128GB Surface Pro ships with 83GB free, 64GB has only 23GB

That 64GB, $900 Microsoft Surface Pro you plan on buying next week? Maybe you should temper your storage expectations a bit, as the base model actually only allots 23GB of that space for use. The larger 128GB version offers a bit more space at 83GB, but is still losing a massive 45GB of space to the full Windows 8 operating system and various included applications. Microsoft confirmed as much this afternoon, and issued the following the statement:

"The 128 GB version of Surface Pro has 83 GB of free storage out of the box. The 64GB version of Surface Pro has 23GB of free storage out of the box. Of course, Surface Pro has a USB 3.0 port for connectivity with almost limitless storage options, including external hard drives and USB flash drives. Surface also comes pre-loaded with SkyDrive, allowing you to store up to 7GB of content in the cloud for free. The device also includes a microSDXC card slot that lets you store up to 64GB of additional content to your device. Customers can also free up additional storage space by creating a backup bootable USB and deleting the recovery partition."

The Surface RT suffered the same issue when it launched late last year -- the 32GB base version only included 16GB of storage, while the 64GB version had 46GB available. The situation is what we'd call less than ideal, though you can always expand the on-board storage via the solutions Microsoft proposes. Of course, that means doling our more cash on an already expensive tablet -- not the best thing to find out after you've shelled out $900.