Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Surface Knockoff Already Surfacing?

The Surface tablet hasn’t reached the market yet, but already Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) may be a victim of a Chinese knockoff, which has been pretty common in the emerging market as it has a history of replicating popular name-brand electronic devices and putting them on the market for very low prices. Apparently some pictures are circulating that a Chinese company, FView, is about to copycat the Surface – with a couple twists.

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is due to release its Surface tablet into the marketplace by late October, but there are indications that a Surface lookalike from FView may get to market before then. While the Surface is expected to offer a 10.6-inch display and either Windows 8 or RT operating system, the FView “Windows Pad” (which was apparently revealed in promotional material at a tech show in Berlin recently) is expected to offer a low-resolution 13.3-inch screen and may boot both Windows 8 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean from Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). How much the knockoff may cost is hard to tell, as the Surface tablet by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been rumored to retail for as little as $200 (the actual price has not been released).

While Chinese companies have been regularly known for producing and selling cheap imitations of popular items and electronic devices, it seems a bit unusual to promote a copycat of an item that hasn’t actually reached the market yet. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then maybe Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has something on its hands when the Surface actually do4es hit the market as a competitor to the iPad from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), the Kindle Fire by Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and the Nexus 7 from Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), among others in the tablet realm. Of course, Microsoft will need robust sales more than flattery to satisfy investors like hedge-fund manager Seth Klarman of Baupost Group, who had $214 million invested in Microsoft stock at the end of June.