Microsoft’s Surface launched in the UK

Yesterday saw the official launch of Microsoft’s Surface platform in the UK.

Microsoft yesterday brought its touchscreen tabletop system Surface to the UK.

The coffee-table style computer has a 30-inch multi-touch screen embedded to the surface' of the box. The multi-touch enables several people to use it at the same time and it can be operated from any side.

Applications on display included a Tesco's Wine Club app, Carphone Warehouse room designs, air hockey and a grand piano application. The possibilities for both practical business use as well as recreational purposes were very clear.

The design also had the ability to recognise objects placed on the surface. For example, during wine tasting, a bottle could be placed and registered as the specific brand, recognising any saved comments when its placed on the table top again. There was also the ability to do this with a digital camera; if placed on the top the computer would bring up your photo albums.

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The computer is currently used in a chain of hotels in the US, allowing patrons to identify local bars, restaurants and sites to see, whilst providing maps and directions via the Concierge' app. It is also used in the UK by Barclays' flagship branch in Piccadilly Circus.

IT PRO got to have a play with the machine. We were impressed at how quickly you get used to the absence of a keyboard and mouse. Unfortunately, we cannot get too excited as we are a long way off being able to get one for our own living rooms. The Surface is only currently on sale to businesses and costs a cool 8,500.

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