Update: Gizmodo has an interesting video embedded of Bill Gates going through a demo of the Surface
Microsoft Corporation’s Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates will be taking the stage in Carlsbad, California for Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital. Bill Gates will be seated next to Steve Jobs talking about consumer technology on stage, but Steve Ballmer will be plugging a new Microsoft product called Surface. The Microsoft Surface is in the shape of a coffee table and operates by voice, a pen, and touch rather than a mouse and keyboard.
The Microsoft Surface will initially have a 30 inch surface and will cost roughly $5,000-$10,000. The prices will start dropping to affordable prices after 3-5 years.
“With Surface, we are creating more intuitive ways for people to interact with technology,” stated Ballmer. “We see this as a multibillion dollar category, and we envision a time when surface computing technologies will be pervasive, from tabletops and counters to the hallway mirror.”
Other Microsoft Surface features include multi-touch (ability for over a dozen people altering content at once), multi-user (since the computer is in the shape of a table, users can face each other while interacting with the computer), and object recognition (physical objects placed on the computer table can be recognized and transferred digitally).
Microsoft has partnered with T-Mobile, Harrah’s Entertainment, and Starwood Hotels for the promotion of the new product. This combination between computing and furniture seems like an aesthetic way to decorate a room in a house or apartment. Once the price drops, I definetely have to get myself one of these.
In related Microsoft news, Robbie Bach, President of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division announced that the company has sold over a million Microsoft Zunes. This was achieved slightly faster than company projections. Microsoft expected to sell a million by the end of June 2007.
“In the category weâ??re in, the hard-disk-based category, weâ??ve got about 10 percent market share. Itâ??s a good start. Itâ??s not an overwhelming start. Iâ??m not going to pretend itâ??s some gigantic move,” stated Bach.
 D5 Conference website: http://d.wsj.com/
 Microsoft Press Release: Microsoft Launches New Product Category: Surface Computing Comes to Life in Restaurants, Hotels, Retail Locations and Casino Resorts