The cold, dreaded hands of Microsoft devices and services boss Stephen Elop are now apparently responsible for killing off another product. Bloomberg is reporting that Elop, who most famously ordered the death of the once-dominant Symbian platform during his tenure as Nokia’s CEO, was responsible for axing a smaller, cheaper version of Microsoft’s Surface tablet that was tentatively called the Surface mini.
Bloomberg’s sources say Elop was worried that the smaller Surface didn’t do enough to differentiate itself from smaller tablets such as the iPad mini and the Nexus 7 and would thus be a flop comparable to the first-generation Surface RT. Speaking of the Surface RT, Bloomberg also notes that shipping a device that runs on Windows RT is basically a nonstarter at this point since all major OEMs have abandoned it and it doesn’t have anywhere near the number of apps that Windows 8 has.
So for now it looks as though Microsoft is making a bet on bigger tablets that are priced on the high end of the market. Whether this works is anyone’s guess, although we should note that all of the recent data we’ve seen indicates that the market for smaller tablets is growing much faster than the market for big tablets, so going only with bigger tablets does seem like a somewhat risky strategy on Microsoft’s part.