Thursday, 28 June 2007

On the surface...

Recently I came across one of Microsoft's new gadgets. It is being touted as a great new piece of hardware that has a large variety of consumer and commercial applications.

I'm talking of course about Microsoft Surface. Have a gander at the website, the videos are quite impressive.

Though after I stopped being excited a few minutes after watching the somewhat information-less videos, I started to wonder about the feasibility of Microsoft Surface.

From a commercial perspective, I can see the enormous benefits of the device, as it will allow many things like paying bills, splitting bills, ordering food and drinks to go a lot easier for the consumer. Then again, as the video shows a couple ordering drinks of one of the Microsoft Surface tables , I ponder what business would let customers put their drinks and dirty fingers (from eating the food they just ordered) on their brand spanking new $5000 table (this price is purely speculative... I have absolutely *no* idea what the RRP for one of these things would be).

And what about the home consumers. I can see the application working from many points of view. From using it as a Media player, to a photo organizer to a very convenient way to do shopping... Now the question is, who in the wider consumer market will
a) spend what I would expect to be a reasonable sum of money for one of these
b) if you have kids, there is no way in hell you would want to have this thing in the living room, or any child-accessible place for that matter. unless of course it comes with a special "reject-all-foreigh-substances", is unbreakable and unscratchable...

I guess I am sounding a bit pessimistic about this grande new product, but don't get me wrong, I can see the benefits and the applications and the fact thats its just plain cool.

One of the features shown in the videos on the Microsoft website is the ability to simply put your phone on this table and according to sync settings (I presume there would be something like that) it will sync the photos/contacts etc. to your Microsoft Surface device. This is an absolutely awesome concept, of course we will all need to either upgrade our phones and/or other such portable devices or install some kind of software on it (this would be a nice solution, a-la Apple iSync).

In the end, I would really like to see Microsoft Surface in action in a commercial environment, I think it would work rather well. On the other hand I am a little skeptic about the feasibility of it as a consumer device. I guess the boys at Microsoft know what they're doing though, it's been in development for about 6 or 7 years now (well, from concept start).

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