Microsoft has taken the wraps off its new Windows-powered competitor to Apple’s iPad — the Surface tablet computer, featuring a 10.5-inch display, Bloomberg reports. The display is almost an inch larger than the iPad’s — a key feature as Microsoft positions itself to try to put a dent in the Apple device’s market dominance.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer headlined an event Monday in Los Angeles to introduce the Surface tablet, which will be available later this year. “The Surface is something new that we think people will absolutely love,” Ballmer said.
The report notes: “The world’s largest software maker is stepping up its assault on the tablet market as consumers choose the devices over laptops, weakening personal-computer sales and curbing Windows revenue. The new strategy threatens to sour Microsoft’s relationship with some PC makers, many of which have been investing to develop their own Windows 8 tablets and may not want to compete directly with Microsoft.”
“Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg observed: “What can I say? Hell froze over — this is totally antithetical to their core business. They’re taking their destiny into their own hands. It’s a bold move, but it’s a very risky one. This could turn into Microsoft’s next Zune or its next Xbox.”
The story adds: “The company wants to release Windows 8, the new version of its software that is optimized for touch-screen tablets, in time for the end-of-year holidays and will have a version for x86 chips from Intel Corp. and for ones based on ARM Holdings Plc’s technology, which is also used in the iPad. The Surface tablet will be available in versions running both chip designs.”
The company will announce the price closer to the device’s release date, but it is expected to be “competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC,” the story notes.