Microsoft Corp. on Monday unveiled a Windows tablet computer of its own design, the first commercial PC that the Redmond, Wash.-based company has directly designed and sold.
The tablet, called the Surface, runs Windows 8, a yet-to-be released version of its Windows operating system, and features many of the standard tablet specifications, such as a 10.6-inch high-definition touch screen and front and rear facing cameras.
Following the widely successful line of Apple Inc.’s iPad, Surface also brings new innovations to the tablet world. The device’s cover flips down to become a full keyboard, rather than the external keyboard that needs to be added to an iPad to achieve the same result. Surface also features a rigid magnesium case, a pen that clicks into the tablet, and a built-in kickstand.
The tablet, running Windows RT, will be available this fall in 32- and 64-gigabyte versions. The full Windows 8 version will be available three months later in 64 – and 128-gigabyte versions.
The company said suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to release date and is expected to be “competitive with a comparable ARM tablet.” The most basic version of an iPad now sells for $499, although an impending mini version of the iPad will sell for a lower price.
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