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Microsoft Surface

Browsing through images is a breeze with Surface

"You mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash this down?"

Image manipulation is just a fingertip away
Surface takes user involvement with digital media to the next level

Microsoft is looking to today make the same breakthrough in interface technology with "Surface" that the mouse did back in the 1980s. Surface, which will be demonstrated today at the Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference, provides instant interaction between people and digital content using hand gestures on a touch screen.

"With Surface, we are creating more intuitive ways for people to interact with technology," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "We see this as a multibillion dollar category, and we envision a time when surface computing technologies will be pervasive, from tabletops and counters to the hallway mirror. Surface is the first step in realizing that vision."

In its current form, Surface is incorporated into a 30" display mounted into a table. This allows user involvement to expand beyond just one person. Surface is capable of recognizing input from not just one finger, but up to dozens of inputs simultaneously.

This technology isn’t exactly new as Apple uses a less complex version on its iPhone and “multi-touch” technology was demonstrated by Jeff Han to much fanfare last year. Microsoft, however, is bringing multi-touch to the masses.

Users can perform tasks such as browsing through pictures and music files by simply using their fingers. For users operating Surface in restaurants, a simple touch of the screen could allow you to order a beverage during a meal.

Surface also has the ability to read bar codes on items to provide further information to the user. "This means that when a customer simply sets a wine glass on the surface of a table, a restaurant could provide them with information about the wine they’re ordering, pictures of the vineyard it came from and suggested food pairings tailored to that evening’s menu," said Microsoft. "The experience could become completely immersive, letting users access information on the wine-growing region and even look at recommended hotels and plan a trip without leaving the table."

Microsoft also notes that the transfer of digital content is also possible with Surface. So it's not too hard to envision being able to set your Zune on Surface and transfer your playlist or video files for playback on the 30" display.

Surface will first be available at Harrah’s Entertainment properties, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and T-Mobile retail stores.

"When visitors to Las Vegas choose to stay at one of our casinos, they can enjoy the amenities at all of them," said Harrah senior VP Tim Stanley. "Microsoft Surface is a great way to help our guests get the most out of their trips to Las Vegas by putting all the offerings and experiences we make available at their fingertips."

"We are creating new and engaging ways for our guests to connect with their passions while away from home. Microsoft Surface puts us at the forefront of technology and allows guests to interact with each other and our hotel in a revolutionary way," said Hoyt H. Harper II, senior vice president for Sheraton.

You can view a demo of Surface in action here (WMV).

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One problem is still there
By subhajit on 5/30/2007 12:50:47 AM , Rating: 3
The biggest issue with touchscreen technology is text input. Unfortunately, for writing large documents and letters, on screen keyboard is not efficient. The only solution I see is a revolutionary voice recognition system.

RE: One problem is still there
By subhajit on 5/30/2007 12:53:08 AM , Rating: 2
I guess that should be speech recognition not voice recognition.

RE: One problem is still there
By jacarte8 on 5/30/07, Rating: 0
RE: One problem is still there
By MobileZone on 5/31/2007 1:31:24 AM , Rating: 2
Thinking that a keyboard could be a problem for such product is like thinking that mouses are missing in mobile phones. Wake up people, this stuff is not intended to type a book on it, this is all about fun, collaboration, entertainment.

Hey, what if could be possible to put a coffee mug on it and the surface could detect it as a coffee object above it and:

1) control the coffee machine wirelessly and automatically for more coffee ready up to be served?

or 2) give hyper-links to the subject (ex. wikipedia)

Or (even better) if you could put your Zune on it and it could detect it as a zune, open the music folder and sync everything wirelessly (Now I see why MS decided to put Wi-Fi in it's player).

I know that it can be used with fingers, but, will it detect objects sitting on it as well? The video demo showed some game blocks on it with illumination coming from the top. I wonder that...

RE: One problem is still there
By Brandon Hill on 5/30/2007 12:53:22 AM , Rating: 5
Microsoft has already demoed a version with a "revolutionary voice recognition system"

RE: One problem is still there
By subhajit on 5/30/2007 1:20:22 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the link. That was awesome.

RE: One problem is still there
By thartist on 5/30/2007 3:54:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'll tell you something more exciting: microsoft has promessed, demoed and published almost EVERYTHING under the adjective of "revolutionary" ;)

RE: One problem is still there
By TomZ on 5/30/2007 5:10:06 PM , Rating: 2
It's called "marketing" and most good companies do it.

