Microsoft has introduced new technologies in the past, some good, some bad and some still undecided. But, some of the proposed new innovations may very well change the entire face of home computers for ever. In the not so distant past, writers wrote about fantasy worlds where things were done with the aid of one magical machine- people were tracked, shopping was done, our whole world came to us with the touch of a button. We all remember the first computers for office use, huge, bulky and outrageously expensive. Slowly, they began showing up in schools and in homes, and grew smaller and more user friendly as they became more popular. Now it is the rare American home that does not have at least one computer, and many have more than that.
Microsoft has introduced the Windows PC media center which turns one single item into many- in this case you can use the Xbox 360 as an extender giving you access to your television, video and photos from a computer in one room while you view it on screen in another. Microsoft employees get early versions of these products to take home and test out for themselves- they then offer suggestions for improvement.
Vista will have to move over soon as a new operating system is slated to be released in January 2010. Given the working title of Windows 7, it will feature a new touch screen allowing operators to access and use the system with only their fingertips. Of course, touch screen is not a brand new technology, but this one is rumored to have far more capabilities than the touch screens being used on cell phones for instance.
But, Microsoft does travel back to the sci-fi realm with yet another new advance. Dubbed, “Surface”, this computer is that and far more. Designed to look like a table top when it is not in use, touching its top will bring it to life. Demonstrated on the Today show, Surface managed to shock and amaze everybody on the set as well as viewers. Five infrared sensors under the surface of this fantastically advanced item interpret movements and then react. Moving your hands in certain ways will access different portions of the operating system. Sound futuristic? Not quite. The Surface will show up in selected hotels, as well as targeted cell phone dealerships. At the latter, the Surface will allow customers to compare phones, including prices, plans and other features side by side.
Some people will upgrade to the next new thing as soon as it comes out, others will wait to see what bugs are in the system and how well it really does operate. For me, I would love to see the Surface in action, but I don’t think I would want to have one, unless the price was just right of course.