When Microsoft's Surface event, held today in New York City, was first announced, the widespread expectation was that the company would be launching a Surface mini with an 8-inch screen and a Qualcomm ARM processor. What we got instead was a new 12-inch Surface Pro 3 with an Intel Haswell processor. The mini device, which just a few weeks ago was felt by many to be a certainty, was nowhere to be seen.
Bloomberg is reporting that, according to "people with knowledge of the decision," the Surface mini was postponed at the last minute by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Vice President Stephen Elop. The report says that the product wasn't sufficiently differentiated from rivals and so "probably wouldn't be a hit." It's worth noting that Bloomberg was one of the early proponents of the Surface mini theory, two weeks ago writing that the device would be released today "according to people with knowledge of [Microsoft's] plans."
Paul Thurrott, also well connected to company insiders, wrote just this morning that, based on plans he had seen, he expected the company to release both a Surface mini and a larger Surface Pro. Only one of those predictions came true. Thurrott offered a little more insight into the 8-inch device: in addition to its Qualcomm processor, the small tablet would lose the kickstand, come in a range of colors, and include pen support. The kickstand would instead be part of a separate cover.