RE: One problem is still there
By ZmaxDP on 5/30/2007 5:33:44 PM , Rating: 2
I think you may have inadvertently coined a new term:

"promessed" - to professionally screw something up

I like it, and in some cases it even fits with Microsoft rather well. But then again, it's easy to "promess" something up if you are expected to simultaneously innovate and work with every existing piece of junk hardware device on the planet...

And on the side, Firefox has a built in spell check function, so you might try using it as your browser of choice for forum hopping. Though in this case, I rather like the results of spelling carelessness.

RE: One problem is still there
By thartist on 5/31/2007 6:04:25 PM , Rating: 2
To start, English is not my first language and yeh, "promised" was the right word. "Promessed" would be a little "mylanguagecized" variation ;)

Else, f*ck you miss Spelling, you think you are cool at bashing me for a misspell... I don't use FF by the way, i prefer Opera. Fortunately i can speak english with barely an error from a long time to a long time.

Final, promessed could be well used to name MS's practice.

RE: One problem is still there
By chick0n on 6/5/07, Rating: -1
RE: One problem is still there
By GaryJohnson on 5/30/2007 3:20:05 AM , Rating: 2
In my limited experience with touch screens, the biggest problem I've noticed is that they tend get all smudged up with finger prints.

RE: One problem is still there
By spluurfg on 5/30/2007 5:23:54 AM , Rating: 2
I think touch screen had come a long way -- considering the size of the display, an on screen keyboard should be sufficient for general use (this stuff probably isn't aimed at the word processor market). I played with an on screen keyboard on a Sony Ericsson M600 phone and was able to type acceptably with my fingertips, not the stylus. They could even use the touchscreen feedback technology that's on the upcoming Samsung smartphone:

RE: One problem is still there
By GoodBytes on 5/30/2007 9:09:22 AM , Rating: 2
How about a touch screen keyboard that scales and that can rotate on the screen of this device?!
Easy to make, works great, and because its scalable it can fit any size of keys you want, so you can't complain it's not comfortable. ;)

RE: One problem is still there
By Justin Case on 5/30/2007 4:29:45 PM , Rating: 1
Ever tried using a flat membrane keyboard? It's not comfortable. On top of that, touch screens usually can't react to "keypresses" fast enough for a moderately good typist, and can't read multiple simultaneous keypresses (ex., Ctrl+Alt+Del - this is a Microsoft product, after all).

RE: One problem is still there
By TomZ on 5/30/2007 5:11:08 PM , Rating: 2
From the article:
Surface is capable of recognizing input from not just one finger, but multiple up to dozens of inputs simultaneously.

RE: One problem is still there
By Justin Case on 5/31/2007 4:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
From what I've read, it "can recognize up to 52 things touching the table", but it's not very clear if it can respond to fast sequential keypresses (will it read them in the right order and as non-simultaneous?). Any links to a video showing that?

Either way, typing on a flat surface isn't very comfortable, so I don't see this replacing keyboards in the near future.

RE: One problem is still there
By peritusONE on 5/30/2007 2:49:48 PM , Rating: 2
The biggest issue with touchscreen technology is text input. Unfortunately, for writing large documents and letters, on screen keyboard is not efficient.

I don't think this is quite aimed at the author types. Nobody said this was being unveiled as an expensive Word editor. Keyboards aren't going anywhere.

RE: One problem is still there
By TomZ on 5/30/2007 5:13:10 PM , Rating: 1
Replacing keyboards with touchscreens would be stupid. Touchscreens will be used for gestures, e.g., moving or resizing a document, and speech recognition will be used for text entry. Speech recognition is faster, more accurate, and requires less effort than typing on a keyboard or touchscreen.

By SiliconAddict on 5/31/2007 2:25:30 AM , Rating: 2
Faster? In most cases. Less effort? Sure. More accurate? Maybe in 10 years. It still is pretty damn twitchy depending on the person, the environment you are in, and what needs to be said.

By SiliconAddict on 5/31/2007 2:23:30 AM , Rating: 2
These things seem to be geared towards data manipulation not input. Or if there is input its more of a one shot deal. (Read: Photos\credit cards\music\etc.)

