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Windows 8 is a go. Now which Windows device to buy?

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Reuters

(Read caption) An attendant checks a computer during the launch of Microsoft Windows 8 operating system in Hong Kong on Oct. 26, 2012.

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At an event in New York earlier this week, Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer presided over the official launch of the Windows 8 operating system, which he called "truly magical." Reviews of Windows 8 have been pretty positive, with critics praising the speed of the software, the tiled design, and the touch-friendly interface. So let's say you're interested in picking a Windows 8 device.

Where to start? 

Well, the obvious answer – and the gadget that Microsoft has put a lot of its marketing muscle behind – is the Surface tablet. The Surface is priced starting at $499 ($599 if you want the Touch Cover keyboard), and runs a version of Windows 8 called Windows RT. Microsoft hopes the Surface will compete directly with the Apple iPad, although as plenty of analysts have pointed out, Microsoft will need a more apps first. 

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