06:14PM – After a late start, to its press event, Steve Ballmer takes the stage to talk up Windows 8 and announces “another piece to the Windows 8 story.”
06:21PM – After a retrospective on Microsoft milestones in hardware, Ballmer announces a new version of Microsoft Surface as a dedicated tablet. “Hardware and software pushing each other.”
06:27PM – The Surface features a magnesium bodyshell weighing 1.5 pounds with an optically bonded display. Microsoft has trademarkeed the manufacturing process under the trademark VaporMag. The Surface also features a full-size USB 2.0 port and a miniHDMI port along with front and rear cameras. Of note is a new cover with magnetic connector that protects the tablets display while functioning as a full-size keyboard, complete with trackpad.
06:33PM – The Surface tablet is powered by an Nvidia Tegra-based ARM processor, while Ballmer confirms that Surface is built primarily for RT but versions will also be developed for Intel x86, with the demo unit being demonstrated today being powered by an Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor.
06:36 – More features confirmed for the tablet include a new perimeter cooling solution for ventilation without discomfort and support for a new “digital ink” software which plays up the optical bonding process for the display to act as if the display itself were a piece of paper.
06:39 – TPM support confirmed for enterprise applications requiring higher than normal security requirements. Should be noted Surface will ship as a part of Windows 8 Pro as well as shipping on dedicated hardware as its own device.
06:47 – Microsoft goes into detail on the manufacturing process of the tablet and corrects the trade name as “VaporMg.” Of particular interest is the built-in kickstand which was designed as part of the 200+ parts in the tablet and one of the thinnest at .7mm, reflecting the increased attention to detail that Microsoft practiced when developing the device. The cover previously mentioned earlier is known as the Touch Cover and actively affects the Surface behavior once its connected. Of note is the 3mm thickness, which was determined by Microsoft to be the perfect thickness for people to take it with them as often as possible and also features an accelerometer.
06:53 – Continuing on the Touch Cover, it is comprised of seven total layers of material with the capability to customize colors when in use, but also turns off when not in use. The cover also features palm rejection for the built-in keyboard functionality.
06:55 – Pricing and availability for Surface is split into RT and Pro models. Surface for Windows RT tablets will ship in 32 and 64GB models, while Pro models will ship in 64 and 128GB models. Pricing for RT to be comparable to Tegra tablets, Pro models to be comparable to current generation Ultrabooks.
RT tablets will launch around the same time as Windows 8 proper this Fall, while Pro versions will follow for the Holiday season. That wraps it up for now.