That being said quick notes would problably work perfectly fine on this thing as long as you have good handwriting recognition built into the thing.

Damn wouldn't that be cool. The front of your frig you scribble notes down and then drag it around to X, Y, or Z family member's personal area.

Already been done before
RE: Already been done before
By Drexial on 5/30/2007 3:05:58 AM , Rating: 2
thank you for posting this, i saw this demoed a year ago with warcraft 3 and google earth

RE: Already been done before
By crystal clear on 5/30/2007 4:56:13 AM , Rating: 3
No ! it was presented at Cebit 07 by-

MS could have licensed the technology from Navisis to use it for its products.

MS simply adapts the technology for its product design.

RE: Already been done before
By GoodBytes on 5/30/2007 9:16:12 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't Apple do that also?

RE: Already been done before
By MobileZone on 5/31/2007 1:19:44 AM , Rating: 3
No, Apple only does marketing and design.

RE: Already been done before
By BigMTBrain on 6/5/2007 1:43:42 AM , Rating: 2
I'm truly no Apple fanboy, but the following Apple idea will be an evolution beyond this one. Imagine the possibilities when the same table technology can not only feel you but can see and incorporate the environment into the experience. That environment includes you, objects, and the surroundings as well.


Apple's all-seeing screen
We could soon see a new kind of display screen from computer maker Apple – one that simultaneously takes pictures while showing images.

The clever idea is to insert thousands of microscopic image sensors in-between the liquid crystal display cells in the screen. Each sensor captures its own small image, but software stitches these together to create a single, larger picture.

A large LCD screen filled with image sensors would be ideal for videoconferencing, Apple suggests, as participants would always appear to look straight into the "camera". The technique could also add a camera function to a cellphone or PDA without wasting space, and light from the screen should help illuminate a subject.

The more sensors there are, the wider and clearer the image. Sketches accompanying the company's patent show as many sensors as liquid crystal cells in a screen. If some of the sensors have different focal lengths, switching between them would make the screen behave like a zoom lens.

Read the full patent,

Original article:


RE: Already been done before
By Etern205 on 5/30/2007 10:03:50 AM , Rating: 1
I guess in these days, if you came up with a new
innovative idea. Patented it first before someone
else does it.

Poor college student, while he was demonstrating the
demo, he must be thinking this will make me rich.
But not that M$ has taken his idea, his dream of becoming
rich is shattered. :(

RE: Already been done before
By stromgald on 5/30/2007 3:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
Who said anybody owns the technology? I highly doubt Microsoft is stealing this technology. Either it wasn't patented before they started showing it to everyone at TED confrences, or Microsoft is licensing it from the grad students and professor who helped develop it. If Microsoft is copying something that's patented, Jeff Han can go sue them.

I saw Jeff Han's demo on youtube a year ago, and yeah it's awesome. I'm thrilled that MSFT has decided to bring this to the masses. They have the resources to make it work.

RE: Already been done before
By airsickmoth on 5/30/2007 3:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft's is much more advanced and refined than any of these and it is ready for the world this year. And Microsoft's is more than just a multi-touch display.

The Warcraft III one was pretty terrible. It was a top down projection so your hand would get in the way of the image. The Acura one was just a simple customized experiment. The others were an interesting interface, but it didn't do anything new. You could touch it and manipulate the display. Its like if you could plug 5 mice into a computer and use them all at once.

What makes the Microsoft interface unique and amazing is its recognition of objects. When the guy put down a phone and the table recognized what phone it was, I was floored. He could move the phone around and the display would follow it. He could drop new price points onto the phone and it would calculate the invoice. That is a real world application. I could go into a store tomorrow, and use that to accomplish something real. Not just "oh look, I can draw lines and move them."

Then the restaurant application where you can put down your credit card on the table and it will see who you are and show you your favorite meals was amazing. And who hasn't wished they had an easy way to divide the bill between you and some friends? Or pick the music that plays at a restaurant. And the Zune sharing (I bet it will work for any WiFi player or bluetooth player) was brilliant.

Just imagine having this in your living room. You place your phone down on the table, and it can link with it and download any pictures you took with the camera, or drag and drop some new music into it. Imagine this thing at a house party. Your friends could come over, place their wifi (or bluetooth) device on the table, drag some songs off it they want to play at the party and put their choices in the queue, then pick up their device.

