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Microsoft fast-tracks Surface for home use

updated 02:40 pm EST, Mon February 4, 2008

MS Surface Home Fast-Track

Microsoft is accelerating the development of its Surface touchscreen technology for the home after customer requests, company chief Steve Ballmer said today at an analyst conference. The Redmond, Washington-based company had initially warned that a consumer-friendly version of the interactive table would not be available until four or five years after its early 2007 introduction but has since received a large amount of demand for a release sooner than the 2011 timeframe suggested by the schedule.

"We're going to follow our nose," Ballmer said, indicating that the company had to trust its instincts and react to demand rather than maintain its previous course.

Until today, Microsoft had so far only outlined its plans to introduce Surface at hotels, restaurants, and other service industries where the table's multi-touch technology could be used to streamline ordering meals and other features that would normally require a limited computer kiosk. Each table is currently estimated to cost between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on the role, ruling out most home uses.

Few details have been revealed about a home-oriented version of Surface, though Microsoft has suggested natural-input drawing and photo viewing tools as initial candidates. It should also recognize tagged inanimate objects that can automatically synchronize with the computer or each other, such as two Zune media players.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. mgpalma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000

    +1

    It's going to be great

    If it is anything like the windows run signs here at our airport, there will be 'surfaces' all around public facilities with big error boxes stating windows has detected an error and shutdown. Won't that be great??? I can hardly wait. I always chuckle as I walk by them. After-all, it's great advertising!

  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006

    +1

    surface

    "We're going to follow our nose," Ballmer said.

    That's a visual I could live without.

  1. mgehman

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Feb 2001

    0

    Obviously...

    Ballmer mistook the groans of the public as a sign that they wanted this cluster f**k manufactured, or perhaps it was the giggles?

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2004

    0

    Surface is great!

    View some of the benefits here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZrr7AZ9nCY

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007

    0

    someone else is

    eating our lunch!!!

    Fast track it!!!

  1. ender

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 1999

    0

    cost

    I think perhaps $5,000 - $10,000 per table would also put it out of the range of most large-scale commercial uses, too. The only restaurants who would afford "installing" [need electrical outlets and newtwork for the tables along with the appropriate (ie, Microsoft) back-end system to manage it all) a table that costs that much are the ones whose patrons are going to expect a lot of personal attention from the staff, not a automated table they can place their order with.

  1. robttwo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2005

    0

    follow your nose

    Hard to do when your head is up your a**.

    Ballmer, the last "instinct" you followed was probably taking a leak. Give me a break.

    Doofuses.

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    0

    Big a** Table

    Yep, I want one of those. :-)

    I saw a gasoline pump that would add gas additive for an extra charge. Fine. But the Microsoft system crashed. Then it rebooted, checked itself, memory, etc and asked if you wanted to restart??? Just press "YES".

    The trouble is there was no "YES" button on the gas additive machine. So, a tech would have to come out with a keyboard to restart the machine cause its too STUPID to be programmed to allow a different key input.

    Don't you just love Microsoft products??? :-)

  1. howiethemacguy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    0

    Who would buy it?

    It's not even that revolutionary. It makes use of cameras and bar code readers. For the price, they should have installed a touch screen similar to the one on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Of course, that would have been copying Apple... Microsoft has certainly never done that before :-P

  1. macbones

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006

    0

    once again

    once again, Apple driving innovation. In a year everything Apple will have multitouch, and everything microsoft will be vaporware. If you don't think this is a "me to, but better" response to the macbook air multitouch, you are naive.

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