Microsoft Surface Pro hits US in February AFP 1/22/2013 8:20:42 PM Microsoft announced Tuesday that its business-oriented Surface Windows 8 Pro tablet computer will debut in the United States and Canada in February with a lofty starting price of $899.Microsoft also said that the consumer-focused version of Surface released late last year here will soon be available in 13 new markets around the world.The Surface Pro will be available on February 9 at Microsoft stores in the United States and Canada, at the online Microsoft store and at Staples and Best Buy and other retailers."The response to Surface has been exciting to see," said Microsoft Surface general manager Panos Panay. "We're thrilled to continue growing the Surface family."Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft described Surface Pro as providing "the power and performance of a laptop in a tablet package."Pro tablets, which Microsoft originally said would be released in January, will be available in 64-gigabyte and 128-gigabyte models.Microsoft introduced the Surface tablet in the middle of last year and began sales in time for the holiday shopping season.Although Microsoft has provided no sales data, analysts have said Surface is getting only a small segment of the tablet market led by Apple's iPad, Amazon's Kindle and several others powered by the Google Android system.The lower-cost version of Surface, with a starting price of $499, is now sold at Microsoft retail stores in the United States and Canada and online in the US, Australia, Britain Canada, China, France and Germany.Last month, Microsoft said it would begin selling the tablet in third-party retail outlets.