Both Surface tablets will start globetrotting 'in coming months'
28th Feb 2013 | 20:12
Microsoft Surface releasing internationally
Microsoft's Surface Pro is still scarce in the U.S., but that didn't stop the company from announcing on Thursday that it will soon travel abroad.
Both versions of the Surface tablet - including the Surface Pro with Windows 8 and the Surface RT with Windows RT - will be released in additional countries "in the coming months," with the first arrival slated for late March.
The Surface RT will be released in Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, and Taiwan, while Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the U.K. will get the Surface Pro.
Microsoft's corporate vice president of the Surface division said in the announcement that the company is "eager to see people and businesses in more countries get a chance to experience this new category of devices," before boasting that the Surface is "the best of a tablet and a PC."
What about us?
It's all well and good for Microsoft to begin releasing the Surface in more countries that have been without, but we're wondering about supplies in areas where Surface first started, namely the U.S.
Last we checked, there was still a pretty significant Surface Pro shortage. That report came mid-February, but as recently as last Friday most stores had yet to re-stock, and those that did had limited quantities of the Surface Pro.
The Surface RT is a different story, but there's a reason the cheaper, less-capable Windows RT tablet has been easier to find in stores since its release in the fall.
According to a report in November, demand for the Surface RT remained weak as many customers presumably held off for the Surface Pro to be released in 2013.
Hard to describe
Perhaps some of that initial disinterest in the Surface can be attributed to Microsoft's own failure to adequately explain the differences between the Surface RT and the Surface Pro, or to justify the existence of the Windows RT version.
In Thursday's announcement, Microsoft said that, "Surface RT is best described as a tablet with some laptop capabilities," while the Surface Pro "is a fully functional PC that looks, feels and acts like a tablet."
If the Surface Pro is "fully functional," does that make Surface RT only partly functional? It does feature a severely limited husk of a traditional desktop, so you could certainly argue as much.
No doubt this is difficult to convey to your average customer.