Microsoft targets end of May for expanded Surface Pro availability

Microsoft targets end of May for expanded Surface Pro availability

Summary: Microsoft is broadening availability of its Surface Pro PC/tablet hybrids during May and June, officials are saying.


After a couple of months of silence, Microsoft officials are sharing more about expansion plans for the company's Surface devices.


Surface Pro will launch before the end of May in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. It will launch in Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, and Thailand before the end of June, according to an April 23 post on the Surface Blog.

Surface Pro distribution issues have plagued Microsoft since the company initially launched the devices in early February 2013.

In late February, Microsoft officials said the plan was to make its Surface Pro PC/tablet hybrid available in Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United Kingdom "in the coming months."

On April 4, the Surface Pro launched in China. But as of April 17, it still had not launched in any of the other geographies listed above.

According to a report last week citing a Microsoft official as the source, South Africa isn't going to get Microsoft Surfaces until some time in the second half of 2013. (Thanks to @Alcor_ZA for the link.) The News24 report doesn't distinguish between Surface RT, the ARM-based Surface with better battery life, and the Surface Pro. Microsoft has been rolling out Surface RTs in an increasing number of countries in recent months.

The Surface Pro is the second member of the Microsoft Surface PC/tablet family. The Intel Core i5-based Surface Pro gets between four to five hours of battery life, on average. Pricing starts at $899 for the 64 GB model. Some believe the 64 GB model has proven less popular because it provides only 32 GB of storage. The 128 GB model, which starts at $999, provides 96 GB of user-available storage.

Microsoft had problems keeping the 128 GB models of the Surface Pro in stock at its own Microsoft Stores, as well as in the stores of its launch partners. Today's blog post from the Surface team says these supply issues have been resolved.

Today's post also says Microsoft is expanding further distribution of the Surface RT. From the post:

"Surface RT will launch in Malaysia on April 25th, in Mexico by the end of May and in Korea and Thailand in June.This expansion will result in Surface RT being available in 29 markets. For those that are counting, it’s already available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States."

Topics: Microsoft Surface, Microsoft, Tablets, PCs, Windows 8


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • All I want to know is

    How many times do they have to fail before we can call the product a failure?
    • Surface Pro = Profitable?

      Just for it's worth, some guy on Forbes thinks that the Surface may become a profitable (albeit small) business for Microsoft.
      • Surface plan

        I think MS is willing to take a small loss on Surface 1.
        1. The engineering will pay dividends on future products (Surface 2, a phone??, even the evaporated magnesium product could be used in mice and keyboards, xbox, televisions, etc)
        2. The surface is forcing traditional makers to rethink how they make PCs. For some, sexy is the primary feature. If HP/Dell can learn to be sexy, then they may survive.
    • A failure?

      What makes this a failure? Because it hasn't sold as many as an iPad?

      What are your criteria for failure when it comes to a laptop-tablet?
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Is iPad the only tablet out there?

        What about Android?

        “Laptop-tablet”, ha, that is a joke like the “Desktop-Tablet OS” aka Windows 8 aka “The Freak-show Reimagined“…

        People who want to buy tablets, buy tablets. People who want laptops buy laptops. People who believe in Unicorns buy Surface devices.
        • Android sells fewer than iPad

          Actually, we know that the last time checked there were over 400k Surface Pro sales. That isn't great, but it's hardly 0.

          There are more Surface Pro sales than Chromebook sales, and I'd hardly call that a failure either.
          Michael Alan Goff
          • I think that's a pretty good number

            400,000 was the number sold a month after launch in only 3 countries.
            Also remember Surface Pro starts at $899... not exactly cheap. This represents at least $350 million in revenue after a single month.
          • Actually higher than that.

            Most buyers want the 128GB drive and the Type Cover, bringing it up to $1129.98 plus tax and shipping. It's a nice, expensive gadget (I have one), but it's not for everyone. As tablets go, it ain't no iPad (I have one of those, too.) But you should really think of the Surface Pro as a 2 lb. ultrabook with a 10.8" retina-class touch screen with true stylus capability, because that's what it really is. It can drive a 24" HDMI monitor with a full-size bluetooth keyboard and mouse at Core i5 speed, or you can use it as a tablet, although Windows 8 is not really ready for prime time yet.
          • Why comparing with chromebooks?!

