If you haven’t seen this yet, you need to.
Yes, I mean right now.
Granted, once you get past the pretty surface “screen” and look at both the size of the “box” that lurks underneath and the pricetag, Microsoft’s new Surface is a little cumbersome and expensive but that is normal for a completely new product of this type. Give the technology a few years to penetrate the market, and two things will happen: 1) prices will eventually drop to more reasonable pricepoints (very much like plasma TVs and flat screen monitors) and 2) the technology will get smaller, more portable and more flexible when it comes to integrating it into our everyday lives. I can’t wait for these aps to start working with tablet PCs. That will be pretty incredible.
Is it too soon to add the mouse and keyboard to the endangered species list? Eh… Watch the demo and I’ll let you guys draw your own conclusions. In twenty years, I think we’ll look back at the way computers used to look in 2007 and we’ll laugh at how bulky and cable-reliant they were. (I’m sure 8-tracks were all the rage once too.)
Note: Don’t get so caught up in the demos that you miss out on the site’s other features. (Go to the bottom of the page and click on “Origins” to get a recap – complete with napkin sketches – of how this product came to be and where it is going. You can also see who is already adopting this technology, where you can demo it for yourselves, and you can meet all the members of the development team via photos, bios, etc.) The site is as simple and easy to navigate as it is well designed, and uses just enough flash to not get on my nerves. (Website designers and product development teams out there, don’t feel bad about taking notes.)
BTW, I saw an industrial environment version of Surface demonstrated live in Redmond earlier this month, and I was left drooling and speechless (yes, both at the same time) for a good five minutes. Not only could you scan, modify, highlight, cut-and-paste, send, share and manage documents like images, graphs, tables and text with your fingertips, it responded to speech, worked as a hands-free video conferencing station, could double as media center and triple as a design workstation, and seemed so intuitive that a chimp could figure out how to use it in under five minutes. Pure genius. I could be wrong, but I think the folks at Microsoft finally gained access to Area 51.
Have a great Friday, everyone. 😉
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Disclosure: In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I manage SYNNEX’s Microsoft distribution business in the US and that I therefore have close ties with Microsoft. Althoughthis is unlikely to affect my opinion of Microsoft products or the way I approach topics dealing with Microsoft on this blog, it is worth noting nonetheless.