Microsoft has confirmed that its first-party foray into the tablet market will officially begin on October 26, when its Surface launches alongside its new Windows 8 operating system.
“The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012,” Microsoft said in its annual report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices.”
Two separate versions of the tablet have been announced thus far: Surface for Windows RT and Surface for Windows 8 Pro, with the Pro version sporting higher specs and, in all likelihood, a higher price tag.
The October 26 release date refers to the RT version only, as the Windows 8 Pro edition is expected to arrive sometime around 90 days later.
As for pricing, no official details were given, though recent estimates have the Surface for Windows RT at somewhere in the $500-600 range, while the Surface for Windows 8 Pro could be somewhere around or above $1,000.
By Jeff Dunn