Tesco Spends £8,500 on Microsoft Surface Technology
Microsoft has finally officially launched its widely anticipated tabletop 'siftable' PCs, The Microsoft Surface, now in the UK after a 2 year wait. And hopefully this time, they will successfully do so without the BSOD (blue screen of death).
First introduced last year at the CeBit Show in Germany, Surface will initially be available to businesses before getting out to general consumers. The Surface is a high tech computer integrated tabletop that reacts to gestures and fingertips, and to various objects placed over it. The innovation is part of Microsoft's 'digital home vision' of the future.
In the UK, Tesco was given the first preview on the high tech tabletop, boasting a 30 inch multi-touch screen (preview the video below). Tesco was able to showcase the interactive tabletop in its Wine Club, where wine tasters got their first viewing and trial of the Surface. The tabletop can recognize individual bottles of wine via the bar codes. Users can then interact and compare notes on the various wine available, including its history and vintage. They can even save their wine preferences into their Tesco Clubcard account while using the Surface.
Question is, is it worth this much? Well, so far there has been no reports of 'BSOD's, and considering they spent a very affordable price of £8,500 to get hold of these, there better not be. But Michael Veitch of CIO raised the same question at a Microsoft presenation, questioning the Surface screen's durability. Bryan Shiffman, the Director of Infusion Development, responded in kind by punching the screen to prove his point. For some reason I still do not see consumers buying a £8,500 screen to replace their punching bags until the system itself becomes less buggy. Microsoft is however already ahead of the game, targetting big businesses and reportedly already reached negotiation with almost 120 partner companies to bring Surface to the market. Among them include the Sheraton Hotels, Harrah's Entertainment in Las Vegas, AT&T, Barclays and First Direct. And could Apple be joining in the fun with an 'iSurface'? I betcha.