04 June, 2007

Someone at Microsoft must want an iPhone. Microsoft Surface announced.

If you haven't, please read my last entry on the iPhone. If it wasn't made clear by that entry, I am very impressed with the iPhone! With the small addition of a simple to purchase waterproof sleeve to protect the touchscreen, the iPhone shouldn't be just a solution I need to alleviate the problems I encounter in using a cell phone. Hallelujah! :-)

Also in my previous entry, I discussed Microsoft's plans for the telephone of the future. Recently, Microsoft announced a breakthrough in touch computing technology that will enable such devices as the phone I just mentioned. This is a technology that the software giant has dubbed Microsoft Surface. Surface is an amazing to see. It's a touch technology that can be built into a desk, a table or any other surface of the kind. Presumably, this is where Microsoft got the name. Original little buggers, aren't they? :-) surface will change how easily people can interact with computers. Why do we need a new way to interact with our PCs?

Anyone who has been working in an office for several years can answer this question. Anyone with fine motor problems can answer this question. Anyone with arthritis or carpal Connell or repetitive stress injury in their hands knows the answer to this question. Keyboards caused pain. It's that simple! But Microsoft Surface isn't just about providing another tablet PC like user interface. The tablet PC is still based on an operating system (Windows) that was originally designed to be used with the keyboard. Surface represents as Monty Python would say, "something completely different". What makes it so different? Surface is aware of physical objects. For example if you put down a paintbrush on the desk or table enabled with this technology, it knows what it is. It looks at the object and sets to itself, "oh, this is a paintbrush. You most want to do some artwork. So I'll provide a clear surface and a color palette for you to use with this subject." So if you want to paint, all you have to do is touch the paintbrush to the table and began painting. Tired of that? You can use the same table or desk to do many other things. Don't take my word for it, watch these demos.

See what's coming? See why I'm so enthusiastic? If you think this is just some clever flash animation demo, Microsoft has been demonstrating Surface for a while. Most recently, they demonstrating at WinHEC