Microsoft is indeed building its Windows 8 tablet computers to compete with the iPad, Chief Executive Steve Ballmer announced at the company’s mystery event in Los Angeles.
The company was emboldened by the success of the Xbox. It also drew on its history of building hardware products such as computer mice and keyboards to advance the Windows platform.
Ballmer outlined this history before unveiling Microsoft Surface tablets, with the brand of the company’s touchscreen, tabletop computers but in a widescreen, handheld tablet.
The company declined to say how much they’ll cost and when they’ll go on sale.
The tablet has a unique magnesium case, weighs 1.5 pounds, is 9.3 millimeters thick and has a 10.6-inch diagonal display with a kickstand built into the back.
Even more surprising is the device’s cover: Underneath the 3 millimeter thick accessory cover is a multitouch keyboard and trackpad.
Microsoft is pre-loading the tablets with Office.
There are two models, one based on Windows RT with an Nvidia ARM processor. A “Pro” version has Intel processors and is slightly bigger – 14 millimeters – but is compatible with existing Windows applications.
Janet Tu is blogging from the event.
Specs provided by Microsoft: