Microsoft chairman and former CEO Bill Gates has joined the company’s marketing campaign to praise Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and the Surface tablet, and he touts the benefits of all three in a new video.

This Friday, Microsoft will release its Windows 8 operating system and the stellar-looking Surface tablet. Gates says that with Windows 8, Microsoft is bringing touch and camera inputs into the fold without giving up traditional mouse and keyboard support. (Read our roundup of what you need to know about Windows 8.)

“People will be pretty amazed about the energy Microsoft’s putting behind this new wave of products,” Gates said. “We really saved up in terms of knowing this was such an important set of innovations that whether it’s great new applications, ISV engagement, or just plain marketing, this is the big time for us.”

Gates also called the Microsoft Surface tablet “absolutely incredible” and said people can’t appreciate the device without seeing it in person. “You can’t appreciate it without seeing it — people, get to a store and play around with this thing,” Gates said. “The way you put that keyboard on and off, the richness of the swiping that takes the touch interface to a new level, just the beauty of the device — it is absolutely incredible.”

Watch the video above for more.