An anonymous source has leaked information that Microsoft's Surface tablet will release on October 26 with an amazing price tag of $199.

Rare is the major product launch that catches us by surprise, but Microsoft’s announcement of their Surface tablet blew us away; the Surface is an impressively polished tablet with practically nothing leaked before the launch event. One thing that wasn’t answered at that event: how much will this cost? With Acer complaining about unfair competition and Microsoft conceding that some OEMs could be upset when this ships, we may have finally found a bit of leaked information about this device. According to an anonymous source inside Microsoft, a session was held at the Redmond giant’s TechReady15 conference where all of the launch details for the device were laid out. If everything goes according to the plan detailed at that conference, the Surface for Windows RT will be launching October 26th, unsurprising considering that Windows 8 is supposed to release the same day, at a very compelling price of $199.

With an MSRP that low, surely lower than Microsoft’s costs for building, shipping and marketing the device, it would line the Surface up to compete with the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire. It would also put Windows 8 on the map in a very big way and would give many people a very big reason to try out an operating system that will feel fairly different than previous incarnations. What has yet to be answered, and will remain unknown until well after the launch of the tablet, is whether or not the Surface will drive enough media and app sales for Microsoft to recoup its losses, or will companies like Acer put up enough of a fight between now and October to keep Microsoft from undercutting its OEM partners? Rest assured, we’ll find out soon, one way or another.