Microsoft has just announced that Windows 8, the next major update to its flagship operating system, will go on sale on October 26, 2012. The announcement was made my Steven Sinofsky during Microsoft's annual sales meeting. We're guessing that we'll see the Microsoft Surface tablet launch the same day.
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Yesterday we told you all about the big announcements Microsoft made--the Microsoft Surface tablet was unveiled, along with the intriguing Touch Cover and Type Cover accessories. There was even an odd Surface intro video they teased us with. Now, you can watch the entire Surface event in its entirety after the jump.
Now that Microsoft has revealed its plan to do battle in the tablet market, Microsoft Surface (as well as its super-cool accessories, the Touch Cover and Type Cover,) we thought you'd appreciate a look at the teaser video that Microsoft put together to unveil the product. Check it out after the break.
The Touch Cover is a futuristic multitouch keyboard accessory for the Microsoft Surface tablet that brings a thin profile and a measure of protection, but for those of you who'd prefer a tried and true tactile keyboard with real trackpad buttons, you'll wanna get a look at the Type Cover. Since the Touch Cover is a capacitive touch keyboard without any moving keys, it's the slimmer of the two, measuring in at 3mm thin compared to the Type Cover's 5mm thickness.
The first accessory announced for the new Microsoft Surface tablet today is the Touch Cover. A seemingly brilliant take on the tablet cover accessory, the Touch Cover serves as both a protective cover for Surface, as well as a full multitouch keyboard. You just open up the Surface kickstand, and the Touch Cover lays flat (3mm thin) and even registers typing faster than any other keyboard currently on the market, according to Microsoft. You get a full keyboard and touchpad. If that isn't your jam, you can opt for the Surface Type Cover instead.
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The rumor mill was calling for a new Microsoft tablet to be announced today, and thats exactly what happened. Just a few minutes ago, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the Microsoft Surface tablet. The Microsoft Surface is a companion to Windows 8, with Microsoft saying that it's "a tablet that's a great PC, and a PC that's a great tablet." The hardware is 9.3mm thin with edges beveled at 22 degrees. The casing is all magnesium, which is a first for a computer, making the Surface weigh in at 1.5 pounds. Oh, and it's also got a 10.6-inch display, so it's here to compete with the big boys. As you'd expect, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are present, as is a built-in kickstand, Gorilla Glass, and an amazingly thin 3mm cover that also doubles as a keyboard for touch typing.
Surface will be available in the model we just detailed, as well as a Pro model that supports a higher resolution display. It's got the same chassis, same kickstand, and supports the same accessories, but this model wuns full Windows 8 Pro rather than just Windows RT. It also supports digital ink by way of a stylus. When the Surface detects the pen, it stops accepting touch input, making it easy to write on. The upgraded model also has a DisplayPort, allowing you to plug it in to a larger monitor, this giving you the regular, full PC experience.
We’ve been fans of Catan since we first played it, interestingly enough, on the Xbox 360 as an Xbox Live Arcade download. Since then, we’ve enjoyed many hours of the strategic masterpiece both online and in social settings. Recently, we paid a visit to Seattle’s Vectorform, a developer for the Microsoft Surface platform. They gave us a look at their take on Settlers of Catan using the Surface tabletop, and even included a few very cool and interesting real-world peripherals. We quickly realized how interesting Surface can make tabletop gaming. Check out the video above to see what me mean.
Remember that Microsoft Courier video we showed you last week? Well our friends at Gizmodo were able to uncover a bit more about the mysterious and astonishing Microsoft tablet device. In the leaked video above, you get a look at the way that the fine folks in Redmond think you’ll integrate the Courier tablet device into your everyday life. We must say, it’s insanely slick, and we hope that it works exactly as shown. Of course, this is just a demo, and it doesn’t even feature a real hand or stylus.
That said, we are big fans of the “infinite journal” approach, and we can certainly see a lot of professional uses for such a device with a natural input system. What we are still curious about, though, is if this thing is also meant to be a multimedia device. You know, movies, games, music? The things that we are expecting the Apple tablet to excel at? Or is this a case of Microsoft recognizing that Apple has a stronghold in that area, and as such, they’ll focus on a different, underserved demographic? Time will tell.
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Our friends at Gizmodo recently got a fantastic scoop, revealing a project that Microsoft has been working on, known as the Courier tablet. This device has been a secret for the Microsoft for a long time now. According to Giz, this is more than just a concept device, but rather, Courier is in the “late prototype” stage.
Courier has two 7-inch screens that are touch sensitive, and are designed to be interacted by touch or with the very pen-like stylus. On its hinge is a home button like the iPhone, and this hinge serves as a virtual “pocket” to hold items that are moved from one screen to the other.
No word on price or availability just yet, but you have to admit that it looks quite sexy. Of course, this may not even come to fruition, but it’s a bold challenge to Apple’s dominance in the sexy multitouch devices department.
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Of course the Microsoft Surface is a gimme, but the X-Desk may be some competition. It is 52-inches, as opposed to MS’s 30-inch surface, and also reacts to multi-touch input and zoom. Interact with maps and images and play media files. It can also be used with PMPs and cell phones via Bluetooth. The X-Desk, which was developed by Impressx and Engage and runs with Epson 3 LCD projectors, will cost you $20,000, about the same as the Surface.
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