In a blog post yesterday, Microsoft confirmed the availability of the Surface Pro in Australia. The long-awaited Windows 8 tablet will be ready for purchase locally from Thursday 30 May, either from the Microsoft Store or from retailers Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi, the same retailers that also sell the Windows RT version of the Surface.

The announcement has been a long time coming, with the tablet being available for purchase in North America since February of this year. Many Australian users who have been too eager to get one may have already purchased one from America, or through importers such as Expansys (which is where we got our early review unit in March).

Encouragingly, pricing for the Surface Pro will start at $999 for the 64GB version and $1099 for the 128GB version. That price doesn't include a slim keyboard cover. The two keyboard covers that are available, the Type Cover and the Touch Cover, will cost an extra $149.99 and 139.99, respectively.

This pricing makes the Microsoft Surface competitive against other Windows 8 tablet products in the Australian market, such as the Acer Iconia W700, especially because its configuration includes an Intel Core i5 CPU and a Full HD screen, and it's cheaper than many convertible (or hybrid) products such as the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro 700T that have a keyboard dock.

Unlike the Windows RT-based version of the Surface tablet, the Surface Pro with Windows 8 can be used for regular desktop work, or purely as a tablet through the Windows 8 Modern UI, and apps can be downloaded to run in the modern environment through the Windows Store.