Microsoft has been showing quite a lot of interest in customer feedback lately, with sources familiar with the matter hinting that the company might actually bring back the Start button in Windows 8.1 this summer.
As far as the Surface tablet goes, Microsoft won’t launch any other customized version of the device unless the customers “really need it.”
China was an exception, Panos Panay, the man in charge with the Surface division at Microsoft, said in an interview with Chinese website WPDang.
“The Chinese market has been a priority ever since the designing stage of Surface computers. After the launch of Surface RT in China, we got plenty of feedback from consumers here, saying they love how Surface RT comes with Office 2013 Home & Student (RT). If that is what they want, Microsoft delivers. Yes, just China,” he said according to a WPCentral.com report.
“There won't be customized Surfaces for any other region according to our current plans. This is because the Chinese consumers have demonstrated definite and strong demand for [permanently licensed Office suite].”
China is the only country in the world that got a customized version of the Surface tablet, as Microsoft replaced the Windows 8 Pro operating system installed on local devices with Windows 8.
In addition, it also offered a fully licensed Office 2013 Home & Student on the Surface Pro, while the versions sold in the United States come with a one-month trial of the productivity suite.
Panay hasn’t provided too many details on the “strong demand” it’s expecting in order to release a customized version of the Surface tablet, but media around the world clearly plays a key role in this process.
In the meantime, Microsoft is planning to launch the Surface RT and Pro in lots of new countries in the coming months, as the company is striving to expand international availability of both models.