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Microsoft launches new tablet in bid to take on Apple's iPad

Ireland just getting the new Windows 8 operating system for now, as Microsoft praises the company’s Sandyford, Dublin team for its work on device.

A Samsung smart PC and tablet, powered by a new version of Microsoft's Windows operating system.
A Samsung smart PC and tablet, powered by a new version of Microsoft's Windows operating system.
Image: Lee Jin-man/AP/Press Association Images

MICROSOFT LAUNCHED ITS new Windows 8 operating system and ‘Surface’ tablet on Thursday in a bid to steal ground in the mobile computing market from Apple and Google and kickstart interest in its flagship product.

The Windows 8 operating system will run on PCs and mobile computing devices like the new tablet, which aims to challenge Apple’s popular iPad in the handheld computer market. However, no launch date has been announced yet for the Surface tablet in Ireland.

Hailed as the “best release of Windows ever” by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Windows 8 has been billed as a radical update to the world’s most dominant operating system.  There is no start button while it features square tiles for apps.

PC World will be the first retailer in Ireland to sell Windows 8, which goes on sale in its Carrickmines branch, Dublin 18 at midnight tonight.

Microsoft praised the role Ireland has played in the launch of the device, with many of its features designed in the country.

“We are very proud of the role that the Irish team has played in helping to bring Windows 8 to market” said Paul Rellis, Managing Director of Windows 8 in Ireland.  ”The Microsoft team in Ireland has contributed significantly to the development and launch of Windows 8 – team members in the Sandyford based European Development Centre have been involved in core development, localization and testing work – ensuring that the product was ready for launch in over 100 different languages.”

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A “big, beautiful, slightly shaky step forward” according to Wired Magazine, the new operating system has begun receiving praise although some reviewers cautioned how well it might sell as it does not carry popular apps such as iTunes.

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