The Surface is now available to pre-order in the UK with prices starting at £399, matching Apple's cheapest iPad. Microsoft's own-brand tablet comes with Windows 8 RT, the tablet version, and 32GB of internal storage. See also: Microsoft Surface RT vs Apple iPad comparison review.
Microsoft said: "Surface delivers the power of amazing software and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience."
Two other SKUs of the Surface available: £479 gets you the 32GB model but with a Touch Cover, and £559 doubles the storage to 64GB also with a Touch Cover. The Surface Pro is expected to arrive early in 2013.
Users can purchase a Touch Cover separately for £99 in black, white or cyan. For some unknown reason, this means that magenta and red colours are missing. Microsoft's Type Cover in black costs £109.
Customers who pre-order before 24 October will get free shipping. Microsoft yesterday posted its first TV ad for the tablet online and has supposedly ordered between three and five million of the Surface tablets to be made.