An exclusive version of the Surface Pro, which made its official debut in China this week, is being bundled with a full edition of Office for Chinese consumers.
The Microsoft Surface Pro
The tablet-cum-notebook computer differs from the one recently launched in the US in only one respect: It runs the consumer, rather than the professional version of Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8.
This means that it doesn't support enterprise features that businesses may need, but because the enterprise security layer has been removed, owners will have no problems installing their legacy Windows-compatible software on the device. But the biggest difference is that in the US, the Surface Pro is only offered with a one-month free subscription to Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365 (after which, users will have to pay a monthly fee), whereas the Chinese version comes with the Office Home and Student edition preinstalled, and all for 6,588 yuan ($1,050) for the 64 GB version and 7,388 yuan ($1,178) for the 128 GB version. This should make it a very attractive proposition for families looking for a device that combines entertainment and productivity.
As well as the special China Edition, the standard business-orientated Surface Pro with the Enterprise edition of Windows 8 was also launched in the country this week for 7,388 yuan.
Up until now, the Surface Pro has only been available in the US. By choosing China as the first new territory in which to launch its latest device, Microsoft is clearly trying to demonstrate the importance of the country to its future business plans.