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Microsoft's Surface Is Doing Well, but the Pro Edition May Secure Its Future


The Surface RT is a relative hit, but the Pro is expected to be Microsoft's champion tablet.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL So far, Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Surface RT is doing pretty well. Despite receiving mixed reviews at launch, the tablet has sold out of its available stock, and received an endorsement from Oprah Winfrey. Still, whether the RT tablet will be enough to build the brand's presence remains a mystery, and many predict that few will follow the early adopters who purchased the Surface before it gets a serious upgrade. Luckily Microsoft has prepared to give consumers just that.

In January 2013, Microsoft it planning to release a Surface Tablet with the full version of Windows 8 Pro. This new tablet will also address many of the complaints raised in relation to the RT. The Pro Tablet will have the full functionality of the Windows 8 system, a higher resolution screen, and a third generation i5 processor. An article by CNET provided the following table listing the hardware differences:

Although information on its pricing has yet to be announced, the CNET article noted that Samsung's (PINK:SSNLF) Ativ Smart PC Pro 700T, another tablet with the same processor and Windows 8, is currently listed at $1,199. Pricing the Pro similarly may hurt its chances of competing with Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) fleet of iPads and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexuses, and thrust it into the arena of the Windows 8 laptops and laptop/tablet hybrids, such as the HP (NYSE:HPQ) Envy x2 and the Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) XPS 12.

But given its greater Windows 8 functionality and its ability to utilize more apps, the Pro may find its consumer base despite its projected price tag. If the RT was the first big step in bridging the territory between tablets and laptops, the Pro may be the last.
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