If you were holding your breath for the first Microsoft touch-screen tabletops, originally due to debut in November in selected Sheraton hotels, Harrah's casinos, and T-Mobile retail locations, you can exhale now.
Microsoft is delaying delivery of the first Surface shipments until spring 2008, officials told News.com this week. It turns out customizing the hardware and software that powers a "Big Ass Table" is harder than it looked. The Advanced Technology Center in Microsoft China is working on the Surface user interface (as well as the recently debuted interface, co-developed by Microsoft and T-Mobile for the T-Mobile Shadow).
Microsoft is expected to deploy the multi-touch software that makes the Surface tick in other form factors over time. In this futuristic video on the new UXEvangelist blog, Surface-like technology may be what powers the architectural-design table in the featured SoapBox videoclip.
Microsoft's Surface delay has me wondering, yet again, whether Microsoft is spreading itself too thin these days. Sure, it sounds more fun to work on Xbox than Forefront Security services, but can Microsoft really be all things -- consumer and enterprise -- to all people and do it well?