As October 26 approaches, more details about the Microsoft Surface are trickling out of Redmond, along with an early review  of the firm's long-awaited Windows 8 OS from Walter Mossberg. The latest information concerns the tablet's pricing --and it ain't pretty, especially given that the iPad mini is expected to arrive three days before, and cost around half the price while stealing twice the thunder. From noon EST today, you'll be able to pre-order the Surface, and it'll be shipping  to Canada, Australia, China, France, Germany, the U.K., and Hong Kong, as well as the U.S.
Let's just toss the yet-to-be-seen mini aside for the moment, and focus on the 10-inch tablets, the Surface's real rivals. As well as the Kindle Fire, a rumored  Google-Samsung 10-inch Nexus will be jockeying for position beside the Surface--and all of them are cheaper than Microsoft's offering. A basic 32GB Surface will set you back $499, add a black Touch cover and it's $599. The 64GB version and Touch cover is $699. Colored Touch covers cost $119.99, and a Type cover with moving keys costs $129.99. And then there's the adapters, coming in at $40. So, so far, so expensive.
Anyway, let's move back to the special event that Apple is holding on October 23 . Let's assume that Apple (which is better than most tech firms at keeping secrets) has chosen this date to launch the iPad mini. Then it's already game over for Microsoft. It's spent the best part of half a decade working on a tablet computer--remember the beautiful, yet-shelved-indefinitely Courier  device that we all went waa-woo-wee-waa over? The Surface is nothing more than an iteration of that. And, next Tuesday we'll find that Apple has moved the goalposts once again .