Microsoft revealed in its filing with the Security and Exchange Commission that come October 26 it will launch both Windows 8 operating system for consumers and the Surface tablet which was announced a month and half ago. Apple, of course, is expected to unveil a rumored cheaper, smaller iPad at a media event this fall (iLounge says in November) and launch a fourth-generation iPad some time during the first quarter of next year…

According to Microsoft’s 10-K filing with the Security and Exchange Commission (via AllThingsD):

The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012. At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices.

The Surface is designed to compete with the iPad on the high-end. No price point was known at press time apart from Microsoft’s previously stated ‘comparable-to-notebooks’ hint, which some think could mean around a thousand dollar mark for the more powerful Intel-powered model.

Microsoft should be especially concerned over new data suggesting that iPad is widening its lead in enterprise over Android tablets. Redmond also has OEMs to worry about.

Acer CEO recently hinted as much, saying the Surface is just a ploy to drive Windows 8 adoption. Microsoft’s own SEC filing reveals that the company is competing with PC makers now:

Our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform”. If Windows 8 doesn’t become popular enough, that could “make it more difficult to attract applications developers to our platforms,” Microsoft also warned.

From Amazon, half a dozen smaller Kindle Fire tablets are coming ahead of the holiday season to claim the low-end, including a new ten-inch model that will take the iPad head on.

Are you still excited about the Surface now that Google’s Nexus 7 is making waves?