jtbthatsme: "There are some good reasons to announce it today a few months before its available - so people know that its coming and take that into account when choosing purchasing strategies etc "
Sorry I don't think a lot of people looking at a tablet are interested in seeing something they can't get just yet. I know many people that won't even wait a few days to halve the price of a purchase (as go to somewhere like DSE to get a flash drive as opposed to buying from a online retailer for a lot cheaper).
Sure there will be people who do do as you say but a lot of people and markets are relying on impulse buying for supermarkets this is their bread and butter and they do store layouts specifically to encourage that.
Knowing a product is coming is good for a lot smaller market than knowing I can have x product on x date and preorder it now or simply buying the best available to meet your needs now.
Just for reference I am in no way a Apple fanboy don't own one in any form and won't they make good products but price them for maximum profit and idiots eat them up. As for this upcoming Windows tablet it looks good on a spec sheet but at the end of the day is it really going to do anything different than all the rest when it comes out??? I think and hope it does well and brings something new, as just another tablet that plays music, video and has a nice display with good storage is not really anything special.
Or is it that it will integrate well with your pc supposed to be the big selling point??? Ipad integrates well with the Mac PC / Laptop range doesn't it. I hope the keyboard is not the drawcard gimmick as sorry but a tablet pc with a plug in keyboard is a little too much like a laptop don't you think???
Businesses that are working out their companion device strategy, doesn't tend to be impulse
Windows 8 & Windows RT has a pretty interesting security & manageability story to businesses as well