Peter VanRysdam / Technology / June 25th, 2012

Surface & PixelSense – Big Changes for Microsoft & 352 Media Group

Well, not really that big of a change for us… As you might have seen, Microsoft made some announcements last week which are creating quite a stir. They launched Surface, a tablet PC that they manufacture, moving away from their OEM vendor model and towards Apple’s model of controlling the device and the software. At first, I was confused. You may recall that Microsoft unveiled Surface several years back, which was a multi-touch computer built in to a table. Fear not – that awesome technology still exists, just under the name PixelSense. And we’re still developing apps as a partner for PixelSence Application Development. We’ve created a series of really cutting-edge apps for a health insurance giant, and are glad to see Microsoft is still fully invested in evolving the technology. It has so many possible applications for business and personal use, and will surely be something that you’ll be hearing more about soon. But back to Surface, which is not Microsoft’s first attempt in the tablet business. But this is different. Unlike before, the market has shown it is ready for the form factor. Plus, the Surface unit takes things up a notch, at least in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, the iPad is amazing. But it’s not a MacBook. And at the same time, a MacBook doesn’t do all the things an iPad can. The Surface, on the other hand, gives you all of the functionality of a PC along with all of the functionality (and portability) of a tablet. Sure, Apple gives you things like iCloud to sync your data on the Web for access on your tablet or PC, but there’s no need here, because your tablet is your PC. I for one can’t wait to get my hands on one. Now one of the things that has put Apple so far in front of the pack on the tablet scene is their robust app store. If you can think of it, there is likely an app for it. Microsoft’s phone, while offering great hardware and software, has started slow out of the gate because of a lack of apps. I don’t think that will be the case for Surface. We have never set out to make traditional Windows apps. We’ve created a few, but it’s not something we focus on. However, we are setting ourselves up as Microsoft Surface Application Developers. We are already on the cutting-edge of Metro design, and have experience with Windows Phone apps. Those are the main ingredients to create Windows 8 apps, which will use that style. And with every traditional desktop app developer jumping in to create apps for the latest Windows release, you’ll see the Microsoft app store start to really grow. Only time will tell, of course, but I’ve personally got big hopes for what’s coming out of Remond!