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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108 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.
Score: 195 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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108 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.
Score: 154 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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108 months ago
That's what the iPad is missing. Vents and cooling fans.
Score: 144 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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108 months ago
Props to Microsoft for designing something different instead of just copying, unlike other manufactures. ;)
Score: 125 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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108 months ago
It took more than 2 years, but the iPad actually has some decent competition finally.
Score: 113 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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108 months ago
I love the keyboard! Will need it for CTRL-ALT-Delete! :D
Score: 97 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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