Microsoft Surface is a few years old, but I didn't seem to have done very well. There are limited instances of its usage and applications that run on it. Some reasons for this have been a bulky horizontal table, the cost and specialized hardware, which meant high replacement costs in case some parts were to get damaged. The base operating system was also Windows Vista, which we know wasn't all the successful
At CES 2011 Conference, Steve Ballmer, as part of his Keynote address showed some things in store for users in 2011. You can watch the keynote here. The keynote showcased Hands-free Zone experience which brings movies, music, TV and sports on XBOX 360 along with Kinect. Kinect is the new add on to XBOX that makes an individual the controller for the various actions and games played on XBOX.
Along with this also showcased was Windows Phone 7, which was launched recently in many parts of the world.
And finally there was also Surface 2, which addresses many of the concerns from its earlier version like
- uses Windows 7 operating system
- much thinner (just about 4")
- has done with various cameras and other such custom hardware and instead uses PixelSense to recognize fingers and objects on the table
- supports vertical orientation as well
With Surface SDK 2.0 alongside support for WPF 4 and XNA 4, Surface may actually see a revival of interest, with new and interesting commercial applications being targetted towards it. I am definitely going to be watching this with keen interest. How about you?