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Microsoft Surface Pro to Launch on January 29 During Brazilian Event

Microsoft has started sending invites for the launch of Surface Pro that runs on Windows 8 Professional on January 29 during a Brazilian event.

The “Surface Pro” will come in two flavors, a 64GB model for $899 and a 128GB model for $999. The Surface Pro is just .53in thick and weighs about 2 pounds, is powered by third generation Intel Core i5 processor, runs Windows 8 Pro, and sports a 10.6 inch display, with a 1920×1080 screen resolution.

The Surface Pro also comes with integrated HD Graphics 400 and 4GB of RAM.

Surface Pro will also run all the Windows 8 applications including (x86 and x64).

Here are some other key facts:

  • Surface Pro is slightly thicker (0.53in/1.35cm vs 0.37in/0.94cm) and heavier (2lb/0.9kg vs 1.5lb/0.68kg) compared to the Surface RT
  • 10-point multitouch support, while the Surface RT only has 5-point multitouch support
    higher-capacity battery (42Wh) compared to the Surface RT (31.5Wh)
  • Surface Pro comes with a pen, which can be attached to the side of the device in the magnetic connector. The pen has a button to activate the right-click function in Windows 8, as well as an eraser at the top to delete content within apps.
  • magnetic connector itself is stronger than it was on the Surface RT
  • Heat is ejected from a slot that surrounds the entire tablet for better device cooling
  • MicroSD slot has been moved to the side of the device for easier access
  • Supports USB 3.0 and comes with one port, unlike the Surface RT which does not have USB 3.0 support
  • Does not come with Office 2013 Home and Student but can run any full fledged x86 or x64 software.

Rhapsody OS X running through Bochs on Microsoft Surface RT

Also, now available is the Windows RT jaibreak tool that lets unsigned desktop applications on the operating system.

Available as a batch file create by XDA Developers forum user “netham45” does the entire jailbreaking of Windows RT system kernel automatically without user interaction.

The create admits that some users might get a BSOD after launching the application, but everything should work just fine on all RT tablets, including Microsoft’s Surface RT, he says.

The jailbreak would only last until the RT device is restarted, and and can be re-applied to ensure that you won’t lose the warranty or get infected by some sort of virus. To use it, all you need to do is:

  • “Boot your RT device and log in, allow it to sit on the desktop for about a minute.
    Run runExploit.bat, wait for it to do it’s thing (shouldn’t be more than 20 seconds or so)
  • Press Volume Down
  • Wait for runExploit.bat to finish, answer any prompts it gives. They should all be fairly self-explanatory,” explains the user.

RT Jailbreak Tool is available here.

In other RT hack, an Irish software creator Steve Troughton-Smith has managed to boot Apple’s Rhapsody OS X on a jailbroken Surface RT. It’s all possible through Bochs for Windows, one of the few apps that have been recompiled to work on ARM tablets after the jailbreak technique was officially released on the web.

Also, during the 11th Annual J.P. Morgan Tech Forum at CES 2013, Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller, revealed some in-direct hints of Windows Blue, the first major update for Windows 8 expected in mid-2013.

“[After] a day of distraction, people went back to the project that they’re working on, which we won’t talk about that today,” she said.

Microsoft has also announced the extension to offer local educational institutions software to help schools in the United Kingdom at special prices.

The initial agreement was signed in 2004, with the Department for Education (DfE) adding that this new partnership would help schools save approximately €12 million ($16 million).

“We know from our long-standing partnership with the education sector in this country that high-quality technology and software, combined with high-quality teaching, will help our children flourish at school. We will carry on working with the Department for Education, schools and educators to make sure that we continue to deliver this,” Steve Beswick, director of Education Sector at Microsoft UK, said.

Also, at its Channel9, Microsoft just posted two videos explaining how developers can port their Android and iOS apps to Windows Store.

The first session talks about “how to port Android apps to Windows Store apps with mapping relations between Android and Windows Store apps.”

“We’ll cover the programming architecture, UI control, application lifecycle, notification mechanism, and data storage. After this course, you’ll know the difference between these 2 platforms, and the best replacement when you port a feature to Windows Store apps,” Microsoft wrote.

This session discuss about “how to port iOS apps to Windows Store apps with mapping relations between iOS and Windows Store apps.”

Update 01/12: Support for PEGI and other ratings systems is an important part of the Windows Store–to help developers get the right content ratings, and let the users clearly show the type of content an app contains–Microsoft published a help article for developers to aquire content ratings for their Windows Store apps –“as many countries have consumer protection laws in place that require games to obtain and display an appropriate content rating.”

“The process for getting a content rating varies from system to system–first up developers must identify the markets where to sell an app, then they need to identify which ratings systems are required for each of those markets”–for example, “both ESRB and PEGI have online tools that can identify your app’s rating within minutes. Other systems, like CSRR, allow you to select the rating yourself,” Microsoft adds.

Developers after obtaining the ratings certificates, can use GDFMaker tool to create a GDF file and include it as part of your app package. “We use the GDF file to customize which ratings to show in your app’s listing page,” the company wrote. “If your app’s rating doesn’t meet the legal requirements of a given market, or if its content rating is incorrect, we may be required to remove it from the Store,” Microsoft added.

For more information, check out the Dev Center on content ratings and Windows game publishing requirements.

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