(By Balaseshan) Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) has priced its most-awaited 10.6-inch tablet -- Surface with Windows RT -- in the $499 to $699 price range, and said the Windows tablet will be available for purchase starting October 26.
The most-anticipated tablet from Microsoft, which will likely put pressure on Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad and Google Inc.'s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android tablets, will be available for sale online in eight markets: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In June, the company's executives showcased two Windows tablets -- Surface for Windows RT and Surface for Windows 8 Pro. Surface for Windows 8 Pro, which will come with higher storage, battery and better display, is expected to be launched soon.
Surface with Windows RT will initially be available in three stock keeping units: a 32GB version priced at $499, a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at $599, and a 64GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at $699.
In addition to pricing and market availability, the company announced a special limited-quantity pre-order for Surface with Windows RT available 9 a.m. PDT.
Surface with Windows RT, which has a NVIDIA T30 chip and 2GB of RAM, comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview OS, which includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote.
The tablet, which has 10.6-inch ClearType HD Display, comes in the 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches dimension and weighs 1.5 pounds. It also has VaporMg casing, dark titanium color, volume and power buttons as exterior.
Surface with Windows RT, which comes in two fixed-storage options -- 32GB and 64GB, has two 720p HD front- and rear-facing cameras, 24W power supply, and has 31.5 watt-per-hour of battery.
The additional features included in the tablet are: full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, headset jack, HD video out port, cover port, two microphones, stereo speakers, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games.
Microsoft will also make available accessories, including Touch Covers in five vibrant colors -- black, white, magenta, cyan and red -- priced at $119.99 and a Type Cover in black for $129.99, which adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.
In a separate release, Microsoft has agreed to buy Cloud-integrated Storage (CiS) solutions player -- StorSimple -- for an undisclosed sum. The addition of CiS will advance Microsoft's Cloud OS vision and help customers more efficiently embrace hybrid cloud computing.
MSFT is trading up 0.54 percent at $29.67 on Tuesday. The stock has been trading between $24.30 and $32.95 for the past 52 weeks.