With Surface for Windows RT going on sale in just 10 days, Microsoft is finally ready to talk about pricing and availability — not to mention, some technical details it left out when the tablet debuted back in June. After the Surface product page prematurely went live on Microsoft’s site a few hours ago, the company just officially announced that the 10.6-inch, ARM-powered slate will go up for pre-order at 9AM PT today, starting at $499 for the 32GB version. The 64GB model will cost $599.
To be clear, these prices do not include that snazzy Touch Cover with the flat, pressure-sensitive keys. Rather, it’ll be sold separately for $120. Ditto for the more traditional Type Cover keyboard, which is priced at $130. If you already know you want the packaged deal, however, you can buy the 64GB tablet and Touch Cover as a bundle for $699. Lastly, when Surface starts shipping on October 26th, you’ll be able to buy it on Microsoft.com or at a Microsoft Store (if you happen to have one in your neck of the woods). If you’re hankering for hands-on photos, we’ll redirect you to the first look we published the day Surface was announced. Hopefully, though, we’ll soon get a review unit so that we can supplement our preview with meaty, real-world impressions.
Still not satisfied after our minute by minute liveblog of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview event this morning from Barcelona and detailed hands-on impressions? Video of the entire presentation, along with a few demo trailers are available on the company’s press site so you can feel that Sinofsky magic for yourself. One of the preview videos is embedded above, press play or hit the source link to download the 688MB 90 minute long version for repeat viewing (Update: Also available embedded after the break, just in case hard drive prices have cut down your storage space).
We got a taste of Windows 8 back at D9, but the real bounty is waiting in Anaheim. The company’s kicking off its Build conference with a full-on developer preview of its next major desktop operating system, still code-named Windows 8 for the time being. According to Steven Sinofsky — president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft — the company has “reimagined Windows,” bringing about a “new range of capabilities” that coders will begin to dig into sooner rather than later. As we’d seen before, the “Metro-styled” user interface is front-and-center, bringing graphical elements of Windows Phone 7 to desktop, laptop and tablet users of the future. Internet Explorer 10 is also onboard, as well as a focus on “apps” that can communicate with one another, and content that can sync across devices. Folks comfortable in a Win7 environment ought to be right at home here — Win8 is built on the same foundation, though the retooled Task Manager and Windows Explorer should tickle the average fancy.
The Windows Store will enable devs to hawk their apps to any nation where Windows is sold, and yes, support for ARM-based chipsets is proudly included alongside compatibility with x86 devices. In other words, everything from “10-inch tablets to laptops to all-in-ones with 27-inch HD screens” will be able to ingest Win8 with ease. That’s a markedly different take than the folks in Cupertino have expressed, with an (admittedly limiting) mobile OS being chosen to run the tablet side of things. Only time will tell which mantra proves more viable, but we’re guessing the both of ‘em will find varying levels of success. Microsoft has also confirmed backwards compatibility with “devices and programs” that support Windows 7, and while an exact time has yet to be revealed, we’re told that developers will be able to download the Windows Developer Preview via the new Windows Dev Center later this week. Full fact sheets can be seen in the source link below.