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Last week, Microsoft had tech publications buzzing after the software giant announced it would be holding a press conference early this week. Amid all the speculation, one rumor seemed to carry the most weight: the company was releasing its own tablet. And yesterday evening, that rumor was confirmed at Milk Studios in Los Angeles. The company announced the Microsoft Surface, a powerful tablet that will provide direct competition for the Apple iPad.

According to reports, the new device has a 10.6 inch screen, weight 1.5 pounds, and is 9.3 mm thick. The company also announced a whole range of laptop accessories that would be available for the new tablet, including a razor thin cover that comes in a variety of vibrant colors and functions as a removable keyboard.

Microsoft has billed this device as the ultimate platform for its new Windows 8 operating system, TechCrunch states. Steve Ballmer, the current chief executive officer, explained that the Windows operating system was a key selling point for the Surface, which will be able to run Windows 8 in its Metro (or mobile) display and in desktop mode, depending on the user's preference. This could mean that this device will be going head to head with tablets and laptops with Windows as well.

Surface owners can choose between a lighter ARM microprocessor or a more heavyweight Intel chip if they really want a device with all the brute strength of a desktop computer. The ARM powered device comes with either 32 or 64 GB of storage on the device itself, while an Intel-powered option is available with 64 or 128 GB.

Though Microsoft has yet to set an official release date, or even name a price for the Microsoft Surface, this new piece of hardware has the potential to really stir things up once it hits the marketplace. For more information about this exciting piece of hardware, contact a retailer at PortableOne.

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