Back in June, Microsoft held a special media event to unveil its Windows 8-running tablet. The Surface is meant to be the company’s first Windows tablet ready to challenge the iPad and all the Android tablets out there. But in the process, the device will also compete against similar computers made by other Windows PC makers out there.

In a way, the Surface is for Microsoft what the Nexus 7 is for Google, although the Surface is a high-end device compared with the Jelly Bean tablet whose main mission is to fend off the Kindle Fire threat in the Android tablet ecosystem.

While Microsoft showcased the main specs and features of the Surface at its media event, it failed to offer a proper release date and pricing details. However, the company did hint that the Surface models – we’re looking at more than one Surface version – will hit stores in fall, for prices in line with current tablet and Ultrabook offerings.

Today we hear, courtesy of a recent filling with the Securities and Exchange Commission, that the Surface will hit stores on October 26, right alongside the company’s next-gen desktop OS, the touch-optimized Metro UI-sporting Windows 8:

The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012. At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices.

The prices for the different Surface devices are still a secret, but we expect them to be unveiled at some point in the following months.

Those of you that aren’t really familiar with the Surface should know that the device will come in two configurations, Surface for Windows 8 Pro and Surface for Windows RT. The tablets will feature a 10.6-inch ClearType HD display with 16:9 aspect ratio and Corning Gorilla Glass 2 technology, an Intel Core Ivy Bridge processor / an ARM-based CPU by NVIDIA, microSDXC / microSD support, USB 3.0 / USB 2.0, up to 128GB / 64GB storage and Windows 8 Pro / Windows RT on board.

Anyone picking up a Microsoft Surface tablet this fall over an iPad or an Android tablet?

Read comments