So it won't arrive in January as originally planned, but better a little late than never, right? Microsoft just announced that its Surface Pro tablet will go on sale February 9th in the US and Canada, with wide retail availability beyond just Microsoft.com and Microsoft Stores. As you may have already read, the device will start at $899 for the 64GB model, and $999 for the 128GB version. Whichever you choose, a pressure-sensitive pen comes in the box; the keyboard does not (that'll be $120 or $130, depending on whether you get the Touch or Type Cover).
Also on February 9th, Microsoft is going to start offering a 64GB standalone version of Surface for Windows RT for $599 (the 64GB model is currently sold as part of a $699 bundle with the black Touch Cover). That's good news, we suppose, for folks who prefer the tactile feel of the Type keyboard. Or, you know, who have their heart set on cyan. Additionally, Surface RT will soon be available in 13 more markets: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. All told, that more than doubles the number of a countries where the Surface RT is sold. So, Western Europe should pretty much be set now.
Finally, in addition to those two tablets, Microsoft is introducing a bunch of accessories, also slated to land February 9th. These include three limited edition Touch Covers with funky patterns drawn on (we don't know about you, but we especially dig the skulls). It's not unlike the way Microsoft already sells artsy versions of its computer mice; indeed, a Microsoft rep told us the company intends to release even more special editions, the same way it keeps swapping in new mouse colors. Finally, Microsoft also announced the Wedge Touch Mouse Surface Edition, which is basically the regular Wedge mouse, just done up in the same finish as the Surface tablets. That will cost $70, while the limited edition keyboards are priced at $130 a pop. Hopefully we'll be hitting you back soon with a full review but for now, we've got shots of both the tablet and the new accessories waiting just past the break.
Microsoft Grows Surface Family
Announces Surface Windows 8 Pro availability, market expansion and new accessories.
REDMOND, Wash. - Jan. 22, 2013 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that its Surface family of PCs is growing. Its newest model - Surface Windows 8 Pro - will be available for purchase on Feb. 9, 2013, in the United States and Canada at all Microsoft retail stores, microsoftstore.com, Staples and Best Buy in the U.S., as well as from a number of locations in Canada.
Powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, Surface Windows 8 Pro provides the power and performance of a laptop in a tablet package. Perfect as your one device - at home, in the office, or on the road - it can run Windows 8 applications, as well as current Windows 7 desktop applications. Starting at an estimated retail price of US$899, Surface Windows 8 Pro will be available in 64GB and 128GB models 1. A Surface pen with Palm Block technology, designed specifically to work with Surface to let customers edit, collaborate and get things done, is included with Surface Windows 8 Pro.
In addition to being able to buy Surface Windows 8 Pro in the coming weeks, customers will soon be able to purchase Surface Windows RT in 13 additional markets worldwide 2, more than double the number of markets in which Surface is currently available.
"The response to Surface has been exciting to see," said Panos Panay, general manager, Microsoft Surface. "We're thrilled to continue growing the Surface family with the availability of Surface Windows 8 Pro on Feb. 9 and by increasing the number of places customers can experience Surface firsthand."
Additional Surface accessories will also soon be available, allowing customers to further personalize and customize their computing experience and get more done with Surface.
o. Surface Windows RT will be available in a new 64GB1 standalone version for an estimated retail price of US$599 to allow customers the option of selecting a Cover of their choice.
o. Three new Touch Cover Limited Editions in red, magenta and cyan will be sold at an estimated retail price of US$129.99.
o. Customers will have the option of purchasing a Wedge Touch Mouse, Surface Edition, for an estimated retail price of US$69.95 in all markets in which Surface is currently sold3 with additional markets to follow in the coming weeks.
Additional details on Surface are available at http://www.Surface.com and Surface on Facebook. Those interested can follow Surface or Panay on Twitter for additional updates.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.