Microsoft Surface tablet launch date revealed

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Microsoft Surface tablet launch date revealed
Microsoft Surface

Microsoft will launch its Surface tablet in late October - at the same time as its Windows 8 operating system.

The date is given as October 26 United States time, according to documents filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

When the Surface tablet was unveiled in June this year, Microsoft said it will first sell the ARM-based RT variant in October. The more powerful Intel-based Surface Pro won't touch down until January next year.

Australian launch dates and pricing for both devices are not yet known. For the United States, Microsoft says the RT will be priced "in line with comparable"  tablets, but the Surface Pro will go head on with ultrabooks in the market.

A Swedish retailer last week leaked the price of the Surface tablet online, with the 32GB Windows RT model reportedly set to retail for around $A977 - a lower price point than the comparable laptop/tablet hybrid Asus Transformer Pad Infinity ($A999).

According to the online retailer webhallen.com, the top end 128GB Windows 8 hybrid device will sell for around $A2097.

It is unclear whether the listed prices include the attachable keyboard. Microsoft is yet to comment on the leak.

Yesterday, Microsoft launched a range of new hardware for Windows 8, its new operating system that features a radically different touch-based user interface compared to existing and older versions of Windows.

These include the Wedge Touch Mouse ($US69.95 RRP), Wedge Mobile Keyboard ($US79.95 RRP) Bluetooth devices, as well as the Sculpt Touch Mouse ($US49.95 RRP) and Sculpt Touch Keyboard ($US49.95 RRP).

The existing Touch Mouse will receive an update to add support for Windows-specific gestures such as one-finger swipes, two-finger movements and three-finger pinch zooming.

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