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These are the type of deals that must take the wind out of the sails of Microsoft a bit. A few weeks after introducing the Microsoft Surface tablet, British banking giant Barclays has purchased 8,500 iPads in what is said to be among the largest purchase of tablets in the U.K.

The Register reports on the news, noting that the purchase “signals the growing acceptance of the tab tech in corporate land.”

It’s unclear which device Barclays purchased, but at the low-end, and without discounts tossed, in the purchase would amount to more than $2.5 million. (At the high end, the deal would be worth about $7 million).

The Next Web reports that the tablets will be used by employees at bank branches in order to improve customer service. And the purchase comes a few weeks after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was asked about Apple’s dominance in the tablet market, with Ballmer responding that: “We’ll give them a run for their money.”

Previously on GeekWireWindows 8 in the clouds: Emirates giving 1,000 flight attendants HP ElitePad tablets

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