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Microsoft bets big on Surface: Orders 3-5 million for Q4, opens preorders

Microsoft really wants Surface to work. After being left behind in the tablet market, it needs something to give it serious clout in the war against Apple and Android.

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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In a bid to build hype for the device before its 26 October launch, the company’s pushed the button on TV spots and online banner ads in quick succession.

It’s confident that hype’s going to work too. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Redmond-based giant has ordered somewhere between three and five-million of the devices for the fourth quarter from its Asian suppliers. That puts it in more or less the same league as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7.

According to Journal, sources close to the matter say that mass manufacturing of the tablet will begin this month.

You can check out the specs for the Surface on the “About” page for it on the Microsoft site. According to Microsoft, the RT version of the Surface will retail for between US$499 (32GB without touch cover) and US$699 (64GB with touch cover). If you want one of the multicoloured touch cover varients, they’ll set you back US$119 each. It’s currently available for preorder, and will be on sale come October 26 at Microsoft stores in the United States and Canada as well as online stores in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the UK and the US.