Microsoft announced pricing for Surface

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Microsoft has announced pricing for the ARM powered Surface tablet. This move confirms the October 26th availability, in line with Microsoft's SEC filing, which will coincide with the release of Windows 8. This announcement was made ahead of Apple's own invite to an event where many believe an iPad Mini will be be announced, what's more the Surface prices, per Gigabyte of storage, undercuts the pricing of the 'New' iPad. However, it could still face stiff competition from the £199 Nexus 7 running the Android operating system. The Surface tablet comes in three options: 32GB (£399 / $499), 32GB with touch cover (£479 / $599), and 64GB with touch cover (£559 / $699), you can pre-order from this link.

As we described in our original report, the Surface has two types of cover which both double as a keyboard. The 'Touch Cover' gives a membrane-like keyboard, which can be purchased separately in white, black or cyan, for £99.99 / $119.99. For those who have heavier text input needs there is a 'Type Cover' which provides moving keys which will set you back £109.99 / $129.99 and is only available in black.

Pricing for other countries are available on the Microsoft Store too (source):

  • United Kingdom - £399 for 32GB no cover, £479 with Touch Cover, £559 for 64GB with a Touch Cover
  • France - €489 for 32GB no cover, €589 with Touch Cover, €694 for 64GB with a Touch Cover
  • Germany - €479 for 32GB no cover, €579 with Touch Cover, €679 for 64GB with a Touch Cover
  • United States - $499 for 32GB no cover, $599 with Touch Cover, $699 for 64GB with a Touch Cover
  • Canada - $519 for 32GB no cover, $619 with Touch Cover, $719 for 64GB with a Touch Cover
  • Australia - $559 for 32GB no cover, $679 with Touch Cover, $789 for 64GB with a Touch Cover

The Surface will be running Windows RT, which is the ARM version of Windows 8. Microsoft said [in its original product announcement] the Intel x86 based 'Surface Pro' would be released 90 days after the Surface. Therefore, look for an announcement toward the end of Q1, or early Q2, 2013.

Windows RT exclusively runs the Metro (ahem) interface and thus can only run applications from the Windows Store. Desktop applications written for x86 PCs will not run on the Surface. As such, the RT lacks the Windows 7 style desktop that is found on the desktop version of Windows 8.

Microsoft Surface

The Surface comes bundled with the Home and Student Microsoft Office 2013 Preview. However, as soon as Office 2013 is available to buy, Microsoft stated:

Microsoft Home and Student 2013 RT Preview edition installed. Final Office Home & Student version will be installed via Windows Update when available (free download; ISP fees apply). Some features and programs unsupported. Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview and the final version are not for use in commercial, nonprofit, or revenue generating activities. Commercial license options available (sold separately). 

The Surface tablet has a uni-body construction, made from a material called 'VapourMg' - that is, Magnesium built up via vapour deposition (presumably not just Magnesium, lest it turns into a flare!). The tablet body has a kickstand panel that swings out from the rear of the device for video viewing or standing in a laptop configuration with a keyboard cover.

The latest specifications on the Surface, according to Microsoft are:

  • Software - Surface with Windows RT comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (2) (which includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote)

  • Exterior - 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches, 1.5 pounds, VaporMg casing, dark titanium color, volume and power buttons

  • Storage - 32 GB (3); 64 GB

  • CPU - NVIDIA T30, 2 GB of RAM

  • Wireless - Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology

  • Cameras - Two 720p HD cameras, front- and rear-facing

  • Audio - Two microphones, stereo speakers

  • Ports - Full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, headset jack, HD video out port, cover port

  • Sensors - Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass

  • Power Supply - 24W power supply

  • Warranty - One-year limited hardware warranty

  • Apps (included) - Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (2) (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote), Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games

  • Microsoft has also created an official Twitter accoun for the Surface - @Surface

    Source / Credit: CNET UK