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China will get their retail Surface units early, thanks to time zones

WP Central

Time zones, these things are magical. Yes they can be quite confusing, and even stealing a day from your calendar or adding one to it without you knowing. But occasionally the difference in time could result in something sweet. In this case today, Suning, Microsoft's official sales partner for Surface RT in China, will commence the retail ahead of everyone else.

Suning just announced on its Sina weibo account that the retail of Surface RT will start at 0:00 October 26, Beijing time. The entire country of China lives in one single time zone: GMT +8. So that translates into high noon of October 25th for those living in New York. Sorry the math is a bit beyond me. The rest of you guys could calculate where it falls in your time...

WP Central

Suning changed the avatar of its official Sina weibo account to Surface advert.

The coming of Surface will start at Suning's "mega store" located in western part of Beijing. To further stimulate first day sales, Suning is giving out 450 Wedge mouses to those in the very front of the queue. And out of all midnight buyers, there will be 5 lucky guys randomly chosen to get their Surface tablets for free. Normally we Chinese don't like to stand in queues waiting though, and recently Beijing nights have become quite cold. Personally I'm not expecting a super long line in front of Suning's mega store...

I will be there for the event, and try to bring back pictures, hands-on video, or whatever I can get hold of on the site. Hoping to present you folks with something interesting. As a Chinese I'm feeling this early launch pretty special. Usually we are on the "oh for a second thought let's add these guys into our map" list of gadget makers. This is about the first time ever, an internationally anticipated product gets to Chinese consumers through legal channels before anyone else. Thank you Microsoft.

And... let's hail who's basically confirmed to be the first consumer on this planet to get his Surface RT. This dude is already camping in front of the Suning store, 30+ hours before the retail start. Tough guy...

WP Central

Achievement unlocked: early bird

Source: Suning, WPDang

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Reader comments

China will get their retail Surface units early, thanks to time zones

27 Comments

dont even hope... look what they did with Zune HD launch was confirmed n then they didnt bring it to India ... WP marketplace officially launched when nokia came on board... i just want nokia to build a x86 win8 convertible

They keep telling me ill get it by the 10/26. They say they can't charge my card until it's released on the 26th. Just don't understand.. :/

Awesome for China! I'm glad that Microsoft isn't ignoring everyone that isn't America on this. The only thing I don't understand: why are they waiting on the Surface with Windows 8 Pro?
<rant>I'd be in line at the Dallas store waiting for it to open if they were releasing the Pro on Friday, but it's only the RT, which I'm not as interested in. I want a tablet that's meant not only for consumtion of services, but also the production of services (what can I say, I'm a developer through and through).
Oh well, I pre-ordered Windows 8 for use with my ultrabook and desktop, so I should be good anyways. </rant>

With all the best intentions I tend to believe Microsoft left the 3-month buffer zone between Surface RT and Pro to give OEM partners some advantage in timing, effectively saying "We are not really robbing you of your business, chill." Hopefully this is true. And I was waiting for Surface Pro too, until quite recently when I begin to have doubts. If for serious productivity and heavy workloads, wouldn't I prefer a real ultrabook with 13.3" screen or bigger? Will legacy software work well enough on a 10" touchscreen? My job is mostly about translation, copywriting, and business research. Most of them could be done with Surface RT. Won't the Pro version be too heavy when I'm lying in bed trying to just read an e-book or browse the web?

Yes, I understand your reservations. I'm probably sticking with my Ultrabook ("2nd Gen" ASUS Zenbook) for now, and keeping my Nexus 7 tablet for consumption whilst on the go. And I also realize that they're trying to give their OEM partners a leg up, but as a consumer and devil's advocate, I would have liked to have seen Surface Pro release alongside RT. I know there's a lot of consumers confused right now that think the RT version will work just like Pro, and ordered right away. This may be bad for business, or it may jump start the app ecosystem into catching up with the rest of the tablet space, we won't really know for a few weeks.
Either way, I hope it doesn't hurt the Surface line-up or Microsoft's credibility. I would really like to see their tablets take off, or at least light a fire under their OEM partners to create more Windows 8 optimized tablet/hybrids and push the innovation in the tablet market even further. I like the speed at which mobile computing is moving, and I'd like to see it continue into the future. Tired of some of the stagnation with a certain OEM that uses a fruit for their logo, yet seems to still be the benchmark for all other tablet releases.

In the meanwhile the Surface Launch in Hong Kong got pushed back to early November, and this is just for the 64GB models. 32GB availability? TBA.
So much for being one of the first-wave launch countries. Looks like they have chosen to sacrifice us in order to meet the demand in other countries :(

Damn poor guy camping for an RT. I'm waiting on the pro or a nice ultra book with touch screen.

+8 GMT is the same for me in Australia :) There are numerous other countries (SE Asia in particular) that do too

Which raises the question... The east coast of Australia is currently +11 GMT and New Zealand is +13 (DST) so wouldn't they be getting it first?

HK got delayed till early November for some shipping issue. which is ridiculous. i could take 45 min train to shenzhen and get it by oct 26th. i think china takes all of hk stocks. Microsoft should have their hands on this matter.

Both of them sound to me like black magic, which I happen to feel remarkably easier than the other two.
      -- A guy who can't quite tell South America from Africa and need calculator for 96*11

I'm traveling, and am in Italy. Hoping to hit a Microsoft store when I get home on Saturday! maybe there is somewhere in Rome I can go tomorrow, anyone know?