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Interview of Microsoft Surface Team

How many of you know, I had a chance to play with a Microsoft Surface, while I attended Gnomedex last August. I was so impressed, I decided I had to learn more. Eric Havir, Senior Manager of Digital Communications for Microsoft Surface was kind enough to take the time to ask questions, to answer the surface. If you have any questions or comments you would like to direct towards Eric like to leave a comment and I send them my way.

1. What is the Microsoft Surface and how did it come to be?

Microsoft surface is an innovative computing platform, to natural hand movements and real-world on display objects placed touch responds. It is simple and intuitive that it interact with information and digital content. Horizontal interface provides a unique meeting place where multiple users can interact with each other and together and at the same time with content his large, 360 degrees. It provides business with unique value information and service in a friendly way that the customers enables a better discussion with her.

Idea for Microsoft surface began in 2001, as Stevie Bathiche Microsoft hardware and Andy Wilson from Microsoft research work together began on different projects that took advantage of their complementary expertise in the fields of hardware and software. In one of their regular brainstorming meetings began talking about the idea for an interactive table that could understand the manipulation of the physical pieces. This conversation was the beginning of an idea of that would later in the development of Microsoft surface resulted.

2. What are the typical specifications each Microsoft Surface run on? CPU, RAM, Hard drive, Operating System, etc.

Microsoft Surface has a customized software platform built on top of Microsoft Windows Vista. Its specifications are similar to that of any standard PC.

3. What is the ultimate goal for the MS Surface team?

The team is excited to continue working with customers around the world to continue building interactive experiences.

4. What are some current real world situations in which the Surface is being used?

We have many customers who have deployed Microsoft surface or currently piloting Microsoft surface (both publicly and behind closed doors). Our destination retail, hospitality, financial services, healthcare, automotive industry and the public sector include vertical markets. For example, multiple partners and customers are developing applications for leisure and entertainment. One of our first pilot customers, Harrah’s entertainment, in the iBar of their Rio Hotel in Las Vegas and Xhibition fought units bar in Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, to its guests with a new way, to order drinks, interactive games and social experiences offer.

For example at the Rio through the networking of six Microsoft surface units together, people can interact with guests at tables across through space with an application called flirt. Harrah’s entertainment has a 19 percent increase in sales and traffic on its iBar lounge to Microsoft surface dedication. Another example is Barclays in the UK, the industry the way for Microsoft surface use in finance. Barclays Premier account holders can Microsoft surface to quickly and easily navigate through their account with simple gestures and contact information. The company saw a 50% increase in sales of its premier life product – the only product so far about surface sold.

5. How many developers (outside of Microsoft, if any) are working on developing for the Surface? Are there plans to encourage more development for the Surface outside of MS?

We currently have more than 200 partners from 17 different countries. We also recently made our SDK Workstation Edition available to more than 640,000 registered Microsoft partners.

6. The Surface is expensive currently, where do you see it in the next 5 – 10 years time? Can I expect one in my house?

We’ve always said that we would explore a consumer offering, but today we’re focused on the commercial business.

7. Do you see a day when the Surface will be completely implemented into a house itself? For example, the walls, kitchen cabinets, tables, and other surfaces. (e.g. a Smart house)

Well, we are investigating many different form factors for Microsoft Surface, but we don’t have anything specific to announce at this time.

8. What is your favorite Surface application and/or favorite use for the Surface currently?

This is a hard question because there are a lot of great applications for business and leisure that I call favorites. I enjoy the interaction of Finguistics application for schools. A number of healthcare applications I’ve seen are spot on for doctor / patient interactions. I will not name of any industry although I have tried. It is worth noting that in the Rio in Las Vegas in addition to the playing drink order application a killer app for the location.

Since I at conferences lately, I go to Favorites get two current my I showed at conferences like. Our event live application that the display is great live after the event from their PCs and mobile phones Twitter feeds and flicker photos visitors. We showed a number of conferences and some of our partners have built similar applications for conferences as well as. Most conferences these days, I put a lot of people with the nose against their mobile tweeting about the event. Event live gets participants saw to talk about their experience with each other and from their other devices. The application promotes social interaction between foreigners and more than one person at the same time-to-use interface. It supports the use of a physical map for people share their contact information.

This is really cool. I recently showed the tiles game at Penny Arcade Expo, it was a big hit. Public spaces are about socializing and have fun. Tiles is a very simple casual game from one place to about eight players at a time. People have told me that Microsoft surface reminds them of the old PacMan tables. I think that is a fun comparison, but I call it on a tabletop arcade game at once can be played by six people think. Tiles is just that.

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