ZDNet: In an SEC filing, Microsoft has confirmed reports that it will launch its Surface tablet on October 26, the same day it plans to release Windows 8. Microsoft had not previously announced a launch date for the device. The filing states, "The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012. At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices."
The filing also noted that releasing its own hardware will bring Microsoft into direct competition with some of its manufacturing partners for the first time.