The rumours of Microsoft launching a tablet were not unfounded however the involvement of Barnes & Noble was completely wrong.
Ars Technica were at the launch event and have a good write up on the event and the tablet that Microsoft was showcasing.
The Earth-shattering Microsoft announcement we’ve been waiting for is finally here. As several pre-event rumors suggested, Microsoft is indeed building its own tablet.
Make that two tablets. One Windows RT tablet runs an NVIDIA Tegra 3 ARM processor, and the other Windows 8 Pro tablet runs Intel’s Ivy Bridge Core i5 chips. One thing that looks really cool are new magnetic covers that are quite reminiscent of Apple’s “Smart Cover” for the iPad. But they’re a lot smarter—Microsoft’s covers actually include a multitouch trackpad and a keyboard. There are two, as we explain in this story: a Touch Cover with virtual keys and a Type Cover with a tactile keyboard and touchpad.
The two tablets are both under the brand name of Surface.