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REDMOND, Wash. (AP) - Microsoft's first tablet computer, the Surface, will start at $499 when it goes on sale October 26.

The price matches that of Apple's iPad, the most popular tablet computer. But the base model of the Surface has twice as much storage memory: 32 gigabytes.

The screen is also slightly larger.

Microsoft says the signature hardware feature of the tablet, a cover that doubles as a keyboard, will cost another $100.

A step-up model for $699 has twice the memory, 64 GB, and includes a cover.

Microsoft will be selling the tablet in its own stores in the U.S. and Canada and online in those countries, plus Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong and the U.K.