Microsoft Surface tabletops delayed until spring 2008

Microsoft Surface tabletops delayed until spring 2008

Summary: Microsoft is delaying delivery of the first Surface shipments until spring 2008, officials told News.com this week. The delay has me wondering, yet again, whether Microsoft is spreading itself too thin these days.

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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 Surface tabletops delayed until spring 2008Microsoft 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?

Topics: Mobility, CXO, Hardware, Microsoft, IT Employment

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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11 comments
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  • Not delayed - killed

    This "back to the 50s" device is an embarrassement. It should have been killed before anyone thought seriously about it. Ask yourself what useful function it serves that is not aready served better.

    Only the Bloatfarm bloatmeisters could have been sufficiently delusional to persuade themselves that something like this was useful. Mass stupidity in Redmond has now replaced monopolistic thinking as the corporate motivation.

    Why don't they make another attempt to fix Windows Mobile or try something else marginally worthwhile.

    It is astounding how much junk you can produce if your are a bloated monopolist living off of your diminishing monopoly power. The Gotterdaemmerung is coming for Gates, Ballmer, et al.
    Jeremy W
    • Seriously you sound like an idiot

      Have you seen a live demo yet? I doubt it. I have and I was very much impressed with the potential of the device. It hides the complexity of its functions behind a very simple, intuitive UI. This will be huge once they get the issues worked out.
      net-com
      • once they get the issues worked out

        Would that be immediately following when they get the bugs worked out of Vista?

        WOW! I can hardly wait.

        Bring it on, Microshot!
        Ole Man
        • They can't get the bugs out of XP

          Why is every that Microsoft does get delayed over and over again?

          Still waiting for SP3 for XP.
          Randalllind
    • It's a very cool device

      I had the chance to play with one...until you do you don't know what you're talking about. The number of game and other social things you can do on it and that will be created for it will spawn a new industry.

      The ability to interact with physical items like dice, game pieces, phones, cards, etc. is pretty cool. It's truly the first time that you can merge the analog world with the digital world without the need for purpose built analog devices.

      Also I don't think that these will be priced at 10-15K...probably more like 5-7K...with prices dropping after the introduction. I think that over the next 5-8 years you will see these become much more common-place than you think. Imagine everyone watching a movie and simply pushing 1 button on their coffee table and ordering pizza, imagine controlling you're entire house system from one location with a customizable, easy-to-use interface, imagine having your kids learn in a very fun and intuitive way with their friends.

      I can see this device being used in everthing from POS systems, to Real-Estate/Hospital/Family Room/Living Room/Class Room/Conference Room...and on and on. The number of potential markets is as vast as you can imagine.

      Think of a whiteboard, now imagine digitizing it and using different color pens, with their caps on, and drawing in color on the screen, having those images converted to interactive diagrams and saved automatically, collaboration will never be the same!
      THEE WOLF
  • RE: Microsoft Surface tabletops delayed until spring 2008

    AT 10K to 15K per device this isn't targeted at consumers. It is marketed for the hospitality and casino industry.
    net-com
  • RE: Microsoft Surface tabletops delayed until spring 2008

    10k to 15k isn't that much considering people are spending $400,000 on homes and $30,000 on SUV's and a lot on huge TV's and cable services that provide content.
    mnpundit
  • Why ask the question when you clearly know the answer?

    "can Microsoft really be all things ??? consumer and enterprise ??? to all people and do it well?"
    nizuse
    • I'm asking

      the question because I know what I think, but I want to hear what others think. So, what do you think, nizuse?
      Mary Jo Foley
  • RE: Microsoft Surface tabletops delayed until spring 2008

    We have been working for several years on a forerunner of "Surface" for automotive instrument panel applications, where there are alot of enviornmental issues to contend with, especially ambient light effects. i suspect the MS Surface team has run into some of these. it may take a while, but they probably can lick them, as the casino envorinment, is relatively speaking, benign.
    Tim Pryor, digital-dash ltd
    motown1
  • RE: Microsoft Surface tabletops delayed until spring 2008

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