After months of anticipation, Microsoft today released pricing information on its upcoming Surface tablet. With just ten days until launch, the company also gave users the chance to pre-order. The intriguing Windows 8 tablet will be starting at $499 in the U.S., perfect for competing with all powerhouse tablets (the iPad, Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch, and others). This base model includes 32 GB of storage, 12 GB of which is used by the operating system, according to a comment from the Microsoft Surface team on Reddit.

Next on the price list is the $599 model, which includes a black version of the Touch Cover, a clip-on protective keyboard. (The base model does not include this, unfortunately, but users can always buy it later.) Other colors of this accessory are available for an extra $20. Last up is the Type Cover, which costs $129.99 as an accessory and has a row of function keys for the advanced user. It's a shame Microsoft decided to charge so much for a keyboard that doubles as a case. Even if production costs are high, the risk would be worth the customers, especially to a product at its birth.

All models of the Surface also include a "preview" edition of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013. A free update with the final version will be available upon completion.

To no surprise, the base model of Microsoft's Surface is shipping "within 3 weeks", which shows that the company has already sold the first batch. Interestingly, the 32 GB model that includes a black Touch Cover is still available for released date delivery, hinting that Microsoft held some extras in its inventory specially for people who wanted to spend more. The 64 GB is, of course, on schedule to arrive on October 26 as it should.

Sources: MicrosoftSurfaceTeam on Reddit