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Microsoft Ready to Release Its Tablet That Runs Full-Fledged Windows 8

(A Microsoft "Surface" Pro, with its optional keyboard/cover.  Microsoft photo)

(A Microsoft “Surface” Pro, with its optional keyboard/cover. Microsoft photo)

Ian Bush Ian Bush
Ian Bush is an anchor, reporter, news editor, and technology editor&nb...
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By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Finally putting a price tag on the device, Microsoft has announced that its “Surface” tablet will go on sale next month.

At $899, the 64GB Surface Windows 8 Pro carries a $199 premium over the high-end (WiFi-only) third-generation iPad.

So what do you get for your money?

“I think they’re trying to appeal to the sort of person who is either invested in or has a work connection with Microsoft products and services — things like Office and Exchange e-mail,” says Windows expert and ZDNet.com contributing editor Ed Bott.

Bott says the new Surface is designed to be a Windows 8 computer that runs all your PC programs — unlike Microsoft’s flagging Surface RT, which runs only “Metro” apps — but still fits, in a slightly chunky way, into a tablet form factor.

“When you attach the keyboard to it and put the kickstand out, it turns into something very close to a conventional notebook PC,” Bott notes.

The keyboard is also a cover for the Surface, but it’s a $129 accessory.

The Surface tablet goes on sale February 9th.

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