Microsoft confirms Surface will ship on October 26

Company stays mum on pricing plans for Microsofts first tablet, which will run Windows 8 or Windows RT

Microsoft Surface tablets will go on sale on Oct. 26, the same day that Windows 8 becomes available, the company disclosed in a 10-K report filed on July 26 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pricing for the Surface tablets, which run Windows 8 or Windows RT, wasn't disclossed.

Microsoft didn't respond to a request for comment on the 10-K report or its tablet pricing plans on Monday.

In the 10K filing, Microsoft said, "The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012. At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices."

Microsoft had previously announced via a blog post that Oct. 26 would be the launch date for Windows 8. The brief blog post, however, didn't specifically refer to the company's shipping plan for the Surface tablets.

In June, when Microsoft showed the 10.6-in. Surface tablets for the first time at Hollywood press event, company officials said that ARM-based versions of Surface for Windows RT would come out first -- at about the time of the general release of Windows 8.

The Surface Windows 8 Pro tablet, which runs an Intel chip, would launch about three months after the ARM tablets Microsoft said during the unveiling.

At the time, Microsoft said the Windows RT-based Surface tablets would be priced about the same as comparable tablets, while the Surface Windows 8 Pro would be priced about the same as ultrabooks, Microsoft said.

Microsoft on Monday separately announced new keyboards and mice that are optimized for the Windows 8 OS.

In the 10-K filing, Microsoft also acknowledged that it risks alienating its computer manufacturing partners with the launch of its Surface devices.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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