It has always confused me why Microsoft, developed the stunning multi-touch beating technology behind 'Surface', it decided it would be best implemented into a table. Ho hum...
11 months on from its world unveiling however and Surface is set for its first step into the world. 17 April is the launch date and initially models will appear in AT&T's flagship New York, Atlanta, San Antonio and San Francisco stores.
Surface will be used primarily to allow customers to learn about handsets in the store simply by placing them on the table's screen (capitalising on a famous part of the promo video - incidentally, not as good as the parody). Interactive local and national maps will also be available enabling customers to determine their coverage areas. In future, Microsoft says drag and drop content will be added to the units meaning customers can purchase ring tones, images and video and 'drag it' from the Surface screen to the phone (presumably this gesture sets off a Bluetooth upload).
"We are thrilled to bring this groundbreaking new technology to our stores so we can introduce customers to their mobile worlds in a very personal and easy way," said Ralph de la Vega, AT&T president and CEO. "We look forward to working with Microsoft to continue developing new ways for our customers to learn about the ever-growing line-up of mobile devices and applications."
"Microsoft Surface transforms the retail environment from a transaction destination to a customer engagement destination," said a spin-tastic Robbie Bach, President of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division. "With innovative and intuitive ways of accessing information and digital content on Microsoft Surface, consumers now have an entirely new, unique and personalized shopping experience. We're excited to have AT&T bring this to life and be the first company showcasing Surface in its retail locations."
One irony that seems to be lost in all this is AT&T's exclusive contract with Apple. That hasn't gone unnoticed to Microsoft though: off all the handsets designed to work with Surface in store, the iPhone isn't one of them... *Meeow*