Update: And wouldn't you know it, Microsoft quietly launched the official Surface website while we were all paying attention to this event.
Update: And that's a wrap!
Update: BTW, Baller is the one on stage now.
Update: Win8 makes Surface a PC. Surface is a tablet. Surface is something new.
Update: Release should dovetail with Win8. So yeah, probably this fall (?).
Update: Surface for WinPRO in 64GB and 128GB; will be released 3 mos after the Surface WinRT model.
Update: Surface for WinRT in 32GB and 64GB models. Prices similar to other tablets based on ARM.
Update: Onto availability, pricing.
Update: Do not taunt Touch Cover.
Update: Touch Cover detects ever gram of force applied by your fingers, hands.
Update: As thin as Touch Cover is, it has seven layers. Crazy.
Update: Touch Cover's accelerometer detects when it's folded up, turns off automatically.
Update: Built-in accelerometer in touch cover.
Update: We wanted it to feel like a book.
Update: Okay, gonna say it - those colors make this device an eye-catcher.
Update: Surface will detect when the Touch Cover is attached.
Update: Seamless design. Smooth criminal, even.
Update: .7mm thick.
Update: That kickstand is about as thin as a credit card.
Update: (God is in the details, y'know?)
Update: 200 custom-made parts make up the device.
Update: Emphasis on how difficult the kickstand was while maintaining the streamlined look. Didn't want it looking janky, in other words.
Update: Whatevz, I still am excited about the versatility of the tablet. It's the simple things that delight me. What can I say?
Update: "Important to have the hardware fade in the background for this product."
Update: Despite those cool specs, still focused on Windows 8.
Update: Video being shown on the design process, lots of prototyping.
Update: Those slick keyboard covers come in assorted colors, too.
Update: Panos Panay is up now.
Update: Personal note: that's thing looks rad.
Update: Plus a touchpad.
Update: Okay, demoing Surface Type Cover. Switches with 1.5mm travel.
Update: USB 3.0 capability.
Update: The tablet is smart enough to recognize that the screen shouldn't move as he's writing with the stylus, though. NEAT.
Update: Stylus has a magnetic connector for charging.
Update: Could that stylus be to the tablet what the mouse is to the PC?
Update: Stylus stablizer at 600dpi
Update: Digital ink support.
Update: Neat ventilation design. The entire surface has a thin groove, "perimeter venting."
Update: 3rd gen Ivy Bridge i5.
Update: Talking about how human eye won't be able to distinguish between pixels on the screen. Sounds familiar...
Update: Full HD.
Update: Two different models announced. One with Windows 8 Pro, one with Windows RT.
Update:Demoing photo-capture while sitting on the stand.
Update: BTW, that cover is 3mm thick.
Update: Rear and front facing cameras.
Update: Holy smokes, Batman: That magnetic cover doubles as a keyboard!
Update: Since it's got a built-in stand, got me wondering if there will be a keyboard coming out shortly to go with this.
Update: Tab has a magnetic cover that snaps on.
Update: Neet - it even has a little kickstand built into the back.
Update: 2x2 mimo antennas.
Update: Optimized for Windows 8 (no surprise).
Update: Access to lotsa Windows apps.
Update: It's comes with access to Xbox.
Update: USB 2.0 port on board, full magnesium case, weighs 576 grams.
Update: 9.3 mm thin!
Update: Ballmer just gave the stage to Steven Sinofsky to explain more.
Update: Tablet speculators earned their cheese today: "It's 'the new Microsoft Surface."
Update: There's your confirmation: "Surface."
Update: We wanted to give Windows 8 its own hardware companion
Update: In what sounds like a rebuke of Time Cook at the New iPad's launch with his post-PC world comment, Ballmer says Microsoft will deliver more PCs in 2013 than ever before.
Update: Cites Xbox as Microsoft's most successful hardware.
Update: Ballmer: Hardware and software work best when considered together. (That would explain that new Windows 8 Metro interface).
Update: Rolling a video that highlights the evolution of Microsoft hardware, includes computer mouse, keyboards, Xbox, Kinect, etc.
Update: Talks about how Microsoft first gained ground with hardware, not software - hint, hint.
Update: "We want to add another piece to that Windows story." Okay, so maybe not a break-up story.
Update: Windows 8 was designed for the "computers we know," citing today's preference for portability.
Update: CEO Ballmer talking about the advances of computing, calls Windows the "heart and soul" of Microsoft. It sounds like he's about to break up with somebody.
Update: Steve Ballmer just took the stage.
Update: It appears that everybody has different times on their cards, suggesting this might be more of a hands-on conference than your regular cargo cult-theme that happens at these types of events. Maybe this will be more like Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery.'
Update: In the auditorium, some house techno is playing for the audience's entertainment. There are some screens with things that appear to be tablet-shaped.
Update: Microsoft people are explaining the delay as something that will be explained soon. Ominous, no?
Update: For anybody with lingering questions about the timing of this event, do you think Microsoft just didn't manage to get the loose ends in order to present this maybe-Xbox product at E3?
Update: While we wait, I might as well disconfirm at least one rumor: reports of Rip Torn attending this afternoon's event appear to be false.
Update: Everybody's mumbling, perhaps rightfully so, about the delay with entering the venue. Seems to be some kind of loose agreement that this event was very last-minute for Microsoft.
Update: So far, the only rumor that appears to be confirmed is that everybody has to wait a little longer.
Four days was all it took for Microsoft to build up the hype for this afternoon's grand media gala. What followed was a weekend saturated rumors ranging from a Windows 8 tablet to a purchase of a social networking site (because we need another one of those like we need a whole in the head) to an Xbox-integrated tablet to some kind of video-friendly e-reader. At any rate, many in the industry have estimated this event as Microsoft's attempt to play a heavy domino in on the table of the tech world.
We're at the precipice of finding out what Microsoft's set to deliver and if today's leaked 'Xbox Surface' documents - a tag-teaming Xbox device that includes both a 7-inch tablet and some kind of "stationary computing device" - pan out, this could be a fun event (even though some tech journalists out there are already pooh-poohing the event as underwhelming before it's even begun - seriously, go change your diapers, you bugbears).
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Oh, and one quick note: I have received an unconfirmed rumor from a reliable source that today's announcement will somehow involve the Wonder Twins.
Anyways, without further ado, it looks like it's about time to shove off.