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Oh, Surface Mini. Maybe someday we’ll see you – but it seems like that day might never come. Despite recent claims from @evleaks that the Mini is still coming, it seems like Microsoft has buried the Surface Mini for the foreseeable future, if not for good. During yesterday’s investor call, the company offered a few oblique clues about the fate of the miniature tablet.

Spotted by Neowin, Microsoft offered its shareholders with some information about the Surface Pro 3 event from June. Here’s the transcription (bold mine):

“In late June, we launched Surface Pro 3. While it’s still early, sales are outpacing earlier versions of Surface Pro, and we are excited to bring the device to many more markets this summer. During the quarter, we reassessed our product roadmap, and decided not to ship a new form factor that was under development. Combined with the transition of production toward our latest surface offering, we made inventory adjustments, which impacted our gross margins.”

The upshot there is that the Surface Pro 3 is doing great! Hooray! It’s a good device, and comes the closest to making good on Microsoft’s hopes to successfully blend a powerful PC and a functional tablet. News that it’s outselling its predecessors must be nice to hear for investors who are tired of taking a bath on the Surface division quarter after quarter.

On the other hand, one reason it may be doing so well is the fact that it’s not competing with itself anymore. Earlier versions of the Surface Pro had to go up against Surface tablets running Windows RT, a less-powerful version of Microsoft’s OS that didn’t do much to outwardly differentiate itself from its more expensive brother.

But even with better sales at the store level, it seems like the Surface division is still not as good as it could be. As stated in the above-transcribed call, manufacturing but not releasing the Surface Mini gave the company’s gross margins a hit. In short, it’s not entirely clear whether the Surface division brought in another loss, or if its gains were simply offset by the money lost on making and sitting on the Suface Mini.

However, I have a suspicion that Microsoft may simply abandon devices running Windows RT altogether. If the Surface Pro 3 is selling better than its predecessors, that’s indication enough that it’s better concentrate on one device and do it as well as you can, rather than half-ass two devices. Don’t expect to see the Surface Mini any time soon…or really anytime ever.

[Source: Neowin]


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