Microsoft targets end of May for expanded Surface Pro availability

Microsoft is broadening availability of its Surface Pro PC/tablet hybrids during May and June, officials are saying.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

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."

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