Microsoft talks about canceled hardware on earnings call - Surface mini

The story of the Surface mini is one that has taken many turns - from nearly all of the specs leaking to being canceled at the last minute to finally being heavily referenced in the Surface Pro 3 documentation. And now, we finally have Microsoft talking about the device, albeit indirectly; we believe that the 'new form factor' that they decided not to ship, was, in fact, the Surface mini.

We pulled out the audio of the Surface segment from the earnings call and posted it above. Microsoft also shared some good news, saying that the Pro 3 is selling faster than the previous versions of the Surface. However, that should not be a huge surprise as it is believed that prior iterations of the Surface have not sold all that well. Still, the fact that the Pro is outpacing prior iterations is clearly a good thing for Microsoft, as it suggests that buyers are finally starting to warm to its homegrown tablet.

We still don't know if Microsoft will ever ship the Surface mini; prior rumors said that the company was waiting until the touch version of Office was ready to ship which could be this fall, at the earliest. But the longer they wait, the more outdated the internals of the device become. If, as many expect, the touch-friendly version of Office does not arrive until next year, the internals of the Surface mini would have to be updated to meet market expectations at its launch.

Microsoft had a lot to talk about during their earnings call, including the next version of Windows; you can also read about their latest financial report here.

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imagine if people wouldnt be so ipad focused - the surface pro 3 is an incredible piece of hardware and engineering. what a pity it does not get acknowledged more.

typu said,
imagine if people wouldnt be so ipad focused - the surface pro 3 is an incredible piece of hardware and engineering. what a pity it does not get acknowledged more.

The Surface is not an iPad competitor. They are totally different devices.

The iPad did come first, the iPad will always be the device that sticks in peoples minds, Microsoft missed out on that for sure. Most people when they talk about 'tablets' will say iPad. A generic tablet picture will mostly show an iPad.

Probably a good call as it sounds like there was going to be a mismatch between the hardware the device was created on vs when office touch actually becomes available. Still a good concept and if they can get the price right + office touch it will be a powerful tool if its centred on inking as originally envisioned.

I'm glad to hear the Surface Pro 3 is selling well because I bought one and think it's fantastic. Very happy with it and haven't picked up my ipad since buying it a few weeks ago.

It's been perfect marketing by MSFT for a change.. Talk up the mini, create demand/market interest and then 'cancel' so partners can pick up the created business..

Excellent idea..

I've said it before, I'll say again.

It was a good decision, shame this CEO wasn't around much earlier to avoid flop's that could be quite easy not done with a good dose of good sense.

Surface RT should never been launched the way it was, there was no value and in my opinion it's still a hard sell if they release a new version...

Unless it's full Metro, no Desktop that in a ARM version makes no sense, comes with Office only Metro and has battery that lasts atleast the same as iPad mini.

If it's not running x86 version it should resemble more Windows Phone than Windows 8.

The iPad is far from perfect, but it's running essentially like a iPhone, and that's consistency across portable devices, Surface RT (Mini, whatever) should do the same.

The line should be Surface Mini and Pro, no RT names nonsense or Windows RT(name) nonsense, just rename Windows Phone OS to something like Windows "NAME" OS that runs on both deveices, Mini and Phones.

Of course I wouldn't object to get rid of arm and make Mini a x86 device and end the ridiculous RT ecosystem. If they continue in ARM then make the Phone Apps run in RT.

So I say good call!

Edited by Digitalfox, Jul 23 2014, 1:48pm :

Digitalfox said,
I've said it before, I'll say again.

It was a good decision, shame this CEO wasn't around much earlier to avoid flop's that could be quite easy not done with a good dose of good sense.

Surface RT should never been launched the way it was, there was no value and in my opinion it's still a hard sell if they release a new version...

Unless it's full Metro, no Desktop that in a ARM version makes no sense, comes with Office only Metro and has battery that lasts atleast the same as iPad mini.

If it's not running x86 version it should resemble more Windows Phone than Windows 8.

The iPad is far from perfect, but it's running essentially like a iPhone, and that's consistency across portable devices, Surface RT (Mini, whatever) should do the same.

