Even before the Surface Pro 2 was released, rumors suggested Microsoft was working on a Mini version of its Windows tablet. Such talk spilled over into 2014 and by mid-year, we were certain we'd see the smaller slate show up on stage during Microsoft's "small gathering" on May 20.

Instead, Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro 3 in what's been described as a last-minute decision to hold back the Mini.

Was the Mini ever even a real tablet to begin with or was it simply the creation of rumor?

All signs suggest it was indeed real and was to be unveiled at the May 20 event. For example, the Surface Pro 3 user guide is littered with references to the Mini - clearly not a typo or an overlook.

So, where does that leave the Mini now?

Microsoft's recent earnings report sheds a bit of light on the matter. In the hardware section, the company notes that its current year cost of revenue included Surface inventory adjustments resulting from their transition to newer generation devices and a decision to not ship a new form factor.

That new form factor likely refers to the Surface Mini. And if that's the case, it sounds a lot like Microsoft has officially killed off the device for good. The only question that reminds is, why exactly did Microsoft decide to pull the Mini from the May 20 event and shelf it permanently?