Unveiling of the Surface

Microsoft’s tablet rivals the iPad

Microsoft Corp. on Monday unveiled a tablet called the Surface that comes with a keyboard and other features designed to hold its own in a market where Apple Inc. is king.

The new device was unveiled by Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.

Microsoft said the smallest Surface tablet is 9.3 millimeters thick and weighs 1.5 pounds, which is similar to Apple’s iPad, at 9.4 millimeters thick and 1.44 pounds. The Surface has a 10.6-inch screen compared with the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen.

The Surface has a built-in kickstand and magnetic cover, which also acts as a touch keyboard.

The Surface will “be priced like comparable tablets,” Windows Chief Steve Sinofsky said.

The tablet will be available at retail outlets and some online stores.

“No compromise”

Contractors were not identified, neither was the release date specified. The only hint to timing was that the first Surface models would be arrive when Windows 8 is available, expected to be in the second half of the year.

Mr. Ballmer and other Microsoft executives recurrently use the words “no compromises” to describe the tablet computers they envision running Windows 8 and Windows RT—which means that users will be able to use work-oriented tools like Microsoft Word and Excel programs, not just be used for watching movies and surfing the Web.

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