Despite two Surface generations having passed and sales numbers still paling in comparison to Apple iPad volumes, Microsoft’s commitment to the Windows tablet project is growing, with a form factor expansion eyed for 2014.
Once upon a time rumored to see daylight by the end of 2013, the purported Surface mini is not yet official and, according to some sources, it may have actually been canceled by Microsoft instead of merely delayed. But one otherwise reputable informant, Brad Sams of Neowin, says that’s absolutely not the case.
He goes on to clarify the exact launch date is an old-fashioned puzzle, however many marketing, software and hardware-related details are worked out already. For instance, Microsoft will allegedly try to cover up Surface mini’s inherent productivity flaws, emphasizing through the powers of advertising the importance of Wacom digitizer support in superior note-taking activities.
Well, cover up is probably a bit of an exaggeration. But one thing’s clear: expect ads, billboards, promotional YouTube videos showing off the little guy’s stylus in lieu of, say, conventional Office-highlighting marketing.
Software-wise, all hints point to the Surface mini running Windows RT 8.1, not the platform’s professional, full-on 8.1 build, which is obviously ominous news. On the bright side, Microsoft is hard at work on an unprecedented ecosystem boost, again with an emphasis on note-taking, so maybe, just maybe, the gap between RT and “regular” Windows will be narrowed down.
What else? Oh, yeah, the display. Unfortunately, size continues to be a question mark, although 7.5 and 7.9 inches are the best candidates, and resolution was back in the day tipped at 1,080p, a tidbit that hasn’t budged in the meantime.
Finally, rumor has it previous stories of mysterious component shortages or supply chain blockages don’t jibe with reality. True, Redmond’s plan A called for an earlier Surface mini introduction, but the setbacks are simply down to Microsoft taking extra time to work on software. Probably, on hardware too.