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Windows 8 Update: Supply-challenged Surface Pros to go on sale in 6 more countries

Tim Greene | March 1, 2013
Microsoft has run out of Windows Surface Pro tablets twice in a month but is forging ahead with plans to make them available in six more countries.

Windows 8 tablet discount

Best Buy is knocking $100 off any Windows 8 touchscreen laptop, which in some cases represents an 18% discount.

Some people have linked the sale to the rumored availability of Windows Blue this summer, leading them to conclude that Best Buy is trying to unload current Windows 8 machines before the new version makes them obsolete.

Or the chain might have overstocked Windows 8 tablets and wants to clear its inventory. Or it might be getting ready to stock up on newer hardware due out later this year that blends features of tablets and laptops.

Windows 8 for dunking

Speaking of new hardware, Fujitsu is coming out with a Windows 8 tablet that can sit in a tub of water for half an hour and still work when it gets out.

It's called Arrows Tab Q582/F and is on display at the Mobile World Congress. It costs about $1,350 to start.

Here's how Fujitsu describes it: "With the terminal cap and slot cap tightly closed, IPX5 and IPX8 water resistance features protect the tablet from water damage. IPX5 designation indicates that the tablet can normally function after being sprayed with water from a nozzle with a diameter of 6.3 mm at a rate of 12.5 liters per minute from a distance of approximately 3 meters for a period of at least 3 minutes.

The IPX8 designation indicates that the tablet will function normally after being immersed in room-temperature tap water to a depth of 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. When the terminal cap and slot caps are tightly closed IP5X dust resistance features protect the tablet from dust damage. IP5X indicates that the tablet can be left in an environment with dust particles with a diameter of 75 µm or less for 8 hours and still function and remain safe to use."

Windows 8 Pro mobile phone

A company called i-mate says it is coming out with a mobile phone that runs the full Windows 8 Pro operating system. That's Windows 8, not Windows Phone 8.

When it comes out later this year, it can be purchased with a docking kit that hooks the device into a desktop phone, monitor, keyboard and mouse. The kit includes a tablet driven wirelessly by the phone, which is called Intelegent.

As a standalone, Intelegent costs $750; with the kit, $1,500 and the company hopes to launch the products this summer.

All of this is according to a column in the Seattle Times.

A company spokesman says an i-mate team is at Mobile World Congress this week and couldn't do an interview. "The i-mate Development Inc. team is busy at Mobile World Congress. We'll reach out if they become available at a later date," he spokesman says in an email.


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