Microsoft The Surface for Windows 8 Announced

UPDATE: After days of speculation about a Microsoft-crafted Windows 8 tablet, the software giant delivered the goods Monday night in Los Angeles, in the form of Surface–one tablet for Windows 8 RT running on NVidia’s ARM processor, and one for Windows 8 Pro, running on Intel’s Ivy Bridge (using the i5 core). Despite rampant speculation, the announcement still felt a little like a surprise.

The Surface for Windows 8 RT weighs 676 grams and is 9.3 mm thick. By way of comparison, the iPad weighs 652 grams and measures 9.4 mm thick. Using a 10.6-inch ClearType HD display, this Microsoft tablet includes USB 2.0, Micro HD, and microSD options for connectivity. The 2×2 MIMO antennas give it the strongest WiFi capability of any tablet, according to Microsoft’s Windows chief Steve Sinofsky.

Microsoft is making a big announcement on Today Monday — could unveil its first Tablet computer

What, exactly, that tablet will be remains up in the air. The company’s push toward Windows 8 has led to speculation that the company will show off its Windows RT tablets. But a report from TechCrunch has thrown some weight behind the ideas first floated by ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, who guessed Friday that the tablet would be a souped-up reader made in cooperation with Barnes and Noble — a device more like Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

Here is a comparison chart of the major tablets on the market:

tablets compared