Confirmed: Microsoft Surface tablets to ship on Oct 26
The Microsoft Surface tablet is slated to go on sale October 26, according to a report filed by Microsoft last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The 10-K filing is required of all U.S. public companies, which submit their audited financial results, as well as information about significant changes and events taking place in the year.
Though Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment, the Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) filing laid all the facts on the table. As reported in Computerworld, Microsoft said, "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."
As I reported, the Surface tablets will come in two distinct versions--a Windows RT version will run on ARM processors and measure just 9.3mm thick, and a thicker, 13.5mm Windows 8 Pro version will be based on an Intel processor. Both models will include full USB ports and memory card slots, and will come preloaded with Office 2013 apps.
While Windows RT Surface tablets will be sold on October 26, the Windows 8 Pro tablets will ship three months later, in January 2013.
When Microsoft unveiled its 10.6-inch Surface tablets in June, the move caught observers by surprise, including manufacturers who had lined up to produce Windows 8 tablets. At least one analyst has alleged that Microsoft had requested additional information about partners' designs just prior to unveiling the Surface, a move which he claims has left PC original equipment manufacturers "privately enraged."
In the filing, Microsoft acknowledged that the Surface devices will compete with its OEMs, which may affect their commitment to Microsoft's platform.
For now, important details about the Surface tablets remain unknown at this point, including their price. Stay tuned for more information that is sure to arrive in the weeks to come.