If Microsoft wants the Surface Mini to showcase the company's new "device and services" mantra, preloading the device with big ol' Live Tiles for Xbox Smartglass, Microsoft's Video and Music stores, OneNote, Bing Health, and perhaps Microsoft Consumer Reader and Office beta apps would certainly do the trick—content consumption and content creation, all running in Modern-style apps, all powered by Microsoft's cloud. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stressed the importance of mixing serious work with serious fun in the Windows ecosystem last July.
When it comes down to brass tacks, we're not sure what the Surface Mini will look like—or if it's even happening-—until May 20. One thing is certain even today, however: There's an almost disappointing degree of uniformity in the 8-inch Windows tablet world. The Surface's trademark keyboard accessories will have a tough time transitioning to the cramped world of small slates, but the Surface Mini needs some sort of killer app if it hopes to stand out in this increasingly crowded field.
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