Surface Pro 3 Unveiled: 12-Inch Microsoft Tablet to Rival MacBook Air

May 22, 2014 07:18 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro


Microsoft Co. unveiled a larger, yet lighter, version of its Surface Pro tablet on May 20 as the company attempts to make more of an impact on the mobile computing market.

The world's largest software company debuted its Surface Pro 3 during a presentation made by new CEO Satya Nadella in New York City.

Nadella said the company is completely committed to making its own devices, despite recently acquiring Nokia's handset business and the lack of success its own phone and tablets have seen so far this year.

"We are not building hardware for hardware's sake," said Nadella, at the event. "We want to build experiences that bring together all the capabilities of our company.

The new device comes with a 12-inch screen that is slightly bigger than its predecessor (9.7), and access to Microsoft's Office software suite, which is used in businesses around the globe.

The device runs the full Windows operating system, according to Reuters.

The Surface Pro 3 tablet comes in three models available for a base price of $799, and a max price of $1,949.

Microsoft executives have made comparisons with the MacBook Air during the launch this week, making it clear that the company feels Apple's laptop is its main competition.

The MacBook Air is sold for at $899.

Microsoft "has concentrated on its key strength - business users who look at tablets as extensions and/or replacements for full laptop capability," said Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates, according to Reuters. "Microsoft finally seems to understand it cannot go head to head with Apple's iPad, and must offer a superior business device."

Microsoft is attempting to recast itself as a "device and services" company, though has not made much of a headway on the devices side yet, except for its latest Xbox game console.

The Surface first launched back in October 2012 and was updated last year.

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