A brand new tablet PC called Surface has finally been announced by Microsoft.
Competing with Apple in any market is a tough call, but no sector is as dominated by the iPhone and iPad manufacturer as tablets.
Microsoft has attempted to differentiate its device from the competition by including a slide out keyboard into the tablet's case. The machine will also run Microsoft Office, meaning it offers the one thing that iPad cannot – a true portable Office suite on the move with no lack of functionality.
Two SKUs will be launched – one running the new Windows 8 software (and including an Intel i5 CPU) and the other running Microsoft's tablet-focused Windows RT (with an Nvidia ARM processor).
Both offer a 10.6-inch display, making them slightly larger than Apple's machine. 32GB and 64GB versions will be available of the RT machine while the Windows 8 version will come in 64GB and 128GB flavours – again, placing it well ahead of iPad.
Xbox functionality was touted, though not to the extent that yesterday's supposed leaks would have us believe. All we know for now is that Surface will support Xbox Live and will run some Xbox Live games.
It's a rare move for Microsoft to unveil its own hardware. Its previous strategy had been to offer OEM tablet manufacturers the chance to licence Windows.
No release date or pricing was announced.