Ryan Nakashima for the AP, published in The News Tribune, notes that the Surface should go on sale around September or October of this year and has this to say:
Microsoft said the Surface’s price tag will be similar to the iPad, which sells for $499 to $829, depending on the model.
A slightly thicker version – still less than 14 millimeters thick and under 2 pounds – will work on Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 Pro operating system and cost as much as an Ultrabook, the company said. The pro version comes with a stylus that allows users to make handwritten notes on documents such as PDF files. It will be released about three months later.
First things first: lol, a stylus. Ok now that that is out of the way: “cost as much as an Ultrabook” — so in other words be really expensive.
So there are two of the main details that were missing about the Surface: price and availability. It sounds like they are coming end of this year and Microsoft is pushing to get at least the ARM model in iPad price territory.
What about that third question, the battery? Well:
Microsoft didn’t say how long the Surface would last on battery power.
Ha. My guess is that Microsoft is hoping to get the tablets out later this year and that they are doing their very best to make the price competitive, but I would also guess that at this current juncture the battery life is still poor. Thus Microsoft is withholding that information until they improve it some more before the device ships. We will see.