Microsoft Surface tablet release date confirmed in SEC filing

Microsoft Surface tablet release date confirmed in SEC filing

Summary: Surface tablets will be available in the US from October 26, the same time as Windows 8, a filing has shown


Microsoft has officially confirmed that it will release its upcoming Surface tablet to coincide with Windows 8 US availability on October 26.

The company revealed the date in a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing on Thursday.

Surface tablet
Microsoft has confirmed the release date of its Surface tablet. Image credit: CNET News

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

The Surface tablet was announced in June, but no release date or specs were given at the time. Microsoft has not confirmed at the time of writing if the 26 October release date covers the US only, or if it will extend to other markets.

While the Surface tablet release was largely expected to coincide with Windows 8 availability, this is thought to be the first time the date has been publicly confirmed by Microsoft.

The Surface, which shares its name with Microsoft's range of table-top touchscreen devices, could bring Microsoft into competition with its own OEM partners, the filing added.

Topics: Microsoft, Tablets, Windows

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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  • Groundbreaking

    What's this? A thin and light "tablet" device with capacitive, multi-touch capabilities and an operating system designed for touch input?

    Ha, ha, ha! Let's just see Apple top this! My guess is that they're probably two to two and a half years away from developing similar technology... at the pace that technology advances, that pretty much gives Microsoft an insurmountable lead.
    • They are gonna eat you alive...

      On a side note, I want to see the iPad, Galaxy Tab, and Surface tablets go head to head in a drop test. Say start waist high, then head level, then a 10 foot ladder :)
    • Not groundbreaking...

      that would have been MS's original tablet. Then the iPad came along and innovated on that... now MS is coming around again and innovating on that. See how that works!
      • That works as

        "late to market"

        Anyway, since there are way too many people who subscribe to Microsoft religion, my prediction is these will sell as fast as Microsoft is able to manufacture them.
        • Will the name "Windows" confuse?

          I think that will be true of the x86 versions coming next year, but I have my doubts about the ARM units. People will hear that they are "Windows" tablets. The question is whether they will find out before or after they plunk down their money that the RT tablets do not run legacy Windows applications. If it comes as an ugly surprise after people get the units home, the brand will be destroyed before "Surface" even gets off the ground.

          Microsoft is supposedly going to severely restrict distribution, to their own web sites and stores. They need to make really sure that people understand what they're buying. Before they allow Surface RT into the Best Buys of the world, they need to make sure they know how to prevent unhappy customers and a high return rate.
          Robert Hahn
          • Not to mention that

            Windows RT tablets will be released with a *Preview* of Office 2013 as it won't be ready in October, 2012.

            Will Microsoft get hit with the same outrage by tech journalists and bloggers that RIM did for releasing their Playbook tablet before their native email client was ready?
            Rabid Howler Monkey
          • I'm sure they'll think of something to rage about

            That's the way it seems to work anyway....

            So, now that a release date is known (note that I didn't say announced), will the hater "tech journalists" be appeased?

            No, seriously doubt it.
            milo ducillo
          • Surface RT in MS Stores

            "Before they allow Surface RT into the Best Buys of the world, they need to make sure they know how to prevent unhappy customers and a high return rate."

            The Surface RT will only be distributed on Microsoft Stores (I suppose it includes the online store too). Maybe what you post could be the reason MS decided it won't be sold thru other retailers.
          • confuse ?

            What's there to be confused about. This is going to be the next hottest thing after sliced bread. As for not being able to run legacy apps.. Who cares? Time for a refresh! My 1999 Olds Intrigue doesn't have an 8-track player either. Seems to still play music though.... lol...
    • Sarcasm noted - and legitimately hilarious

      Truly hilarious. Bravo. Clicking your star.

      It's so ironic that Microsoft
      a) couldn't see the iPad coming
      b) didn't respond to the iPad
      c) now has introduced a PC-tablet to compete with the post-PC iPad

      It just illustrates how the leadership at Microsoft is still living in the 1990's.
      • Microsoft saw "tablet computing" coming

        back in 2002 with their introduction of the very first tablet computer to the market.

        The world didn't care.

        Apple came along almost a decade later and did the same thing.

        Everybody crapped all over themselves trying to get one.

        Microsoft announces the Surface, a tablet with the horsepower and capability of a desktop.

        The haters say "MSFT copied Apple!"
        milo ducillo
  • If these things had WACOM digitizers in addition to capacitive touch

    maybe this could be a secret-sauce type situation coupled with Onenote.

    Without that, why the heck would someone buy one of these things when they could buy an iPad with a better app ecosystem, more developed hardware, etc.
    • The surface pro is supposed

      to come with a wacom digitizer. Atleast something close anyway because they said it would support inking.
      Sam Wagner
    • Why?

      a) They don't want to support Apple.
      b) They want to support Microsoft.
      c) They are already heavily invested into Microsoft's much larger ecosystem that will be working on the Surface Pro.
      d) They want all the various ports without having to buy proprietary adapters. (Just read Apple charges an average of $4 per accessory for all those non-Apple products)
      e) They want live tiles. If you have never had them, you should try something with live tiles- they are quite awesome and save a bit of time.
      f) They like buying products that are designed based on user needs, not what the company decides the user needs... of course, the vast majority of those users probably don't know what they are missing.
      • Who?

        Who's this "they" you speak of?
      • Looks thick as a brick!!

        Probably as heavy as one. Wonder if it comes in brown? Still no specs so I guess we can still say it's vapourware.
        Arm A. Geddon
        • What the?

          This was in response to the article not the "I kiss balls" poster!!
          Arm A. Geddon
        • it's the same thickness and .05 lbs heavier

          the pro is .5" thicker....
          Robert Meutsch
  • If MS can get a 7" version surface

    and price $300-, it will kill nexus.
    • That's still $100 over the Nexus

      The same fans that buy anything a company sells will eat them up, but that is always a niche market. Your average consumers will see a $200 tablet and a $300 tablet and pick the $200 tablet.