Microsoft talking to retailers about new Surface technology

This morning Microsoft Australia unveiled its new tablet computer the Microsoft Surface. The new touchscreen device is being targeted at retailers around the country for use in stores to help customers interact with various forms of digital content.

The device is basically a 76cm (30-inch) touch screen computer in the form of a table and is designed for multiple users at a time. According to Danny Beck, senior enterprise marketing manager, product manager Windows Commercial, Surface is designed for multiple users with up to 50 touch points at once.

At the launch event in Sydney this morning, an app that is designed for use in Lonely Planet stores was on display. The app allows users to place their customer account card on the table and then load various lonely planet guides onto the card by simply placing book in the store on the table. The customer can then pick and choose what part of the guide they want and bring this content up on their PC at home.

Windows Surface is targeted at both consumers (sold directly through Microsoft) and businesses. But at the hefty price tag of $21,000 for the consumer model and $24,500 for the developer unit, the unit will be predominantly targeted at business partners.

According to Beck, Microsoft is currently talking with retailers about installing the device in their stores.

“At the moment I can only reveal that we have partnerships with ANZ and Curtin University, but I can reveal that we are talking to some of the biggest retailers in the country about installing Surface products in stores,” he said.

“The opportunities that this can create for business and consumers are amazing and some of the applications that have been developed overseas are really innovative.”

Some of the partners overseas that are currently using Surface devices in their stores are Vodafone, AT & T and Lonely Planet.

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