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Microsoft Went to Apple Lengths to Keep Surface Secret

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shows the new tablet called Surface during a news conference at Milk Studios on June 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The new Surface tablet utilizes a 10.6 inch screen with a cover that contains a full multitouch keyboard.

    In the unveiling of its new iPad rival, it appears Microsoft ripped more from Apple's playbook than just the pages on how to build a tablet.

    Microsoft reportedly went to great lengths to keep the development of its Surface tablet under wraps until the company was ready to reveal the device to the world on Monday.

    Engineers working on the device were housed in an underground bunker to keep them out of the view of fellow employees or others.

    Once the team got too big to keep in a bunker, Microsoft moved them up to a room with windows but behind airlock doors.

    Employees were only allowed to enter the room one at a time and they had to wait for the airtight doors behind them to close before walking in.

    Surface developers were also kept away from fellow employees who were not working on the device. The engineers were not even told all the specs of the device until launch.

    On Monday Microsoft unveiled the tablet that is 9.3 mm thick and cut from liquid metal magnesium with a 10.6-inch display (1366x768 resolution).

    It weighs about 1.5 pounds and it comes with a full-sized USB 3.0, a DisplayPort, microSD card slot and its rear has a pop-out kickstand.

    Although Microsoft is not overtly saying it, many believe the device could be the first formidable challenger to Apple's iPad in the tablet arena.