Originally, a report appeared from Nikkei news stating that Microsoft's Surface would be launching in Japan in March. This was followed up by partial confirmation to the folks over at CNET, with the Microsoft representative confirming that it will be available in the country "soon," but no specific date or time frame was provided. This is concerning the Surface RT, not the Surface Pro.
Said the Microsoft representative, "As part of our phased approach to Surface availability, Surface will be coming to Japan in the near future." This phased approach, as it was called, has involved the tablet device slowly hitting shelves in nations around the world. Such countries that already have access to the Surface RT include Canada, the UK, China, Australia, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Ireland, and more.
Word has it the 32GB version of the Surface RT could be priced at 50,000 yen, which is about $530. This is a tad more than the price equivalent in the US, where the tablet costs $499. This is following the recent launch of the Surface Pro, which features Intel hardware and runs the full Windows 8 operating system, versus Windows RT that is found on the original Surface.
There's no word on when the Surface Pro will be launched in Japan, but we're curious to see how well the original device will sell in the nation. Surface RT allows users to download the RT versions of programs, such as Office RT instead of the regular Office suite. This has been a big turn-off for many consumers, who are either confused about the differences between Windows RT and Windows 8, or who had elected to wait for the Pro version so they could they install the programs they want.