All signs are pointing to Microsoft delivering its long-awaited Surface Mini tablet at an event in New York on 20 May – the reference to a “small gathering” in the event invitation surely can't mean anything else.
But will there be just the one Surface Mini, an ARM processor-based model running Windows 8 RT, or might Microsoft have something else up its sleeve too?
Bloomberg News certainly thinks so. It claims Microsoft is indeed lining up an ARM-powered Surface Mini, but reckons there will also be a new Intel-based Surface to contend with.
And even that might not be the end of things, judging by the language used in the Bloomberg piece. It says “Microsoft will also take the wraps off other new Surface models at the event, including ones powered by Intel Corp processors”, citing the time-honoured “people with knowledge of the companies' plans” as its source.
That would seem to suggest – though without actually saying it – that we're looking at an ARM-based Surface Mini running Windows 8 RT, and an Intel version running the full Windows 8.
At which point we turn to fabled Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott, who is also promising Microsoft may have a surprise in store, but takes things in a slightly different direction.
He agrees the Surface Mini with RT is on the way, and claims its big selling point will be a fully fledged, high-quality stylus integration – something not offered by the vast majority of smaller form factor tablets. As you'd expect the stylus will have full OneNote integration.
Thurrott also says Microsoft will debut a click-in cover with a multi-position kickstand for its smaller tablet, and does mention that “a possible second Surface device” could potentially see the light of day too, but without elaborating.
The final tidbit of information is that the new smaller Surface(s) should go on sale in late June, which is about par for the course. Well, provided it isn't a case of late June in the US, and months later elsewhere, a crime Microsoft has been guilty of in the past.
Via The Verge