Speculation that Microsoft contemplated a “mini” version of its Surface fondleslabs, but decided not to let it see the light of day, has been confirmed in Redmond's 8-K form lodged with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The filing includes a section on “Computing and Gaming Hardware” that says “Current year cost …
Microsoft decides not to ship form factor that has been proven by iPad mini, Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire is eschewed in order to double down on the existing models that don't sell particularly well.
Microsoft's tone deaf approach to comprehending markets continues unhindered. Why would it want to ship a model that actually is usable with one hand and comfortable for the majority of individuals?
Short answer is probably the knew it would loose money. After all they are pushing a similar form-factor in the bigger Nokia-softs and, while decent enough phones in many ways, they are hardly flying off the shelves.
Is this a Surface Pro (x86) device rather than a Surface (ARM) device? (They may as well have intentionally set out to confuse the problem).
If it's an x86 device then because much of the useful configuration is only possible under desktop mode and the real reason why many people want such a device is to run x86 windows applications on it and not "Metro" apps, then the thing will most likely be largely unusable in that form factor. A shame really, because I remember using an x86 full windows hand-held device sometime around 1997/8 and it was very, very useful even if you wouldn't want it as a main system or do anything much productive (creative) on it.
I'd say it was more likely that finding a chipset/CPU/GPU that could be passively cooled (as pretty much any fan in a 7" design would make it quite fat compared to the high end competition) and also provided enough performance to make Windows 8/RT run at a decent clip was damned near impossible.
That might change with faster, 64bit ARM chippery and the current race to use as as little power as possible in x86 everywhere the new (Core based atoms are pretty tasty by all accounts), but I don't think we're there yet.
I doubt cooling or performance were issues any more than any of the other current ARM 7/8" devices like Nexus or iPad. From what has leaked this was a reasonable product had it been launched last year along with the Surface 2 but 9 months is a long time in technology and with the iPad A8 refresh coming soon 2013 ARM SoC technology will look pretty dated for a flagship type device.
I've been impressed by the technical work Microsoft developers have done with the Surface line, especially the latest Surface Pro - almost as much as I've been amused at the clueless marketing of the products.
The future of handheld 8" seems to be 64 bit ARM vs. x64 so if the goal of Surface is to lead the way for Windows OEMs a backward looking device like the cancelled product makes no sense at all on many levels. The question for Microsoft management is why they kept throwing money into pilot manufacturing and so on long after the shipping window was missed.
Agree. Still the lingering legacy of the Windows mobile monkey trap. Unable to escape from wanting to do the right thing but still not getting the rewards.
MSFT are now living the moribund existence of King Cnut, unwillingto even visualise the world with any sense of reality. And just because the world knows that a one-hand-comfy tablet is the way to go, doesn't meant that MSFT will pay any attention to it.
BTW, I rate the Surface as a good etch-a-sketch replacement, but it's just a brick to look at :-)
Re: King Cnut
No: the king was making it plain that the flattery of the courtiers was getting out of hand. "So you think I can stop the waves themselves?"
Let's pick some other delusional character.
I attended a conference about SQL Server recently and you would have expect the place to be full of Windows phones and Surfaces?
Nope, the only Windows Phone I saw was a company phone for one of the Microsoft empoyees and I saw one Surface, yes one!
The rest of the people had Androids and iPhones. All of the tablets were either Android, iPad or iPad Mini.
Microsoft made the right call
25% smaller than the current surface models 25% less they could write off on them
I hate to rain on your parade
But on the surface, I would say the future looks cloudy for Mixrosoft.