Microsoft is gearing up for the October release of Windows 8 and its Surface tablets with a new line of tablet keyboards and mice which will also work with Android and iPad tablets.
The company has announced four products in all, with these designs split into the 'Sculpt' and 'Wedge' product ranges.
The conventional Sculpt Mouse is battery-powered and will cost $50, while the Sculpt Travel Keyboard ($60) bears a similar design to other Bluetooth keyboards on the market.
However, while these accessories look alike to other tablet peripherals on the market, Microsoft has come up with something quite unique with the Wedge Mobile Keyboard and Wedge Touch Mouse.
The wedge-shaped Wedge Mobile Keyboard offers Windows 8 hot keys and media buttons along the top, all while presenting well-sized Control, Shift and Backspace keys. The keyboard’s cover can also double up as a tablet stand, but the product is not cheap at $80.
The Wedge Touch Mouse has “BlueTrack Technology” to track on any surface, including glass, but is also costly at just under $70.
All four accessories will work with Apple’s iPad and Android tablets and are due to come to market “soon”, according to Microsoft.
This move by Microsoft would seem to back-up Steve Ballmer’s comments that the Redmond software giant will leave ‘no space uncovered’ to Apple. Tim Cook's company certainly makes a good margin in the accessories market, with one analyst recently estimating that Apple earns $500 million each quarter from iPad covers.