It’s been rumored for a long time, but now Microsoft’s Surface Mini tablet seems to be one step closer to release. Here’s what we know so far.
1. Surface Mini Might ‘Surface’ This Summer
Microsoft Surface Mini is back in production, in anticipation of a summer release. – http://t.co/a7DRVU3CdY
— @evleaks (@evleaks) July 7, 2014
Relatively reliable leaker @evleaks says the Surface Mini could be on track for a summer release. That being said, not everyone agrees that a summer Mini release is feasible. ZDNet writer Mary Jo Foley, widely considered to be one of the most knowledgeable tech writers when it comes to Microsoft, says a Surface Mini release just isn’t in the cards for this summer.
“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…
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?””
Was there a "crazy rumor day" declaration that I missed?
— Frank X. Shaw (@fxshaw) July 7, 2014
2. Surface Mini Rumors Started Years Ago
Check out the Surface Mini rumor roundup in the video above.
The Verge notes that rumors about a “mini” version of the Surface “emerged before Microsoft even announced its original Surface RT tablet.” With rumors swirling about for so long with no product to show for it, skeptics can’t be blamed for their reluctance to believe the latest round of Mini rumors.
3. Multiple Leaks Mention the Surface Mini by Name
— Canoe Tech (@Canoe_Tech) July 8, 2014
BGR sites a Surface 3 manual that mentions the Surface Mini within its pages, while TechCrunch notes that a Surface Mini case popped up on Amazon. While neither of these examples are definitive proof, they offer tantalizing hope to those who have been waiting for a small Surface tab for years.
4. Thousands of Surface Minis May Be ‘Gathering Dust’
I just thought I finally saw someone actually using a surface tablet in real life, But it was an iPad mini with a colorful case.
— Anthony Domanico (@ajdomanico) July 9, 2014
TechRadar reports that the Surface Mini was supposed to debut at the same launch event as the Surface Pro 3. There might be 15,000 to 20,000 Surface Mini units “gathering dust” in storage.
5. Surface Mini Could Run Windows 8
Get the story behind the Surface Mini in the video above.
Microsoft announced earlier this year that devices under nine inches will get Windows 8 for free. In addition, they’ll also get a year of Office365. With the Surface Mini expected to have a display that’s between seven and eight inches, the Mini is likely to qualify for a free, full Windows experience.
However, there is another option. The Mini could run Gemini, the touch-based version of Office, instead of Office365.