With the Surface RT struggling to pick up momentum and sales in the tablet market, Microsoft desperately needs to call upon plan B, and in a move that’ll no doubt inject a little life into the Surface brand, the software maker has revealed pricing details of the upcoming Surface Pro. Unlike the current slate, it will run on Windows 8 Pro rather than the – for lack of a better phrase – watered-down offering in Windows RT. Legacy apps will be supported on the Intel-powered device, meaning those looking to really get some use out of the Surface won’t need to rely on the very, very slim pickings over at the Windows Store.
So, how much is the Surface Pro going to cost? Well, as of January, the Surface with Windows 8 Pro will be available in two configurations – 64GB and 128GB. The entry-level model will weigh in at $899, while the 128GB will set consumers back $999, and both will ship with the Surface pen. The Touch Cover or Type Cover are optional extras, but considering the status of the Surface Pro – it’s ability to run Legacy apps – grabbing one of those two covers would seem to make a great deal of sense. Both double up as keyboards, and as a side-note, although the Touch Cover is the slicker of the two, the lack of any sort of feedback when using it will take a bit of getting used to.
Microsoft’s decision to release the pricing right now – almost in conjunction with reports of the Surface RT’s struggle just a month in – looks to have been a move to deflect negative attention and instill some faith in the Surface brand. The news of the pricing and availability of the Surface Pro were revealed by Microsoft on the TechNet blog, but the company’s statement of “we are excited about both Surface with Windows RT and Surface with Windows 8 Pro” does very little to inspire. Sales of the first Surface have been “modest,” as per Steve Ballmer, and with Microsoft reportedly cutting orders by half just four weeks in, the Redmond company’s tablet needs a lifeline from somewhere.
The Surface Pro may just provide that. With a Core i5 processor, 1920×1080 full HD display, and full-size USB 3.0 port, the Surface Pro is every bit the PC, and as an admirer of the innovative nature of Windows 8, I do hope Microsoft can gather some momentum in the mobile market.