Microsoft Announces Official Date for Surface Pro Availability

Software giant Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) has announced that its newest Surface tablet running Windows 8 Pro will be available in the U.S. and Canada starting Feb. 9. The new device will be sold through Microsoft's own retail stores as well as third-party retailers like Staples and Best Buy. This is slightly later than the January time frame the company previously anticipated.

Surface Pro will be powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, while the previous Surface RT that launched in October carried an NVIDIA Tegra 3 instead. The more powerful Surface Pro will support all legacy Windows applications, unlike Surface RT models, and starts at $899.

Microsoft also said it is expanding the availability of Surface RT into 13 additional markets worldwide, more than doubling the number of markets Surface is now available in. The new markets are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

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