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Microsoft Surface Pro launch delayed until February

Microsoft has confirmed that it will launch Surface Pro, the first tablet from the company to include the full version of its Windows 8 operating system, early next month.

Unlike the company's Surface RT tablets, which feature low-power ARM processors and a cut-down version of the Windows operating system dubbed Windows RT, Surface Pro devices use the same Intel processors found in desktop and laptop computers - and, as a result, are able to run the full version of Windows 8, along with existing legacy applications in addition to apps developed for the tile-based user interface previously known as Metro UI.

While the Surface Pro tablets offer more power than the Surface RT versions, that additional power does come at a cost: Surface Pro is thicker and heavier than its RT-based stablemate, and suffers from a drop in battery life. These issues are largely brushed aside thanks to a higher-resolution screen, but the fact that Microsoft Office will not be provided with Surface Pro devices, despite a version being bundled with Surface RT tablets, is a significant shame.

Originally, Microsoft had scheduled a January launch for Surface Pro, but last-minute delays - possibly related to reported issues with the Touch Cover accessory splitting and cracking during normal use - mean that the tablet won't be arriving on shop shelves until February.

While UK pricing and availability have yet to be confirmed, Microsoft has stated that it will be launching Surface Pro in the US on the 9th of February with prices starting at $899 for the 64GB model (around £570 excluding taxes.)

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