You pay a price for running the full Windows, in addition to the $100 higher cost of the Surface Pro versus the comparably equipped Surface RT: Its battery life is estimated to be half that of the Surface RT. Intel has improved its chips' power efficiency, but it still has work to do.
Most important, the Surface Pro provides application and security policy control with AppLocker and Active Directory group policy protection. You can join this baby to the domain! Not so with a Surface RT. And you can install other security, management, and monitoring applications on it. A Surface Pro has all the power -- and security -- of a PC, in an easy-to-carry touch-based package.
You may be thinking to yourself that you don't need a Surface Pro to get all that. You could install Windows 8 on a Samsung Slate PC, for example. Or you can get any of the Ultrabooks or convertible tablet-laptop hybrids that have touchscreens and Windows 8 Pro. Yes, you can -- that's the advantage of the Windows ecosystem.
The market doesn't need the Surface Pro to deliver its value. Perhaps Microsoft got into the tablet game to drive innovation or motivate PC makers to adopt Windows 8 Pro themselves. That approach has worked well for Google and its Android mobile OS, after all.
But whatever Microsoft's intent is within its supplier relationships, the fact is it's about to deliver the kind of tablet that Windows users have long wanted: a fully functional portable Windows PC that responds to touch gestures and offers iPad-like "Metro" apps at the same time.
On Feb. 9, we finally see the release of the Surface Pro, a fully functional, fully manageable, fully securable tablet. I can't wait!
This story, "Why the Surface Pro will bury the Surface RT," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.