Microsoft Surface Tablet Arriving With Windows 8 On 26 October

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Surface RT release revealed in SEC filing, but no news on other versions of Microsoft tablet

Microsoft has revealed that the Windows RT version of its upcoming Surface tablet will launch alongside Windows 8 on 26 October.

The news was disclosed in a filing made with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which also revealed that the company expects the launch of the latest version of its operating system to harm its profit margins.

The filing did not reveal any information about other versions of the tablet, which was first announced last month and is being positioned as a competitor to the market-leading Apple iPad.

Microsoft Surface RT

“The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on 26 October, 2012,” read the filing. “At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices.”

Microsoft pledges that Windows 8 will work equally well on both tablets and PCs as it seeks to increase its presence on the tablet market amid slumping PC sales. Users can switch between a tiled interface and the more recognisable desktop mode at any time.

Central to this plan is support for ARM-based devices, with Windows RT the first Microsoft operating system to work on the British-designed  architecture. Microsoft, which recorded its first ever quarterly loss last week, says it is prepared to use its financial muscle to ensure that Windows it is a success.

In fall 2012, we are launching Windows 8, a major new release of our PC operating system that seeks to deliver a unique user experience through well-integrated software, hardware, and services,” said Microsoft in the filing. “Its success depends on a number of factors including the extent to which customers embrace its new user interface and functionality, successfully coordinating with our OEM partners in releasing a variety of hardware devices that take advantage of its features, and attracting developers at scale to ensure a competitive array of quality applications.”

“We expect to incur substantial marketing costs in launching Windows 8 and associated services and devices, which may reduce our operating margins,” it added.

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