New York City played host to Microsoft’s mega kickoff event just before launching Windows 8 and the Surface tablet. The event, which was even streamed over the web, saw CEO Steve Ballmer up on the stage presenting his pitch to consumers about these two new launches. Ballmer also stressed on how Microsoft is redesigning itself into a devices and services company with these two new products.

During the kickoff, Microsoft’s Windows head Steven Sinofsky also took to the stage to talk about how the company had managed to sell a whopping 670 million licenses for Windows 7, the fastest OS launch experienced by the firm. He then went on to describe key features of the Windows 8 experience, including the new app store.

Microsoft has certified over 1,000 PCs for the launch of Windows 8, including some devices that have touch-screen capabilities. Some new devices manufactured by hardware partners were also showcased during the event. Executives even revealed pricing details of touch-enabled laptops – they will start from $499.

The Surface tablet was also showcased to those present at the event, but the company didn’t go into too much detail explaining the tablet. Starting Friday, Windows 8 and Surface tablets will be available online and at Microsoft stores. So, yes, they’re finally here! What are you gunning for?