At CES in January Microsoft launched Surface 2. While it did receive a lot of attention from the press and bloggers, I don’t think the attention was anywhere near the attention that was deserved for such a game changing and revolutionary product.
Make no mistake – Surface 2 is just as innovative and even more game-changing than the original. It isn’t just a minor update – it is a complete, deep rethink of the concept. More importantly, this rethink has addressed all of the ‘issues’ with V1 that we see great potential for the product. This means that as a Strategic Surface Partner we have big plans! More about that in another post though.
Surface 1 was a radical product. It was innovative and completely different. It wasn’t just different in being a table computer, it was different because it provided a radically different and enormously natural way to interact with a computer.
Surface 2 is radical. The Surface Team has managed to develop PixelSense™, which allows Surface 2 to see fingers, tags and objects, but without using cameras. This is revolutionary and is what allows Surface 2 to be the table top at 4” thin, rather than being the whole table as was the case with Surface 1. What this means is that Microsoft and Samsung are able to produce the Samsung SUR40 – a 40” high definition LCD that is able to see and support vastly more points of touch than has been possible before. This is a game changing device.
Other changes that Microsoft has engineered are similarly exciting – not in ‘gee whizz’ terms, but in meaningful terms that make it much more attractive for customers to deploy. Firstly, and importantly, the price has dropped considerably. Secondly, a lot has been added to the devices from both a hardware and a software perspective that makes them more easily deployed and managed.
Surface 2 is clearly moving from a niche product that is deployed in ones or twos to much larger deployments. From our perspective too it has moved from ‘that’s cool – maybe we should dip our toe in’ to ‘Oh we have to deploy that!’.