Microsoft's Surface RT comes to 13 new European markets

After landing in France, Germany and the UK last year, the Surface RT is now spreading its wings in Europe.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

More than three months after Microsoft launched Surface RT in the UK and other European markets the device is now taking on several new countries on the continent.

Thirteen new European markets will get the RT including Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Portugal. There's no word on when Europe will get RT's Intel cousin, the Surface Pro, which launched earlier this month in the US.

The pricing for the devices varies country by country: Irish consumers can get a 32GB device for €479, while Swedes will need to shell out 4495 krona (€532) for the same model, for example.

Besides now reaching around half of Europe's total population, the new RT markets are ones where consumers are unlikely to have interacted with Microsoft's new Windows 8 interface on a tablet, despite Windows 8 tablets from Microsoft's hardware partners like Acer, Dell and Samsung being available.

The Surface RT could be about to change that: even with the mixed reviews, there's no end of marketing and hype around the Surface and retailers are trumpeting the arrival of the Windows 8 tablet.

Retailer Siba's site shows off the arrival of the RT. Image: Siba/Liam Tung

Take Sweden as an example: the country's three largest retailers El Giganten, Siba and MediaMarkt for the first time promoted a Windows 8 tablet on their respective homepages. None have done anything close to that for Microsoft's ODM partners whose tablets have been swamped by Androids and out-promoted by Apple's tablets.

The Surface RT also addresses the lack of diversity when it comes to retailers' Windows 8 options. Again, using Sweden as an example, the two new Surface RT will double the Windows 8 tablet presence in El Giganten.

Until now, Swedes wanting Windows 8 would have to content themselves with non-Surface offerings. Microsoft, alongside partner Intel, showcased a range of Windows 8 tablets in a pop-up shop in the country's capital Stockholm over Christmas. The ARM-powered RT, surprisingly, wasn't one of them.

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