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Microsoft unveils Surface tablet to rival iPad

Discussion in 'Tech, Gadgets & Science Forum' started by BabuK, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. BabuK

    BabuK JF-Expert Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
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    Upending one of the world's most successful business strategies over the past three decades, Microsoft has developed a Windows tablet computer of its own design.The company on Monday unveiled the Surface, a PC tablet that runs a yet-to-be released version of its Windows operating system called Windows 8. The device is the first commercial PC that Microsoft has directly designed and sold.
    The tablet features many of the now-standard tablet specs, including a 10.6 inch high-definition touchscreen and front and rear facing cameras, which all fit into a 9.3 millimeter, 1.5-pound frame.
    But Surface also brings some new innovations to the tablet space. The device's cover, for instance, flips down to become a full keyboard. It features a rigid case built from magnesium, a pen that clicks into the tablet and a built-in kickstand. (Click here for our hands-on demo of the Surface.)
    Microsoft is recycling -- or extending -- a brand name it has used before. The first "Microsoft Surface" device, which began shipping in in 2008, was a giant touchscreen computer aimed at retailers and other commercial customers.
    Microsoft's Surface tablet will first be available on a version of Windows 8 called Windows RT. That operating system will run on microchips designed by ARM (ARMH), which are inside 95% of the world's smartphones and tablets. Another version of Surface will be designed for the fuller Windows 8 operating system, which will run on Intel chips.
    Microsoft didn't give specifics, but the company said the Windows RT version will be available sometime this fall in 32- and 64-gigabyte versions and will be priced "comparably" to other tablets on the market. Apple's most basic version of the iPad retails for $499.
    The full Windows 8 version will be available three months later in 64- and 128-GB versions. Microsoft plans to set its price point in the same zone as ultrabooks, which typically run around $1,000.
    Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) said it will not be the exclusive manufacturer of Windows tablets.
    Still, it's a radical shift for the world's largest software company.