22 May 2014
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Did Microsoft scrap Surface Mini plans?

Satya Nadella is betting on many things as Microsoft’s new CEO, but when it comes to the Surface Mini, it would appear not so much.

For the smaller Surface tablet version was widely expected to be unveiled in New York this week, yet despite growing media speculation, nothing was revealed.

Citing a source close to Microsoft, Bloomberg claims Nadella, along with new Executive Vice President Stephen Elop, “decided that the product in development wasn’t different enough from rivals and probably wouldn’t be a hit.”

According to the report, Redmond engineers had been working on the device and planned to reveal all in front of a select media audience this week only for a last minute change of tact.

Based on Qualcomm processors, the tablet was instead removed entirely from the Surface agenda, leaving the path open for Microsoft to drum up interest in its Surface Pro 3, which uses chips from Intel.

"We are not building hardware for hardware's sake,'' said Nadella, at the event. “We want to build experiences that bring together all the capabilities of our company.''

While Microsoft, nor Qualcomm, officially announced any plans to reveal a smaller tablet based device, it was initially Microsoft’s Surface chief Panos Panay who got the ball rolling in October last year.

“We have a lot of great things that we are thinking about and working on, and there are multiple aspect ratios and sizes and awesome things to come from Surface,” he told Geekwire.

Yet when quizzed on the comments this week, Panay’s response was that of denial.

“We haven’t announced that yet,” he said, insisting he was referring to the Surface Pro 3 during his interview last year.

“We’re working on a lot of things. We said it before; it’s interesting, we’ve said it plenty where we’re working on a variety of devices.

“And I remember last year I had a quote and it made it everywhere, and it was ‘We’re working on all kinds of sizes’. And I was talking about this product. I just think it’s so interesting like where folks go.

“This is the most important device for Microsoft right now. I don’t think that there’s any debate.”

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