Microsoft finally released pricing this morning for its soon to be shipping Surface RT tablet, starting at $499 for the 32 GB model without a cover, rising to $699 for the 64 GB version with a "Touch" keyboard cover. The mechanical keyboard cover costs an additonal $129. All models are WiFi only.

I saw one of the TV ads for Surface last night, and it certainly looks like they're advertising the Touch cover as an integral part of the device. That means prices really start at $599 for the 32 GB model with the cover.

All of which is earning Microsoft a collective "eh" from industry analysts.

The specs look good on the 10.6 inch diagonal tablet, and they better be, because Microsoft certainly isn't attempting to compete against Apple's iPad based on price. My guess is there's room for two or three operating systems in the segment, and with a billion dollar advertising campaign behind it, no doubt Microsoft grabs that second or third spot. But it's hard to see this as an iPad killer, and it remains to be seen if Microsoft can make big profits off a segment where it doesn't hold a monopoly position.