One of the mysteries about the Microsoft Surface has been dispelled: this tablet is going to be released on the same day that Windows 8 debuts.
Curiously, Microsoft didn’t make a lot of hoopla about this announcement. Instead, it is buried in the company’s newly-released annual report:
The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012. At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices
There will be two distinctly different versions of Microsoft’s tablet. One of these will run the full version of Windows 8 Pro on an x86 processor, while the other will be based on the new Windows RT which was designed for ARM processors. When the Surface was first announced, Microsoft said that the Windows RT version would be out first, with the Windows8 Pro model coming three months later. This means the more expensive version is likely to launch in late January or early February.
The report did not reveal what the various versions of the Surface will cost, but there have been rumors. Microsoft has only said that these will be priced comparably to similar products from other companies.
More about the Microsoft Surface Series
Despite their differences, the two versions of the Surface will have a certain amount in common, including a 10.6-inch display. An optional case will do double-duty as a keyboard.
The device will be sold only in Microsoft’s own stores, and there won’t be a version with cellular-wireless connectivity. Instead, this will be a Wi-Fi only tablet.
Don’t miss our comparison of the Microsoft Surface and Apple iPad.