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Microsoft Announces New 'Surface' Tablet, New Hardware and Software Based on Windows 8

Microsoft today unveiled a major tablet initiative to compete with Apple's iPad, Google's Android, and its own PC hardware partners.

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The Microsoft Surface is a 10.6" tablet powered by Windows 8, coming in two distinct versions -- both equipped with touch screens. One will be powered by an ARM processor and will be more like a traditional tablet running Windows RT. The other will be powered by Intel's 22nm Ivy Bridge chips running the desktop version of Windows 8.

As reported by The Verge:
The Windows RT version is just 9.3mm thin, weighs 1.5lbs, includes a built-in kickstand and is the first PC with a vapor-deposited (PVD) magnesium case, according to Microsoft. It will ship in 32GB or 64GB versions.

Microsoft's Intel-based Surface tablet will run Windows 8 Pro, with a thickness of 13.5mm, a weight of 1.9lb, and USB 3.0 support. This particular version will also include magnesium casing and a built-in kickstand, but will ship with either 64GB or 128GB storage. The Intel version will include additional digital ink support through a pen that magnetizes to the body of the tablet.

In addition to the tablet itself, Microsoft will sell two Smart Cover-like devices that attach magnetically to the Surface. Unlike Apple's add-on, which serves only as screen protection and as a stand, Microsoft's Touch Cover and Type Cover turn into a full-sized keyboard complete with a built-in trackpad. Microsoft says using the Touch Cover is "twice as efficient as typing on glass", a clear shot at the iPad's on-screen keyboard.

Microsoft did not share any information on pricing or availability, saying both the ARM and Intel editions would be price competitive with like products.

Top Rated Comments

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24 months ago
I applaud Microsoft for doing something Google should have done with Android in releasing their own tablet. You can't hate on Microsoft for trying, competition is always a good thing.
Rating: 203 Positives
24 months ago
That's what the iPad is missing. Vents and cooling fans.
Rating: 175 Positives
24 months ago
I'm really rooting for this to be great, just so Apple can get a fire under their belly to do that much better, once again. Competition is what makes innovation happen.
Rating: 162 Positives
24 months ago
Props to Microsoft for designing something different instead of just copying, unlike other manufactures. ;)
Rating: 139 Positives
24 months ago
It took more than 2 years, but the iPad actually has some decent competition finally.
Rating: 131 Positives
24 months ago
I love the keyboard! Will need it for CTRL-ALT-Delete! :D
Rating: 106 Positives
24 months ago
No matter how cool it looks (very and well done Microsoft!) it's value and appeal is irrelevant without

1. Price
2. Battery Life
3. Availability

None of the three were announced today.
Rating: 103 Positives
24 months ago

This is the beginning of the end for the iPad and Apple.


No, this is the beginning of real tablet competition in the marketplace.
Rating: 95 Positives
24 months ago
Battery life? Will be interesting.

I'm a little surprised in a good way. Didn't think Microsoft had this in them. They spent way too long in their presentation talking about the keyboard though. They still don't understand ecosystem, content, apps.

We'll see.
Rating: 82 Positives
24 months ago
Well it's very "Microsoft", it has a kickstand.
Rating: 82 Positives

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