It was in late June 2007 when I saw the ‘other’ marketing Video for The Big Ass Table, otherwise known as Microsoft Surface. Microsoft has announced beginning April 17th, select (Atlanta, San Antonio, San Fransisco and New York City) AT&T wireless stores will get the tables. More stores will be added, but only within the these four markets come May.
The big U.S. wireless provider says its retail customers will be able to place specific mobile phones on Surface’s 30-inch screen to learn about features, accessories and rate plans. They also will be able to compare two phones at a time, and use their hands to navigate a high-tech wireless coverage map.
In May 2007, CyberNet News mentioned the tabletop computer would appear in hotels like Starwood, restaurants, retail locations like T-Mobile, and casino resorts like Harrah’s. Like many things Microsoft, this didn’t quite go as planned.
AT&T wasn’t among the original customers announced by Microsoft, and it initially won’t be tapping the full promise of the Surface machines. For example, customers won’t be able to finish their mobile-phone purchases on the tabletop computer. Microsoft’s prototype applications were more complex — showing, for example, how people could drag digital icons across the tabletop to order food and later split the bill at a restaurant.