Steve Jobs wowed everybody with a demonstration of his multitouch screen iPhone. The little buttonless screen appeals to the touchy-feely instinct in all of us. You can't call anyone with it, but Microsoft's "Surface" multitouch tabletop PC takes the whole concept to an enormous other level.
On Tuesday, Microsoft took the wraps off "Milan", five years in the making and the first in what the company hopes will be a long line of "surface computers". The Microsoft tabletop PC, called "Surface", for which Microsoft has created both the hardware and software, offers shades of the technology seen in the sci-fi thriller Minority Report. The whole unit is controlled entirely through touch — there's no mouse or keyboard.
To paint, people can pick up a paint brush or just dip their fingers in virtual paint cups. Sharing photos is similarly intuitive. A stack of pictures can be easily sorted through and shared. To resize a photo, just stretch two fingers apart. Pivot the fingers and the image rotates. More than one person can be interacting with the computer at a time.
At around ten grand a pop, it's not ready for widespread home sales yet. But that's what they said about plasma TVs a decade ago. Nifty video demonstration from Microsoft here.