More than Surface Appeal

More than Surface Appeal

Beyond Touch-Sensitive Computing

Ever wonder about an intelligent tabletop that would recognize what you put on it and tell you all about it? How about a tabletop that would let you drag and resize information with your fingertips with no need for a robotic glove or waldo? Stop wondering. Microsoft Surface has arrived.

Grabbing for Data

Microsoft Surface combines high-horsepower computing with a new twist on touch-sensitive computing: the ability to touch the screen in more than one place at a time without weirding out the operating system and processor running the show. It's a technology called 'multi-touch,' and Microsoft Surface demos show how it can be used to resize and move photos around on a virtual tabletop: touch two corners of a picture or video clip and stretch to make it larger or smaller. Another demo shows fingerpainting with multiple colors (and fingers) at the same time - with no washup afterwards!

With Microsoft Surface, Business Can Be Fun, Too

Other Surface demos show how Microsoft Surface could be used to display product information at a store: place a product on the tabletop and model number, price, and interactive features appear. Surface can also support interactive mapping technologies: imagine a map that can give you directions from the 'you are here' position to anywhere you can point to on a map, or can show you the fastest way to get to your car?

A Long Time Coming...

As comments at Microsoftie Rob Burke's blog reveal, the technologies behind Microsoft Surface have been in the works for a long time (at least a decade).

Dialing for (Lots) of Dollars

Microsoft Surface is designed for lots of markets: home users who want an easier way to work with data (me, pick me!), business developers who want to create new and better ways to present information for internal or retail use, and anyone who wants the smartest tabletop in town for a mere 10 Large (that's $10,000 US if you're not a Sopranos fan). Fortunately, it won't be available for purchase until the end of 2007, so there's time to stuff some Benjamins in the piggy bank.

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Mifuyne

Too bad most of us would have to wait many years before we can actually get our hands on one. Whether it be because of monetary reasons or waiting for the bugs to be ironed out. I wonder how it would react to liquid spills, heavy object load and so on while it's on. However, technology like this could make collaborative projects a lot easier. Although I wonder if it's pressure sensitive like a graphic tablet. On top of that, how stable is the Operating system? We know that Microsoft has a bad track record for being rather unstable (the trade off for having choice). Now that they have to design an OS that's specifically for a piece of hardware they've designed as well, would they do significantly better?

Either case, I'd probably keep a close eye on this technology. It's something I might want to have if/when I start up my own Design firm (not for many, many years). Plus, it'd be neat to have at home...although I can't say I agree with the ergonomic design of the hardware...it forces you to slouch over, which could be very bad for your back after a certain amount of time.

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Fuetasoeq

Its not just an operating system.

its Hardware also.

Check it out here ---> http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4217348.html

Fuetaso the Info Hunter

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bland

I saw a demo of this almost a year ago from the original company that was creating the software, and it's great to see it take off through a larger company, but this is going to extend Microsofts monopoly that much more, with the way it integrates with your cell phone and pocketpc and all that. Guess whose technology it will be compatible with.

Another major problem that will come up down the road will be the strain on everyone's neck if they start to use this as a primary pc for any extended amout of time.

It's still a great technology, and I'm looking forward to see how this will change things in the future. The desktop is really starting to get old, and most other solutions have been a joke so far.

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blackzarg

I think the main reason it's priced so high is because of the technology. And really, there are things OSX can do, things Linux can do, and things that Windows can do that only they can do. So stop being such a narrow minded arse.

Looks pretty cool, but for now, we can only watch the celebrities get them :-/

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mentalhawk

of course anything thats microsoft someone has to always say. linux does the same thing, or something to that effect. seriously shut up! im sick of hearing it...anyway..

Microsoft Surface sounds really cool and i like the idea and just like most things it will fall in price if it catches on. i hope ill get to see one in person than watching videos. next we'll need holographic images that we can interact with!

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nmanguy

I think most of the 10 large is for a big-ass touch screen with multi touch. Also, is there even a Linux version of that, that works on screens bigger than the average tablet PC?

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maddee

Only 10 large? Heck, even I have an extra 10 grand laying around! (I wish!!) I prefer the price of Ubuntu....FREE!!!
Hey Willy Gates...Bite me!
As always, Linux Rocks and Windows sucks! Embrace the Penguin!
Maddee

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oihorse

Linux does the same thing...

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