Surface Pro sells out at Microsoft's online store in U.S.

The Surface Pro -- beefier than the Surface RT -- is out of stock at MicrosoftStore.com after going on sale this morning. But it's not clear how many of the devices have actually sold.

Edward Moyer Senior Editor
Ed is a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world who enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
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Edward Moyer
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Screenshot of MicrosoftStore.com by CNET

Microsoft's Surface Pro has sold out at the company's online store in the U.S. within hours of becoming available.

Both the 128GB and 64GB versions of the Pro are shown as out of stock on MicrosoftStore.com. As of this writing, Microsoft's online store in Canada still has both versions. The devices are also being sold at various brick-and-mortar retailers.

The $900 and $1,000 price tags (64GB and 128GB, respectively) don't include the keyboard-equipped "Touch Cover" for the device, which figures prominently in marketing for the gadget. That add-on costs another $120. (And the "Type Cover," which includes a more conventional keyboard -- with actual keys -- runs another $130.)

It's not clear just how many Pros have sold. A Microsoft representative offered a "no comment" when asked. The company initially shipped about 1.25 million units of the earlier Surface device -- the RT -- but sold only about 680,000 to 750,000 units in the first two months of availability, market research firm IHS iSuppli told CNET late last month. iSuppli had expected sales of 1.3 million, but it said the actual figures were not unusual. On the other hand, return rates were high, perhaps because of a steep learning curve with the new, touch-centric Windows 8.

The researcher said it saw more industry momentum behind the beefier Pro version of the Surface. The Pro is different than the RT in that it runs the full version of Windows 8 on top of a mainstream Intel processor and can handle full-blown Windows applications (and is backward-compatible with older versions of such apps). However, the device has taken some heat from critics, who've said it doesn't provide enough storage space for files and doesn't have very good battery life. Microsoft took to Reddit recently to address those criticisms.

For more on the differences between the Pro and the RT, check out Brooke Crothers' post from yesterday.

Update, 2:56 p.m. PT: Adds Microsoft's "no comment" on number of units sold. Also, in a blog item today, Microsoft said the following:

Surface Windows 8 Pro 64GB is available online or from store shelves at all Microsoft retail stores in the U.S. and Canada, at Staples and Best Buy in the United States, and from Best Buy and Future Shop in Canada.... We're working with our retail partners who are currently out of stock of the 128GB Surface Pro to replenish supplies as quickly as possible.

The blog post also mentions that Microsoft will be releasing the Surface RT in 13 more countries come February 14: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.