Microsoft promises Surface Pro in European stores next quarter

The Surface Pro will cost around €899 when it goes on sale in Europe next quarter, although its exact price has not yet been fixed

Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet will go on sale in Europe in the second quarter priced somewhere around ¬899, while a local telco is now reselling the latest editions of its Office 365 hosted productivity suite, the company announced ahead of the Cebit trade show on Monday.

Microsoft Germany's CEO Christian Illek didn't give the Surface Pro's exact price in euros, but the number will be around the same as the U.S. price in dollars, he said in a news conference at the company's booth on the show floor in Hanover.

While an ¬899 (US$1170) price tag appears significantly higher that the Surface Pro's U.S. price of $899, a 30-percent mark-up is not unusual for electronics devices in Europe, where prices are typically displayed inclusive of value-added tax at around 20 percent. U.S. prices typically exclude local sales taxes. When setting international prices, vendors also tend to allow an additional margin in case exchange rates shift unfavorably.

In addition to Germany, Surface Pro will also go on sale in Australia, China, France, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the U.K. in the coming months, Microsoft said.

Illek also announced a new sales channel for two recent editions of Office 365: Deutsche Telekom.

Office 365 Small Business Premium and Office 365 Midsize Business are now on sale through Deutsche Telekom's Business Marketplace online app store, said the German telecommunications operator's head of marketing, Michael Hagspihl.

The Small Business Premium edition, with 25GB of storage, shared calendars, Office Web Apps, Office Professional Plus Desktop Version and support from Deutsche Telekom will sell for ¬11.45 (US$14.90) per user per month for up to 25 users, while the Midsize Business version, including cloud-based email at a company's own domain name, Active Directory synchronization and support from Deutsche Telekom will cost ¬11.90 per user per month for up to 300 users.

The companies announced the distribution deal on the show floor at Cebit, where their sprawling booths face one another across the main aisle of Hall 4. Stands there are still under construction: The show opens Tuesday, and runs through Saturday.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

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Peter Sayer

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