Microsoft's Surface Tablet To Compete With iPad

Microsoft has introduced a new tablet computer, called Surface, that it says works perfectly with the software giant's new operating system Windows 8. Microsoft didn't reveal when Surface would be available, but insiders are guessing this fall.

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Now in Hollywood last night, Microsoft unveiled its newest product: a tablet computer to compete with the iPad. Putting out a computer is an unusual move for Microsoft, which is mostly known for software.

NPR's Mandalit del Barco was at the announcement.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: At Milk Studios in Hollywood, a photo studio for the stars, Microsoft engineers revealed their snazzy new tablet, which they call Surface.

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BARCO: The ultra slim Surface has a built- in kickstand to allow users to stand it upright, and a keyboard that is embedded into the cover and attaches magnetically. It's designed to work with new Windows 8 operating system like other full-size laptop and desktop computers. Other popular tablets like the iPad and the Kindle Fire run mobile operating systems.

Microsoft is taking a big risk by competing against Apple's wildly successful IPAD, says Todd Bishop , the editor of Geekwire.com.

TODD BISHOP: That is one thing Microsoft is really trying to do here with this release, is to say hey, look at this awesome piece of hardware that we've got, we've created it end to end, we've thought about the experience. You know, it sounds like a luxury car when the kickstand snaps back in.

BARCO: But Bishop says Microsoft can only compete with the iPad if the Surface is easy to use.

BISHOP: If it's more cumbersome, if it's a long learning curve for people, which it very well could be, it's going to be a challenge for them.

BARCO: And they didn't say how much it's going to cost.

BISHOP: No. No pricing information.

BARCO: Although Microsoft still wouldn't reveal when Surface will be available, along with Windows 8, insiders are guessing this fall.

Mandalit del Barco, NPR News.

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