Surface Mini not expected until early 2014

The Surface mini has been rumored for quite some time but when the device did not make an appearance at the Surface 2 announcements, it raised suspicion if the device would actually make its way to the market.

While the whispers are saying that the device will be somewhere between 7 and 8 inches, the release date of the device is what is piquing the interest of many. According to Mary Jo Foley, her sources are saying that the mini will not make a retail appearance until early 2014.

This later than expected launch is quite peculiar for many reasons, the biggest being that it will miss the holiday shopping season. One of the reasons, according to Foley, that the tablet won’t launch until next year is that Microsoft will ship the tablet with a Windows 8.1 update known as Spring 2014 GDR.

The inclusion of the GDR name is highly interesting as it shows that Microsoft may be moving Windows RT development to the same path as Windows Phone. This means that the company could release several GDR updates a year that bring new feature to the platform. Additionally, the Spring GDR will align with Windows Phone Blue (8.1) which should be released around a similar time.

Source: Mary Jo Foley

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ahhh...and we know whats coming w/ phone 8.1...let's hope this means she'll be in the 8.1 gdr update as well...cortana.

If the tablet doesn't run Atom, then I'm not interested -- I don't want an RT device, they are utterly useless and ARM is a great architecture for mobile phones perhaps, but Intel's strides with Atom make it a no-brainer to go that route instead.

And honestly, I'd love an 8" device with an Atom processor on it. I probably won't use it for ANY x86 applications, but I like the idea that I *could*, plus the CPU bonus of Atom over ARM makes it a no-brainer.

Shyatic said,
If the tablet doesn't run Atom, then I'm not interested -- I don't want an RT device, they are utterly useless and ARM is a great architecture for mobile phones perhaps, but Intel's strides with Atom make it a no-brainer to go that route instead.

And honestly, I'd love an 8" device with an Atom processor on it. I probably won't use it for ANY x86 applications, but I like the idea that I *could*, plus the CPU bonus of Atom over ARM makes it a no-brainer.

Agreed. I am sure that Lenovo or some other OEM will offer a 8" device with 8.1 Pro.

Shyatic said,
If the tablet doesn't run Atom, then I'm not interested -- I don't want an RT device, they are utterly useless and ARM is a great architecture for mobile phones perhaps, but Intel's strides with Atom make it a no-brainer to go that route instead.

And honestly, I'd love an 8" device with an Atom processor on it. I probably won't use it for ANY x86 applications, but I like the idea that I *could*, plus the CPU bonus of Atom over ARM makes it a no-brainer.

I'm game for either, frankly, as long as the app store continues to mature. My only problem with Atom tablets is users will bastardize the living hell out of it and then blame ms. With RT, the user cannot destroy the os/ux (for the most part). That is what I think the point of the ARM line is... a more controlled lifetime of the UX.

Shyatic said,
If the tablet doesn't run Atom, then I'm not interested -- I don't want an RT device, they are utterly useless and ARM is a great architecture for mobile phones perhaps, but Intel's strides with Atom make it a no-brainer to go that route instead.

And honestly, I'd love an 8" device with an Atom processor on it. I probably won't use it for ANY x86 applications, but I like the idea that I *could*, plus the CPU bonus of Atom over ARM makes it a no-brainer.

So you can't even think of a single reason why you'd want the desktop on a 7" tablet and yet you've declared ARM is not acceptable. That really makes a lot of sense. From my experience the people who trash RT are equally as rational.

Oh and ARM (Tegra4/SD800) destroys Atom Bay Trail in GPU performance according to Anandtech's benchmarks. Are you even sure you understand what you're buying?

http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph7314/58077.png

Edited by Avatar Roku, Sep 25 2013, 8:49pm :

I also think MS is going to hold off on the Mini a bit to allow their OEM partners to release their own 8" tablets, as we've seen a good number are coming out with Windows 8.1 for this holiday.

I expect the Surface Mini to have better specs though, we've seen a number of 8" x86 tablets with lower res, 1280x720 and so on, we'll see how MS does it but they could go full HD.

This....

As much as MS is getting deeper into devices, they still need to have OEM partners succeed - at the risk putting out crappy products. They have a tough balance to still rely on OEMs to push Windows and walk a fine line of bring out their hardware. So, I agree that the delay may be to allow OEMs to show their wares to try to get marketshare for the holiday season. Then wait until next year to bring out the mini.... at the risk of being late to the already late party.,

The fact that it's on a GDR release and not a typical Windows release tells me that they've already started merging the two OS's (Windows 8 RT and Windows Phone 8) into a single OS.

I wouldn't be surprised if Windows 8.1 x86/64 gets an update around the time Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8 RT Spring 2014 GDR are released, bringing all 3 ecosystems in line with a single don't-call-it-Metro/WinRT API.

greenwizard88 said,
The fact that it's on a GDR release and not a typical Windows release tells me that they've already started merging the two OS's (Windows 8 RT and Windows Phone 8) into a single OS.

I wouldn't be surprised if Windows 8.1 x86/64 gets an update around the time Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8 RT Spring 2014 GDR are released, bringing all 3 ecosystems in line with a single don't-call-it-Metro/WinRT API.

That's the final goal for sure but I don't know if it'll happen in Spring 2014 as far as Windows 8.1 x86/64 goes. I think they'll try to target RT and Phone first because that makes more sense right now. It's easier to envision running the same app on a 4" phone and a 8" tablet where the scaling works out better compared to running it on a desktop that could be on a 27" or 30" screen where it could look odd or not make as much sense.

greenwizard88 said,
The fact that it's on a GDR release and not a typical Windows release tells me that they've already started merging the two OS's (Windows 8 RT and Windows Phone 8) into a single OS.

I wouldn't be surprised if Windows 8.1 x86/64 gets an update around the time Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8 RT Spring 2014 GDR are released, bringing all 3 ecosystems in line with a single don't-call-it-Metro/WinRT API.

If that means Cortana is coming to tablets too then I'll be thrilled. If they update the Surface 2 with this GDR update in Spring then they could be adding a ton of new functionality mid-year to the devices.

NXTwoThou said,
Because GDR has worked so well for WP. *sigh*

It has actually....don't know what you're talking about. Love getting new stuff on my phone every few months (Lumia 928 here)

Avatar Roku said,
GDR system probably would work well if wireless carriers weren't involved. Seriously AT&T is possibly the worst partner on the planet.

And it is also the "Premium" one....

Avatar Roku said,
GDR system probably would work well if wireless carriers weren't involved. Seriously AT&T is possibly the worst partner on the planet.

And with the Surface, the wireless carriers are not involved. There is nothing interfering with Microsoft's ability to push updates.

Now just think what would happen if it had shipped with an LTE radio inside ...

Do we know anything about the specs on this yet? I have to presume it will be similar to the Surface 2 and not the Pro model(?)

remixedcat said,

Why no tegra???

Snapdragon 800 so it will have 4G/LTE and so on. I guess Tegra can as well but probably an extra cost to it?