Don't expect Microsoft's Surface Mini to debut this summer

Is Microsoft restarting production of the rumored Surface Mini, with plans to roll it out this summer? My sources say no.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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?"

Editorial standards