Microsoft today announced its Surface Windows 8 Pro will be available for purchase on Feb. 9, 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 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. A Surface pen with Palm Block technology, designed specifically to work with Surface is included with Surface Windows 8 Pro. Microsoft will charge $120 extra if you want a Touch Cover or $130 for a Type cover. Those are the screen covers Microsoft offers for its tablets, which also function as physical keyboards.
Redmond is also increasing the availability of Surface RT, Microsoft’s ARM based convertables that start at $499. They come bundled with Microsoft Office but don’t run Windows 7 applications. In the coming weeks, RT devices will go on sale in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Paul Thurrott has a review of the Windows Surface Pro while Anandtech compares the platforms. Lilliputing reviews Windows 8 machines that run on Intel Atom processors, which can sometimes be cost-competitive with ARM-based RT devices.