There are a couple of reasons given for this abrupt turnaround.
Microsoft supposedly sold just 500,000 Surface Books a year ago, but the number is expected to go up to 1.2 million to 1.5 million in 2017. However, Microsoft is highly-expected to eradicate majority of the weaknesses found in its current model of Surface Pro with the incorporation of Intel's latest-generation processing chipset.
They added that the Surface Book 2 is also expected to have a traditional clamshell design like standard laptops rather than the two-in-one design the Surface has been known for since its inception. The alleged impetus behind such a decision is that Microsoft needs a lower-priced Surface Book to spur demand for today's low-volume and pricey models, and that the Surface Book cuts into sales of the Surface Pro 4. Primarily a notebook, it's 13.5-inch display can be detached to form a digital "clipboard" for use with the Surface Pen stylus. Even its chassis is likely going to be composed of the same magnesium-aluminum alloy.
Digitimes says that users will see what the software giant has planned for the Microsoft Surface Book 2 by the end of this month or April.
This makes the Microsoft Surface Book 2 a regular notebook without being detachable or even sporting the fulcrum hinge.
However, customers might be surprised as it was not the Microsoft Surface Book 2 that they were expecting.
Either way, it looks like Microsoft is simply making an effort to make a distinction of its product lines to highlight their offerings' respective strengths while boosting the demand. And, at 1.6 pounds (without the keyboard case), it's even lighter than the base model Surface Pro 4 with the M3 processor, which weighs almost 1.7 pounds. Second, because the fact that it had a detachable tablet meant that there was product confusion between the Surface Book and Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet lineup. One thing Microsoft is not changing is the display size.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that consumers and Businesses alike hate flaky companies constantly shifting strategies like season-to-season fashion. The very same company builds the new Surface Studio.