Microsoft tackles iPad with Surface tablet
Microsoft has introduced its own line of tablets, marking a major strategic shift for the software giant as it struggles to compete with Apple and re-invent its aging Windows franchise. The new tablet line, named Surface, includes a consumer device aimed directly at the Apple iPad, and another, larger machine designed to compete with lightweight laptops. Both include a keyboard that doubles as a cover, and both will be powered by versions of the new Windows 8 operating system.The move breaks with Microsoft's operating model of the past 37 years, which has relied on computer manufacturers to make and market machines running Windows. It could throw the world's largest software company into direct competition with its closest hardware partners such as Samsung and HP. The new software is the biggest overhaul of Windows in years, and features a new touch-friendly interface dubbed "Metro". It is scheduled to be available for the Christmas shopping season. The lighter, thinner version of the Surface tablet, built on an Nvidia chip designed by ARM Holdings, will be the first to market at the same time as the general release of Windows 8, and will feature Microsoft's popular Office suite of applications. It is comparable to Apple's new iPad, heavier but slightly thinner. It has a 10.6 inch screen and comes in 32GB and 64GB memory sizes.
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