Just 10 years ago, it would be laughable to think of Microsoft as an underdog in just about anything that had to do with technology.
Yet to say that the tech giant is an underdog in the world of tablets in 2013 might be, to some, an understatement. Microsoft has plans to correct that though, as the company just unveiled two new versions of its Surface tablets.
The first is the Surface Pro 2, which developers are positioning as a flat-out replacement for the traditional PC.
"It is faster than 95 percent of all laptops and ultra-books on the market in the market today," says Panos Panay from Microsoft. "You get a better screen. You get great speakers [and] 50 percent more graphics performance. It's 20 percent faster all up, 75 percent more battery life, you get to use it all day [and] the kickstand now allows lap-ability."
The more consumer-oriented Surface 2 boasts similar power upgrades.
Microsoft is also hoping to turn these devices into entirely new tools altogether, by working on touch keyboards like the "Touch Remix," which transforms the Surface into a DJ setup.
So, is this move a good strategy for Microsoft as it tries to catch up in the tablet space?
"Where do people think of Microsoft when they think of computers? Well, they think in terms of personal productivity, and Apple is moving into that space, so Microsoft hopes that this is an area that they can defend better," says Avi Greengart from Current Analysis.
Both new devices hit shelves Oct. 22. The Surface 2 starts at around $450, and the Surface Pro 2 starts at around $900. Those prices, however, do not include the keyboard covers that help make the devices so laptop-like, which begin around $100.