"the Surface Neo is still officially positioned as a work in progress, with no word yet on whether Intel's move will change anything on that front."
Have you got this the wrong way around? Has the Neo been cancelled, behind the scenes, and that's why Intel has pulled the plug on the chip?
Bonus points: Intel publicly cancelling the chip before Microsoft publicly cancels the Neo means Microsoft can use the public announcement of the cancellation of the chip as the public-facing reason why the Neo has been cancelled even though, privately, the only reason the chip has been cancelled is because Microsoft have pulled their contract without making this private knowledge public and as now, both privately and publicly, the chip has no buyers, Intel have announced the cancellation publicly allowing Microsoft to tell the public the Neo has been cancelled and use their behind-the-scenes private cancellation of the Neo as the justification for it's public cancellation. Simples.
And if I managed all those "publiclies" without a single "pubicly" I've done well.