Microsoft’s entry into the tablet market was kicked off last year with the Surface RT. A lot of people held off, with the knowledge that we would see a Surface Pro early this year, complete with legacy desktop app support. Overnight Microsoft announced the online and limited retail availability of Surface Pro, but only in the US and Canada on February 9th, 2013.
While this doesn’t mean we won’t get Surface Pro down under, it does mean we are not included in the extremely short list of launch countries. It’s unclear if this was always the plan or a reaction to slow sales of Surface RT or even a shortage of stock. The Aussie site for Surface Pro simply lists ‘Coming soon’, while the US site now has the date.
Expect an eBay explosion of international trades as those enthusiast who want a Surface Pro strive to get one. At best it’s likely to be months before a follow up announcement of an expansion of release countries. This will disappoint a lot of eager Microsoft fans who waited.
The RRP of Surface Pro starts at US$899 and comes in in 64GB and 128GB models. There are some important differences between RT and Pro, like Core i5 CPU (up from ARM), 10 points of multi-touch (up from 5), the inclusion of a stylus and USB3.0 (up from USB2.0). Even more important is that this does not include Office 2013 as the Surface RT does, also battery life is expected to be much less.