Only a week ago we had confirmation from Microsoft that the Surface Pro computers would be launched on 9th February in North America. As well as using a completely different architecture to the Surface RT computers and running the Windows 8 Pro OS, other key “Pro” differentiators are the stylus and the larger amounts of built-in storage; a choice of 64GB or 128GB. Now it looks like those storage capacities are for necessity rather than luxury.
OS and apps use up a lot of space
Softpedia claims to have received a statement from Microsoft concerning the free storage available in the 128 GB version of the Surface with Windows 8 Pro. Owners of a new 128GB Surface Pro will only have 83GB of free space. When formatted a 128GB drive usually has about 120GB of capacity available. By my rough calculations, the OS and pre-installed software therefore eat up approximately 37GB of space on the device.
Having 83GB of free space isn’t too tight if the Surface is merely your portable rather than your only computer. Also Microsoft reminded Softpedia that the Surface Pro is equipped with; USB 3.0 ports, microSDXC card slot and a 7GB Skydrive cloud storage facility.
Surface Pro 64GB version, a tight fit
If the amount of free storage on the 128GB version of the Surface Pro sounds on the lean side consider the cheaper 64GB version. If the formatted capacity of the 64GB drive is only 60GB and the OS and default apps add up to 37GB that leaves owners of these new Surface Pro machines with a rather limited 23GB of free space. Installing all your favourite Windows apps could easily halve that (on my relative freshly installed Windows 8 system, apps, not including games add up to 9GB).
If you look at the spec page for the Surface Pro on Microsoft’s website there is a hint that 64GB is going to be a little tight, check out the screen grab below. I’ve highlighted Microsoft’s note in green.
*System software uses significant storage space. Available storage is subject to change
based on system software updates and apps usage.
Previously Microsoft Surface RT users may have been a little disappointed with the OS and apps for that system taking up a lot of the available fixed storage capacity. In fact a California lawyer sued Microsoft because his new 32GB Surface only had 16GB of free space. Now Microsoft provides a storage space reference table (scroll down) for Windows RT powered Surfaces.