Microsoft Surface Mini, Surface 3 Release Date Rumors Point To Delayed Pre-Holiday Launch

( [email protected] ) Oct 17, 2014 06:52 PM EDT
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Microsoft Surface Pro 3

October is traditionally a busy month for device launches, and Microsoft's Surface line of tablets is no exception to that rule. With the first generation of the Surface releasing on October 26, 2012 and the Surface 2 releasing on October 22, 2013, many fans of the device are expecting a similar timeline for the Surface 3. But we're running out of time for an announcement.

The Surface 3 is rumored to have a slimmer 10.6-inch screen, making it overall lighter than the Surface 2. Production was said to start back in August, with a full ramp-up happening in September in line with a possible October launch. 

But several questions are floating around concerning the future of the Surface 3.

With the release of the Surface Pro 3 back in June, some are wondering if the Surface 3 will even see the light of day. But the 12-inch display on the Surface Pro 3 seems to indicate a different direction for that "Pro" title, and the confirmed cancellation of the Surface Mini may mean that Microsoft is looking to further differenciate screen sizes for different product lines; the Pro line is getting larger while the regular Surface line may be getting smaller.

But the cancellation of the Surface Mini brings up further questions. As smartphone screens keep getting larger, is Microsoft shying away from going smaller? With the rumors already circling around the same 10.6-inch screen real estate that was featured on the Surface 1 and 2, does that size hit the sweet spot for consumers?

Related: Why Microsoft Skipped Windows 9 And Went to Windows 10 

Another point to ponder is the operating system. The Surface Pro 3 released with the full 64-bit Windows 8.1 OS, but the Surfaces have traditionally released with a cleaner, more app-friendly version called Windows RT. This along establishes a major difference in the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3, but many customers have been confused by the difference, showing frustration when they find that Windows RT 8.1 doesn't have the same muscle.

So if the Surface 3 does release, we're guessing that it may come a bit later than the projected October timeline. Typical announcements-to-launch stretches last around a month, so even if it was announced tomorrow, we'd most likely be looking at a November launch.

Of course, that would still be on track for a pre-holiday release, as sources close to TK Tech News have confirmed in a recent tweet that also mentions the revival of the Surface Mini in limited supply.