Surface Tablet Here, but Pro Version Still to Come

By Lori Castle, Editor in Chief — October 29, 2012

Microsoft officially launched its new “PC,” and the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT (a new OS) is now available for purchase at all Microsoft retail and online stores in the United States and Canada.  

Designed to be the stage for Windows RT, Surface provides an “immersive entertainment experience and a foundation for getting things done,” according to Microsoft. The tablet device’s starting price is $499. A type cover in black for $129.99, which adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel, can also be purchased.

First unveiled in June, Surface represents an extension of the Windows experience, enabling work, play and connection with others. The company offered pre-ordered sales with the promise of shipping on launch date, but it’s being reported that some customers received emails stating that the shipment will be delayed.

This version is clearly positioned for home and student use, but Microsoft does have an enterprise version slated. It’s unclear why the company chose to launch Surface with Windows RT before Surface with Window 8 Pro. Microsoft’s website simply says “coming soon” on the Pro’s page.

The effect on the enterprise of the Pro version is hard to predict, but there is speculation that the fact the device will run all Windows 7 desktop applications versus the sheer consumption capabilities of iPad will make it a desirable device for businesses.

Surface with Windows RT Specs

  • OS: Windows RT; Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote). Works exclusively with apps available in the Windows Store.
  • Exterior: 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches; 1.5 pounds; VaporMg casing; dark titanium color; start, volume and power buttons
  • Storage: 32 GB or 64 GB of eMMC storage
  • CPU: NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30; 2 GB of RAM
  • Display: 10.6 inches, 1366 x 768
  • Wireless connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • Cameras and A/V: Front and rear-facing 720p HD cameras; two microphones, stereo speakers
  • Ports: One USB 2.0 microSDXC card slot, headset jack, HD video out port, cover port
  • Sensors: Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope and compass
  • Power supply: 24W power supply
Surface with Windows 8 Pro – Coming Soon
  • OS: Runs current Windows 7 desktop applications and integrates with your existing enterprise management infrastructure. Uses the programs and the apps available in the Windows Store
  • Exterior: 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53 inches; 2 pounds; VaporMg casing; Dark Titanium color; volume and power buttons
  • Storage: 64GB and 128GB; formatted storage capacity may be less
  • Display: 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD Display, 1920x1080 pixels, 16:9 (widescreen) and 10-point multi-touch
  • Pen input: Pen input and pen included with purchase
  • CPU: Third generation Intel Core i5 Processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB RAM and dual channel memory
  • Wireless connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology
  • Battery: 42 W-h
  • Cameras and A/V: Two 720p HD LifeCams, front and rear-facing with TruColor microphone and stereo speakers
  • Ports: Full-size USB 3.0 microSDXC card slot, headset jack and mini displayPort cover port
  • Sensors: Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope and compass
  • Power supply: 48W power supply (including 5W USB for accessory charging)
  • Apps included: Windows mail and messaging; SkyDrive; Internet Explorer 10; Bing; Xbox, music, video and games.
Windows 8
Microsoft also announced the global availability of Windows 8. The OS is said to have a new user interface and a wide range of applications with the grand opening of the Windows Store. As a result of close work with hardware partners, more than 1,000 certified PCs and tablets are available for the launch of Windows 8. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said, “Windows 8 brings together the best of the PC and the tablet for work and play.”

Windows 8 will be available for download to upgrade existing PCs in more than 140 markets and 37 languages. At retail, Windows 8 will be available in two primary versions — Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro — as well as Windows 8 Enterprise for large organizations. A technical analysis of the product can be found here.


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