Would you pay $1,499 for the Microsoft 'Oahu' Surface table?

Would you pay $1,499 for the Microsoft 'Oahu' Surface table?

Summary: Microsoft has been dangling the possibility of a smaller, more consumer-centric version of its Surface multi-touch tabletop computer for the past few months. Now that form factor has a codename: Oahu.

TOPICS: Microsoft

Microsoft has been dangling the possibility of a smaller, more consumer-centric version of its Surface multi-touch tabletop computer for the past few months. Now that form factor has a codename: Oahu.

Long Zheng of istartedsomething.com has more details on Oahu, which he has gleaned from a Microsoft marketing survey evaluating interest in a more affordable, smaller, home-oriented Surface. As Zheng notes the survey asked participants about a few different “forms” of Oahu -- a table for meals, a counter top or games table.

The survey questions whether users would be willing to spend $1,499 for a Surface games table or casual table.

As Zheng notes, Oahu, "besides being the name of the Hawaiian island - home to Honolulu, Pearl Harbour and Lost, it is indirectly translated as 'The Gathering Place.'"

No word on when Oahu test trials may begin or when a final product may hit. But Microsoft is set to talk about its Surface software development kit at the Professional Developers Conference in two weeks....

Topic: Microsoft


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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  • Off course >: )

    Yes i would especially if it comes with Windows 7 and has quite a bigger than 22" and Full HD screen.
    Seriously it is not everyday that Microsoft release an innovative and exciting consumer product.
  • RE: Would you pay $1,499 for the Microsoft 'Oahu' Surface table?

    I think an interactive D&D table would be awesome...
    • OMG!

      You nailed it. When I was a kid I played D&D and my friends and I loved it. But we only had a fold out map and our imaginations. Without taking too much away from imagination, you could also have at the touch of a button, player stats, game notes, dice rolls, creature info, 3D dungeon mapping, games over IP with other friends in different areas with video & Audio. This could be huge.
    • Oh no...

      I don't want to get back into D&D!
  • Yes. Heck, I have seen plain wooden tables

    sell for the same price, if not more.
    Why not a 1,500 table that you could interact with?
  • Does it include new "bulge" technology?

    I hear having it embedded either on a table or on a wall that
    FINALLY those Hi-Resolution graphics will jump-out at the
    viewer user. All thanks to the protruding fiber-optic pixels
    that, together in semi-unison fashion, form the mechanical
    translations of the physics behind the screen plain.
  • I might if it's at least 30-inch (nt)

  • Absolutly not at any price if it is a horizontal configuration.

    I can't imagine my dining room table, coffee table or my desk having one of these. Talk about a neck cramp if you use it for a moderate use computer replacement. So, basicly any type of horizontal surface would be an emphatic NO. Horizontal surfaces might be fine for casula usage in restaurants, hotels, casinos and game rooms, but I can't imagine serving dinner on it or if it was a coffee table type, putting my feet up on it. A vertical configuration might be fun at the right price. How about the refrigerator? Calendar, grocery list, family notes, etc? Maybe in combination with the bathroom mirror so you can surf/read at the same time while shaving, brushing your teach, fixing your hair, etc. I'm happy for eveyone interested in the horizontal config at home and I'd be happy to come over and enjoy yours. But, I would be unable to come up with any horizontal config that makes any decorating sense if you don't have a dedicated bar area in your house (which I don't).
    • Ergonomics matter

      Form factors are important, the form factor of this device if adopted widely, will be a sure source of additional patients for chiropractors and physical therapists. The neck and shoulder strain caused by prolonged use of this type of horizontal is an ergonomic disaster.

      I like the idea for a vertical touch screen very much, but for limited use.

      Surface computing is interesting, but this table concept while cool at first glance, will lead to poor neck and back health for those who use it more than casually.
    • Really?

      Libraries have been using horizontal desks to read on for, well, since the first library. When I put my phone down on a table and key through the menu's, it's horizontal. When I write a note on a pad of paper, it's horizontal. I think this device is geared for the casual user. Not someone that's going to plant themselves on it for hours on end. Unless it's for a specific app. Boardgames, architecture, and that sort of thing.
  • Food for thought? Would you have a bumper pool table in your house?

    Food for thought? Would you have a bumper pool table in your house that double duties as a dining room table? If yes, then you are probably a shoe-in for this. I think most of us with decorating sense would like to keep our furniture classy.
    • Have some imagination...

      Okay, if you're thinking about the old arcade style monstrosities or tall pool-hall style tables. You're right, they'd be an eye sore. Or if it were a whole coffee table, it'd be too easily damaged.

      However, if you look at the drawing on the site, its small enough it could be inset into a larger structure. There have been many stylish coffee tables and other tables that have glass tops that were relatively sensitive too. You could easily put one of these into a stylish wooden coffee table that might often be found as a display case or other glass top. It's also small enough you could easily put 2 or 3 within a standard configuration and have a mini-network.

      To simply discount it because your mental image of computer furniture is stuck in 1985 is a little short sighted.

      However, its entirely probably Microsoft will fail to make it stylish and it will fail misrabley, Jobs will identify their mistake a year or two later, and come out with an iTable with simplicity design that will be all the rage with the apple logo on it.

  • RE: Would you pay $1,499 for the Microsoft 'Oahu' Surface table?


    'nuf said.

    Chris Dawson
    • Very.... concise

      Glad to see you didn't just go too in-depth and just run on regardless, Mr. Dawson.

      However, honestly, have a discussion on it. $1,500 is definitely steep for a stationary laptop (which is what this ends up being). Is it the price that's the obstacle? The Micro$oft centricity? Or just the idea of having a computer in future is ludicrous? Like to hear other's ideas as well.

  • Maybe if it extends mobile devices

    You've seen the demos where they drop a phone or camera onto the surface and extend the device's capabilities and UI with the table. I'm guessing this is going to become more and more common, perhaps assisted by Live Mesh, or maybe not, and definitely will be imitated by competitors, especially Apple.
    • no, no

      Apple did it first :-)
      Paul Fletcher
  • Poker and Blackjack

    Surface will be great for table games. Don't rule it out.
  • What's the OS??

    Is there any other question?
    • I see your point

      If it is Linux based it will half-ass finished and kernel updates each week
      If it is OSX it will only work with iTunes and Quacktime....

      ...your point was??
      Paul Fletcher
  • RE: Would you pay $1,499 for the Microsoft 'Oahu' Surface table?

    Yesterday I was help my kid with his reading using flash cards and wondering if there was a touch screen (surface/otherwise maybe windows 7) it would have been cool.

    I find a lot of value with affordable touch screens espicially schools and workplaces.

    I would defnitely consider one for my home. It would be better if it could accomodate to be placed in any direction. Horizontal/Tilt/Vertical/Long side/Short side!! so that I could use it as a TV or a Table :)