There are two versions of the Microsoft Surface Pro, one with 64GB of internal storage and another with 128GB. However, Windows 8 Pro uses up a substantial percentage of this. Still, it seems the shipping version will have slightly more storage available to users than the pre-release ones do.
Those testing early versions of the Surface Pro have noted that the 128GB version really has 83GB of storage available to the user while the 64GB version has just 23GB. The rest of the space is taken up by the operating system.
According to Microsoft’s Surface Team, the final shipping version will give the user 6 – 7GB more. That should bring the totals up to about 90GB for the 128GB version and 30GB for the 64GB one.
The Surface design team answered questions about the tradeoffs in this tablet on Reddit today, and addressed this issue, as well as battery life.
A comment from the team — either from Surface team lead Panos Panay or Microsoft’s VP of testing Marc DesCamp — is:
“Available disk space is a design choice and a tough one to make as an engineering team. It is a clear set of tradeoffs to provide the customer more space while providing them the tools out of the box. We created a simple disk image with only a few critical applications out of the box installed to provide choice. “
Some expert users have pointed out that the storage capacity of the Surface Pro can be increased several gigabytes by deleting the system recovery image. Some have asked why this large file was even included in the first place.
Microsoft’s response is:
“Ideally, you will never need your recovery image, however this is a choice we would prefer the customer to make vs. having the customer need the recovery image not realizing they needed to create one themselves.”
Questions were also raised about the 64GB version. Even with the slight increase in storage on the final version, more than half of the hard drive is going to be taken up by the operating system — should this model be released at all?
The Microsoft team said:
“We decided to ship a Pro 64GB sku as it provides full windows 8 and enough storage for a number of large application installs such as games, productivity apps etc. which usually run in the multiple GBs. It also provides you flexibility to extend storage should you need. If you plan to carry more personal items with you locally, our 128GB may be the better option for you.”
As the team pointed out, those wanting additional storage can add up to 64GB with a microSDXC memory card, a USB 3.0 thumbdrive, or by accessing the SkyDrive cloud-storage system.