Microsoft Surface

Milan make me buy more, me like Microsoft's Milan?


In addition to Palm's Folēo foray into uncharted waters today, Microsoft pulled another card from its sleeve by introducing, not desktop... not laptop... not palmtop... but tabletop computing, with its new 'Milan' aka Microsoft Surface social computing system. Nothing new to see here, but don't move along, because the integration of existing technologies in Surface has significant implications for the industry and society.

Folks like to spend money together, it's a primate/herd beast thing. It's very telling who the initial customer base is; Harrah's Entertainment, Sheraton Hotels, and T-Mobile, all who boost their profits by encouraging incremental spending (don't touch that minibar!) over and above the base price of basic services. They must view automating sales as a more reliable path to bigger profits than the rewards from training and rewarding their sales force.

Surface plays to Redmond's strengths, as a schmoozer and influencer, an integrator, not innovator, so it's no surprise Apple didn't introduce this environment first. Besides, no corporate will be bootlegging copies of Surface, I'll wager.

Now, this is nothing more than a kiosk rotated flat, you might say; but, it lets you put drinks on the glass top you all sit around together. Neither ethanol nor herds lead to inspired rational thought, so Microsoft Surface will loosen the wallets of many, many people in years to come.

Getting thirsty

I can also see its evolution, adding sensors to profile folks who approach, and when a prospect returns, altering the sales pitch to match their past interests, or doing profiling to guess how to manipulate the customer. They don't have to be carrying a Bluetooth handset, a chipped smartcard or have their biometric passport outside of their tin-foil wallets; mass, respiration rate, rhythm of walking, all can be sensed, databased, and matched. Of course, no one would ever put retina-recognition software within and have cameras under the glass look at folks' eyes, no, never. It can't happen here.

Do you think the corporate world is ready to automate personalized selling through Microsoft Surface, and systems like it? Do you think this is an improvement? Join the discussion.

6 comments
32bitsWide
32bitsWide

Another boring implementation of a standard pc/laptop...55 billion dollars and all they can think to do is take a tablet PC put it in a larger box, call it a coffee table PC and sell it for more money... ...hold on while I reboot my coffee table... ...shoot...by coffee table just red screened...

Kadoro
Kadoro

"...shoot...by coffee table just red screened..." Where do I get a "Red Screen"? I'd pay just to have another option for when a windows machine goes to BSOD!!

K7AAY
K7AAY

Me, no; I'll even wait for a human checker rather than deal with a robot checkout stand (of course, Kroger's robot stand sounds just like my Palm's alert sound, so maybe that's why...) But, with a human, it's easier to discern motive, whereas robot salesthings will be slick, too slick, I fear, and be too good at separating me from my credits. But, do you think this is an advancement? Chime in.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

That's what this reminded me of at first glance. Drop a quarter, put your beer on the table, and eat dots and monsters.

Andy Goss
Andy Goss

The trouble with tables is that people put things on them, obscuring the display. Otherwise all tables in bars and hotels would have advertising on them already. In pubs and bars most of the clients are there to talk to each other. If they want mindless entertainment there are often, though less often these days, gambling machines beeping and clanking in the corner. Putting these on the table might make more sense. People might go for web browsers on the tabletop, but I can't see them paying money for it.

DadsPad
DadsPad

I am a bit of a tech freak with a poor wallet. Grocery store robot checkouts we do not use. Mostly we use checks or cash, the robot checkouts like debit or credit cards. (Which I believe is giving more people debt problems than ever before). Rising debt problems is fast becoming the number one issue in the US. But on Surface computers, if a business can make money with it, it will sell. If not, it will die. But it does have many interesting ideas to for its use. Dad