Microsoft Unveils the Surface, a Tablet to Rival Apple’s iPad

Microsoft unveiled the Surface, a tablet to rival the iPad, at a conference in Los Angeles Monday

Last Updated: June 18, 2012 @ 6:19 PM

Microsoft unveiled the Surface, a new tablet to compete with Apple's hegemonic iPad, at a highly anticipated press conference in Los Angeles Monday afternoon.

TheWrap broke the news exclusively last week that Microsoft planned to manufacture its own tablet, breaking into territory dominated by rival Apple. 

Microsoft's Window 8 technology has been used in other tablets, but this marks a major shift for Microsoft as it enters the tablet hardware market — putting it in direct competition with Apple.

"It's something new, something different, a whole new family of computing devices from Microsoft," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

"A tablet that's a great PC, a PC that's a great tablet," said Steve Sinofsky from the Windows team. "A new kind of computing."

The ceremonious product reveal took place at Milk Studios in Hollywood, where droves of journalists and techies filed into the building to the song "We Are Young" by Fun. 

Also read: Microsoft Manufacturing Tablet to Rival Apple iPad, Says Insider (Exclusive)

Along with the 10.6 inch tablet, Microsoft revealed a type cover — closely resembling the iPad's smart cover — though it has a built-in keyboard. The Surface also allows users to write and edit text on the device with a magnetized stylus.

Though rumors that the new tablet would compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire e-reader tablet buzzed in the lead-up to the event, the Surface not only resembles the iPad — the event announcing it was in true Apple fashion.

The two Silicon Valley giants have often marked two poles at either end of the personal computing spectrum. But as Apple gains market share, Monday's unveiling appears to be a shift toward Apple's style of product launches — highly secretive, invite-only and visually stimulating with its demonstrations.

Here is the promotional video released by Microsoft: