Although Microsoft is still getting plenty of "oohs" and "aahs" when it demos its Surface computer, the company is finding the task of bringing the tabletop computer to market is a little rougher than it anticipated.
The software maker's initial plan was to get partners with the touchscreen machines up and running as early as this month. Now it estimates it will take until spring before the devices start showing up in locations like Sheraton hotels, Harrah's casinos and T-Mobile retail locations.
Part of the holdup has been in developing the custom software each of those partners needs, as well as making sure the hardware is suited to their locations.
"What we have found out is this is not a one-size-fits-all solution," said Mark Bolger, a senior director in Microsoft's surface computing unit. Microsoft had already spent four years developing the product before going public this May. The product, originally codenamed Milan, looks a bit like a 1980s sit-down Ms. Pac Man machine, but uses infrared cameras and a projector to create a touch screen that can respond to multiple users' hand gestures, as well as interacting with other objects.
Microsoft, Tabletop, Microsoft Surface