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Microsoft Surface - Page 5

post #41 of 76
**** This post was merged from a duplicate thread *****

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070530/..._of_the_future

Quote:
SEATTLE - Microsoft Corp. has taken the wraps off "Surface," a coffee-table shaped computer that responds to touch and to special bar codes attached to everyday objects.

The machines, which Microsoft planned to debut Wednesday at a technology conference in Carlsbad, Calif., are set to arrive in November in T-Mobile USA stores and properties owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. and Harrah's Entertainment Inc.

Surface is essentially a Windows Vista PC tucked inside a shiny black table base, topped with a 30-inch touchscreen in a clear acrylic frame. Five cameras that can sense nearby objects are mounted beneath the screen. Users can interact with the machine by touching or dragging their fingertips and objects such as paintbrushes across the screen, or by setting real-world items tagged with special bar-code labels on top of it.

Unlike most touchscreens, Surface can respond to more than one touch at a time. During a demonstration with a reporter last week, Mark Bolger, the Surface Computing group's marketing director, "dipped" his finger in an on-screen paint palette, then dragged it across the screen to draw a smiley face. Then he used all 10 fingers at once to give the face a full head of hair.

With a price tag between $5,000 and $10,000 per unit, Microsoft isn't immediately aiming for the finger painting set. (The company said it expects prices to drop enough to make consumer versions feasible in three to five years.)

Some of the first Surface models are planned to help customers pick out new cell phones at T-Mobile stores. When customers plop a phone down on the screen, Surface will read its bar code and display information about the handset. Customers can also select calling plans and ringtones by dragging icons toward the phone.

Guests sitting in some Starwood Hotel lobbies will be able to cluster around the Surface to play music, then buy songs using a credit card or rewards card tagged with a bar code. In some hotel restaurants, customers will be able to order food and drinks, then split the bill by setting down a card or a room key and dragging their menu items "onto" the card.

At Harrah's locations, visitors will be able to learn about nearby Harrah's venues on an interactive map, then book show tickets or make dinner reservations.

Microsoft is working on a limited number of programs to ship with Surface, including one for sharing digital photographs.

Bolger placed a card with a bar code onto Surface's surface; digital photographs appeared to spill out of the card into piles on the screen. Several people gathered around the table pulled photos across the screen using their fingertips, rotated them in circles and even dragged out the corners to enlarge the images — behavior made possible by the advanced graphics support deep inside Windows Vista.

"It's not a touch screen, it's a grab screen," Bolger said.

Historically, Microsoft has focused on creating new software, giving computer programmers tools to build applications on its platforms, and left hardware manufacturing to others. (Some recent exceptions include the Xbox 360 and the Zune music player, made by the same Microsoft division that developed Surface.)

For now, Microsoft is making the Surface hardware itself, and has only given six outside software development firms the tools they need to make Surface applications.

Matt Rosoff, an analyst at the independent research group Directions on Microsoft, said in an interview that keeping the technology's inner workings under wraps will limit what early customers — the businesses Microsoft is targeting first with the machine — will be able to do with it.

But overall, analysts who cover the PC industry were wowed by Surface.

Surface is "important for Microsoft as a promising new business, as well as demonstrating very concretely to the market that Microsoft still knows how to innovate, and innovate in a big way," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Jupiter Research.
Coffee tables are now OCable!
    
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post #42 of 76
I have no Idea how the cell phones work like that.
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post #43 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall82 View Post
If it is based on any kind of Microsoft driver you're only gonna be able to use your middle finger....
i'm sry, but if u got a problem with microsoft and wat they do then go discuss it in another section of the forum. you just seem to be going on a useless rant. maby next time u can kinda stay on the topic in the thread
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post #44 of 76
Looks like an ergonomics's nightmare !!!
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post #45 of 76
that thing looks nice, specially when youre in a hurry to drop your foto's at home or see where you have to go.

i would by me one if the price allows me
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post #46 of 76
I like it. Microsoft is smart.
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post #47 of 76
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post #48 of 76
Anyone else getting a Longhorn deja vu? It looks awesome now, but by the time it's released everything cool that you saw would be cut or toned way down like in vista?
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post #49 of 76
[OFF_TOPIC]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Choggs396 View Post
Well, some of what I'm about to type has been said before, but you asked me to defend my position and I will present.

First off, numerous driver problems. Vista for instance (which I purchased for my new rig). There is no reason why a product should be released with so many compatibility issues. I paid $120 US for Vista and have had numerous driver problems.
I may be a simpleton, but isn't the onus on driver creation down to the manufacturers of peripherals (gfx cards, printers etc.) ?

I am sure that they (manufacturers) had plenty of chance to develop drivers as and when "Closed candidates" were released to them? I mean... Epson seemed to do OK, didn't they?

Not all problems can be laid at Gates' gates (couldn't resist) as he is not even involved in development/coding from what I have read. And anyway, there are always teething troubles with new OS's - even linux; (remember the troubles with wifi and bluetooth early on)? As for OSx - well isn't that a totally closed platform - that is to say you can't replace gfx cards, wifi cards etc? (correct me if that's wrong as I am not au fait with OSx).

I think XP is a great OS - and yes, it is designed for Joe Public rather than your PC expert but, isn't that a good thing? It has helped bring computing to whole swathes of society who would otherwise be clueless as to the versatility, ability and sheer fun that is *home computing*.

MS - and indeed many other computing *houses* have brought so MUCH to the lives of millions.

I am no fanboy - I use XP and Linux. Yes MS have done some things wrong... as have practically every other company involved in any way at all in IT.

However, I for one am glad that they exist. And Gates is one heck of a philanthropist!

As Peter Norton said, "He who believes in bug-free software, also believes in Magic Wands."
[/OFF-TOPIC]

And, Surface looks like fun... imagine a tactile-entertainment-room covered in it ^_^ (kinda like "The Veld" in Ray Bradburys "Illustrated Man".
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post #50 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by newphase View Post
And, Surface looks like fun... imagine a tactile-entertainment-room covered in it ^_^ (kinda like "The Veld" in Ray Bradburys "Illustrated Man".
Yah, it looks really awesome and could definitely be used for something like that if they made it a little bigger than 30 inches.

I'm thinking a Surface floor, multi-directional treadmill style and regular TV/projector screens for the walls that constantly change based on how you turn etc.

And let's also hope that the lions don't come out of Surface to eat people
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