Micrsoft Surface


Microsoft just revealed a new concept computer. As usual, it comes with lots of hype and the PR machine boasts that it is the next big invention, something will revolutionize computer. To keep things simple, it is merely a table with a touch screen. That’s all.  Computer as a table is nothing new, the very first generation of arcade games, such as ping, space invader or pac-man are in form of a a table.   The new Surface may serves as gimmicks in some classy restaurants, it is fun and more convenient ordering your food without having to wait for the waiter to come around. The special effects maybe cool for the first time, but soon the novelty will wears off, and people will simply ignore it.  Just like first generation of arcade games are used in restaurants as attractions.  The Surface has little use at home. The promotion video shows some possible applications, obviously the designer obviously doesn’t take usability into account. One example is the Surface is used as drawing board for kids. Why would kids draw on a computer screen instead of good old fashion paper and crayon. It is so unreal. Then the next example is sharing and viewing photos. For digital photo takers, Surface can’t replace photoshop, and for photo viewers, isn’t TV a better way to show pictures. Then the next example is searching a map and synchronize and upload it to your cell phone. The Surface connects to the cell phone wireless once the cell phone is placed on the screen. Wireless is a great idea but why would you waste precious screen space and covering the information underneath with a cell phone? You can just replace the cell phone with an transparent icon on the screen. The surface probably will only success in niche markets like graphic designs. Microsoft is not going to dominate the living room with Surface, they better come up with something much better.

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