The rumors that Microsoft is working on a smaller version of the Surface tablet, dubbed the Surface Mini, may be about to be proven. This is because Microsoft is planning an important event for May 20, which may shed some light on the Surface Mini along with a potential Surface 3 announcement.
If rumors are to be believed, Intel will be working with Microsoft at the event helping to unveil products. It is expected to be creating the next Surface's chip, which may be unveiled along with the Mini. However, don't get too excited about the Mini just yet. It is expected to come in an RT flavor with a Qualcomm chip and not an Intel one. The Intel chip is expected to come with the Surface 3.
Whether it will be just the Mini announced or the Haswell standard model, or both a Mini and a standard model with Haswell, remains to be seen. These are all still speculations and rumors. However, the event should definitely be interesting and worth watching for Surface and tablet fans.
"There's definitely a new Intel-based Surface," said an anonymous source within the CPU industry to CNET. "From what I can assess so far I think it's going to [have] a new power-optimized Haswell variant."
This would be a pretty unprecedented move on Microsoft's part to be working with multiple partners on upcoming Surface models and be fragmenting them further than they already are (RT and Pro models). Whether this is a smart move or not remains to be seen, but it would mimic Apple's move with the iPad Mini becoming a product lineup that has become quite popular.
The danger is that Microsoft may be further confusing its fan base with a new product lineup within the Surface family while fragmenting its user base further. Unlike Apple, which creates both its hardware and OS, a lot of third-party manufacturer are already using Windows 8.1 for their products and have competing Windows tablets available. This is giving consumers a lot of choice and fragmenting the market.
Mark your calendars for May 20 as it should be an interesting event for any tech fans. It will take place in New York City.