The respected mobile tip leaker Evan Blass, aka @evleaks, has a good rumor track record.
But, from what I hear from my sources, I don't think he's right about Microsoft rolling out the Surface Mini this summer — which he tweeted on July 7 would be the case.
Think this through.
Based on what we Microsoft watchers have heard (and seen), Microsoft was planning to roll out the ARM-based Surface Mini on May 20 as part of its latest Surface tablet launch. (Instead, the company launched a larger screen Intel-based Surface Pro 3 device.) Sources have said that CEO Satya Nadella, and possibly other Microsoft managers, decided at a relatively late hour against rolling out the Surface Mini.
Primarily because the touch-first "Gemini" apps for Windows 8.x were not yet ready. Without those apps, the Surface Mini wouldn't be all that compelling or differentiated, even though a touch-first/Windows Store version of OneNote is already available for the platform.
Has that situation changed since April/May?
Microsoft's Office team is still working on the touch-first version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint (and possibly Outlook) for Windows 8.x. But that suite is not yet available, not even as a public beta.
The Office team is believed, at least by my sources, to be further along in the development of touch-first Office for Android tablets. The rumored release date for the Office on Android suite of apps is before the end of 2014.
The rumored release date for touch-first Office for Windows is supposedly now some time around spring 2015.
My sources say that Microsoft has not tabled completely the idea of releasing a seven- or eight-inch Surface Mini tablet running Windows. But that Surface Mini tablet isn't likely to debut until some time in 2015 at the earliest, I hear.
I am definitely intrigued by the possibilities of a mini Surface with a pen. But I'm hearing I'll have to wait until next year to find out if such a device really will replace my paper notebook and ink pen...
Microsoft officials are not commenting on the latest Surface Mini rumors (@evleaks or mine). The closest thing to a comment I guess we will get is Microsoft Corporate Communications chief Frank Shaw's tweet today that said, "Was there a 'crazy rumor day' declaration that I missed?"