RE: Already been done before
By Future145 on 6/22/2007 12:40:05 PM , Rating: 2
Tech is usually copied and improved upon, thats how the industry works. Microsoft isnt stealing it, they are just making it usable for the mass market and that is affordable(maybe).

By Treckin on 5/30/2007 1:02:06 AM , Rating: 3
I think that on a 30 inch multiple input touchscreen, an on screen keyboard would work just fine. Granted, it would take some adjustment from the action on a regular keybard to zero action on a touch scree.

Does this make anyone else thing 'minority report'?

RE: no
By Treckin on 5/30/2007 1:03:02 AM , Rating: 2
In star trek they always had zero action input...

RE: no
By Brandon Hill on 5/30/2007 1:06:21 AM , Rating: 5
RE: no
By KaiserCSS on 5/30/2007 1:29:35 AM , Rating: 4
RE: no
By spluurfg on 5/30/2007 5:24:44 AM , Rating: 2

Touch screen buttons can now have tactile feedback. Not the same thing, but I'm sure it'll help.

Want to Buy
By KristopherKubicki on 5/30/2007 12:45:17 AM , Rating: 2
Totally awesome - but when can I buy it?

RE: Want to Buy
By MatthewAC on 5/30/2007 1:33:39 AM , Rating: 2
Just wait for Vienna to come out, they're gonna tote this at the '09 press conference like no tomarrow.

I have money on it ;).

RE: Want to Buy
By crystal clear on 5/30/2007 3:38:24 AM , Rating: 2
Equally awesome-but How much will it cost ?

RE: Want to Buy
By crystal clear on 5/30/2007 4:04:19 AM , Rating: 2

"Touch screen coffee table"

Developed as part of an investigation into reactive space, this pressure sensitive surface starts to glow with the slightest touch. Soon to become commercially available as a slim coffetable, KLOSS has developed the concept to fit within a panel only 20 mm thin! It runs on a safe 12 volts, and is completely waterproof. These panels will shortly become avaliable to use as an architectural component within the retail and leisure industry.

A touch screen coffee table? Just for 2300 USD?

RE: Want to Buy
By Drexial on 5/31/2007 4:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
it doesn't appear to be real touchscreen, its just a black gel that blocks the light from behind until pressure is applied. this is nothing new, just an innovative use.

RE: Want to Buy
By frobizzle on 5/30/2007 7:50:25 AM , Rating: 1
I want one two! The BSOD will match my living room decor beautifully!

RE: Want to Buy
By chick0n on 6/5/07, Rating: -1
What's new ??
By Shino0oo on 5/30/2007 1:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
Here in Japan you already have such devices in sushi restaurants or karaoke places.
Touch and order is nothing new.
And multitouch technology isn't either.

Good for ms to bring it to the masses ... but no wait .. they have locked down the market by patenting that already right ?

RE: What's new ??
By Treckin on 5/30/07, Rating: 0
RE: What's new ??
By Shino0oo on 5/30/07, Rating: 0
RE: What's new ??
By Fire404 on 5/30/2007 2:46:18 AM , Rating: 2
ps : and ask yourself if 99% of us use ms oses to bash ms .. is it by choice, when the ms 'tax' plagues nearly all new built pcs

Not sure how MS 'taxes' my self-built rigs...... if people have a basis to hate MS so strongly then maybe they should look into building their own rig and choose their own OS. If they arent capable of this, chances are they wouldnt be able to a PC if MS hadn't progressed the platform in the way that they have.

And no, I'm no fanboi, I have a Linux install sitting next to my XP/Vista install and use Firefox and OpenOffice instead of the MS products.

RE: What's new ??
By JoeBanana on 5/30/2007 7:14:32 AM , Rating: 2
What are u talking about worldofwarcrack runs just fine under Linux :P

RE: What's new ??
By Griffinhart on 5/30/2007 1:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
Certainly touchscreen and multitouch screen isn't new, but this brings stuff that is pretty new as well.

The technology doesn't use traditional touch screen systems. Instead it uses an infrared camera system that brings several advantages.

