Will Microsoft abandon the 10" tablet market?

Paul Thurrott's analysis rhymes with what has been in the minds of some Tribe members after the surprise SP3 unveil.

Thurrott:

I do think Surface mini will make it to market, perhaps as soon as this fall. And that Microsoft's original vision for the third generation of Surface devices—Surface Pro 3 and Surface mini—will eventually wipe the old Surface lineup away for good.

http://windowsitpro.com/microsoft-surface/microsofts-surface-has-new-mission

So the Surface lineup would look something like this:

Surface3_zps7596d9a5_medium

So no "regular" 10" Surface going forward. And no laptop (gawd no, that would completely undermine the whole reason for the SP3 to exist). Only 12" Pro and 8" mini.

Nadella:

We're not interested in competing with our OEMs when it comes to hardware. In fact, our goal is to create new categories and spark new demand for our entire ecosystem. That's what inspires us and motivates us with what we're doing in our devices and hardware. Today is a major milestone on that journey.

I think Thurrott is right. And I think it makes sense. The "classic" iPad market is over-crowded with no OEM other than Apple able to reap any tangible benefits. And that size people don't really want a tablet that can do more, but a light media tablet. In other words they want an iPad. Hey, I own a Surface 2 and I think it's the best computer I have ever used, but it's definitely not for the masses. That said, I look forward to carrying the Surface 8" as a light media consumption tablet (phablets are venturing into this territory as well), and a SP3 or similar as my productivity machine.

What are the Tribe's thought on this strategy? Does it fit your needs?

Do you still have a need for a 10" tablet? Why or why not?

My main question about this strategy is: How will the Surface 8" differentiate itself from the slew of existing 8" Windows tablets? I have some ideas:

- Superior pen input and OneNote integration (Office Gemini unveil?)

- Superior battery performance due to ARM (instead of Atom)

- Higher resolution than the Lenovo Thinkpad 8 (1080p)?

The question is whether the Surface mini will "kill" or at least threaten the competition rather than spring innovation, which is what Nadella wants. Thurrott suggests Microsoft might be "retooling" the Surface mini for this very purpose.