Microsoft upgrades the Surface Pro for the Japanese market
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The Surface Pro is Microsoft's ultrabook in tablet form. It had the potential to become a device that would fill all of a person's tech needs by offering the performance of a desktop PC with the portability of a tablet and the productivity of a full desktop OS. Most reviews of the product agree that it almost succeeded.
The upgrades Microsoft is offering to the Japanese market include larger SSDs (128 GB or 256 GB), free Microsoft Office Home and Office, and exclusive Touch Covers. These changes (along with the upcoming Windows Blue update) might be exactly what the Pro needs to kick-start its middling sales and address some of the issues reviewers had with the North American version.
The Surface Pro, as we've seen it so far, is expensive by tablet standards and none of the elements that might have drawn buyers to a productivity device are included in the price: Microsoft Office (included with the Surface RT) is sold separately for the Pro, and the much admired keyboard-covers (Type Cover and Touch Cover) are not cheap accessories. Added to all of this is the memory problem. Until now, Surface Pro users had to make do with the 64 GB or 128 GB storage options. The 64 GB internal memory model only has 29 GB of usable space which many considered unacceptable.
The Surface Pro will go on sale in Japan on June 7th starting at 99,800 Yen tax included (US$988.90). Touch and Type covers are a little cheaper than in North America and sell for 9980 Yen (US$98.89) and 10,980 Yen (US$108.55) respectively. So far there is no indication that Microsoft will offer these new options to other countries.