1. No special coating on the screen. That means you can use cleaners on it with no worries.

2. Relatively inexpensive to replace the touch surface if needed. It is, after all, just a piece of glass or plexiglass.

3. The ability for the surface to read symbols. That was one of the things the videos have demoed. There is probably a label with a specific symbol on the camera and phones in the demo that the surface reads. It allows it to quickly identify and wirelessly connect to devices just by placing them on the table. This is something no touch screen can currently do. This is simply an awesome concept. Something I've only seen on Star Trek.

interesting coffee table
By zeroslugfm on 5/30/2007 3:21:22 AM , Rating: 4
i'll take mine with wood side paneling; wonder if you could put Ms Pacman and/or any other myriad of parlor entertainment :)

By wien on 5/30/2007 10:18:07 AM , Rating: 2
While cool, that coffee table thing looks like an awfully awkward design. How can you use this comfortably? You'd have to sort of kneel and lean in over it. Flipping through a stack of pictures while leaning back in the couch beats that any day.

RE: Ergonomics?
By Ajax9000 on 5/30/2007 9:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
My first reaction to this was -- the ergonomics suck, chiropractors will make a fortune.

For the lounge I'd much rather a HD TV backed by an HTPC and a wireless KB+trackpad/tablet.

By crystal clear on 5/30/2007 4:43:25 AM , Rating: 3
I wonder how many of those who were present at CEBIT 07 noticed this product.

I did & noted it.

Read through the links & you will realize Microsoft is not doing something revolutionary.

The technology exist all you got to do is to adapt it to your products-thats all.

Try EZ-Canvas on. EZ-Canvas can turn a normal screen into a touchscreen.

[CeBIT] Now your laptop can be a tablet pc !

HANNOVER, Germany (AVING Special Report on 'CeBIT 2007') -- <Visual News> NAVIsis( presented

its ‘Laptop Tablet’ that supports tablet functionality to a

general laptop. Just attaching it on LCD monitor frame and

connecting it to USB port, you can enjoy tablet on your

laptop monitor. Suggested price is 130(USD).

By Runiteshark on 5/30/2007 10:42:05 AM , Rating: 1
After reading all the comments in this article I am simply appalled.

Not one of you made a Minority report reference.

So anyway, one step closer to having cool stuff like Minority report..

And as for you guys who disagree with that one guy when he slammed the MS haters, does any of you care to remember the wonderful era of $4,000 computers? Oh and this was when $7-10,000 could get you a new car.

Just a thought.

RE: Apalling
By Treckin on 5/30/2007 11:51:09 AM , Rating: 2
Actually I did...
I guess you didnt read carefully enough

The vienna posterboy
By MatthewAC on 5/30/2007 1:32:45 AM , Rating: 2
This is the vienna "new interface" poster boy, now we just need a virtual keyboard and webcam and we're set for THE FUTURE OF COMPUTER! Without Bill Gates.

Microsoft Owns.
By thebrown13 on 5/30/2007 1:51:34 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously, while other companies are just shoveling out crap, Microsoft is redefining how we use technology. Not just for the rich. Everyone.

Microsoft BOB
By bubbacub616 on 5/30/2007 2:27:40 AM , Rating: 2
Don't know why but I just can't help thinking about "microsoft BOB" and how it was going to revolutionise the gui.....

having said that it does look cool!

By Cunthor666 on 5/30/2007 7:25:43 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe if this thing gets into bars my date won't be as bored? A game of poker says otherwise!

couple of comments
By nekobawt on 5/30/2007 11:39:44 AM , Rating: 2
First of all, I don't think Microsoft is claiming to have invented the hardware technology; just some pretty nifty software applications to go with it. Heck, even I have played solitaire on laptops with touchscreen monitors--at Best Buy, for crying out loud.

My other comment is, having watched the demo linked to in the article, this looks pretty cool. I want one, too. Now I just have to get a job paying ten times what I make currently and wait a while. :P My main concern is the credit card payment dealy they demonstrated in the video. Very cool, but is there any way to validate your identity? If not, that'd make it VERY easy to get plastered/fed on someone else's dime.

By pixelslave on 5/30/2007 10:58:47 PM , Rating: 2
As a coffee table, it may be expensive (I say "may be", because there may be "designer" coffee table cost as much as, if not more than, the MS table.) But as a game table ... there are game table that cost a couple grands. 10k may be too much, but if MS can get it down to 5k, there could be a market. Frankly, I am moving in a couple months. Even at 10k, I am thinking about getting one (but I won't.) My wife, on the other hand, is thinking even more serious than I am. She really wants to put one in our new house. But 10 grand ...

