Moments ago, Microsoft announced it is putting out its own, Windows-based tablet: The Microsoft Surface. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer described it as "a whole new family of computing devices from Microsoft."
"We designed Windows 8 for the world we know, in which most computers are mobile," said Ballmer at a hastily announced Microsoft press event for the tablet. "Today we want to add another piece to that Windows 8 story."
The Surface features touchscreen and gesture technology, a scratch-resistant case and even a built in stand. You will be able to access familiar Windows programs like Office, as well as Xbox and Netflix.
The cover for the device is also a multi-touch keyboard, when combined with the case/stand, the Surface looks pretty much like the tiniest, skinniest laptop in existence. The device's stylus is magnetic, so it attached to the side or top of The Surface. The Surface supports digital ink, allowing you to mark up documents with a stylus (and presumably your finger.)
The device's "kickstand" is less than a millimeter thick (about the thickness of a credit card), and is designed to make "car-door noises" when it opens and closes in order to provide a "visceral attachement to the product."
Surface for Windows RT is coming in 32 GB and 64 GB models and will be priced like comparable tablets based on ARM. There will also be a Pro model coming in 64 GB and 128 GB models, which will be priced on par with Ultrabooks, around $1,000. According to Microsoft, the Surface will launch at the same time as Windows 8 for PC, which is currently slated for a late 2012 release.
Here's a Microsoft Surface tablet video:
And here's the obligatory Surface twitter feed.