Apple will reportedly launch new iPad next month, iPad mini sequel possible as well

April may not be the cruelest month for iPad fans this year, BGR News reports. Unnamed sources have told iMore’s Rene Ritchie that Apple (AAPL) plans to release the next iPad as soon as this April, which will presumably include both the fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad and perhaps the second-generation iPad mini. Ritchie says that while he’s fairly confident that Apple will launch a redesigned version of the 9.7-inch iPad next month, he’s not as confident that Apple is yet ready to take the wraps off a Retina-equipped version of the iPad mini.

“Retina for the iPad mini, however, still doesn’t sound imminent,” Ritchie writes. “Apple is not going to release iPads that costs [sic] more or don’t get as good battery life as the current models. So, if the next iPad mini does end up getting slated for April, it could be a spec bump, or have something other than Retina as a differentiator…”

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Microsoft Surface to officially surface on October 26th

Just in time for Halloween (and the launch of Windows 8), Microsoft (MSFT) has revealed that it plans on releasing its first Surface tablets on October 26th, BGR reports. Microsoft buried the Surface release date in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, where it told the SEC that “on October 26th… we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices.”

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Microsoft to unveil own-brand Windows 8 tablet on Monday, report claims

Microsoft plans to unveil an own-brand Windows 8 tablet on Monday that will mark the company’s entrance into the media tablet market, a report claims, BGR reports. Citing an unnamed source, The Wrap reported on Thursday that Microsoft intends to compete with Apple’s iPad and Google-powered Android tablets not only as a software vendor — potentially pulling in $85 or more per Windows RT license sold — but also as a hardware vendor. Microsoft is holding a press conference on Monday, and while the company did tease a major announcement, the focus of the event has not been disclosed…

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Facebook to launch its own app store in the coming weeks

Facebook on Wednesday announced it will be launching a new App Center in the coming weeks on the web, iOS and Android, BGR reports. The company hopes the center will give developers a way to more effectively distribute apps and create new opportunities for more types of apps to be successful. “The App Center is designed to grow mobile apps that use Facebook–whether they’re on iOS, Android or the mobile web,” the company said. “From the mobile App Center, users can browse apps that are compatible with their device, and if a mobile app requires installation, they will be sent to download the app from the App Store or Google Play.”

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