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prod_ArcTouchSurface_WebNext Tuesday will be a busy day in the world of tablets. And then Apple will unveil the new iPad.

It’s the technology world’s equivalent of a traffic jam, or maybe a train wreck, depending on your perspective: Microsoft will release the Surface 2 (successor to the Surface RT) and Surface Pro 2 on Oct. 22, starting to sell the second generation of its homegrown tablet lineup.

On the same day, Microsoft partner (and future Microsoft division) Nokia is widely expected to debut its own tablet as part of its Nokia World event.

Then, on the very same day, at 10 a.m. Pacific time, Apple will kick off its own event in California, where it’s widely expected to unveil the next iPad.

All of this adds up to some less-than-ideal timing for Microsoft, which needs all the attention it can muster as it tries to gain traction in the tablet market. Of course, the company has already unveiled the new Surface lineup, and preorders have been under way for some time. But Microsoft will need some serious marketing mojo to outshine whatever surprises Apple and Nokia have up their sleeves for the big day.

Stay tuned, we’ll have more details on all of these new products and (any other surprises) next week.

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