Microsoft is two weeks away from the Oct. 26 debut of Windows 8 and the new Microsoft Surface tablet, but it looks like the tech world will be buzzing about a different product just days before the Redmond company’s big launch.

Citing unnamed people familiar with Apple’s plans, AllThingsD reports this morning that Apple will unveil the smaller version of the iPad on Oct. 23 an an invitation-only event. The rumored device would be more directly competitive with Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire than with the larger Microsoft Surface, which is more of an alternative to the original iPad. But limited consumer budgets mean that every high-profile tablet is competing with all the others these days.

Speaking of Microsoft Surface, there are still no details on pricing and packaging from the company, apart from Microsoft’s original statement that prices for Surface for Windows RT (ARM) and Windows 8 Pro (x86) will be competitive “with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC.”

Separately, Microsoft this morning announced that Windows 8 Pro is available for preorder starting today for $70, for people looking to upgrade on their existing machines using physical media (vs. downloading it starting on Oct. 26 for $40). A variety of Windows 8 PCs are also available for preorder starting today.

Stay tuned, the next couple of weeks promise to be very interesting.

Comments

  • guest

    When was the last time Apple didn’t spoil a MS launch? That’s what happens when you preannounce products or launch dates months in advance rather than closer to actual availability or the event. Being years behind in this case also doesn’t help.

  • Guest

    Shame on Apple. Deliberately scheduling a launch just three days before a competitor’s is the sort of bush-league tactic other companies used to try against Apple during its innovative period. Now that Apple is inexplicably playing catch-up in the 7-inch tablet market, to schedule an event this close to the Surface launch demeans the legacy of a once-proud titan.

    Tim, stop.

    • guest

      Poor baby. Cry yourself a river.

    • guest

      Susan, this isn’t boxing with the Marquess of Queensberry rules in force. Nothing says you have to play fair, and most winners don’t. If MS leaves itself open to being preempted due to its own stupid marketing choices, the fault lies with MS, not Apple or anyone else who decides to take maximum advantage of it.

  • Guest

    Microsoft is like that big guy in high school that people hit in the nuts and ran away laughing…

  • http://www.slideshare.net/samirsshah Samir Shah

    Yes.

    “Microsoft is like that big guy in high school that people hit in the nuts and ran away laughing…”

    Very true.

    • Bland

      More like the big guy in high school whose best days were high school, who is now 50 lbs overweight with a combover and who constantly tries to relive high school, even though the rest of the world has moved on

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