In its annual report, Microsoft confirmed that the Surface line will go on sale on October 26 when Windows 8 becomes available to download.
Microsoft's Windows RT tablets, featuring ARM processors, will be the initial products to launch, followed by the Intel-based Surface Pro slates around 90 days later.
"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," Microsoft said in its report, filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Also in the report, Microsoft said that it expects to incur "substantial marketing costs" in promoting Windows 8 and its associated devices.
In the risks section of the filing, it said that the success of Windows 8 "depends on a number of factors including the extent to which customers embrace its new user interface and functionality, successfully coordinating with our OEM partners in releasing a variety of hardware devices that take advantage of its features, and attracting developers at scale to ensure a competitive array of quality applications".
Microsoft added: "We expect to incur substantial marketing costs in launching Window 8 and associated services and devices, which may reduce our operating margins."
Microsoft hopes that launching its own line of tablets will help drive forward the market for Windows 8 on touchscreen devices, while also providing a challenger for Apple's iPad and tablets running Google Android.
However, Microsoft has also acknowledged a potentially big issue in launching its own range of tablets, involving the alienation of other markers of computers and devices running Windows.
"Our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform," Microsoft admitted in the document filed last week, first reported by the New York Times blog.
In terms of pricing for the Surface, Microsoft said: "Suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to availability and is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC."
It is expected that the Windows RT product could cost between $500-600 (£318-382), but the Windows 8 Pro could cost up to $1,000 (£637) or higher, putting it among the more expensive tablets on the market.
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