Microsoft's next version of its highly successful Surface (which debuted in 2007) is imminent. After supposedly suffering some delays which forced delivery times from this year to the beginning of next, the next generation Surface is now officially available to pre-order in 23 countries.

The device -- which will run Windows 7 and cost about $8,400 -- is a Samsung-manufactured table with a 2.9GHz dual-core AMD processor and a 40-inch, 1920 x 1080 display. ZDNet previously reported that the new Surface had been delayed until January 2012 because of software problems, but no firm shipping date has been revealed.

The SUR40 is intended for commercial Fujifilm, Red Bull, and Sheraton Hotels already having signed on to use them in their businesses. We'll undoubtedly see and hear more of the new Surface in January at CES.