A big day for Microsoft and today's demo of surface computing shows the new agile Microsoft.Its more agile today than 5-6 years before,mainly 'coz Yahoos and Googles kicking on its back.In the recent years many people lost faith in the company 'coz it ripped off many features from Apples,Googles and Mozillas.After Windows 95 ,Microsoft gradually lost innovation edge.Its profits and revenues raised steadily but the company failed to build fanatic customers like Apple?When was the last time Microsoft customers waited in queue a night before the release of the product??XBOX online gaming is the exception 'coz the company took non-windows approach and the targeted demography also different.
Anyway, the new interface which they call Natural user interface(NUI),truly amazing.Right now,they are targeting Casinos and Restaurants to market the product.Microsoft says the product will be consumerized in 2-3 years time.To do this,they should take PC approach by designing software only and embedding it into hardware partners devices.Touchscreen is nothing new but multi touch is definitely(commercial).Microsoft demonstrated it during CES 2006 and now they are commercializing.There is another small company called Perceptive Pixel, Inc. was founded by Jeff Han a Research Scientist at NYU, in 2006.This company serving security applications currently.Apple also demonstrated multi touch based iPhone.Find some history of multi touch here.
The pressure on Consumer electronics(CE) companies raising as PC companies like Apple,Microsoft redefining consumer electronics experiences with the products like XBOX,iPod,iPhone etc..CE companies largely failed to respond to the new age software plus hardware plus service model.Take for example MP3 player market where traditional CE companies largely failed and where as companies like Apple,Microsoft,San disk getting traction.The PC companies leveraging their software capabilities to deliver more customized experiences to customers.I guess the trend will continue to define the CE market.
Well,i guess Microsoft found its next cow to repeat PC history and it is also investing in robotics which also have the potential.I think this will attract some competition which can fasten the consumerization of this technology.If you close your eyes and imagine multi touch applications,its endless.But it may take some time before we forget keyboard and mouse.