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, microsoftstore.com 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