Microsoft took the stage during a press event in New York City today and unveiled the Surface Pro 3, a new 12-inch tablet that offers more of a laptop-like experience than earlier Surface products. However, most pundits, including myself, were expecting Microsoft to also unveil a new Qualcomm-powered Surface Mini with Windows 8 RT. That didn’t happen. So what gives?
According to Bloomberg, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and EVP Stephen Elop, Nokia’s former CEO, believed that a smaller Surface tablet was ultimately going to be a flop and wouldn’t be able to take on products like the iPad Mini, Kindle Fire and the huge array of Android tablets already on the market.
It makes sense, and I actually argued why such a product would ultimately be a bad move for Microsoft. Bloomberg said that Microsoft isn’t opposed to launching a smaller Surface in the future and is “working on smaller versions” still, but apparently the Surface Mini that was in the works just wasn’t going to be the right fit.
We don’t know how far along Microsoft was in the development of the Surface Mini, but everything seemed to suggest it was ready to announce and launch the product today. Even the invitation to the event teased a “small gathering.” Small gathering for a big product, it seems.