Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are now available; $100 off on all Surface Pros.

Microsoft has announced that the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro are now available for purchase online! Additionally, all Surface Pros (64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB) are now $100 off. This promotion is while supplies last.

Now, the new Surface 2, Surface Pro 2, and all the related accessories such as the new Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2 are also available on Microsoft online store.

For a quick note, the Surface 2 runs Windows RT 8.1. While the tablet’s engine is driven by a NVIDIA Terga 4 chipset with 2GB of RAM. The device also features a brilliant 10.6-inch Full HD screen, a microSD slot, a 5-megapixel camera, and the connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 but lacks support for LTE. In software, Office 2013 RT suite with Outlook RT comes right out-of the box.

The Surface Pro 2 can be considered a true hybrid laptop rather than a tablet. It is equipped with the powerful 4th generation Intel Core i5-4200U 1.6 GHz processor with 4 or 8 GB of RAM serving lightning performance with the ability to run complex and heavy programs. In tech specs, it also sports a 10.6-inch Full HD screen, Wi-Fi, a USB 3.0 port, Bluetooth 4.0, and it runs Windows 8.1 Pro.

Additionally, the software maker has also removed the Desktop tile that switches to the desktop environment. Hence, the moniker for the ARM tablet, Surface RT has become Surface.

Microsoft has taken a first step towards the elimination of the desktop environment from the Windows RT — compatible with ARM devices. In fact, Desktop tile is no longer available on the Start Screen of Windows 8.1 RT. It’s missing from both the Surface 2 and the Nokia Lumia 2520 launched yesterday. The Redmond Company has also renamed the Surface RT and dropped the suffix ‘RT’ without any official details.

surface-2

The change in the title was anticipated by a Microsoft executive in mid-October. According to the product manager Jack Cowett, the suffix ‘RT’ creates confusion for users as it’s difficult to understand the difference between the Surface RT and Surface Pro — the original name was Surface with Windows RT. In February, the company changed its name to Surface RT; and the tablet has now become simply “Surface.”

The second change concerns Windows RT 8.1. Those who own a Surface won’t notice any difference after installing the upgrade. Instead, users who purchase the Surface 2 or Nokia Lumia 2520 will no longer find the desktop tile on the Start screen.

In Windows RT, the old working environment allowed only access to files and the Office 2013 RT suite. Additionally, the ARM architecture – as we know — doesn’t allow the installation of x86 applications. So that Microsoft wants to convince users to use the Modern apps only. It’s likely that, after the arrival of the full touch version of Office suite, the desktop environment will be removed forever.

Update:

A Microsoft spokesperson has explained the reason for elimination of Desktop tile from the standard Start Screen, “The only desktop apps without modern versions which run on RT are the Office apps: Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. In order to streamline access to them, we pinned those apps directly to the first page of Start. Clicking any of these takes you directly to that Desktop app. You can also bring up the switch list from the left edge if you have a Desktop app open and click Desktop to get back to the Desktop. If you want a Desktop tile (ala Windows RT 8.0), you can go to All Apps, and the Desktop tile is in the list of apps there. Simply right-click, or press-and-hold (with touch), and you can pin it to the main Start screen and make it as large as you want.”

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