New Surface multitouch systems begin shipping

The Surface 2.0 multitouch devices from Samsung running a customized version of Microsoft's Windows Embedded operating system, have begun shipping.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

On January 16, Samsung Electronics began shipping the first Samsung SUR40 Surface ("Surface 2") devices.

Microsoft, Samsung and various partners showed off a few of the first of them to roll off the production line at the National Retail Federation (NRF) show in New York today.

The SUR40 can be used as a table, a wall-mountable and/or vertical/horizontal kiosk and is both multiuser and multitouch. It features a 40-inch HD 1080p screen and is four inches thin (including the glass, PC and enclosure). The system runs an embedded version of 64-bit Windows 7 Professional. Microsoft introduced a software-development kit for the Surface 2.0 in July 2011. The SUR40 relies on PixelSense — which uses the pixels of the screen itself to act as cameras to capture objects placed on the surface.

The “Surface 2.0? made its official debut at the Consumer Electronics Show a year ago, in January 2011, and originally were supposed to ship before the end of calendar 2011. Late last year, Samsung officials told me the SUR40 systems wouldn’t begin shipping until January 2012.

At NRF, Microsoft and partners are showing off how the SUR40 can be integrated with other Microsoft technologies, including the Kinect for Windows sensor, Windows tablets and smartphones -- Windows Phones, iPhones, Android phones and more.

The Kinect for Windows hardware and software, which will be commercially available as of February 1, don't work with Windows PCs only; the SDK and sensor both work with the Windows-Embedded-based SUR40, too, as well as other digital signage and devices running the Windows Embedded operating system.

Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface is available in 23 countries. Estimated Street Pricing for U.S. customers starts at $8,400 USD for the device, and $9,049 USD for the device with matching stand. Pricing in other countries and/or regions may differ.

In other NRF news, Microsoft announced that its Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail ERP product will begin shipping as of February 1.

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