Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

The Surface Mini Is Officially Dead

By - Source: Microsoft | B 10 comments

On Tuesday during Microsoft’s FY14 Q4 earnings report to the United States Security and Exchange Commission, the company revealed that it is no longer pursuing an 8-inch Surface Mini tablet. Microsoft disclosed this in the “Computing and Gaming Hardware” section of the report.

“Current year cost of revenue included Surface inventory adjustments resulting from our transition to newer generation devices and a decision to not ship a new form factor,” the report stated.

News of the Surface Mini has been rather wishy-washy since the tablet was removed from a Surface reveal event back in May. Rumor has it that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella pulled the device at the last minute because it didn’t have anything to differentiate it from other small Windows-based tablets. The touchy Office “Gemini” apps were supposed to make their debut on the tablet, but now it looks as if we won’t see them until Spring 2015.

Thousands of Surface Mini units are believed to be locked away in one of Microsoft’s warehouses.

The news arrives as rumors begin to surface about a third Apple iPad Mini “Air”. This device is rumored to pack a new Apple A8 processor and a design that’s a 30-percent thinner form factor when compared to the older iPad Mini model. That would suggest a thickness of around 5.25 mm; the first-generation model is 7.2 mm and the second-generation is 7.5 mm thanks to the Retina display.

How Apple will reduce the iPad Mini’s size is unknown for now, but there’s a chance the company will use the same sapphire crystal display that will be used on the rumored iPhone 6. This protective display would reportedly be about as thin as a sheet of paper.

The third-generation iPad Mini is expected to hit shelves in 3Q 2014, probably behind the launch of Apple’s iPhone 6 in September. Macrumors reports that this model will likely have a more durable Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The device will also support iOS 8’s new SDK, which allows third party apps to access the fingerprint scanner to verify the user.

Did Microsoft do the right thing in cancelling the Surface Mini? The company reported on Tuesday that Surface revenue was $409 million, driven by the second-generation Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 devices, along with the recent launch of the Surface Pro 3.

“We launched Surface Pro 3 in the U.S. and Canada on June 20, and it will roll out to additional markets beginning in the first quarter of fiscal year 2015,” the report stated. “This new device is optimized for productivity and highlights the progress we have made bringing hardware and software together.”

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the News comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
  • 1 Hide
    everlast66 , July 23, 2014 10:17 AM
    It wont be missed much
  • 1 Hide
    icemunk , July 23, 2014 10:27 AM
    Perhaps because there are hundreds of manufacturers about to start churning out sub-8" Windows 8.1 tablets for incredibly low prices/margins - $100 Windows tablets are almost here.
  • 0 Hide
    applegetsmelaid , July 23, 2014 10:44 AM
    I'm gonna wait for the iPad Air Micro, same size as the iPhone and iPod. People will lose their minds!
  • Display all 10 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    kawininjazx , July 23, 2014 11:37 AM
    I wish Windows RT would pick up a little more steam, it's fast, intuitive, and more functional than the typical mobile OS. Running full 8.1 is a lot to ask of a cheapo CPU they put in sub $200 tablets.
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , July 23, 2014 12:11 PM
    I honestly don't see where there is a market for this when you have low cost Intel Atom-based tablets like the Dell Venue 8 Pro, etc for less than $200 and you can run full Windows on them.
  • 0 Hide
    kawininjazx , July 23, 2014 1:19 PM
    Quote:
    I honestly don't see where there is a market for this when you have low cost Intel Atom-based tablets like the Dell Venue 8 Pro, etc for less than $200 and you can run full Windows on them.


    My point is, some people, myself included, don't want "full windows" on a tablet. I have a great desktop for doing "PC stuff". I like my Surface RT because when I want to look up something on the web, it's right there and responsive. I have no desire to run desktop programs on it. The metro apps, IE, and apps from the Windows Store are all I need for a "tablet", and if RT had more support there would be way more apps available.

    Now there is plenty of room for full 8.1 tablets, but my point is Microsoft already has RT 8.1 and it works great, why can't any of the hardware companies get behind it? I know RT probably confused people when it came out, and now all you hear is "it doesn't run desktop apps", which it never claimed to do.
  • 0 Hide
    DookieDraws , July 23, 2014 2:13 PM
    Ooops! I removed my previous comment. I had multiple tabs up and commented on the wrong article. My bad!
  • 1 Hide
    TechyInAZ , July 23, 2014 8:30 PM
    Problem I bet with the surface mini would of been expense, if you got the surface mini with the surface mini cover, your probably looking at $500 just for those two items.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 24, 2014 2:47 AM
    Good call, the Surface Pro 3 going bigger screen makes it unique. Pushing a pointless smaller unit into a saturated market would have zero benefit. Next years SP4 will be even better with Broadwell.
  • 0 Hide
    de5_Roy , July 24, 2014 2:46 PM
    i have a strong suspicion that this so called surface mini will resurface(geddit?) as a nokia tablet/phablet. :whistle:  :ange: