Microsoft Reportedly Built 20,000 Surface Mini Tablets Before Scrapping Launch

It was quite a surprise when Microsoft neglected to launch a Surface Mini device during a recent press event in New York City. Leading up to the event, Microsoft had sent out invites for "a small gathering," which was seemingly a big hint that a Surface Mini would be on tap. Combined with the rumors and speculation, along with a Surface Mini case that appeared on Amazon, it seemed like a foregone conclusion. So, what happened?

Microsoft launched a Surface Pro 3 instead. This too was rumored to launch alongside the Surface Mini leading up to the event, but rather than share the stage, it stole the show with a solo act. Apparently Microsoft got cold feet at last the minute and abandoned plans to launch a Surface Mini within days of the event.

No Surface Mini

According to Neowin, the decision not to launch the Surface Mini was a "management directive," and one that came after Microsoft had already produced between 15,000 to 20,000 of them. Now they sit somewhere, perhaps in a warehouse, awaiting their fate.

That's not a ton of devices in the grand scheme of things, and if Microsoft decides to forge ahead with a Surface Mini at a later date, perhaps they'll end up sold to consumers after all. However, the longer Microsoft waits to make that decision, the less relevant the hardware inside will be.

As to why Microsoft got cold feet, there have been a few different reasons floating around. One is that Microsoft didn't feel it had enough differentiating features to be a hit. Another -- and one that's related -- is that Microsoft just felt it wouldn't sell all that well. Yet another reason is that Microsoft wants to wait until a touch-based version of Office is available, which could come this fall.