On June 18, 2012, in Los Angeles, California the Microsoft announced that it is introducing a tablet, the Surface. It will be arriving in October 2012. Software and hardware for the Surface will be made by Microsoft. This is a new dimension for the long standing software company. Now it will compete with its business partners such as Dell, Acer, and Hewlett-Packard, and challenge Apple who is dominating the field.
Until the new Surface, only hardware that Microsoft owned was Xbox, keyboards, and mice. The Surface will weigh 1.5 pounds, 9mm thick, and will run on low-power ARM chips. It will have a built in kick stand and body made of light weight material called vapor-deposited magnesium. The inside of the cover will house a full size keyboard. Few months later a slightly bigger Surface that runs on more powerful Intel chip will follow the first release. This version will support yet to be released Windows 8 and other earlier Windows applications. According to Microsoft pricing will be comparable to similar units available in the market.
Critics say the announcement indicates hardships that Microsoft is facing. Until Surface it has not announced any plans beyond Windows 8 which is due later this year.