It’s official! Microsoft has announced their Surface Pro tablet will be made available to the public on February 9. As Ed Bott reports in his article on ZDNet.com you will be able to purchase the Pro at Microsoft’s brick-and-mortar stores, its online store, Best Buy and Staples in the U.S. The starting price will be $899 w/64GB of memory. Additional options and add-ons are available.

The Surface Pro will be a little thicker and slightly heavier (by a half pound) than its less expensive sibling, the Surface RT, and Office will not be included (though you can add it). But because the Pro will use Intel’s Ivy Bridge i5 processor it will be capable of running just about any Windows desktop application. One possible down side? Battery life will be about half that of the Surface RT. Hey, there’s no free lunch!

What this means, of course, is that we will soon have even more choices when it comes to choosing our next computing platform. For her part, technology writer Mary Jo Foley explains why she WON’T be trading her Surface RT for a Surface Pro. But, as will be evident from the many comments following both of these articles, opinions are certain to be varied.

Which product would be best for you? As is so often true, the answer is: It depends! My advice is to read these articles and get as much information as you can. Then, compare the products’ features with your individual needs and make your choice accordingly.

It’s good to have options!