Microsoft Corp put its Surface tablet center stage at its Windows 8 launch event, hoping the sleek new device will spark a fight back against Apple Inc and Google Inc in the exploding mobile computing market.
With interest in traditional computers waning, the world's largest software company is attempting to reinvent the Windows PC in a new format and directly challenge Apple's all-conquering iPad.
The Surface is much taller than the iPad since Microsoft used a 10.6-inch screen to accommodate a wider keyboard and to provide more horizontal space for the software.
The Surface appears to be a cross between a tablet and a PC, and Microsoft's challenge now will be to educate the market as to why different is also better.
The device is equipped with kickstand that pops out of the Surface back that props it like a tablet and a cover that, when opened, acts as a keypad to switch into desktop mode.
The metal stand lies flush with the tablet when it isn't in use, but when you extend it, it holds the tablet almost vertically.
"It's twice the amount of storage as a competing tablet for the same price," head of Microsoft's Windows unit, Sinofsky said, comparing the entry level 32 GB Surface with the cheapest 16 GB model of Apple's latest full-sized iPad, which both cost $499.
Panos Panay, head of the Surface project, demonstrated the tablet's features, beaming video and music to other screens, showing off the ultra-thin cover that doubles as a keyboard, and hooking up a camera to the device's USB port. He even dropped the device on the floor to demonstrate its durability.
Microsoft stressed that the Surface, featuring a pre-installed version of Office, is not just for entertainment but also for work.
A variety of Surface accessories are also available for purchase, including Touch Covers in five vibrant colors — black, white, magenta, cyan and red.
Source : Yahoo.com