Microsoft has broken its 37-year tradition of never competing directly with its hardware partners by unveiling its own line of tablet PCs named "Surface"
LOS ANGELES, CA -- Microsoft unveiled its own line of tablet PCs at a press conference on Monday, putting the technology giant in direct competition with its hardware partners including Hewlett-Packard, Asus, Dell and Lenovo.
Introducing two tablets dubbed "Surface", Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer explained: "It was always clear that what our software could do would require us to push hardware, sometimes where our partners hadn't envisioned."
"With Windows 8 we did not want to leave any stone uncovered," Ballmer said.
The Surface-branded tablets feature a 10.6-inch touch display, built-in kickstands and magnesium case housing, which Microsoft described as the first of their kind.
The difference between the two versions is that one tablet runs Windows RT on an ARM chipset and the other, higher-end, version is based on an Intel chipset running Windows 8 Pro.
Both devices introduce some new innovations into the tablet PC space.
The device cover, for instance, flips down to become a full pressure-sensitive keyboard.
Analysts say that whilst Microsoft is introducing a number of unique features with Surface, it remains to be seen whether it will allow the tech giant to grab any significant share in the $79 billion tablet market off rival Apple Inc.
Microsoft has yet to confirm pricing and availability for the new Surface tablets.
Microsoft is entering the tablet PC space with its new Surface tablets
(promotional video courtesy of Microsoft)
June 19 (Bloomberg) -- Joshua Topolsky, editor-in-chief of the technology website The Verge, talks about Microsoft Corp.'s new Windows-powered Surface tablet computer. Topolsky speaks with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West.&am