Microsoft has launched the futuristic-but-expensive Surface computing platform, in 12 markets outside US and Canada, with a suggested retail price of £9,800 and a network of 120 partners.
Surface, which was released two years ago, is essentially the equivalent of a desktop-size Apple iPhone and integrates popular concepts like hand movements, gestures, object recognition and multi touch.
Panos Panay, Microsoft Surface general manager, said in a statement that since the initial launch of Microsoft Surface, they have received an "overwhelming response" from companies around the world that are looking for "innovative ways to engage" with their customers and developers who want to "create applications that were not possible with other technologies".
Microsoft has presented some of its partners in a press release. The company is working with the likes of global provider of information infrastructure EMC Corporation and others which are using it to develop new ways for their customers and clients to interact with data.
While £9800 is slightly expensive, Microsoft says that it has been overwhelmed by demand from potential business clients. Potential customers will have to fork an extra £1700 to buy a developer module that is compulsory if you want to alter the Surface's capabilities and includes Software Development Kit licenses.
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Microsoft's Surface launch comes a few hours before CeBIT begins. It is unlikely to have much of an impact on Microsoft's bottomline but serves well as a pioneering technology and to earn kudos. Shall we find Surface integrated in everyday computers? Unlikely, Apple has snatched the patent for Multitouch and the technology is likely to remain uber-expensive for some time.