Microsoft suggested its upcoming May 20 press event will merely be a “small gathering”, likely dedicated to the Surface Mini, but fresh rumors hint at the conclave possibly blowing up due to an unforeseen Surface Pro 3 appearance.

Surface Pro 2

They say you have to spend money to make money and, by the looks of it, Microsoft certainly agrees, going at great lengths to turn the Surface tablet line into a worthy Apple iPad rival in spite of so far disheartening sales and lukewarm critical reception.

Already two generations down, the Windows-running slate family is due for another refresh in less than a week, when the smallest Surface to date, a 7.5 incher, is expected to break cover, next to a full-sized, high-end version.

While the diminutive model is tipped to keep things light both in the software and hardware departments, with Windows RT and a Qualcomm chip, the gigantic powerhouse shall, well, fully fit the description, thanks to an upgraded, state-of-the-art, “power-optimized” Intel Haswell processor and, get this, 12-inch display.

Clearly, if MS has such a large tablet in the pipeline, Samsung’s Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and Tab Pro 12.2 are seen as threats. Either that, or Redmond wants to anticipate and counteract a potential Cupertino iPad Pro charge.

Microsoft Surface Pro 2

Odds are, unlike Sammy’s GNotes and GTabs, that the Surface Pro 3, if real, will come with a host of optional accessories, including large, comfortable keyboard docks. So look no further for a desktop PC replacement, this Windows 8.1 Pro force of nature should do it all.

For the record, a highly credible source, Rhoda Alexander of research firm IHS technology, upholds the 12-inch part of the rumor, while Microsoft itself spilled the beans on Surface Pro 3’s existence, mentioning it in a support article.

Sure, they fixed the “typo” in the meantime, but the damage is done. Cut the charade now, MS, and give iPad “killing” your best shot. And make it better than last year’s effort.

Sources: Cnet, The Verge