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The stakes for Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Surface launch just got a lot higher, at least in my house.

Here’s the story: My wife and I have been talking for a while about buying an iPad for the family, primarily for her to use for checking email, Twitter, Facebook and light web browsing.

Last night, I convinced her to put the money toward a Microsoft Surface instead. Our preorder is in, and there’s a 32GB Surface with black Touch Cover ($599 + tax) scheduled for delivery at our place by Oct. 26, a little more than a week from now.

Here’s hoping my marriage survives.

Why did I do this? As longtime readers know, I’ve been saying for years that Microsoft should be making its own computers, overseeing and integrating not only the operating system, services and applications, but also the hardware. My big beef with Windows PCs over the years is that they often feel disjointed, like the OS and the machine come from different places … which, of course, they normally do.

With Microsoft finally giving the integrated approach a shot, I felt like it was right to put my money (actually, our money) where my mouth is.

Yes, I know there are lots of inherent risks involved in putting down hundreds of dollars on a Version 1 product from an unproven PC maker. There will be benefits (Xbox integration is a big selling point in our house) and drawbacks (I’m not convinced that the Windows 8 app ecosystem will be strong enough out of the gate) and no doubt plenty of surprises once we start using the Surface every day.

Of course, the decision for me is a little bit different than it is for most everyone else out there, because I’ll be able to document the customer and user experience — good, bad or otherwise — here on GeekWire. So at the very least, we’ll get some posts out of it.

But as I told my wife, I’m sure this thing is going to be great … right Steve Ballmer?

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