Rejected: No Surface Pro for Australia, yet



blog Just a quick note that Microsoft has left Australia off the list of countries which will receive the Surface Pro tablet when it launches in February. It’s no huge surprise, but I know quite a few of those who work in Australia’s IT industry with Microsoft technology will be disappointed by this move; the Surface RT, with its lack of support for traditional Windows desktop apps, hasn’t really sated the desire of some for a solid Windows 8 tablet/laptop combo. Microsoft’s official blog states today:

“Ever since we launched Surface Windows RT late last year, it’s been exciting to see the ongoing customer response to this amazing device. We are also pumped about all the anticipation and excitement in regards to Surface Windows 8 Pro. There have been a tremendous amount of questions to date, and today, I am pleased that we are formally announcing the date of availability. Surface Windows 8 Pro will be available in the U.S. and Canada starting on Feb. 9 through all Microsoft retail stores, and at Staples and Best Buy in the U.S. as well as from a number of locations in Canada.”

I’ve been trying to source a Surface RT review unit for some time now, but Microsoft Australia has been unable to provide one; I’m also hearing that the units are relatively rare out there in the wild. This, plus the extremely limited launch of the Surface Pro, leads me to believe that Microsoft hasn’t quite got a handle on satisfying demand for the Surface yet. It’s not that I believe that there is huge demand for the Surface in Australia — if anything, it’s quite moderate, but better than that for many Android tablets, given the strong Windows professional community Down Under — but that I believe Microsoft hasn’t quite got a handle on the manufacturing and distribution process for the Surface yet.

Personally, I wish major vendors would take a clue out of Apple’s book when it comes to these launches. Apple develops a product in great secrecy, then launches it highly publicly, making it available globally a few weeks or months later. It seems like we’ve been hearing about the Surface for ever. But can you actually buy one? Not really. Getting the actual devices to Australia in decent quantities seems to be beyond Microsoft, a puzzling issue when you consider how many Xbox 360’s are sold locally.

Image credit: Microsoft


  1. They really should do it Google style, more than Apple style. Launch up on the website with worldwide shipping at whatever the going rate is, and have that be the only storefront.

    That’d probably impact upon retail relationships, but screw those guys, this is the best way for the consumer, and it’s the best way for Microsoft.

    • You mean the outstanding success that has been the Nexus 4 launch where almost no one has been able to get their hands on stock?

    • Only problem with buying online something that is so close to $1000 that if you got it with the keyboard you’re over $1000 and brace yourself because customs is gonna take an additional limb in tax and processing fees. May end up costing you an extra $200 in import tax/handling charges.

  2. Just because Microsoft is flooding the airwaves with their advertising of Surface, it doesn’t mean they are the only game in town! If you are after a full Windows 8 tablet running on an Intel CPU, there is a whole bunch of alternatives to Surface Pro available already:

    ASUS VivoTab, HP Envy x2, Sony VAIO Duo 11, Dell Latitude 10 Enterprise, Lenovo ThinkPad 2, Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro… (Lot of material there for a full series of reviews of Windows 8 tablets for you, Renai!)

      • Doesn’t surprise me… most retailers are useless in their ability to promote this stuff. Even in places like Harvey Norman it was hard to get an in-store demo of some of those systems (they had a bunch of them laid out but none were set-up with internet connectivity, so trying to launch almost any app resulted in “internet connection not available” messages).

        After finally managing to get my hands on a few usable offerings from ASUS and HP, though, I must say that I preferred them to the Surface — especially because of the snap-on physical keyboards that allow typing on your lap (unlike with Surface).

      • I have a friend with the Sony VAIO Duo 11 it is an impressive bit of kit.
        BTW based on what I’ve seen at trade show even the Microsoft guys can’t get a surface.

    • Lol… Samsung ATIV is a useless POS (or it might be just because it’s running Windows 8… not that a touchscreen tablet/laptop combo device would be much use with Windows 7).

      Was asked to setup one in our office last week. First thing I did was turn it on and run Windows Update. After installing updates and a short reboot, the device gets a BSOD and no longer boots or even recovers from the latest System Restore Point. Someone failed to do basic QA with this stuff…

      In short, if you want to run Windows 8, wait until the bugs are fixed (SP1?).


  3. i’ve seen one and had a bit of a play at a JB Hifi …

    but was never ever going to get RT version. Would definately like to take a look at the PRO tho ..

  4. I find my Surface RT is great for my purposes, and the allegedly crappy keyboard is fine. Microsoft has produced a very nice piece of kit.

    In some ways I wish I had waited for the Pro, but my RT will keep going for 2 days on a charge with my usage – something I doubt the Pro will be able to offer.

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