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Microsoft's Next-Gen Surface Available for Pre-Order

Microsoft reports that the next-generation Surface "touch-based table computer" is now available for pre-order through Samsung resellers in 23 countries worldwide. Commercial businesses that have a spare $8,400 in their wallet can head here to find a local representative and establish their place in line when the unit begins to ship in early 2012.

Called the Samsung SUR40, the device features PixelSense technology which gives LCD panels the ability to see without the use of cameras. It recognizes up to 50 points of simultaneous touch -- including fingers, hands and other objects placed on the screen -- thanks to 2 million sensors that have been built into the panel to pick up visible or infrared light.

In addition to the new touch technology, the second-generation Surface sports a more powerful processor and new system software. As seen ten months ago back at CES 2011, it can also be used horizontally or vertically given that it no longer needs projector cameras (like the first-gen model). It's also cheaper than its predecessor which cost a hefty $12,500 back in 2008.

"This pre-order phase brings us one step closer to getting the highly anticipated Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface into the hands of our customers," said Charles Park, vice president at Samsung Electronics. "The Samsung SUR40 delivers a unique interactive experience that will significantly change the way companies engage with their customers."

For more information about the next-generation Surface device, head here. Software developers interested in creating solutions for the Samsung SUR40 can get started immediately by visiting the Surface Developer Center. Product availability in additional markets is expected in the coming months.