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Bill Gates demos Surface, Microsoft's multi-touch finger-controlled UI that sports some rather iPhone-like gesture controls... Can't see the video? Download Flash Player from CES on Video WowWee wheels in Tribot DisplayLink demos multi-monitor USB dongle Guitar Hero gets true air axe WowWee demos FemiSapien …


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  1. Alexander Hanff
    Thumb Down

    Can't see this video? Download the player from

    I would except Adobe still refuse to provide a 64bit player for Linux.

  2. Alastair Dodd
    Jobs Horns


    "Microsoft's multi-touch finger-controlled UI that sports some rather iPhone-like gesture controls..."

    gestures have been around for ages. the iphone and apple DID NOT INVENT multitouch controls FFS. Stop promoting the hype, what you are saying there is like Claiming Logitech invented the mouse!

  3. Ash
    Gates Horns

    Seen it.

    Is this the video where the guy sticks a camera and another device on the table top and moves pictures between them by "flinging" them across the tabletop?

    If not, FAIL.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Touch screen looks bad

    You can see him pressing hard, or several times to get it to recognise his touch. They'd best sort that out.

    I laughed at how he anally tried to line the snowflake up right in the middle of the board :)

  5. tom

    Bill messed up

    Didn't the bindings go on the wrong way round in terms of the art he was adding and the oreintation when he did so?

  6. Paul Saleh

    Bill doesn't ride

    Is it me or did he put the bindings on the bottom of the board?

  7. foo

    oh, lame

    compared to the other demos they gave of surface (and the touchlight-thingy of microsoft research that preceded it)...

    maybe someone should have spent more than 5min at introducing bill to the device?

    btw. it does not matter how hard you press. they generate a depth image of the surface (using 4 cams) and recognize if something is near enough to touch it...

  8. Karl Lattimer

    Of course this has nothing to do with...

    Jeff Hans research

    he did pretty much invent the multi-touch idea and technology as it stands today, surface is just a rip off of that

  9. Stan

    Only the begining

    Not bad but it's only scratching the surface. Touch interfaces will see huge progress in the next year alone. I really doubt MS will do much groundbreaking here, apple are already running with the ball and google are set to throw out cash prizes for innovative software so I recon MS may have a few good ideas but aren't going to get recognised as 'the inventor of the touchscreen'.

    Another area which I expect will see some development this year is gesture recognition, with just about every media device having a camera it's an area which is wide open and needs no extra hardware.

    BTW, I have a touchscreen on a laptop and from what I've tried so far it looks like KDE4 will get a lot of attention in this area.


  10. Jamie Edwards

    Surface came first

    iPhone did not

  11. Paul Charters

    This is not new, nor is it an iPhone ripoff

    Erm, the Surface interface has been around for ages now. Why is this even mentioned in the same breath as the iPhone?

  12. Sean Baggaley

    The Interface Is God.

    "gestures have been around for ages. the iphone and apple DID NOT INVENT multitouch controls FFS."

    Nobody is claiming they did. However, Apple *are* the first to bring this particular combination of technologies to the market successfully. This is all Apple, Microsoft (and, yes, even Logitech) do: bring *existing* ivory-tower technologies and blue-sky thinking to the market and see what floats the public's boat. Apple don't tend to claim they invented this stuff; the (relatively ignorant) mass media do that. If the public are willing to believe the misinformation, that's their problem. Not Apple's.

    Apple's focus is on design and ergonomics and their current corporate structure strengthens this by ensuring there is always a single, coherent design philosophy across the company.

    Microsoft's core competencies are developer tools and developer technologies. Visual Studio is second to none as a result, but it has led to a lack of consistency as each department within MS follows its own path. (Neither Gates nor Ballmer have any kind of track record when it comes to product design.)

    Until some years ago, good design usually meant charging a hefty premium. (Just ask Bang & Olufsen!) Advances in manufacturing have lowered the costs of both industrial and interface design, thus making them commodities like the technologies they are used to synthesize.

    Microsoft do have usability labs, but they lack a single, consistent design vision. They really do need to address this, or they will end up fighting a losing battle with the GNU/FOSS movements. Linux, like OS X, may be a throwback to the 1970s, but 99% of users care about interfaces, not the technology.

  13. Anonymous Coward


    Microsoft was demonstrating multitouch years before the i"phone"

    apple hasn't invented anything new for ages. they just take 2 or more technologies put them together in a slightly different way and patent it.

  14. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Re: Surface came first

    If the iPhone was released after the Surface computer, show me where I can buy a Surface computer today? what's that? nowhere for sale? of course not, it's just an R&D toy.

    R&D is one thing, actually perfecting the product and managing to make it into a saleable product is another thing.

  15. Robert Moore

    Best thing Bill said

    "I can take some work that other people did and thought was good."

    Good to see nothing changes.

  16. Richard Cartledge

    What a joke!

    10 years ago, it would be OMG that is so cool, but what's the point? who wants something so frustratingly laggy and where you have to flail your arms and hands about instead of making small wrist movements with a mouse? We will within a month or two, see yet another stage in this technology's advancement and it will be in popular consumer products made by Apple.

  17. David Simpson

    EGHH! Dirty Screen !

    Seen the first Surface demo 6 months ago, looked interesting.

    Although having used the iPhone I think someone needs to think of a smear free screen quick, I don't fancy having to clean a 20" screen every 5 mins because i have to rub my finger tips over it to use it!

    If Apple do indeed launch new laptops with multi-touch pads on the keyboard/mouse/touchpad then I think I'll invest in that first, It will help my RSI to be able to use both hands equally and save me on screen cleaning wipes.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ‘Microsoft demos Surface multi-touch user interface’

    I've got one of those.

    Its called a "Girlfriend"

  19. Tom Reg

    Someone at Microsoft R&D rides a snowboard?

    I think that this is a giveaway that they 'bought the company'.


  20. Anonymous Coward


    I love it when uninformed dicks try to hide their lack of knowledge by going "OMG what a crock, <object name> || <concept name> has been around of years and years!"

    Oh and on a technical note, the surface CANNOT recognise devices placed on it. it can ONLY recognise micro-dot codes placed on the device's shell. So don't expect to buy a surface (ha!) and just plonk your bluetooth capable phone on the thing.

    Maybe they'll start a Surfaces-for-Sure program to identify compatible devices, only to then 2 years later change the micro-dot coding format to a pattern which only Microsoft devices have.

    Or maybe i should just get my coat...

  21. sleepy

    MIcrosoft are building the future . . .

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