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SYDNEY – Australia on Friday had its first glimpse of the Surface, Microsoft’s first mass-market tablet, and the latest incarnation of its Windows operating system.

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Harvey Norman Windows display. Image credit: CRN

The tech giant unveiled Windows 8, Surface and a host of other hardware options at an event in Sydney, following its US launch overnight.

Over the weekend Windows 8 was made available for download to upgrade existing qualifying Windows PCs in more than 140 markets worldwide, including Australia.

Windows 8 Pro is available for purchase as a “full packed” – ie, off the shelf – product or for business customers.

Surface tablets, along with other Windows-powered devices, will be on display at two Westfield shopping centres each in Sydney, Victoria and Queensland.Microsoft on Friday also launched its Windows Store, an online platform where users can buy apps.

The basic Surface is priced from A$559 for a 32GB model or $679 with a “touch cover” keyboard. A 64GB version with black touch cover goes for $789.

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