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Consumer Version of Microsoft Surface Going for Windows 7

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Consumer Version of Microsoft Surface Going for Windows 7

Microsoft is currently working to produce the consumer version of its tabletop computer in a three-year timeframe. According to Tom Gibbons, Corporate Vice President, Specialized Devices and Applications Group, Microsoft Surface could make its way into household environments in three years or less. In this context, if the consumer variant of Microsoft Surface hits by 2011, it is possible that at its heart will be the next iteration of the Redmond company proprietary operating system, Windows 7.

Microsoft Surface was unveiled at the end of May 29, 2007. In Microsoft’s perspective, Surface signaled the debut of an entirely new product category – surface computing. Microsoft Surface makes traditional computer peripherals such as the mouse and the keyboard obsolete. At the same time, the product literally brings to the table a new level of user interface, focused on natural gestures, touch and object recognition.

In early 2007, Microsoft planned to make Surface available to business customers by the end of the year. That date was postponed until the beginning of 2008, but the company is also working on bringing Surface to the general public by 2011. “In the three-year time window, we absolutely see how to get there. If we can beat that, we’ll try to beat that,” Gibbons revealed to Fortune.

Currently, copies of Windows Vista RTM are at the heart of Microsoft Surface. The Redmond company did not indicate that it plans to fuel future versions of Surface with Windows 7, but at the same time, the core of the tabletop computer could be adapted to run Vista’s successor. “We’re running a couple of months later than I’d like with our deployments,” Gibbons added. “While I was hoping we’d have something out now, we’ll definitely have something out in the next couple of months.”

Gibbons explained that the true reason why Microsoft has pushed back the delivery of Surface, when it was initially planned, is connected with the difficulties of implementing custom software. Currently, Microsoft Surface comes with a price tag between $5,000 and $10,000 and is available only to businesses. The next-generation Surface aimed at household environments would have to be a lot less expensive, Windows 7 or no Windows 7.


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