Microsoft introduced a new Surface tablet today… but while many folks had been expecting a small “Surface mini” tablet, what we got was the biggest model yet. The Surface Pro 3 has a 12 inch screen and while an entry-level model sells for $800, higher-priced models go for as much as $1949.
So what happened to the Surface mini? Microsoft has never actually confirmed it’s working on a small tablet with an ARM-based processor and Windows RT software, but we’ve been hearing about it from “sources” in the know for months.
One theory is that the Surface mini is still on the way… but it might not run Windows RT when it arrives. Instead, it could ship with next-gen software that replaces both Windows RT and Windows Phone. That could dramatically increase the amount of available apps for the device, while helping differentiate the tablet from Windows 8.1 devices which have x86 processors and the ability to run desktop apps (as well as touch-friendly tablet apps.
Update: Bloomberg reports Microsoft decided to scrap the Surface mini plans last minute due to concerns that it would be poorly received. The company is still reportedly working on smaller tablets though.
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
- Report: Microsoft Surface mini launch might not come until Windows RT and Windows Phone are merged
It’s also possible that Microsoft could have just scrapped the Surface mini altogether. Speaking at today’s Surface Pro 3 launch, CEO Satya Nadella suggested Microsoft is only interested in making hardware that nobody else is offering: like a 12 inch Windows tablet designed to offer notebook-like performance. There are already plenty of companies offering 8 inch Windows tablets for low prices. Some, like the Dell Venue 8 Pro and Asus VivoTab Note 8 even support pen input. [ZDNet]
- Intel says PCs with next-gen “Broadwell” chips should hit stores in time for the 2014 holiday season
Haswell’s nice and all, but if you’re holding out for a next-gen processor before buying your next computer, the wait is almost over. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich says PCs with the new chips should be available by the holiday shopping season.[Reuters]
- One of the most visible members of the Ubuntu team is leaving Canonical
Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon is joining XPRIZE. [Jono Bacon]
- Gmail 4.8 for Android lets you save attachments to Google Drive
The user interface has been tweaked a bit, and now you can print attachments or save them to Google Drive from within the app. [Android Police]
- HP Slate 6 VoiceTab and HP Slate 7 VoiceTab go on sale in Germany (big-screen Android phones)
HP’s 6 inch and 7 inch “phablets” originally launched in India. But they’re slowly making their way into more developed markets. [Mobile Geeks]
- Chrome OS gets folders (in the app launcher)
Chrome OS 35.0.1916.116 also brings the minimize button back and supports “OK Google” voice commands and searches on the new tab page and at Google.com for speakers of US English. [Chrome Releases]
- IOS 7.1.1 jailbroken (but the tools aren’t public yet)
You can’t jailbreak your own device just yet, but several different developers have posted videos in the past few days showing that they’ve managed to jailbreak Apple’s latest mobile OS. [FSM]