MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED that it will launch its Surface Pro 3 tablet in 25 countries, including the UK, on 28 August.
Microsoft's own-branded Windows tablet, which comes with up to an Intel Core i7 processor, clearly is intended to be seen as a serious competitor to the iPad line from Apple, with pricing to match, but so far has won few friends since its launch in the US.
In the UK, prices will start at £639, making it a very expensive secondary machine or a very risky primary one, with those who have had their paws on it already saying that, as 2-in-1 convertibles go, it's a very good tablet.
Microsoft has billed the Surface Pro 3 as a realistic replacement for a laptop, and the lukewarm reception of that claim will be alarming to Microsoft executives.
US news website Computerworld has calculated that the Surface line has already lost the company $1.7bn, including 38 million unsold stock, such as the Surface Mini which was shelved and never surfaced, if you'll pardon the pun.
One of the territories that will see the Surface Pro 3 launch on 28 August is China, where relations between authorities and Microsoft have become strained in recent weeks, culminating with raids on premises and the announcement of a government investigation of monopoly.
Other countries that will see the Surface Pro 3 on 28 August include Australia, Canada, Japan and most of mainland Europe, with most territories already accepting pre-orders. µ