Microsoft's 'small gathering': more than one Surface Mini on the cards?

Microsoft's 'small gathering': more than one Surface Mini on the cards?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

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2 comments

JanSt / MOD  May. 8, 2014 at 15:39

"gathering" would imply more than one... unless it refers to the presence of the NSA...

BKT3  May. 8, 2014 at 18:12

If they only offer an RT version, I'm out. Before the masses start to go on and on about how the desktop on the small screen is useless, stop telling me, as a consumer, what I want. I want a device to travel with which I can connect to a larger display and Bluetooth peripherals when I am at my desk. Today, this is the option you have on the Lenovo Thinkpad 8, which is probably the best option in the market today with its mini HDMI output. I have been waiting for the Surface Mini because I was hopeful it would one up the Lenovo Thinkpad 8 with: Active Stylus (got it), Immediate 4G availability (still pending for TP8), More than 2GB RAM (not with RT), faster processor (?), and 64 bit processing (not with RT). Had Lenovo offered the 4G version already, I probably would have bought it.

If the Surface Mini is RT only, I'll probably wait for the TP8 with 4G and if I get impatient, I'll probably pay the premium for the Panasonic FZ-M1. The Panasonic is pricey but, as a consumer, the features I want are features for which I am willing to pay.

For me, if the Surface Mini is RT only, the music playing at the event will be the funeral dirge for the Surface line. It will be proof Microsoft simply isn't paying attention to the consumer demands. This is the same sin Apple commits with fans of Swype; which, by the way, is why I plan on going with a W8.1 device (which has Touchpal as an option).

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