The Microsoft Coffee Table: Partners Wait Your Turn

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Microsoft will publicly demo its "Surface" technology this Saturday at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, as it continues to slowly bring its coffee-table technology to market. According to the Microsoft Surface web site, the demonstration will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the main lobby of the Sheraton Boston, which is at 39 Dalton Street.

Microsoft Surface is the project that delivers multi-touch functionality to a tabletop setting (or, eventually, just about any surface, according to the plan), and allows users to access PC applications without an LCD screen, keyboard or mouse. If you're a solution provider, an ISV or another technology supplier that would like to get in on the action, there is good news and bad news.

The good news: Microsoft has an SDK to assist with the development of the platform. The bad news: Microsoft is only letting a handful of partners into the project right now. According to Robert Levy, Microsoft's program manager for Surface, "we're focused on delivering a great platform by working closely with a short list of strategic partners and ISVs. Eventually the opportunity to purchase hardware and the SDK will expand but we know that staying focused on our current v1 targets is the best way to ensure the delivery of a great product that can later be expanded to serve other markets (including the consumer market)."

The partners so far include Harrah's Entertainment, IGT, Sheraton and T-Mobile. For everyone else, there's still the public Demo this Saturday in Boston.

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