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Microsoft starts hawking Surface Book in Europe, Australia, New Zealand

The new Windows 10 laptop-tablet hybrid is stepping outside North America to try to hook consumers in the UK, France, Germany and beyond.


Microsoft's Surface Book is expanding its reach.


Microsoft's Surface Book is now up for preorder in seven new markets.

The laptop-tablet hybrid is available for preorder starting Tuesday in Austria, Australia, the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland and New Zealand, the company said in a blog post. Since its October 26 launch, the Surface Book had been limited to sales in North America, although preorders recently kicked off in China and Hong Kong.

The Surface Book will also soon land in Japan, though Microsoft didn't reveal a specific date. Separately, Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet-laptop hybrid will journey to India in the next few weeks as a further expansion of the company's latest Windows 10 hybrid devices.

The Surface Book is Microsoft's latest attempt to spark sales in a sagging PC market, though it's hardly the first to offer a laptop-tablet hybrid. Lenovo, for instance, offers the popular Yoga series of devices that can transform between a laptop and a tablet via a screen that bends all the way back. More PC makers are introducing hybrid designs, which research firm IDC believes will account for an increasingly larger share of tablet shipments.

The Surface Book is also a high-profile showcase for Windows 10 as Microsoft tries to push more people to adopt its latest operating system. That's been slow going so far. Five months after its release, it has yet to dislodge users from Windows 7, though it's gaining ground on Windows 8.1 and XP, according to data from tracking firm NetMarketShare.

Microsoft's goal is not simply to generate revenue from the Surface Book, but also to challenge its PC-making partners to build laptops that tap into Windows 10 features and potentially win over even more consumers.

The Surface Book currently comes in six varieties, ranging in price from $1,499 for a model with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage to $3,199 for one with 16GB of memory and 1 terabyte of storage. Outfitted with a 13.5-inch touchscreen display, the Surface Book is powered by either an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, depending on which edition you choose, and includes a Surface Pen for writing and drawing.

Following the preorders, the Surface Book will be available for sale in China and Hong Kong on January 15, in Australia and New Zealand on January 28, and in Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK on February 18, according to a Microsoft spokeswoman.

Microsoft hasn't revealed sales figures for the Surface Book, but the company's blog post did allude to "great" holiday-related sales in the US and Canada.

Update, 9:30 a.m. PT: Adds comment from Microsoft.