            You have something that plays in a market of many thousand - not sure how many tablets are being sold a month, bit I'm sure it's big. Then you have something that is trying to push a new type of computing.
            Surface sales should be compared in 2 ways imo - against tablet sales and against hardware sales. In the tablet market surface is a failure, hardware wise MS is doing ok - but do they want to compete with OEMs?!
          • Tablets are a bad comparison

            As was Chromebooks.

            MBA/Ultrabook sales are a better comparison, since that's what the Surface Pro basically is.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Android Sells More Than Ipad

            Android has already taken more than 50% of the tablet market.
          • Theoretically, yes, Android does sell more

            But every time net use stats are brought out, Android tablets are seen as being used less.

            Michael Alan Goff
        • Ah yes

          mil7, anti-Microsoft to the last. I think people would have a coronary if you ever said anything good about this Company or the Products it makes. ** GRAIN OF SALT ** people when you read anything from mil7
          • Prepare for a heart attack

            I said that Microsoft has one of the Best Operating System out there (kernel/core wise) and it only got better with Windows 8/Server 2012 (kernel/core wise).

            I also said they have a few of the best engineers out there, unfortunately ruled by some deranged management.

            So how am I anti-MS?
          • Ignore him

            Some people believe it's all one or the other. You either love something 100% or you hate it.

            Not worth the response you gave, to be honest.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • I think your posts are reasonable

            But Windows kernel is far from great, let's see how many times MS had to "rework" something because their core was not enough - wp7 vs wp8, CE, their embedded OS the same....
            Linux is much more scalable and future proof.
            I don't know about windows8 but I doubt it will be very different.
          • And I do not know a lot about Linux

            I didn’t make that remark as a comparison to the Linux kernel. Actually I just started looking at Linux in a serious way just now, so I cannot express an opinion on that.

            What I am saying though is that the Windows NT kernel has improved over the years with great supporting for multithreading (Overlapped IO, Completion Ports, specialized threadpools) lots of goodies that I have learned to rely on for great performance over the years. The Windows 8 has added a lot of extra goodies, to name one it extended the control of the process groups down to the CPU throttling etc. It is also getting more and more modular, so they are heading the right direction and it is a joy to develop on.

            Of course when it comes to this UI travesty (Metro on the desktop) and mixed messages, I am getting nervous about the outcome, so far so bad. All these good efforts in the core are seem to getting covered by marketing mistakes.

            Looking into the future I want to learn more about Linux and compare it based on my applications (speed and API richness) before I will be able to express an honest opinion on the subject. You will need to give me at least 2 to 3 years ;)

            But the Steam engine port efforts seem very interesting as well as the results they achieved.
        • Finally! mil7 concedes that Macs are a failure!

          given they've sold far less the their closest competitor.
          William Farrel
        • In denial

          Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better. The truth is just as mobiles became more and more powerful that's how tablets will become more and more powerful and they are fast approaching a point where having a mobile phone OS on them is going to be a total waste. What will be the point of having quad core + processors with gigs and gigs of ram but then just a mobile OS to run on it. When we get to that point Apple will realize and merge iOS and OSX and Microsoft will already have been there for a long time.
          • Your logic is

            Amazing…so if my tablet or phone was to have 32 cores and 64GB of memory in the future as well as a few GPUs capable of some great compute power (for whatever reasons), according to your logic, why do I need a desktop OS either, let’s just install a server grade OS. Maybe a few VMs while you are at it too…

            I cannot wait to get my Surface DataCenter Edition, or even better a Windows DataCenter Phone version…it will be the DataCenter in your pocket. You may find all these 10GBit Ethernet cables coming out of your trousers a bit annoying though, but hey at least you are running the right OS edition.