back to article Windows 7 to take Surface mainstream?

Could Windows 7 take Microsoft multi-touch mainstream? To an extent. Surface - Microsoft's intriguing but pricey multi-touch-based input system - lets you build applications that can be rotated and touched. It lets you bind data such as pictures and order forms to code using XAML and accepts simultaneous inputs from up to 52 …


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  1. David Kairns

    Before Pushing The Surface

    They need to fix what's inside (good luck).

    You see microdonkey, there is a thing in the universe called **sequence**

    Or just bit-paint Linux right over any stupid microsoft banner, and you'll have all the great surface you need.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have the same robot lamp.

    The little robot lamp in the background. I have the same lamp. I use it to hold on to stuff when I have to soldier.

  3. FlatSpot

    Not convinced myself

    If you spent any serious amount of time hunched over a table then you can expect to put your back and lock your neck out... I can remember all those fancy trackerballs and pen controllers linked up to BBC Micros in the 80-90s and only the humble mouse has survived!

    I can already display photos using a PS3 on to a 48" HD screen and spin them about.... but without having to wipe the sticky fingerprints off the "screen" afterwards

    Still waiting for something amazing to happen with this surface technology.... so far its not got past the excitement of having photos on a table and pushing them around, all very eye candy but really how useful is it??

  4. Michael Warburton


    "Widows 7 will let you touch and poke your way through"

    Only after an appropriate mourning period.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i thought it was clever

    until i read

    "Objects are recognized by placing barcode-like byte and identity tags"

    That makes it sound like a very elaborate system setup to look impressive but not actually do much in the real world

  6. adnim

    Time to waste

    Sticking barcode labels on objects and telling (via typing into) the OS which barcode is associated with which object. Or are the barcodes pre-associated with data and the user has to stick the correct barcode label to the correct object? No window for errors then, system will will work perfectly without problem or security issues. Does this surface computer come with autorun/load/display enabled by default?

    Why bother with the whole surface thing, surely a USB barcode reader hooked up to the PC will do the same job although with a little less pomp and much less cost.

    My brain is instantly able to recognise an object and determine if that object should be connected to a computer via USB, firewire, other interface or placed in an optical drive. But wait, this must be worth the silly cost just for removing the inconvenience of pushing a plug into a socket.

  7. webdude

    If some people ...

    had a brain in their head, they would take it out and play with it!

    Can't see a use for it in the real world.

  8. Dick Emery
    Thumb Down

    For Surface tow work

    Ideally you would need an angled table that is at a comfortable level and you are able to get you legs under properly. The screen needs to be at an eye level that does not cause you to crink your neck.

    The other problem is when typing characters there is no tactile feedback. This could actually increase RSI. And of course the issue of smudges on the screen.

    The current input method is actually pretty good in comparison.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    put it on a netbook

    something like:

    and then i'm interested

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cool but...

    ....oh I don't know...Maybe I'm just old and cynical. What exactly is the point of all this?

    Pretty much aesthetics AFAICS. But yea, cool...whatever...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is innovation!

    Stop moaning, this is very cool. I know Microsoft is the evil empire, but they do a lot of R&D, and this is a good example for real innovation. The best part here is how simple it is to program for. I have been working with 3D haptic devices and the major stumbling block for their widespread adoption is that they are difficult to program for. Firstly in principle, but also simple things take way to much effort. Here Microsoft is offering a great simple way to use (up to 52 contact points!) multi-touch. In my book that is great, no matter how evil the empire is with regards to some business practices and over-priced products. In the Linux world we proud ourselves with choice, well that is of no use if people spend most time re-inventing the wheel and (badly) copying proprietary software. Maybe the problem is in the original spirit of GNU - GNU is Not Unix - it is a reimplementation. Let's stop reimplementing and do real innovation, or at least not bash people or companies who really lead the way.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks ok to me

    Surface doesnt seem to be aimed at general purpose computing tasks, I can see 45 degree screens using this in museums, exhibitions etc. A photographer would love one of these, a great replacement for the old lightbox and judging by the video it seems MS have worked hard to simplify the application building process.

    Not for everyman but I can see its worth.

  13. Herby

    And this will help me...

    ...make my word processing and spreadsheets work better?

    I don't think so. As others have said, it is one of those "gee-wizz" items and a nice toy for my 2 year old grand nephew, but not too practical.

    The only "table-top" computer I saw that actually made sense was one of those Pac-Man games in a bar.

    Maybe that is what Microsoft has in mind: Insert $1 (inflation) and you get another interval of time to figure out what you are going to do.

    In general: Not too useful!

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