The line should be Surface Mini and Pro, no RT names nonsense or Windows RT(name) nonsense, just rename Windows Phone OS to something like Windows "NAME" OS that runs on both deveices, Mini and Phones.

Of course I wouldn't object to get rid of arm and make Mini a x86 device and end the ridiculous RT ecosystem. If they continue in ARM then make the Phone Apps run in RT.

So I say good call!

Your opinion.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I do NOT want a phone OS on my 10" Surface RT. And some of the earlier comments have said full Windows 8 is very useful on an 8" device too.

Windows on ARM should have been straight up full Windows 8 (i.e. "Windows 8 ARM Edition"), instead of the artificially hamstrung OS we got that is Windows RT. It really is almost the same as x86 Windows, and if Microsoft had treated it as such (referring to third-party developers access outside the store) it might have gone somewhere.

Instead I fear you'll get your wish and Windows on ARM will become just a dumb-down phone OS. Sigh.

Nope I gotta disagree. The desktop on surfaceRT is not a useless place like you make it out to be. Sure you can't install programs, but it's all there. Explorer and all the built in admin tools are waiting to be used. I used my RT to move around partitions on a usb hard drive. Nothing on iOS or android gives you the freedom of windows explorer or the built in networking tools.

imo the desktop needs to stay just hide it from regular users and let guys like me turn it back on in the next surface RT (if there ever is another one)

Justin Jones said,
Nope I gotta disagree. The desktop on surfaceRT is not a useless place like you make it out to be. Sure you can't install programs, but it's all there. Explorer and all the built in admin tools are waiting to be used. I used my RT to move around partitions on a usb hard drive. Nothing on iOS or android gives you the freedom of windows explorer or the built in networking tools.

imo the desktop needs to stay just hide it from regular users and let guys like me turn it back on in the next surface RT (if there ever is another one)

I believe the only reason they included the desktop on RT was because MS wanted to say that these devices included Office. If Touch office was finished and good enough then they would not have included the desktop. I think RT was rushed out and not considered well. RT was a response to other tablets rather than something well thought through and planned.

derekaw said,

I believe the only reason they included the desktop on RT was because MS wanted to say that these devices included Office. If Touch office was finished and good enough then they would not have included the desktop. I think RT was rushed out and not considered well. RT was a response to other tablets rather than something well thought through and planned.

Well, that's good reason enough. Of course nobody has seen this touch Office, but I'll take the full desktop Office on my Surface RT thank you.

And even without the jailbreak, the desktop on Windows RT is very useful, and I use it and the built-in Microsoft desktop programs and utilities all the time.

The Surface RT is a convertible, not a tablet-only device, and why I was interest in it. If it had been a tablet only no desktop thing I wouldn't have considered it.

I stopped waiting for the Surface mini and just got a 64GB Acer W4 for $260 on amazon. People just don't understand how useful and powerful a full real Win 8.1 pc is in an 8 inch form factor that also gets around 9hrs of batter life.

This thing is so much more useful then an Android tablet or Ipad I just do not understand what is wrong with people that mock this form factor for a real PC. Also the desktop is perfectly easy to use.

swanlee said,
I stopped waiting for the Surface mini and just got a 64GB Acer W4 for $260 on amazon. People just don't understand how useful and powerful a full real Win 8.1 pc is in an 8 inch form factor that also gets around 9hrs of batter life.

This thing is so much more useful then an Android tablet or Ipad I just do not understand what is wrong with people that mock this form factor for a real PC. Also the desktop is perfectly easy to use.

Fully agree. An android tablet or an ipad are very much limited in its general usefulness. App specific stuff is ok. Rest is just a pain in the ass.

Same here, I use a Venue 8 Pro and it has become my main work PC (i'm a product vendor and spend all day on my feet or in the car). I have surface 1 and 2 but sometimes you just need to use that little niche x86 app to get your work done for the day.

I think that most people want simplicity, they don't want full blown windows on a tiny tablet.

I get your point, its really cool that we have this but for me its just cool and not better than my iPad. I'd like one but just to play with because full blown Windows on a tiny tablet is very cool.

The fact that they want to use ARM inside the mini is a deal breaker for me. Lots of good Windows/x86 apps are still not available for WinRT.