Following the pattern it set with its Surface RT launch in October 2012, Microsoft is planning to launch its Surface Pro devices just before midnight the day before they'll be commercially available.
On Friday, February 8, Microsoft is holding a private evening reception for select guests before the event, and then holding the formal launch just before midnight, February 9, at the Best Buy in Union Square in New York City. The invited guests will be among the first people eligible to buy the new Surface Pros -- or, as Microsoft calls them officially, the "Surface Windows 8 Pros."
Microsoft's General Manager of Surface Team, Panos Panay, will be on hand, as will members of the Windows team, according to a copy of the invitation that I saw. (I am not invited to the reception, myself, as it is not for press, I was told.)
Microsoft held its Surface RT launch at the now-shuttered Times Square Microsoft pop-up store.
Microsoft officials said earlier this month that the Surface Pro would be commercially available starting on February 9. I've asked the company if and when pre-orders will begin for Surface Pros and have received no response to my query.
The Surface Pro is an Intel-based hybrid PC/tablet that Microsoft is positioning more as an ultrabook than a tablet. It will have half the battery life of the Surface RT, due to its use of an Intel Core i5 chip. But it will be more powerful and have a better display than its Surface RT sibling. Prices for the Surface Pro start at $899.
The Surface Pros will be sold in the U.S. and Canada through all Microsoft retail stores, microsoftstore.com and at Staples and Best Buy in the U.S., as well as from "a number of locations in Canada," according to the company.