Microsoft will start selling its Surface tabletop multi-touch system in Australia next week after a formal launch.
Microsoft Surface table (Credit: Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au)
The platform — which was first announced in May 2007 — has been available internationally for some time, and has been used for purposes as varied as military tactical overviews and in restaurants. It provides a computer screen as large as a small table that acts as a touchscreen that users can interact with.
The software giant has issued an invitation to Australian journalists to attend the launch event on Tuesday, 9 February, with a spokesperson confirming the system will be on sale in Australia after that date. A number of local partners have been gathered for the occasion.
Microsoft lieutenant Robbie Bach — the head of the company's entertainment and devices division (including the Xbox, Zune and Windows Mobile products) will make a trip down under to launch the device, flanked by Microsoft Australia managing director Tracey Fellows.
Surface devices have already been turning up in Australia in small demonstration cases. For example, Microsoft was showing one off at the release of Senator Conroy's Future Directions for the Digital Economy paper.
And in January this year, ANZ Bank showed off two Surface units at the Australian Open tennis in Melbourne.