LOS ANGELES — Microsoft Corp. unveiled its own Windows-powered tablet computer Monday, altering its strategy of focusing on software and relying on partners to make the machines in a renewed attempt to take on Apple Inc.'s iPad.
The Microsoft tablet, called Surface, has a 10.6-inch display and will run the new version of Microsoft's operating system, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft chief executive officer, said Monday.
He demonstrated a prototype of the device that is to be available this year at an event in Los Angeles. The device's cover serves as a track pad and a full keyboard.
Consumers are choosing tablets over laptops, weakening the personal-computer market and curbing Windows revenue.
Many PC makers have been investing to develop their own Windows 8 tablets and may not want to compete directly with Microsoft.
The software maker is aiming to release Windows 8 in time for the holidays and will have a version for x86 chips from Intel Corp. and for ones based on ARM Holdings Plc's technology, which is also used in the iPad.
The Surface tablet will be available in versions running both chip designs. Microsoft said the price will be announced closer to when the devices are available and will be "competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC."
The version for ARM will go on sale when Windows 8 is released. The Intel-based version will be available about 90 days later, Microsoft said.
The ARM version of Surface weighs less than 1.5 pounds, the company said.
Microsoft shares rose slightly in after-hours trading. They closed down 0.6 percent at $29.84 in the regular Nasdaq session.
Sales of tablets are expected to triple in the next two years, topping 180 million a year in 2013, easily outpacing growth in traditional PCs. Apple has sold 67 million iPads in two years since launch.