Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, last week announced Microsoft's first real foray into the tablet market. The "Surface" will be coming soon (although exactly when, we don't know!) and will be taking on the iPad in a big way.

But what does it do exactly and how will it compete? Well ... Microsoft have been rather sketchy with the details which is usually a bad thing. So far here is what we do know:
- 2 versions: Mobile version of Windows 8 (16gb or 32gb hard drive) and Full version of Windows 8 with Intel Core processor (32gb or 64gb hard drive)
- Very cool snappy lid with integrated magnetic keyboard.
- Built in stand at back of device

And that's about it really! No news yet on price or release date although Microsoft have said it will be "priced competitively" and the buzz in the street is around an October release.

Our opinion is that this is likely to compete well as a business device, with Office integration expected. iPads are still finding their way as a legitimate business tablet (rather than a cool device on which to take notes and show pdfs), so there is definitely space for a device which will synchronise and integrate seamlessly with your Windows desktop or laptop.

However, on the consumer side it's hard to see how it can beat the iPad with it's thousands of apps and incredibly cool vibe. We don't expect it to make too big a dent in this arena so the big boys at Apple won't be too concerned about Microsoft's new device.