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Microsoft Surface Pro finally gets a release date


January 22, 2013

Microsoft will release the Surface with Windows 8 Pro on February 9

Microsoft will release the Surface with Windows 8 Pro on February 9

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In late October, when Microsoft released the Windows RT version of Surface, the company estimated that the Windows 8 Pro version would arrive about 90 days later. Well, Microsoft didn't quite hit its own target, but it didn't miss by much. Today the company finally revealed a firm ship date for the Surface Pro: February 9.

High stakes

With the release date mystery solved, the biggest remaining mystery is whether the tablet will gain any traction with customers.

Early indicators point to the Windows RT Surface being a sales dud, with even bombastic CEO Steve Ballmer admitting that sales were "modest." The limited Windows Store and confusing operating system have forced Microsoft to pin all of its (short-term) tablet hopes on the Pro version.

A new – but pricey – hope

It's not a bad product to pin your hopes on. Surface Pro is a more logical extension of the company's "PC Plus" vision, allowing customers to run desktop Windows apps. It sports the same slick – though slightly beefier – design as the Surface RT, and uses the same (optional) keyboard accessories.

The Windows 8 Pro Surface has a sharper 10.6-inch display than its ARM-based cousin (1920 x 1080 vs. 1366 x 768). It also packs an Intel Core i5 processor, though Microsoft is mum on the chip's speed.

The Surface Pro's price, though, makes it less of an iPad rival, and more of a MacBook Air or Ultrabook rival. It starts at US$900 for the 64 GB version. For 128 GB, you'll need to pony up $1000. Neither price includes the tablet's keyboard, which will add at least an extra $120.

Will Surface Pro prove Microsoft's belated mobile strategy a success? Or will the tablet's MacBook-like price limit it to the Redmond faithful and enterprise customers? Stay tuned.

Source: Microsoft, via AllThingsD

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Before finding a home at Gizmag, he had stints at a number of other sites, including Android Central, Geek and the Huffington Post. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica. All articles by Will Shanklin

I would think that with its abilities and it's dimensions and the fact that it has been designed by Microsoft to work with windows it is possible that the macbook style price is actually legitimate. Unless they have screwed it up badly this is potentially the closest thing that you could get to a macbook air without getting an Apple machine.

Ro Atkinson

This is ought to be the strongest tablet ever made till date but due to its steep price ,it might be a setback for many. Microsoft might have power packed it inside but it still runs on windows and its app market is smaller than the huge Android market which might make it short on variety on apps available. Well let's just hope for the best. But must say Microsoft, its specs can make anyone go WOW

Tanay Sharma

Can you run an external monitor with it?

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