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Microsoft to launch tablet
19.06.12 | Philip Jones
Computer giant Microsoft is to launch a tablet device competing head-on with Apple's iPad, for the fast-growing tablet market. The Surface, which offers a slightly larger screen than the iPad, will "be priced like comparable tablets".
The new device was unveiled by Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer at an event for journalists last night (18th June), though some seemed disappointed by the lack of specific details, including a launch date or price.
The move could, however, provide a fillip for Barnes & Noble, which went into partnership with Microsoft earlier this year. The tablet will operate Windows 8, on which B&N is providing the e-reading platform and store-front.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft said the Surface tablet was 9.3mm thick and weighs 1.5 pounds, which is similar to Apple's iPad, at 9.4mm thick and 1.44 pounds. The Surface has a 10.6in screen compared with the iPad's 9.7in screen. It also comes with a keyboard, although there was no word on whether it would offer 3G or just wi-fi.
"The Surface is a PC, the Surface is a tablet and the Surface is something new that we think people will really love," Ballmer is reported as saying.