The latest competition to Apple's iPad is called Surface. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who did the unveiling in Hollywood this afternoon, says it's part of a new family of devices - and the company seems to be pushing Surface's ability to handle chores still reserved mostly for laptops. The 9.3 millimeter thick tablet comes with a kickstand to hold it upright and keyboard that is part of the cover. It weighs under 1.5 pounds (similar to the iPad). No pricing information was immediately available. From WSJ blog:
Microsoft slyly slams the tablet computers on the market today, including the iPad and devices such as the Kindle Fire, because Microsoft says those devices aren't useful for writing documents or doing some other kinds of activities we've gotten used to on traditional computers. Microsoft executives from CEO Steve Ballmer on down repeatedly use the words "no compromises" to describe the tablet computers they envision running Windows 8. In the Microsoft world, "compromises" are when buyers of iPads or other rival tablets relinquishing features they might want -- Microsoft Office spreadsheets and online videos in Flash and other features and functions available on PCs.
From the NYT:
The tablet has a built-in "kickstand" that will allow users to prop it up for watching movies, and a detachable cover that will serve double duty as a keyboard. The Surface tablet will run a variation of Windows 8, a forthcoming version of Microsoft's flagship operating system. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, said the product was part of a long-running effort by Microsoft to create hardware, like computer mice, that show off innovations in its software.