Microsoft launches third Surface model, 'Surface Chinese', in China

Last week, Microsoft announced that China would be the third country to sell the Surface Pro, after the US and Canada launches in early February. Today, the Surface Pro went on sale as scheduled in China, but Microsoft is also selling another version of the PC made specifically for the Chinese consumer.

The Microsoft.Tmall.com website shows that in addition to the 128 GB version of the Surface Pro, based on Windows 8 Pro, Microsoft is also selling the Intel-based touchscreen PC with the basic version of Windows 8 installed, in 64 GB and 128 GB models. This "Surface Chinese" variant is also different than the Surface Pro in that it only supports the Chinese language version of Windows 8 and cannot be changed to support any other language.

Finally, "Surface Chinese" comes with a free full version of Office 2013 Home and Student. The regular Surface Pro only has a 30 day trial version of Office 365 Home Premium; Microsoft is not selling a 64 GB version of the regular Surface Pro in China.

WPDang.com reports that Microsoft held a major launch event for the Surface Pro and "Surface Chinese" in the country today, with Microsoft's Surface leader Panos Panay promoting the PC to the press; China was one of the first countries to sell the earlier Surface RT tablet in late October.

Source: WPDang.com | Image via WPDang.com
Via: WPCentral.com

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13 Comments

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This is actually very clever by Microsoft. Look at what's happening with Apple having to apologise to Chinese consumers for they way they are treated. Meanwhile Microsoft do a version of Surface specifically for Chinese consumers.

Keep in mind that most Chinese don't read English characters. To use an iPad, for example, a Chinese consumer has to effectively learn two foreign languages (English & Pinyin) just to enter Chinese characters in through the onscreen keyboard. With a Chinese Surface, they can just write Chinese characters on the screen.

Apple is always accused of having (technically) mediocre products supported by great marketing. At a time when Apple is dying in China (and Google are seen as the enemy of the people), focusing a product directly on China is a very good marketing move. These days Microsoft are out-marketing Apple. And Google? RIP.

So it's a Surface Pro running Windows 8 (Basic)?

In other words it sits between the Surface RT and the true Surface Pro?

Maybe to prevent 'outside border' import?
The Surface Pro is still MIA in the EU, so this way they will prevent import from China.

As I can understand the financial/business decision behind this, I'm getting really tired of waiting for the Pro to show up in Europe.
And a statement from MS why they haven't released WinTab drivers yet for the Pro.

C'mon MS, be smart for once, there's a huge market to tap here with the proper drivers and support......

It's not Microsoft's job to update Wintab drivers to support Photoshop, it's Adobe's job to update its support for Wintab to support its own product.

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,
Because it's cheaper. Can't see many Chinese people buying a Pro, just look at how much piracy China has.

If the Chinese version is based off the Pro, what other differences would justify the cheaper price? All that was posted was no other languages and I dont read Chinese.

techbeck said,

If the Chinese version is based off the Pro, what other differences would justify the cheaper price? All that was posted was no other languages and I dont read Chinese.

Because it has Windows 8. Not the more expensive Windows 8 Pro.

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,
Because it's cheaper. Can't see many Chinese people buying a Pro, just look at how much piracy China has.

It's not cheaper but includes Office H&S for the same price with 8Basic.

So is a different SKU a different model? Example, Dell Optiplex 790. One model, but comes in tons of different configs (SKUs). Still, the same model...