Image Credit: Tsubaki Kaworu

When it comes to the iPad, Apple must be doing something right, because other tech giants such as Microsoft and Google are creating their own tablet computers in an attempt to grab a piece of the tablet market.

Originally released in April, 2010, the iPad took the tablet world by storm. A short two years later, Apple has sold over 58 million units, and their staggering growth isn’t predicted to slow down anytime soon.

That is, of course, unless Microsoft or Google have their way.

In early June, 2012, Microsoft unveiled their answer to Apple’s iPad – the Microsoft Surface tablet. In what as seen as a first for Microsoft, the hardware for the Surface will also bear Microsoft’s name, as it will be produced in-house. This is a departure from Microsoft’s typical norm, where their software works with a whole range of hardware manufactured by other companies.

The Surface features a 10.6-inch wide display, consisting of the scratch-resistant Gorilla glass, a multi-touch keyboard and track pad, a full-size USB port, dual Wi-Fi antennae, and more. Models will come in a variety of colors, and will come with either 64 GB or 128 GB of storage space. Microsoft’s Surface tablet is expected to cost around $599.

Then, in late June, 2012, Google unveiled their rival tablet – the Google Nexus 7 tablet. Built by ASUS, the Nexus 7 will be the first of Google’s devices to ship with the much anticipated Android 4.1 OS release – Jelly Bean.

While it is attempting to gain market share against iPad, many early testers have noted that the features are similar to the Kindle Fire, suggesting that perhaps Google is angling to take over more than one area of the market.

The Nexus 7 features a 7-inch display, a 1.2-megapixel front facing camera, a micro-USB port, and comes with either 8 GB or 16 GB of storage space. Unfortunately, there is no storage expandability at this time. The Nexus 7 starts at $199.

Regardless of which company you favor, all of this extra competition in the tablet market should help to drive down the cost, making it more affordable for consumers.

Already use a tablet? We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment telling us what you use, and why you like it.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who enjoys helping you understand your technology options. Email: [email protected]. Website:www.mybusinesswriter.com.

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