While the US and Canada will see Microsoft's Surface Windows 8 Pro launch on 9 February, Australia sees only a stand-alone version of the 64GB RT model and new accessories join the local line-up.
New Touch Covers, new storage, no Windows 8 Pro yet.
Microsoft has announced the arrival of Surface Windows 8 Pro overnight in the US, starting at a price of US$899. But this morning, a local announcement has not introduced the eagerly awaited Pro version for Australia. Instead, Microsoft has added only the Surface Windows RT 64GB model to the local range, also available from 9 February.
New "limited edition" Touch Cover options and a new Surface Edition Wedge Touch Mouse have also been announced. The new Touch Cover options feature laser-etched designs in cyan, magenta and red.
The "Pro" model of the Surface runs on an Intel Core i5 processor instead of RT's Nvidia SoC. This allows the Pro to run a full version of Windows 8, which allows the user to run all Windows software instead of only software available through the Windows RT App Store. The Surface Windows 8 Pro will also include a Surface Pen, a stylus that includes "Palm Block" technology so your hand doesn't continue to act as an input if you lean down while writing or drawing.
The news of a stand-alone Surface Windows RT 64GB model removes the requirement to buy the device with a Touch Cover, effectively reducing the entry price for the larger-capacity option. Given that Windows RT takes up almost half of the available memory on the 32GB version, the 64GB is a more attractive option — but the requirement to buy with Microsoft's Touch Cover added AU$120 to the price of the 32GB model when bundled. There has not been a confirmation on the final price for the stand-alone 64GB model.