Microsoft Surface Pro arrives Down Under in May

Release follows launch of Surface RT by seven months

The Microsoft Surface tablet aimed at businesses, Surface Pro, is coming to Australia by the end of May, Microsoft has announced.

Microsoft didn’t release Australian pricing for the Surface Pro. In the US, the Microsoft Surface Pro with 64GB sells for US$899 for the 64GB version and US$999 for the 128GB, not including the keyboard cover. JB Hi-Fi currently sells the Surface Touch Cover for $139.95 and the more traditional keyboard Type Cover for $149.95.

Surface Pro is currently only available in the US, Canada and China. The Microsoft Surface RT, which is loaded with the Windows RT software instead of full Windows 8, launched in Australia in late October. A 64GB version of Surface RT was released in February.

The regular Surface is only capable of running apps downloaded from the Windows Store, whereas the Surface Pro can run regular Windows 7 and Windows 8 programs. The Surface Pro also includes a faster Intel-based process, more storage (64GB-128GB), full HD resolution (1920x1080 pixels) and a USB 3.0 port.

However, the Pro is also slightly thicker (13.4mm) and heavier (903g) than the RT (9.33m, 676g).

Telsyte analyst Rodney Gedda said recently he believes the Surface Pro is more likely to attract businesses, but the price could scare some people away.

“Microsoft can put its marketing weight behind the Pro as a device that runs 'real' Windows applications and is hence more suited to businesses," Gedda said.

"If the device is upwards of the $1000 mark it’s unlikely the Surface Pro will fly off the shelves as that would make it one of the most expensive tablets on the market without 3G connectivity."

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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