Microsoft's Surface Pro Windows 8 Tablet Goes on Sale Feb. 9
Although it’s slightly behind schedule, Microsoft is hoping that enterprises make room for its Intel-powered slate, which has won kudos from industry watchers for its ability to bring desktop performance into a tablet form factor.Surface Pro, Microsoft's Intel Core i5-powered slate that runs Windows 8 Pro, will go on sale on Saturday, Feb. 9, in the United States and Canada. Microsoft's physical and online stores, as well as Staples and Best Buy (in the U.S.), will carry the device. The software giant also took the opportunity to unveil three limited edition Touch Covers (in red, magenta and cyan) that cost $129.99 each and the new Wedge Touch Mouse, Surface Edition, which sells for $69.95. Microsoft also announced that it is expanding Surface RT distribution to 13 European markets, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Surface Pro will arrive at retail outlets two weeks after the company's initial release estimate. Microsoft originally planned to ship Surface Pro approximately 90 days after Surface RT went on sale. The company appeared to be on track as of last week when Panos Panay, general manager of Microsoft Surface, was scheduled to inspect the first Surface Pro tablets that rolled off the assembly line. On Jan. 13 he tweeted, "On my way to the factory to check out #Surface Pro coming off the line ... arriving in the coming weeks."
Unlike the company's ARM-based RT iteration of the tablet, Surface Pro has an x86 microarchitecture that enables it to not only to run the full desktop version of Windows, but also an extensive library of Windows software. To lure business users and PC enthusiasts, Microsoft boasts that Surface Pro "can run Windows 8 applications as well as current Windows 7 desktop applications."