Microsoft actually built some 20,000 Surface Mini tablets before cancelling

Rumor has it that some 20,000 Surface Mini tablets are stacked in at some cozy corner of the globe. And this is because Microsoft cancelled the anticipated slate, right at the very last moment.

There were sure signs that Redmond was ready to launch its first 8-inch tablet at a press event in New York on May 20. Instead, the company decided to only present the Surface Pro 3; a brand new device that takes the screen real estate up to 12-inch, and combines it with some powerful hardware.

But considering just how much people were looking forward to the Surface Mini, this change of heart from the company left many disappointed.

It was the right decision, mind you.

Microsoft obviously thought that the Surface Mini was not ready, at least not on the software side. The software mix for a tablet like this is of key importance.

And without doubt one of the most important parts of the software puzzle is the upcoming touch-optimized version of Office that is in development under the codename Gemini. Meaning the Surface Mini will be here by the time Office Touch is.

In fact, as the report states, the Surface Mini story does not actually begin here.

This was the same device that some were calling the Xbox Surface, which was to be a gaming focused tablet. That project never picked up steam, and instead, Microsoft planned to enter the smaller tablet market with a note-taking device.

Ultimately, a management directive stopped the launch that was reportedly set for earlier this week.

And with the first batch of devices, said to be in the range of 15,000 to 20,000, already assembled, these are now sitting somewhere, locked up, safe.

The project may now be on hold, but chances are that we will hear more about the Surface Mini in the coming months. Probably in the fourth quarter of the year, be my guess.

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