Surprised? Don’t be. Microsoft had originally planned to debut the Surface Mini alongside the Surface Pro 3. I’ve heard from people with knowledge of the matter that the decision was made close to the cusp, making the mistakes funny, if not particularly surprising.
Keep in mind that Microsoft also slipped up — perhaps the accident wasn’t much of an accident — and outed the coming Surface Pro 3 before its official announcement.
Today, of course, marks the first day of general availability for the Pro 3. Hence the user guide. Does this mean the Surface Mini will go on sale in the future? No. But it does underscore how far along the device got before it hit the weeds.
Is a smaller Surface a good idea? There has been success by some — the Dell Venue Pro 8 comes to mind — in selling smaller Windows-based tablet devices. However, given the Surface line’s focus on keyboards, and docs, and the ability to do more than consume content, the smaller form factor is slightly hard to parse.
Just for fun: