4f19a132 b9e0 11e1 afe5 2a7114d7c132 493x328 Microsoft Surface is packing stores with customers

Almost akin to an Apple release, Microsoft's new Surface tablet is filling the stores with customers and packing them in lines outside.

Reports are coming in from all over of packed stores and lines forming outside them, following the Friday release of Microsoft's new tablet, Surface. Though it has garnered a few mixed reviews across the web, this doesn't seem to have affected the consumers' curiosity all that much. At the new makeshift store Microsoft has opened at Times Square, NY, 600 people were waiting to play with the new tablet when the store opened. The tablet is already on three weeks back order from Microsoft's online store.

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The new Microsoft Store at Times Square (Credit: Shara Tibken)

The tablets on sale right now are running Windows 8 RT, a slimmed down version of Windows 8 capable of running only the Modern UI and programs compatible with it. For a tablet, this is still quite impressive; despite lacking the desktop mode, this is still a full fledged operating system like you'd find on your pc with most of your favorite applications. A version of the tablet  with Windows 8 Pro running on an Intel processor is due early next year. The Surface has some other interesting features, such as a flexible 3mm soft keyboard (can be upgraded to a regular tactile keyboard as well). It may not be perfect, but it should be a welcome improvement from the touch keyboards we're used to.

According to Microsoft's website, prices range between $499.00 and $699.00, making it competitively priced with the iPad.