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Microsoft announces Surface tablet computer with Windows 8

Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer introduces the all-new Surface tablet during the company's mystery event in Los Angeles, Calif. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Updated June 19, 2012 9:10 a.m. ET

(CBS News) Microsoft announced the Surface tablet computer Monday at an event in Los Angeles. Chief executive officer Steve Ballmer took the stage at Milk Studios to show off the company's new tablet.

The Microsoft Surface features a 10.6-inch display, a full version of the Windows 8 operating system, Gorilla Glass, a built in kickstand and a tactile multi-touch keyboard.

"We wanted to give Windows 8 its own hardware innovation. Something new, different, a whole new family of computing devices from Microsoft," said Ballmer.

Full coverage of Microsoft at Tech Talk

Steven Sinofsky, president of Windows, took the stage after Balmer to highlight the features of the Surface tablet. Microsoft's new tablet come installed with Microsoft Office, has a 3 millimeter smart cover that doubles as a keyboard and uses a stylus. The Surface's stylus is described as using "digital ink," which reads at 600 dots per inch (dpi).

Two versions of the tablet were announced: An Intel-powered Surface Pro and the Surface RT, which is powered with an ARM chip that runs Windows RT - a version of Windows 8. The Surface is touted as the "first PC with a magnesium case." The Windows RT tablet will come in a 32GB or 64GB model, while the Windows 8 Pro model will be be available in 64 GB d 128 GB models.

"Less than 2 lbs, less than 14 millimeters, but it's a full PC," said Michael Angiulo, corporate vice president for Microsoft. The Windows RT model is slightly slimmer, at 9.3 millimeters.

Microsoft has historically been a software company. This is the software giant's first foray into hardware. 

"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. OEMs will have cost and feature parity on Windows 8 and Windows RT," Microsoft said in a press release.

Video of the Microsoft Surface below.

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