Microsoft finally confirms the Surface Mini tablet existed

Microsoft’s Panos Panay is pumped about a lot of things, but the one gadget that got him out of bed in the middle of the night is the much-rumored, now-confirmed, Surface Mini tablet. In an interview with Wired out today, the company’s corporate vice president in charge of devices said he used to keep an unreleased version of the 7-inch tablet near his bed so he could jot down notes and draft emails during sudden surges of inspiration.

“It was like a Moleskine,” Panay says of a point two years ago when Microsoft began working on what would become the Surface Book laptop. “It was awesome.” The use of past tense here suggests two things: Panay no longer uses the Surface Mini, and the product is not likely a future consideration.

“It was like a Moleskine.”

Microsoft never confirmed the device’s existence. But many reports insisted CEO Satya Nadella and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop canceled the launch, which was to coincide with the Surface Pro 3 in May 2014, at the last minute. The Mini had been kicking around Microsoft for years at that point, once possibly as an Xbox-branded gaming tablet. A month later, a Surface Pro 3 user manual let slip the Mini’s existence in with the name appearing numerous times inside descriptions for the Surface Pen and other peripherals.

Originally published at on October 26, 2015.