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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer looks at a presentation on a screen during unveiling of the new table Surface during a news conference at Milk Studios on June 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, Calif. - 

Jeremy Hobson: There's a new tablet in town. It's called the Surface, and it's Microsoft's answer to the iPad. The black, shiny, iPad look-alike was unveiled yesterday. It has a keyboard, and it runs Windows.

Marketplace's Heidi Moore has the details.

Heidi Moore: Microsoft wants to think different from Apple but also be the same. At least in terms of the iPad's enormous sales.

It's not surprising that Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, gave an Apple-flavored presentation to introduce Microsoft's new table, the Surface.

Steve Ballmer: From personal productivity applications to technical applications to business software and literally millions of other applications that are written for Windows and work perfectly on Windows 8.

As part of its effort to channel Apple, Microsoft is building its own tablet computer. But that's sure offend some of the key companies who buy Microsoft's Windows software -- and then install it on their own tablet computers.

Roger Kay: If I were waking up this morning as Dell and H-P and Acer and Lenovo, I'd be asking, "what the heck? I mean, we were just about to come out with these sorts of products, and here's Microsoft doing it essentially in competition with us."

That's consultant Roger Kay with Endpoint Technology. He concludes that Microsoft is playing with fire.

Kay: There will be blood.

But Microsoft may be willing to take the risk. It's better, after all, than being obsolete.

In New York, I'm Heidi Moore for Marketplace.

Follow Heidi N. Moore at @moorehn