Microsoft Surface

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Microsoft introduces a great new technology, Microsoft Surface. It is the first commercially available surface computing product by Microsoft. Microsoft Surface turns an ordinary tabletop into a vibrant surface and alleviates user interaction with digital content. Its an innovation that will change the way people shop, dine, entertain and live. Its a cool way to interact with a device through natural gestures, touch and physical objects.

The origin of surface dates back to 2001, when Stevie Bathiche of Microsoft Hardware and Andy Wilson of Microsoft Research began brainstorming concepts for an interactive table. Their vision was to mix physical and virtual worlds to provide visual and interactive experience. Since then, the idea has gone through various phases and resulted in the evolution of Microsoft Surface.

Surface defines the new-age user experience and breaks boundaries between the actual and the virtual world. It defines limitless possibilities for taking interaction with digital media to a whole new level. Imagine sitting with a friend, sharing digital photos as you would do in a physical world, sliding them across the table with a flick of a finger. How about sitting in a restaurant, browsing a virtual menu on the table with all details of the dishes and ordering your favorite dish by just tapping your finger.

What exactly is Surface Computing?
(source: Microsoft Surface Fact Sheet)
Surface computing breaks down traditional barriers between people and technology, changing the way people interact with all kinds of everyday content, from photos to maps to menus. The intuitive user interface works without a traditional mouse or keyboard, allowing people to interact with content and information by using their hands and natural movements. Users are able to access information either on their own or collaboratively with their friends and families, unlike any experience available today. Surface computing features four key attributes:

  • Direct interaction. Users can actually “grab” digital information with their hands and interact with content through touch and gesture, without the use of a mouse or keyboard.
  • Multi-touch contact. Surface computing recognizes many points of contact simultaneously, not just from one finger as with a typical touch screen, but up to dozens and dozens of items at once.
  • Multi-user experience. The horizontal form factor makes it easy for several people to gather around surface computers together, providing a collaborative, face-to-face computing experience.
  • Object recognition. Users can place physical objects on the surface to trigger different types of digital responses, including the transfer of digital content.
What Next?
Surface computing is a new computing field and is still in the initial stages of development. With continuing research and innovations, a large number of applications can be envisioned with surface computers. The application areas of surface computing are diverse ranging from product marketing to digital entertainment and gaming among others. This could just turn out to be the next big thing in technological innovations.

Microsoft Surface would be showcased at various international events all through the year. It is expected to hit the market by Winter 2007.

To experience Microsoft Surface, visit the official Microsoft Surface website at:

Yahoo WebMessenger

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Yahoo has introduced the browser version for its popular IM program, Yahoo Messenger. The messenger allows you to IM from any browser and also supports Windows Live contacts.

The online version, still in its Beta, has a great User Interface and currently supports limited IM features like customized status message, searchable chat history, font selection etc. You can also search your contacts, see their online status and add new contacts. It opens a new tab for each conversation in the same window. It is built using Adobe's Flex 2 and needs Flash Player to run.

The online messenger is a great tool for people who don't have access to the desktop messenger client from their work places/schools. It is a great replacement for Meebo, which is a third party tool.

It can be accessed at

MSDN Flash Newsletter

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Check out a real cool e-newsletter from Microsoft. The MSDN Flash, helps broaden your knowledge base by delivering essential developer news directly to you in one information-dense newsletter.

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