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Microsoft Debuts Surface Tablet Computers

Apparently dissatisfied with efforts by tablet manufacturers like Samsung and Lenovo to establish Windows as a player in the booming tablet market, Microsoft surprised everyone when it unveiled its own Windows 8-based tablet computers.

Microsoft touted the fact that the Surface for Windows 8 Pro and Surface for Windows RT tablets were "conceived, designed and engineered" entirely in-house. Apparently taking a page from Apple's playbook, Microsoft argues that developing hardware and software together will make for a better system.

Certainly the Surface products won praise for their innovation -- including a cover that flips down to become a keyboard. But in a shocker, Microsoft only said that it will sell the tablets through its retail stores and some online retail sites, leaving the company's thousands of resellers wondering whether they will have a role in selling the Surface.

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