Executive Q&A: What the new surface computing category means for Microsoft and consumers.
What is surface computing? Is anyone else doing this?
Tom Gibbons: Surface computing is a completely intuitive and liberating way to interact with digital content. It blurs the lines between the physical and virtual worlds. By using your hands or placing other unique everyday objects on the surface – such as an item you're going to purchase at a retail store or a paint brush – you can interact with, share and collaborate like you've never done before. Imagine you're out at a restaurant with friends and you each place your beverage on the table – and all kinds of information appears by your glass, such as wine pairings with a restaurant's menu. Then, with the flick of your finger, you order dessert and split the bill. We really see this as broadening content opportunities and delivery systems.
Microsoft is the first major technology company to bring surface computing to market in a commercially ready product. Although there are some companies working on similar technology projects, nobody is doing exactly what we are with Surface.