Pookiewood

        Yeah I know I was being greedy! :p

  • Robert Maftei

    microsoft may not releasing another rt machine until that merge between OSs

  • TheManFromEarth

    I was hoping for an 7/8″ MS Tablet but if it was not going to be among the best tablet then why release it. Good decision as I see it, I can wait.

  • Jim Cherry

    Another message I’ve been hearing in the media is that tablet sales are stagnating faster than expected so instead of playing to the crowded market ms chose to compete with ultra books.

  • mrdoubleb78

    The real issue is the screen size. People are buying bigger and bigger phones. My next upgrade is from a Lumia 800 (3.8″) -> Lumia 930 (5″) but I see more and more people with cheap 6″ phones like 1320s. Would I want an 8″ tabelt? No. A 10″ may make more sense if you are travelling a lot. If you have a 5-6″ phone and a 14-15″ notebook, there is no real reason to own a 8″ tablet – other than price that is. With phones you really don”t want bigger than 5-6″ due to pocketability, but that’s not a factor for a tablet. I bet most people are only looking at 8″-ers as they can’t affored a 10″ device. A Surface is premium category HW so it would have a really hard time competing with cheap droids at a $350ish price point. I’d much rather buy a refurbished 10″ RT for $200.

  • mrdoubleb78

    The Pro3 is a real killer though. Holy Mother of Jesus! I know our company was already looking at Pro2 to supplement and in some cases replace the notebooks. That gorgeous HD+ 12″ screen just puts the Surface at the sweetspot where it is still smaller and lighter than a 14″ travel notbeook but one can still work on the screen when outside the office. Enterprise should eat this up.
    Now, if they only released a version (Lumia branded?) with a cheap yet powerful AMD Beema Or Mullins APU and a cheaper 1080p screen starting at, say 599, they would make a killing in the consumer space.

  • Rikkirik

    Should we believe Bloomberg which is known to fabricate negative news regarding Microsoft. According to the press this news is categorised as a rumor. Microsoft stays committed to a smaller tablet.