By ceefka on 5/31/2007 6:09:00 AM , Rating: 2
What resolutions are we getting? A screen the size of a table on 1024*768 would look terrible. On a surface of 6-8x a 19" monitor I expect 6-8x the pixels too on 60-72dpi maybe a bit lower. This would also be handy in the office or in an audio/video studio.

An optional keyboard besides the "on screen" wouldn't be too much to ask.

By phaxmohdem on 6/21/2007 11:44:43 PM , Rating: 2
Would be awesome until the first party when a few beers get spilled on the screen.

I have a hand gesture for MICROSUCKS...
By Beenthere on 5/30/07, Rating: -1
RE: I have a hand gesture for MICROSUCKS...
By blaster5k on 5/30/2007 9:21:49 AM , Rating: 5
I really don't understand the Microsoft hating. I guess it's cool to rag on the big guy and support the little guy. All I can say is, Microsoft got into the position they're in now by creating some top notch products that for the most part, are quite polished. Even Vista runs surprisingly well for a new OS, though some third party drivers are lacking. It's hardly "defective" and you don't have to use Windows if you don't want to. There are alternatives, just they don't do the job as well for most people.

Microsoft isn't forcing it on consumers by violating anti-trust laws. It's not illegal to be a monopoly. It's illegal to use a monopoly in one industry to unfairly get into another. They are in murky waters when it comes to integrating applications into the OS.

It puts them in a kind of interesting position. In order for them to evolve the OS and make the end user experience more streamlined, they need to integrate more applications into it. Many users want this and it helps add value to the OS. On the other hand, it makes it tough for people making third party applications and leads to anti-trust suits.

That said, some of their sales tactics and refusal to embrace certain standards *cough*ODF*cough* is crap. But give Bill Gates his credit where it's due.

RE: I have a hand gesture for MICROSUCKS...
By Alexstarfire on 5/30/07, Rating: -1
RE: I have a hand gesture for MICROSUCKS...
By Treckin on 5/30/2007 10:34:50 AM , Rating: 3
if you read my post you would understand that that is the only way for the market to evolve. If it wasnt MS it would have been apple or linux or anyone else. Computers need a common base for developers to code from.
That seems really simple, but I suppose that its easer to just hate the company that made things like standardized computing possible

RE: I have a hand gesture for MICROSUCKS...
By Alexstarfire on 5/30/07, Rating: -1
By TomZ on 5/30/2007 9:11:57 PM , Rating: 3
You don't understand the meaning of "standard" - the term doesn't mean "runs on all platforms." Think more like "de facto standard."

The point that the OP is making, that you are in denial of, is a person working in an office can send a Word document to anyone else working in an office, and the recipient can immediately use that document. In other areas where 12 different standards exist for something, you don't have that benefit. Same goes for an Excel document, Power Point presentation, PDF (obviously non-MS), etc.

These types of standards, and convergence upon a single format, are genuinely useful, even if they didn't come from an ISO committee.

By arazok on 5/30/2007 8:15:54 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. People don't seem to grasp the market demands for a dominat OS. The advantages (interoprability etc) far outweigh the cons (security, etc).

Considering it's in a monopoly position, MS has been exceptionaly good at improving it's products and offering support. You get regular and free updates to all it's products, and if you can show me any other company that offers anything as open, rich and usefull as MSDN library I'd be amazed. They have no obligation to offer any of this.

It's not to say MS is a perfect company, but considering who and what they are, they certanly deserve to be the market leader IMO.

RE: I have a hand gesture for MICROSUCKS...
By blaster5k on 5/30/2007 11:18:37 AM , Rating: 4
I never said Microsoft didn't have a monopoly. They have several -- operating system, word processing, spreadsheets, etc. I'm not arguing that certain utilities and telecoms are not also granted monopolies by government -- they are. I was merely stating that having a monopoly is not a violation of anti-trust law. The purpose of that law is to prevent companies from leveraging a monopoly in one area to gain a monopoly in another area. My argument was that Windows did not take off because of any such violations.

