If you were following the Surface launch event in NYC today, you may be wondering where in blue blazes the Surface Mini announcement went. This particular slate, obviously, was widely speculated to be in development.
The good news is that it is still in development and being readied for an unveiling very soon.
Microsoft, it seems, wanted to keep the spotlight squarely on the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 — the refreshes of its two original tablets. The company will nevertheless introduce a Surface Mini tablet pitching it against the Google Nexus 7 and the Apple iPad Mini in the small tablet market.
The Associated Press seems very confident of this, saying that a Surface Mini is all but given, but not right now. Redmond is planning to make the tablet official later down the road.
October is when both the new Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 will go on sale. The Surface Mini, on the other hands, is being targeted for a November release date, just ahead of the holiday shopping season.
And this strategy makes a world of sense of Microsoft when you think about it.
One, it allows it to move a fair few of the larger 10.6 inch Surface slates (whether Surface 2 or the Pro 2), and it also gives the hardware partners to announce and bring to market their own 8-inch solutions. And believe you me the market is going to be swarmed by these affordable 8-inch slates very soon.
So in all probability, expect the Surface Mini unveil probably alongside Windows 8.1, and the affordable tablet hitting the store shelves sometimes around November.