We were pretty shocked yesterday when Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro 3 with nary a mention of a smaller tablet. All signs had suggested, until the final hours, that Microsoft was gearing up to introduce two tablets, including a Surface Mini with a 7-inch or 8-inch display. Of course that didn’t happen, and a report yesterday suggested Microsoft scrapped the tablet amid fears it wouldn’t sell well. Now, a new story have surfaced that provides some context into the last minute decisions.
According to Neowin, Microsoft decided not to launch the Surface Mini just three days ago, or two days before it was set to announce the slate to the whole world. The news outlet said Microsoft had already built 15,000 to 20,000 Surface Mini tablets and that, right now, they’re just sitting somewhere collecting dust waiting for Microsoft to make an announcement. That may take some time, however.
Neowin also said Microsoft may now wait to launch the Surface Mini until Project Gemini, the code name for its touch-first version of Microsoft Office, is ready to ship. Since the Surface Mini is supposed to be a note-taking device with a heavy focus on mobile productivity, Office will probably be a major feature. Unfortunately, we don’t know when the Surface Mini will see the light of day – if ever – but Neowin thinks it’s likely the tablet will launch this fall with Gemini.