Microsoft’s follow up to the Surface RT tablet goes on sale next month: The company will begin selling its Surface Windows 8 Pro slate in the U.S. and Canada on Feb. 9 with a starting price of $899. Intel’s Core i5 processor will power the device, which comes with 64 GB of memory at this price. The device will have a keyboard cover that snaps on to the tablet as needed.
Unlike its predecessor, which runs on an ARM-based chip, the new Surface runs a full version of Windows 8 Pro in addition to having the touch friendly user interface formerly known as Metro.
That removes a key limitation of the Surface RT device: Surface Windows 8 Pro can run all legacy Windows applications. And the device will certainly be a better performer, although that will come at the cost of battery life: Microsoft has previously said to expect half the run-time compared to Surface RT. I’d expect 4 to 5 hours on a charge as a result.
One aspect that may have hurt Surface RT sales is one that Microsoft is correcting with the new tablet. Instead of initially limiting sales to Microsoft-branded stores and online sales, Staples and Best Buy will carry the new Surface Windows 8 Pro.
(c) 2013, GigaOM.com.