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Microsoft reveals Surface tablet will start at $500

The pricing and specifications of the new Surface tablets were briefly revealed at Microsoft’s online store today on a page that was quickly pulled. The 32GB version of the ARM-based Surface tablet running Windows RT (a version of Windows 8) will set you back $500. If you want the TouchCover keyboard case in black then you can add another $100. The 64GB version with the black TouchCover keyboard case will set you back $700.

You’ll be able to pick up additional TouchCovers in a range of colors for $100 a pop and the TypeCover keyboard will go on sale at $130.

Microsoft is gearing up for a major advertising push into the holiday season and The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the company has placed orders to produce 3 to 5 million of these devices in the fourth quarter. That’s reportedly on a par with the numbers Amazon and Google ordered of the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 respectively, but way below the 10 million iPad minis that Apple has supposedly ordered.

We expect the tablets to go on sale on October 26 in Microsoft stores immediately following the Microsoft Windows 8 event on October 25.

The 32GB Surface RT is hitting the same price point as the iPad 16GB at $500. The tablet war is well and truly on. The speculation about the pricing for the Surface tablets has been rife; at one stage we were hearing a possible price of just $200. With the long-rumored iPad mini widely expected to be announced on October 23, Microsoft could have a hard act to follow. Can the Surface make a splash at this price point? We’ll find out very soon.

In the meantime, check out the first Surface TV ad which ran on U.S. television on Monday night.