I'd dispute the lack of polish from Microsoft products. For example, I think the new version of Media Player is finally better than iTunes. I think Microsoft is very much an evolutionary kind of company. They take things and make them integrate well and polish them up. Apple is basically the same way. Most big companies are. They buy into new, promising areas, then refine.

RE: I have a hand gesture for MICROSUCKS...
By Treckin on 5/30/2007 11:59:19 AM , Rating: 2
ummmm. You are half correct. Having more than a monopoly is not intrinsically illeagle. Its anti-competitive business practices that are illegal.

Ex - If I own the only company that offers an in-home tire recyclers (for lack of a better example), I have 100% market share for that market. However, if no other company has attempted to enter that market, then its a non-issue. However, if other companies have attempted to offer a similar product and I buy them out, I am actively trying to maintain the monopolistic environment in the 'in home tire disposal' market.

By bkm32 on 5/30/2007 1:28:46 PM , Rating: 2
I agree wtih your assessments of MS; however, it seems many ppl have missed the point of this article and bit the flamebait of a couple of posters that have entirely missed the boat, here.

MS wasn't the first company to "invent" this technology, but they (along with Apple and Samsung) are applying it in useful (and money-making) ways. There's nothing wrong with that.

BTW, Thomas Edison invoked many of the same tactics as MS in his war against AC power-inventor Nikola Tesla. Mr. Edison is considered one the greatest inventors of all time, an American hero, and icon.

I personally don't understand the "hatred" for a company, unless their actions specifically targeted another in a very personal way. For example, look at the case where Windows Vista killed several pods of bottle-nosed dolphins. Everyone loves dolphins (especially bottle-nosed ones). Why would Vista do such a thing? Oh the humanity!

Seriously, get over it ppl! If you don't like Windows, then speak with your wallet. PC users did when they stopped buying Macs in the 80s and 90s. Doh!

Now, back to the technology at hand--IMHO, this is the next step in the evolution of the user interface. By merging the hardware I/O device with the GUI and speech recognition S/W, MS and many others are enabling the computer to be of better, easier use to more and more ppl. Remember, the computer is a tool that's best used in-conjuction with inventing other tools such as, the Internet, weather simulations (you know that Global Warming thing is gonna really suck), the flying car, etc.

Keep in mind, the modern-day hammer was once a huge innovation in home construction tools. We'd be real salty if it stayed just a rock tied to a wooden stick.

Long story short, enjoy the new innovations, leave the bashing at home in your bathroom where it belongs (comment directed at those who prefer to bash MS, Sony, Nintendo, or anyone else who's had a better idea than the basher).

RE: I have a hand gesture for MICROSUCKS...
By air4ce on 5/30/2007 1:36:13 PM , Rating: 2
This thing was originaly intended for STARTCRAFT II & COMMAND n CONQUER.

RE: I have a hand gesture for MICROSUCKS...
By bkm32 on 5/30/2007 2:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
Great post! Even greater idea!

This is perfect for the RTS market. Moreover, this concept works just as well for actual military strategic and tactical planning say, for instance, in a Naval carrier group or a mobile C2 platform for SWAT and aircraft security.

The military/security possibilities are endless.

By Computermonger on 5/30/2007 4:28:44 PM , Rating: 3
And the funding in the military sector is practical endless also...

By bubbacub616 on 5/30/2007 4:19:16 PM , Rating: 2
alexstarfire, this isn't just a 30 inch telly with a touchscreen. there is a camera (or something like it) underneath which uses visual algorithms to identify patterns/objects.

Don't know if you watched the video but I haven't ever heard of a working demonstration of a machine vision based gui till today - in that respect its revolutionary

RE: I have a hand gesture for MICROSUCKS...
By frobizzle on 5/30/07, Rating: -1
RE: I have a hand gesture for MICROSUCKS...
By TomZ on 5/30/2007 9:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
Hate to break it to you, but who do you think sets the direction at Microsoft? You think some Product Manager decided to make this kind of device? No, way - that comes straight from the top.

By johnsonx on 6/3/2007 3:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
Please people, everything Beenthere says is utter non-sense. Don't respond, just mod him down and go on about your day. Your blood pressure will be lower.

Same goes double for Cornfedone.

By MobileZone on 5/31/2007 1:36:46 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry to say but you look retarded.

Google Apple for law issues as well and even worse, bad ecologic practices.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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