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$499 Microsoft Surface Already on Backorder; Does the iPad Have a Real Rival?

The new Surface tablet utilizes a 10.6 inch screen with a cover that contains a full multitouch keyboard

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

A hotly anticipated tablet that’s so popular it’s on backorder for three weeks … from Microsoft?

If you’re looking to order the Surface with Windows RT in 32GB without the Touch cover, which happens to be the least expensive flavor of Microsoft’s new tablet at $499, you’ll have to be patient. Online orders are expected to ship around three weeks after the Surface officially launches on Oct. 26. Bad news for you, but good news for Microsoft, which has seen rival Apple maintain a chokehold on the tablet industry since the iPad debuted in 2010.

Of course, if you want a Surface you could always find your nearest Microsoft store and camp out. After years of mocking Apple devotees for doing the same, at least you’ll know what to expect.