New Microsoft Surface – Samsung SUR40

Had a sneak peak at the next generation Microsoft Surface recently. This is my 2nd time checking out the Microsoft Surface. I managed to try out the first version of Microsoft Surface back in 2009.

The biggest difference between the previous version of Microsoft Surface and the new version is the form factor. The previous Microsoft Surface is a little too boxy and hard to customize to fit or blend into your current deco. The hardware for the new Microsoft Surface is different. Microsoft partnered with Samsung to make the new Microsoft Surface. Just imagine the Surface as a big 4 inch thick television set place facing upwards. In fact, with this form factor, the Surface can be positioned either horizontally or vertically.

And the new Microsoft Surface is a lot bigger now. The Samsung SUR40, as the name suggest, is a 40 inch 1080p HD screen. The SUR40 supports multi-touch and multi-user. Which means several people can crowd around the Surface and interact with it at the same time. The Surface can recognize more than 50 simultaneous touch point. It uses a AMD Athlon II X2 Dual-Core 2.9GHz processor paired with a AMD Radeon HD 6700M series GPU.

But the hardware is just part of the Microsoft Surface. What’s make the Surface amazing is the software and the API available to developers. It’s really up to the developers to write great software that make full use of the Microsoft Surface’s unique form factor. Some examples are banks where bank tellers use the Surface to shows customer the loan details. Or in the clinic where the doctor uses the Surface to explain the patient’s condition. Or in a bar where customer can interact with the Surface to place their order and find out more details about their drinks when it arrives.
The possibilities are endless.

One thing I wish Microsoft would change is the Byte Tag. A Byte Tag is like a barcode for the Surface to uniquely identify an object. The only problem with the Byte Tag is that there’s only 256 unique tag values. This is not enough. I wish there is a better system that can uniquely identify billions of objects. This way, all devices can have a tag that the Surface can uniquely identify and interact with.
The Samsung SUR40 will retail at US$8600 and will be available in 23 countries (including Singapore) later in 2011. Fujifilm, Red Bull and Sheration Hotels & Resorts are among the companies that have announced they will deploy it.
I know the pricing is kinda steep. The Microsoft Surface is meant for commercial use. But who knows? Maybe 10 years down the road, we will all have a Microsoft Surface in our living room.
Boy do I look forward to that day.


  1. DK – Microsoft Surface also supports identity tags, which store 128 bits of data (vs. the 8 bits of data for a byte tag). They provide your limitless unique identifiers. They were around for Surface 1.0, although not officially supported. I haven’t heard if they’re officially supported for Surface 2.0.
    Also from a price point, the original surface was almost twice as much, so they are moving the right direction. If it follows that trend, we should all look forward to Surface 4.0 🙂

  2. Jeff: Interesting. They didn’t show off the identity tags to the media in Singapore. So I’m not sure if they are ready. But honestly, the Byte Tag is just not enough. Looking forward to seeing the identity tag.
    And yes, we should all look forward to having Surface in our homes…. maybe 10 or 20 years down the road. Haha. 🙂

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