View Full Version : Bumps on the road to Microsoft's Surface
Nov 10, 2007, 09:31 PM
Link: Bumps on the road to Microsoft's Surface (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20071110223145)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug
Nov 11, 2007, 11:45 AM
Wow high end tech that just can't be simply applied to existing hardware having a hard time taking off? NO! You are kidding! I'm shocked I say, shocked!
Seriously this is just retarded. MS shows off a rushed proof of concept device that has been on the burner for a while but needed to be pushed to the front because Apple is starting to play with the same basic concepts, and MS didn't want to look like they were ripping off Apple; which by the way they aren't.
If anything its MS who has the correct strategy here. Snag the corp environment or in this case retail with this tech then go after the individual users once both the hardware and software are established. If you think Surface will stay only in a tablet format you are a moron. Expect this tech to miniaturize and become refined as it hits the market over the next 5 years. The key is to build API support for Surface into their Windows Mobile OS. Its horse and the cart, chicken and the egg time. MS need to work out a functional API for their phones, etc for this to ever take off in a big way. But for now. Get a few companies on board and work out the bugs which is exactly what this "delay" is. Think of these early companies jumping on this as alpha testers. Beta testing will probably come in 2009 long after Apple implements some cheesy version of Surface in some tablet or touch screen that everyone will say MS ripped off later on. Again Surface is not a quick and dirty tech that can be slapped into an existing piece of hardware. Its long term goal is to fundamentally change how we interact with our computer and getting to that point requires RFID's in a crap load of things we don't have them in right now. So 2 years for surface to surface? Sure. Why not. There is no rush.
Oh and the Touch and iPhone are not the same as Surface beyond the fact that you can use your finger and if that is the case I've been using this tech since 1999 on my WinCE device that eventually became the Pocket PC.
Nov 11, 2007, 02:44 PM
Again Surface is not a quick and dirty tech that can be slapped into an existing piece of hardware. Its long term goal is to fundamentally change how we interact with our computer and getting to that point requires RFID's in a crap load of things we don't have them in right now.
Actually, if you look at the inside of the thing it's pretty amusing. There are a couple of infrared cameras, a lot of empty space -- and a stock tower PC running Vista. I expected so much more to be inside that cabinet. But I do agree that Surface is going to completely change how we use computers. Till now they've been a solitary experience -- you work at your terminal alone. Surface is the first collaborative computing device for the general public. Something that radically different will not catch on overnight. Gates said:
It can be in every desk. It can be in every table, it can be in every whiteboard, every mirror. Give us a 5- to 10-year time frame and we will wonder why our tables used to just sit there and not do anything for us.
I think he's right.
Nov 11, 2007, 08:05 PM
I first read SiliconAddict's post and thought the article slammed Microsoft. The article is in general very positive about Microsoft on this venture. It seems to be taking us towards an evolution similar to what we went through from text interfaces to graphics and mouse based UI. The costs should come down rapidly once this prototype phase is over.
Nov 11, 2007, 10:20 PM
Microsoft may have the concept as they did with palm pilots and "smart phones" but I still think it will be Apple that comes out with the proper useable finished product that doesn't resemble an old PacMan/Space Invaders table of the mid 80's.
Nov 12, 2007, 12:12 PM
...Seriously this is just retarded. MS shows off a rushed proof of concept device that has been on the burner for a while but needed to be pushed to the front because Apple is starting to play with the same basic concepts, and MS didn't want to look like they were ripping off Apple; which by the way they aren't.
Apple isn't "starting to play" with the concept. It's already delivering successful products that use the concept well. Whether or not Microsoft is "ripping off" Apple is irrelevant. Microsoft is definitely playing catch up.
If anything its MS who has the correct strategy here. Snag the corp environment or in this case retail with this tech then go after the individual users once both the hardware and software are established.
It seems to me that Microsoft targets business rather than consumers because the people who buy the stuff aren't necessarily the people who use it. They end up pushing their "solution" on people, rather than making something that works so well that the potential users demand it.
Nov 12, 2007, 05:09 PM
I could be wrong here, but it doesn't seem like MS's Surface and Apple's iPod Touch and iPhone are even remotely in the same realm?!
The Surface is pretty cool. I love the demos out there on the web. And I think a lot of people (Apple fans or not) would say the touch interface on the Apple products is pretty cool too.
But my question is why are we even trying to compare them. I could be being picky here but the MS Surface isn't exactly a "touch" interface. It uses Infrared cameras to track objects and a projector to show the image on the surface of the table top (from below). That's not a criticism either, like I said it's pretty cool.
The iPhone and iPod though, actually use a touchscreen. Presently though I haven't got a clue how many points of contact the Apple technology can handle. Is it only 2?
My point is this. MS approach appears to me to be good for large table top devices only, and the Apple tech is suited for smaller mobile/desktop devices. I'm guessing the cost of a LARGE touchscreen (Apple style) for a table top would be astronomical. That's why I think MS went that way in the first place.
Long and short, I don't see that either one is going to cause any "competition" for the other anytime soon. If anything they'll continue to generate some more advanced interfaces as we go along.