Scenes From the Surface Pro Launch at the Microsoft Store

Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet hasn’t exactly been the rousing success Microsoft had hoped for. With estimated sales numbers quite a bit lower that Microsoft’s projections, and the poor reception of Windows RT, Microsoft is counting on the new Surface Pro, which is powered by a Core i5 CPU and runs full Windows 8, to reverse the Surface brand’s fortunes.

Microsoft launched the Surface Pro this past Saturday, February 9 (yes, an unusual day to launch a piece of tech hardware), and we were on hand at the Canadian Microsoft Store in Toronto (the only one outside the U.S., for now) to witness the launch. You can check out our video of the launch below, in which we interview a number of people in line, and capture all the excitement of the second big tech launch of 2013 (the first being the Z10).

When we arrived at around 9 a.m., there were already around 60 people in two lines - one line for people who reserved their Pro earlier in the week, and one for those who didn’t. The first people there were two young men in the non-reserved line who had been there since 7 a.m. From speaking to them, as well as a few other people in line, it was clear that some of the negative coverage that the Surface Pro has been getting from some media did not deter them from lining up bright and early on a snowy Saturday morning. We also discovered that most people were there for the 128GB model, and we were told that the store probably wouldn’t have enough Pro’s for everyone in line.

When people were let into the store at 9:30 a.m., they were also being offered a choice of three accessory bundles to go with their Surface Pro. These bundles came with Microsoft’s ‘Surface Complete’ accidental damage extended warranty, Office 2013 or 365 Home & Student, their choice of a discounted Touch or Type cover, and a free screen protector and sleeve case. While these bundles were actually pretty good deals, individual accessories weren’t being sold at any discount with the tablets.

About an hour later we were told that, not only was the 128GB model completely sold out in-store, but that the online Microsoft store had also sold out. We quickly discovered that a number of other retailers, both in-store and online, had sold out of 128GB models as well. With around 60 people at the Microsoft Store, and an unknown number at other retailers, it’s not clear if the sell outs are being caused by demand, or simply a limited number of units being available to purchase (whether Microsoft created an artificial shortage is a question for another time), but either way it seems that the launch of the Surface Pro has been a success so far.

Stay tuned for our early hands-on video!

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    I am a die-hard Windows lover and a "real" windows tablet sounds very appealing to me. Why? Because I like tablets as toys and I like tablets as ultra-portable computers but I dislike the feeling of futility that comes whenever and inevitably I try to use a tablet to do work. Sure I can do basic word-processing on an iPad and then transfer it to my PC but I can't, for example, show a customer my latest MS Access project or run SQL Server. And of course the idea of a tablet running SQL Server might sound like a Prius towing a freight train, but then again it might only sound that way because all of us have come to understand tablets as devices of very limited power. What is exciting to me about the Surface Pro is that it just might be the first big step towards radically altering our understanding of what a tablet device can do.
  • nonoitall
    I watched the video, and take away the brand names/logos and I'd swear this was an Apple event. :-D

    Interviewer: Why did you go with the Surface Pro?
    Person 1: The pen!
    Person 2: The kickstand!
    Person 3: It's pretty!
  • The_Trutherizer
    Well it's definitely a nice device. And what has recently caught my attention is the security concerns around other brands. At least with Windows it should be fairly secure.. Even if most malware targets windows they do have the experience to deal with it.
  • belardo
    Hey... didn't Apple patent the "Apple Store"? Other than the cheesy MS Logo and different color shirts... its an Apple store without Apple stuff.

    60 people?! BWahahaha.... only one in the whole country... and it sells out?! LAME!
    There are about 30 stores in the USA... any lines there? (doubt it).

    Apple sells millions of units in 2-3 days... then sell out. MS sells a few thousand?

    Win8 = fail
    Win8 phone = warmish fail
    Win8 RT = fail
    Win8 Pro tablet = will fail
    Windows logo = fail
    Office 2013 = failing

    microsoft = fail.
  • Gosh, belardo...pretty harsh. I'm sure the Surface is another craptastic product from Windoze!
  • mayankleoboy1
    i want Microsoft to make lots of money, if only to lesses Apple's profits.
  • supr
    looks like a decent option as a fast tablet/mid range laptop, will eagerly await the incoming flood of reviews
    Surface kicks the rotting core right out of Apple and onto Steve Jobs' grave! In fact it knocks all the fruit off of every tree in the orchard and then infects the denuded shrubbery with aphids and burns the whole farm to the ground!

    Anyone who buys an Apple product is terrorist untermensch deserving of a slow and horrible death. Right next to my Steve Balmer portrait I have a score card of Apple's epic failz and every time another one happens I squeeze a facial pustule to celebrate.

    My "mother" bough an Apple product once in 1986 and I have never talked to her since. I think she's living on the street in Buffalo these days. A lot of good that Macintosh is doing you now, huh mom! Keeps youu nice and warn don't it?

    Ha! ha! ha! ha!

    And by the way, I hope that with this, my latest post, I have finally lived up to the maturity level of the average troll posting here. I certainly hope so anyway.
  • DjEaZy
  • ojas
    Here, read up: