A prototype of the smaller Surface was to be unveiled today

Ahead of today’s official announcement of the Surface Pro 3, earlier reports had suggested that Microsoft was set to launch a sub-8” tablet with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The tablet was tipped to have a 7.5” 1440x1080 display and would run Windows RT.
However, today’s Surface event came and went with nary a word about a pint-sized Surface tablet. Now we’re learning from Bloomberg that a smaller tablet was indeed the works — developed in conjunction with Qualcomm — but Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Executive Vice President Stephen Elop pulled the plug late in development.
According to Bloomberg, the device was far enough along in development that it was going to be shown during today’s Surface event, but Nadella and Elop felt that the device wouldn’t be a hit with consumers. Smaller screen tablets make up over 50 percent of the market according to IDC, so the screen size issue shouldn’t be the key factor as to why the device wouldn’t be a hit.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3
The blame could be shifted to the much-maligned Windows RT operating system, but Surface head Panos Panay confirmed that, “Windows on ARM continues to be an important element of the Windows strategy.”
Regardless of Microsoft’s motives for axing a smaller, cheaper Surface, it definitely needs a hit to stay relevant in this space (just as it does with its Windows Phone offerings). Microsoft only had 1.3 percent of the tablet market for the Q1 2014 according to IDC.

Source: Bloomberg

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