Microsoft to launch Surface tablet in Japan

The Windows tablet may make its debut in Japan next month, according to a report from the Nikkei news service.

Microsoft's Surface RT tablet is headed for Japan.
Microsoft's Surface RT tablet is headed for Japan. Josh Miller/CNET

Microsoft's Surface tablet may surface in Japan as early as next month, according to a story from the Nikkei news service, as reported by the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch.

A Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed to CNET that Surface will reach Japan in the near future but didn't specify a launch date.

"As part of our phased approach to Surface availability, Surface will be coming to Japan in the near future," the rep said, promising to provide more details soon.

Microsoft is expected to sell the Surface RT edition to Japanese consumers. That version can run certain desktop applications, such as Microsoft Office RT and Internet Explorer 10, but otherwise is restricted to Windows store apps.

The 32GB Surface RT tablet starts at $499 in the U.S. That same model may sport a price tag in Japan of around 50,000 yen ($531).

Surface has been wending its way around the world. The RT version debuted last October in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, and China. On February 14, the RT tablet went on sale in 13 additional countries throughout Europe, including Austria, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Earlier this month Microsoft unveiled Surface Pro, which runs the full flavor of Windows 8 and can handle existing desktop applications.

Updated at 8:00 a.m. PT February 26with comment from Microsoft.

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