Microsoft confirms October 26 Surface launch

Mark your calendars, folks. I suppose this should come as no surprise, but nevertheless, CNet News says Microsoft has confirmed the release date for its ARM-based Surface tablet. Here is the relevant snippet from Microsoft's latest SEC filing:

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

When Microsoft unveiled the Surface last month, the company did say the device would come out simultaneously with Windows 8's general release. (The Intel-powered model is supposed to follow "about 90 days later.") Microsoft shied away from citing specific dates at the time, though, so it's nice to get an official confirmation.

The ARM-based surface will come with Windows RT and Office 2013 Home and Student pre-installed, and Microsoft expects to price it competitively with "comparable" ARM tablets. The Intel-based model will be priced in the same league as ultrabooks and will ship with the standard x86 version of Windows sans Office. According to the rumor mill, the two devices might wind up costing as much as $599 and $799, respectively. Considering how badly Microsoft needs Windows 8 to gain a rapid foothold in the tablet market, I wouldn't be surprised if it aimed a little lower.

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