Though it's not exactly an earth-shattering revelation, Microsoft has confirmed that Surface tablets will arrive October 26 along with Windows 8.

" The next version of our operating system, Windows ۸, will be generally available on October ۲۶,۲۰۱۲. At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft - designed and manufactured hardware devices, " Microsoft said in its annual report filed this week with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Microsoft has said before that Surface products " would be available the same time that Windows ۸ " was launched, but it ' s reassuring to see the date in writing.

And, remember, those are Windows RT tablets only. The Intel - based Surface Pro is expected about ۹۰ days later, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft has also peppered disclaimers throughout the annual report(these appear often in SEC filings) about the success, or lack thereof, of Windows ۸.
That last part about " may reduce operating margins " is something Wall Street will of course be watching closely. In short, if Windows ۸ is not relatively successful, this may fuel doubts about Microsoft ' s viability in the age of the iPad and Android.

The Surface products will be offered in basically two forms. One is expected to be a more price - friendly version running Windows RT on top of ARM chips. The other, likely a bit pricier, will run Windows ۸ Pro on top of Intel " Ivy Bridge " processors.
And pricing? While there ' s a lot of whacky speculation about sky - high pricing, Microsoft ' s own guidance portends a more rational pricing scheme.

" Suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to availability and is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook - class PC, " Microsoft said in a statement.

Based on that statement, a back - of - the - envelope estimate could put - - the operative word here is " could " as this is simply speculation - - Windows RT products as low as $۵۰۰ - $۶۰۰ and Windows ۸ Pro Intel - based products ranging up to $۱,۰۰۰, or possibly higher.

That said, Microsoft's pricing plans are undoubtedly in a state of flux, and we won't know until the company tells us.