Part of the Windows 8 launch and its success hinges on the hardware that Microsoft will be selling alongside it. Surface is a slightly more complex product than what we’re used to, featuring a 10.6″ touch screen as a starting point, 32GB of storage space on a SSD and a starting price of $499.
While local availability is a bit of an issue, there will be plenty of third-party competitors ready to force their way in with their dual-screen options and tablets with keyboard docks. The $499 pricing is especially interesting becauase it pits the base ARM version with a low-profile keyboard against Apple’s 16GB iPad, something that Microsoft has viewed as a thorn in its side for a while now.
Will Surface take off? Its too early to tell really, but tablet pundits will surely reach to grab one and there’s one significant market where Microsoft will be able to score brownie points – those HP Palm and Pre 3 owners, especially if cellular companies and local retailers offer a tablet or laptop and Windows Phone bundle, something like a Lumia 610 along with some entry-level Toshiba 15.6″ laptop. But I’ll be covering the launch on October 26th, so be sure to check back in when that happens to see more details of how Microsoft plans to rule the hardware market and emulate Apple’s success. In the meantime, here’s a snappy ad of the Surface with its detachable keyboard dock: