At a Monday afternoon event shrouded in secrecy, Microsoft CEO -- and cult of personality in his own right -- Steve Ballmer confirmed rumors that it will enter the tablet market with its new device, the Surface.
The iPad competitor will run a version of the upcoming Windows 8 operating system.
The tablet will include full-sized USB ports (a feature the iPad is criticized for lacking and dual antennas to give it "the best WiFi coverage of any tablet," according to Stephen Sinofsky, Microsoft's President. It also comes with a built in "kickstand" and a cover that doubles as a traditional keyboard.
The emphasis on WiFi highlights Microsoft's desire to capitalize on what they already do with the popular Xbox 360 -- streaming entertainment content. Indeed, Microsoft has made no secret about the fact that it would like to take over the "digital living room" with its devices.
So will the Surface take the 'Pad to the mat?