Microsoft released information on a new product tonight and it looks amazing. It’s a 30″ tabletop screen with touch screen abilities. It works similar to the holographic screens in the movie Minority Report, though it’s much more primitive.
Microsoft has posted a fact sheet and FAQ’s, but I can’t link to anything other than the site because it’s all Flash based. Microsoft describes Surface as:
“A 30″ display in a table like form that’s easy for individuals or small groups to interact with in a way that feels familiar just like the real world. Surface can simultaneously recognize dozens and dozens of movements such as touch, gestures, and will be able to recognize actual unique objects that have identification tags similar to bar codes.”
“Surface will ship to partners with a portfolio of basic applications, including photos, videos, virtual concierge, and games, which can be customized to provide their customers with unique experiences.”
Here’s what I take from this announcement:
- Surface runs on Vista.
- Microsoft appears to be the HW manufacturer on this. I doubt that they could have kept this secret if they relied on others for HW.
- Surface is Windows Tablet Edition on steroids.
- The announcement says that Surface will be available for some businesses at the end of the year.
I am very excited about this announcement. It didn’t seem like anyone could deliver a product like Surface in the near future, and it appears that Microsoft will. This is an important step in the death of the mouse. I wonder what the price on this will be. It will probably be expensive if MS is targeting businesses.
I’d put it in the $3,500 to $5,000 range for businesses. It’s probably in the area of $1,500 for consumers. Gizmodo claims that the price is $10,000 with an expectation of a huge price drop over 3 years. Of course, this is all assuming that MS can deliver on it’s promises. I’ve got pictures posted after fold. Microsoft Surface
Update: An excellent video presentation of Microsoft Surface.
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This popped up on Digg today and I found it interesting. Some company named SEOmoz handed out the “2007 Web 2.0 Awards.” I have no idea who SEOmoz is, but I found their lists very useful. They listed “over 200 sites in 41 categories.” Enjoy http://www.seomoz.org/web2.0
Apple was recently criticized by Greenpeace for lack of openness and a poor environmental record in general. Apple’s Steve Jobs just announced a change in policy that makes Apple more open and responsive to the environmental demands of it’s customers.
These days we must protect the environment as much as possible. Nice job Apple. I wish you the best with this new policy.
Last night I witnessed the digital equivalent of the LA Riots. You probably know the story already, so I am going to give you my take. Someone posted a 2 month old hex code that somehow cracks HD-DVD DRM on digg.com. The code was deleted. Then someone reposted it. It got 15K+ diggs. It was deleted and Digg.com users went nuts. Digg’s CEO pulled a Rodney King and asked people to “give peace a chance.” That didn’t work out so well. The site was inundated with stories that included the code soon after. Anything that wasn’t the code was dugg down. Eventually digg caved. I have a few thoughts on this:
- People went nuts because someone was trying to delete something as simple as a hex code off the Internet. It’s not just about cesorship or just about DRM. The idea that someone would try to delete something off the internet is offensive, scary, and revolting.
- The code is unimportant. Most people don’t know what to do with it and those that do will get it either way. Reminds me of the history of the 21 Club. Coincidentally, I had lunch there today.
- The RIAA, MPAA, AACS, and others need to stop treating “consumers” like criminals. We’re customers, not criminals. Make a worthwhile product and people will buy it. It’s a bad thing when your “customers” hate your guts.
- Yesterday’s Digg riot will go down as a significant moment in the history of the Internet. It’s a day when a Top 90 site had to face a digital revolt over bad policy. The site’s own features were used against it.
There are plenty of news articles on this all over the place, so I am going to link to something else. The cynics at Something Awful had a lot of interesting things to say. Check them out here and here.
Update: And the You Tube responses are just hysterical.
I found a nice tool for your Binary to Hex conversion needs. Here’s a sample binary code:
1001 11111001 00010001 0010 10011101 01110100 11100011 01011011 11011000 01000001 01010110 11000101 01100011 01010110 10001000 11000000