updated 10:25 am EST, Fri November 9, 2007
Microsoft Surface Delays
Microsoft's trumpeted Surface multi-touch table displays are encountering delays in reaching the market, according to a report from CNET. The Redmond, Washington-based company had originally planned to ship production versions of the technology by the end of the year to businesses such as Sheraton hotels and T-Mobile retail shops but is now pushing back the debut to spring 2008, pointing to issues customizing the Surface table design and software for each business.
"What we have found out is this is not a one-size-fits-all solution," says senior director Mark Bolger of the company's new surface computing division.
The learning process for Surface has nonetheless encouraged Microsoft to step up plans to expand Surface beyond its current service industry niche. Feedback from partners should see enterprises, governments, and schools adopt Surface earlier than was originally planned, the company says. Current examples are currently too expensive to be used by most home buyers at prices starting from $5,000 each, but a home equivalent may be available within three to five years once economies of scale come into play.
Surface differs from Apple's multi-touch technology in the iPhone by using visual recognition rather than physical feedback, using a series of IR cameras to gauge the position of a user's hands and to recognize objects placed on the table.