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July 24, 2014

Why did Microsoft dump the new Surface Mini?

Mini tablets just aren't productive enough, says Satya Nadella.

By Ben Sullivan

It has been confirmed by Microsoft that it scrapped plans to release Surface Mini tablet this year because Nadella wanted to focus on productivity, something that a mini tablet would fail to offer.

It was during Tuesday’s quarterly results call when Microsoft CFO Amy Hood said that Microsoft’s Surface tablet revenues took a slide because an unreleased product was axed. She did not explicitly mention a Surface Mini, but the device was accidentally confirmed by a leaked user manual that actually referenced the tablet.

Hood said: "During the quarter, we reassessed our product roadmap and decided not to ship a new form factor that was under development."

Mini tablet sales, such as the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini, have boomed over the past few years, but Microsoft did not provide a smaller tablet until Autumn 2013 when the company released Windows 8.1.

Gartner predicts that the tablet market is expected to witness a relative slowdown in demand during 2014.

Tablet shipment is expected to grow 23.9% this year to 256 million units, compared to 206 million units shipped in 2013 and reach to 316 million units by 2015.

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Cooling in demand could be due to users favouring larger screen devices in mature market over the smaller ones and shift in demand for phablets in South-East Asia. Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said: "The next wave of adoption will be driven by lower price points rather than superior functionality."

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