Last month Microsoft unveiled their would-be laptop replacement the Surface Pro 3 - but new reports confirm that the company also planned to unveil the long-rumoured Surface Mini at the same event.
Various tech sites have noted that the manual for the newly-released Pro 3 includes numerous references to the Mini, confirming rumours that the device was pulled from the launch at the last minute.
Although it’s not know exactly why Microsoft dropped the device, ZDNet suggests that CEO Satya Nadella was behind the decision - deciding that the Mini didn’t stand out enough from other devices in the hugely competitive small-tablet market.
An unnamed source from the company spoke speaking to tech site Neowin said that the company also wanted to wait for the touch-based version of Microsoft Office to be finished before launching the Mini.
It’s thought that the Mini is a 7- or 8-inch device with a 4:3 aspect ratio like Apple’s iPad range. Rumours and various anonymous sources are divided as to whether the device will run full-fat Windows 8 or the ‘budget’ operating system Windows RT - but most agree that this decision could make or break the Mini.
Windows RT launched with the original Surface RT tablet in 2012 but has been criticized for failing to offer users access to the back catalogue of Windows software – especially programs aimed at business clients that helps to differentiate Microsoft devices from Android or iOS tablets.
It’s thought that if and when the Surface Mini does launch it will focus on its ‘productivity’ credentials, using the newly launched Surface Pen. This stylus has been one of best received elements of the new Pro 3 tablet, offering users a fast way to take notes and access Microsoft’s OneNote software.