Bloomberg BusinessWeek: As rumored, on Monday Microsoft did indeed announce that it will begin producing a tablet to compete with Apple’s iPad. Called the Surface, the Microsoft tablet will run Windows 8, and it will come in both ARM and Intel x86 versions. The ARM version will launch when Windows 8 does. Microsoft hasn’t released pricing details but says the price will be similar to other tablets and ultrabooks.
Getting into the hardware market is a significant departure from Microsoft’s usual software-only strategy. “What can I say? Hell froze over — this is totally antithetical to their core business,” said Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg. “They’re taking their destiny into their own hands. It’s a bold move, but it’s a very risky one. This could turn into Microsoft’s next Zune or its next Xbox.”