It went public at 12:01 a.m. on May 30 – Microsoft® revealed the outcome of "Project Milan" now branded as Microsoft Surface™ and scheduled to debut in November this year. The nature of the project is a "multi-touch, gestural- and object-recognition interface technology on which Microsoft has been laboring for the past few years".

Named "Surface" and five years in the making, it's set to establish a paradigm of what Microsoft calls "surface computers" which use touch as the sole method of input. The goal is to deliver a hardware/software platform very close to the people and to weave the technology into the texture of everyday life. What is about to happen is clearly demonstrated by Jeff Han in his talk about the genius of multi-touch interface design. The interest in this bleeding edge technology is very strong all around the industry as most of the major players believe it will bring a whole new way of using software/hardware technology to the market. In this quest the Redmond giant is not alone as hardware makers like Hewlett-Packard and Philips have publicly and independently (a brief demonstration of Philips Entertaible concept) demonstrated their own approaches to delivering surface-computing and gesture-recognition. Eon Reality, the 3D and virtual-reality software vendor which licensed Microsoft’s Touchlight technology last year, offers a product called Eon Touchlight. As it is obvious that advanced UI interfaces require advanced hardware (not only for the presentation part but also for the human interaction interface)

more and more products from different vendors that are based on surface computing paradigm will emerge into the market. I believe introducing such hardware is part of the strategy at Redmond to bring the technology closer to the people, to make it far easier to use it and create content, even software for non-it specialists. On the software front it combines with recent MS presentation technology both for Windows (WPF) and the Internet which allows the development of a very rich presentation layer not by developers, but by the people that understand UX most. It is obvious that the Surface™ product line will be marketed as consumer electronics products where Microsoft delivers all the software artifacts and services, a question is rising whether the company is becoming more and more "hardware oriented". While presenting a whole pile of new game consoles, media players keyboards and mice the officials answer to this question is "NO". We will be monitoring the development of surface computing further.

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