Steve Ballmer and company announced the Microsoft Surface, a 10.6-inch 1.5 pound Windows 8 tablet, this evening in Los Angeles. Complete with a kickstand, and a Transformer-esque "cover" with a magnetic docking system and a tactile keyboard. We'll have to admit -- it's intriguing. It's also coming at a time when Microsoft is floundering in the mobile space with their smartphone offerings, and needs to hit one out of the park.
The hardware comes from Microsoft themselves, who made a big to-do about controlling both the hardware and the software of the Surface, and that's going to compete with their long-time partners like Samsung and HP, and more directly ASUS -- who has a knack for building great convergent tablet/laptop devices.. We're pretty certain we'll see similar models from other OEM's in the near future, but tonight was all about Microsoft.
What's probably most interesting is the fact that you'll be able to use the same full-featured programs you use today on a Windows computer on the Surface. That's a big deal, and gives this one some potential that more mobile-oriented tablets from Apple and Android OEM's simply lack. The Surface is more of a laptop competitor than a tablet competitor, and may force others to up the specs to keep in the running. Give me a tablet I can use to draw diagrams and schematics (or other "heavy" work) and I'm going to look twice. How about you? See anything here that grabs your eye? Hit the source links for more information, and there's a video after the break. Of course you'll find out everything you need to know about Microsoft's new gear at WPCentral.