Microsoft skips Australia for first Surface Pro tablets

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Microsoft skips Australia for first Surface Pro tablets

First for RT, but not for business tablet.

Microsoft today announced pricing and availability for its Surface tablet running Windows 8 Pro, but Australia has been left out of the first round of shipments.

The Surface Pro will be on sale in the United States and Canada from February 9, 2013. It will be available in 64 GB and 128 GB models, starting from $US899 ($A850).

The product is Microsoft's second in its new Surface tablet family, and is aimed squarely at business users thanks to the inclusion of an Intel X86-based chip, fully-fledged Windows 8 operating system, stylus, 4 GB RAM, USB 3.0, microSDXC slot, two 720p cameras and a two-year hardware warranty.

In comparison, the Surface RT tablet released in mid-October runs on an ARM chip with a hobbled version of Windows 8 for mobile, Windows RT. It starts from $559 for the 32 GB model.

Australia was one of several countries to get the Surface RT on release day. Microsoft has declined to reveal when local buyers will be able to get their hands on the business-grade device.

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