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'Microsoft Surface' Windows 8/RT tablets announced

The rumors are indeed true. Microsoft is getting into the tablet business with Microsoft Surface type tablet. The product, announced at the company's mysterious Los Angeles press event by the company's CEO Steve Ballmer, will be based on Windows 8.

The press event also revealed that it will have a 10.6 inch display. It weighs just 1.5 pounds, is 9.3 mm thick, and is supposedly the first such device with a magnesium case; it will also come with a kickstand. Microsoft will also release a cover for the tablet that will have a keyboard. Inside it will have a ARM-based processor made by NVIDIA and the pro version of Microsoft Surface will have Intel-based processors.

Microsoft has just launched a Microsoft Surface website with some more information along with some more images.

Microsoft has also released a spec sheet showing off both the Intel-based Surface (running Windows 8 Pro) and the ARM-based version (running Windows RT). The Windows 8 Pro is heavier and thicker and has a larger battery. The ARM version comes in 32 and 64 GB versions, while the Windows 8 Pro comes in 64 and 128 GB versions.

Microsoft's press release says that the Windows RT version will actually come out first "with the general availability of Windows 8". The Windows 8 Pro version is coming out 90 days later. Pricing will be announced later but Microsoft claims that it will "be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC. OEMs will have cost and feature parity on Windows 8 and Windows RT."

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