Unexpected demand? Or a glitch? For whatever reason, the ship date of Microsoft's highest-end Surface Pro 2 tablets have slipped more than a month to mid-December. See also: Surface Pro 2 is unique and brilliant... but not for you.
Microsoft's $1299 Surface Pro 2 with 256GB of flash storage now shows a ship date of December 15, according to Microsoft's online Store page. Ditto for the 512GB version, priced at $1799.
More than a week ago, Microsoft had warned users to snap up its second-generation Surface tablet before they sold out. And, at the time, the ship dates of 256GB and 512GB versions of the Surface Pro 2 had slipped to October 28, a few days after the new Surface tablets ship on October 22. But Microsoft didn't say then why the ship date had slipped, and it still hasn't.
Other Surface ship dates remain unchanged; the Surface Pro 2 with 64GB of storage is scheduled to ship on October 21, while the 129GB version will ship on October 25. Microsoft said last week that the Type Cover 2 and the Touch Cover 2 were also sold out; the Microsoft Store ship dates reflect that, with a shipping date of October 29 for both. The Surface Wireless Adapter is still scheduled to ship on October 21.
However, it appears Microsoft has had no problems selling the Surface 2 tablet; both the 32GB and 64GB versions simply say "Ship It" when users order the tablet. The assumption there is that users will receive their tablets as soon as possible.
So far, it's not clear whether or not retailers like Best Buy have backordered the high-end Surface Pro 2 tablets as well; Best Buy's site is not currently providing a ship date for the new Surface tablets. Moreover, Best Buy currently does not offer a ship-to-store option for the next-gen Surface tablets.
Microsoft has said previously that customers who absolutely must have the latest Surface tablet may be able to find them in the company's brick-and-mortar Microsoft Stores. Microsoft also plans a series of midnight launches to herald the launch of the second-generation Surface tablets, with 12 stores participating. Microsoft also hopes, rather auspiciously, that it can attract 1500 people to its Orlando, Fla., store. Those that do can earn a free ticket to a Pitbull concert. Microsoft will also ask visitors at its midnight launches (doors open at 10 p.m.) to participate in a series of challenges; the winner will be flown to Orlando to view the concert, as well.
Microsoft has positioned the high-end Surface Pro 2 as a premium notebook in tablet form. Our preliminary benchmarks show the Surface Pro 2 represents a nominal upgrade in terms of performance, but with the ability to play certain last-generation games.