Microsoft killed the Surface Mini before it ever saw the light of day, but a company executive recently revealed there is still one place the device lives on: his own bedside table.
Panos Panay, the Microsoft vice president in charge of Surface devices, let it slip during an interview with Wired. He was telling a story about waking up in the middle of the night with an idea in his head. He said he reached over, grabbed his Surface Mini and wrote himself an email.
And just like that, we get a small glimpse into what could have been.
The story of the ill-fated Surface Mini dates back years, shortly after Apple launched its own smaller tablet, the iPad Mini, in 2012. Microsoft was widely rumored to be building a similar device, and Panay himself even publicly acknowledged in 2013 that the company was working on devices with “multiple aspect ratios and sizes.”
The rumors seemed all but confirmed by 2014, and that was even before third party accessories built for the device started popping up on Amazon.
But the Surface Mini was nowhere to be found when Microsoft did finally unveil its new Surface lineup later that year. The official user guide for the Surface Pro 3 made several references to a “Surface Mini,” but Microsoft never officially acknowledged its existence.
Panay didn’t give a whole lot of details on the device, telling the Wired reporter, “It was like a Moleskine,” and, “It was awesome.”
The fact that he referenced the tablet in the past tense probably doesn’t bode well for anyone still holding out hope for a resurrection. But never say never.