Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has finally announced the retail price for its new Surface tablet device. Not surprisingly, the world’s largest software company has set the price below that of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad in an attempt to steal away a portion of the ever-growing tablet market, of which Apple currently controls 70 percent.
Microsoft, which turned heads in June when it unveiled plans to start manufacturing computer devices for the first time, will offer a 32-gigabyte, Wi-Fi-only version of its Surface tablet for $499. IPads with comparable storage retail for $599.
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The company hopes that the Surface – which will be available October 26 and will tout a new, touch-capable Windows 8 operating system – will challenge the iPad’s unquestioned dominance in the tablet category, which it effectively invented in 2010.
The Surface will run on an Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ:NVDA) chip designed by ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH) and will feature new app-style versions of familiar Microsoft software like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The tablet, which will be slightly taller and heavier than the iPad, will also have the capability to run Xbox games and video and music apps.