Microsoft Surface Pro Launches On Feb. 9

Microsoft already released one Surface tablet back in October, and preparations for its second are essentially done. On Tuesday the company announced that the Surface Windows 8 Pro will launch on Feb. 9, starting at $899. That's actually later than rumors were suggesting, but it's still only a little more than two weeks away.

The Surface Pro features an Intel Core i5 processor and is capable of running the full suite of Windows programs and Windows 8 software. Additionally, it'll also be able to run Windows 7 desktop applications. Prospective buyers will be able to choose between two models: a 64GB tablet for $899 and a 128GB machine for $999.

The new tablet comes packed with a stylus, but unfortunately the keyboard retails separately. There are two kinds available here as well - the Touch Cover features touch-based typing with no buttons to press ($120), while the Type Cover has physical buttons like a standard keyboard ($130).  

"The response to Surface has been exciting to see," said Panos Panay, general manager, Microsoft Surface. "We're thrilled to continue growing the Surface family with the availability of Surface Windows 8 Pro on Feb. 9 and by increasing the number of places customers can experience Surface firsthand."

To coincide with the October launch of Windows 8, Microsoft released its first tablet, the Surface RT, for $499. Unlike the Surface Pro, the Surface RT cannot run full-featured Windows 8 software; instead it maintains a lower price by taking advantage of a more barebones version of the operating system designed specifically for mobile devices. Whereas the Surface Pro is essentially a laptop in the form of a tablet, the Surface RT sacrifices features in favor of battery life and pricing.

For more information on the differences between Windows 8 and Windows RT, check out our article here.

When the Surface RT launched, it was only available through Microsoft stores, but the company stated today that it's expanding production and launching the tablet in 13 other countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Unfortunately, those still waiting for a global Surface Pro launch are going to have to wait a little longer.

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