While it may be too late to “kill” Apple’s (AAPL) iPad, Microsoft (MSFT) has its eye on grabbing its own piece of the booming tablet PC market.
On Monday, Microsoft announced the launch of its Surface device, which, according to The New York Times, has the same weight and thickness of an iPad, but offers a 10.6-inch screen – about an inch larger than the iPad – and a built-in “kickstand” that allows the device to be propped up for viewing. The Surface also offers a thin detachable cover that will serve as a keyboard.
Bloomberg News reported that the addition of the keyboard/cover combo could increasingly make the purchasing of laptops a questionable move for consumers, as tablets start becoming a more viable alternative.
In another effort to distinguish the Surface from the iPad, Microsoft designed 200 custom parts, and noted that if you tried to cram a piece of sticky tape inside the device, it would “bulge with imperfection.”
The product’s release is scheduled for this fall. Microsoft didn’t provide any pricing information.
While the news created the immediate perception of a two-company battle, Google (GOOG) also will reportedly enter the fray in July. CNET News reported that the internet search giant will unveil its version of a table on June 27, which will be available for consumers in July.
According to CNET, Google’s version of the tablet will be available for around $199, making it a much cheaper alternative to the Apple and Microsoft products, which are expected to be roughly in the same range.
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