Microsoft enters tablet fray with Surface

Microsoft is launching its own tablet PC in October called Surface which will use the Windows 8 operating system.

Despite the recent high profile exits from the tablet market from the likes of Cisco there still seems to be an appetite among some vendors to take on Apple.

Microsoft took the wraps off the Surface last night, the first computer it has ever made itself and a platform designed to show off its next major operating system release Windows 8.

Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer indicated that October is the likely release for the tablet, which comes with a 10.6" HD display and a case that incorporates a keyboard.

Ballmer said that there would be no loss of functionality compared to a PC and it had made the decision to develop hardware that was specially designed to show-off Windows 8.

Salman Chaudhry, mobile computing analyst at Context, said that the success of Surface would be down to a combination of factors including price and the number of high quality supporting apps.

"We have seen how Apple has succeeded in the tablet space and how Google has fallen down by not owning their own hardware, which led to no uniformity and an unregulated jungle of apps," he said.

"Many might argue that Microsoft's tablet launch is too little too late, however if certain criteria are met and by coming into this market later than other vendors, Microsoft is in a strong position to take on Apple by bridging the gap between PCs and tablets with productivity tools such as Office - one of the key areas most other tablet manufacturers haven't been able to cater for," he added. 

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