The Microsoft Surface is already up for pre-order and prices are in line with those for the iPad starting at $499 for a 32GB model without the Touch Cover, which defines the Surface. You might argue that the Surface is actually a better deal because for the same kind of money you can only get a 16GB iPad. You’d be technically right, but to make the picture crystal clear, let’s also note that Windows 8 with Office would be nearly 12 times larger than iOS on the iPad.
According to a FAQ published Monday, a 32GB Surface has approximately 16GB of storage space available after accounting for the Windows RT operating device, numerous built-in “Windows Store” (formerly “Metro”) apps, OS recovery tools, and the bundled Office RT.
The operating system, apps and Office RT consume 8GB, while the Windows recovery tools occupy another 5GB. In other words, about 45% of the storage in an entry-level Surface RT has already been spoken for before the tablet is unboxed.
So while we can’t exactly say how much Windows RT takes up, fact of the matter is that you should get around 20GB of free space. And that’s not much more than the nearly 14GB of free memory on the 16GB iPad.
And that explains why you don’t have a 16GB Microsoft Surface – it simply wouldn’t have enough space for storing things outside the operating system.
And that’s what bothers us. It wasn’t until the day of the Microsoft Surface RT launch event, where prices were disclosed that someone from Microsoft first talked about how much storage space would be available to the user. And now, the Surface is already up for pre-order but important details like this one are only now appearing and not even through the official channels. We wouldn’t rush to get it until we know all the final details – it does seem like a beautifully designed product, but we know little more than that.