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Microsoft's Surface 2 challenges iPad with support for LTE broadband

Microsoft's Surface 2 challenges iPad with support for LTE broadband

Users of Microsoft's Surface 2 tablet no longer need to be tethered to Wi-Fi networks for connectivity with the availability today of a new model that supports LTE broadband.

Called Surface 2 (AT&T 4G LTE) the new model sells for $679 and is available in Microsoft retail stores and Best Buy, and is supported by AT&T's LTE network, Microsoft says.

+ Also on Network World: How Microsoft's Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are better suited for businesses | Microsoft wants Windows 8 to get small to run on more devices +

While the 64GB device is unlocked and can be configured for other providers' networks, Microsoft makes performance guarantees only for AT&T's.

Pricing for the device seems set to take on Apple's iPad Air, whose 64GB version costs $829. The Surface 2 comes with Microsoft's home and student version of Office. There is no Office for iPad, although users can buy an Office 365 subscription for the device.

Surface 2 also comes with free Skype calls to traditional phones for a year, free access for a year to a worldwide network of Wi-Fi hotspots and two years' of 200GB storage in Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage service.

Tim Greene covers Microsoft and unified communications for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at and follow him on Twitter @Tim_Greene.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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