Microsoft Surface wallpaper and hidden image on website hints at multi-touch Zune release on Nov 14?

Microsoft SurfaceSo the wraps have been taken off Microsoft Surface, a tabletop computer that’s the result of countless years of research papers and project codenames (TouchLight, PlayAnywhere, PlayTogether, PlayTable, Milan) all stuffed inside a 30-inch silver box. Whilst not exactly as portable as the iPhone (carry case sold separately), the Surface features an almost identical multi-touch technology as many other Minority Report inspired research projects – once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen it all. I don’t have much else to say about it, so just check out the official website, press release and two-or-so blogs who picked up the story.

However I did uncover a cool background image featured in the Flash website which makes a great wallpaper. Spent roughly 30 minutes cleaning up the horrendous JPEG compression that someone thought might have saved some bandwidth (pfft, bandwidth), stuck a logo on it and called it a day. Wow, special thanks to Mickey Slater (who designed the site) for providing an uncompressed version. Looks pretty sick.

But whilst digging around the Flash file, I also found a piece of image leftover from the project’s development process that either holds some relevance or I’m just over-reacting to mindless filler-text. Nevertheless, I thought I should share it.

Milan website image

What’s interesting here are the differences between this mock-up and the actual press page that’s currently on the live website. First of all, the media image placeholders have been replaced with better images – trivial and not significant. But on the second line, all of the executives have been replaced from the directors in the Entertainment division to leaders of the Surface team itself – J. Allard included. Wonder why.

But the most interesting are the sample “press releases”. November 14 seems to be a date of significance, but if you read the third release, “Microsoft’s New Milan Media Player on Store Shelves on Nov 14”, it becomes fascinating. Milan being the codename for “Surface”, it would be not far-fetched to assume a “Milan Media Player” is a portable media device which has multi-touch capabilities, which brings me to the Zune. The Zune, which is now due for a second revision pops to my mind. And out of pure coincidence, November 14 is also the date of the Zune launch in 2006. Announcing a multi-touch 2nd generation Zune on the first anniversary sounds like a good pretty good plan to me.

Update: How could I forget to credit Mary Jo for accurately reporting on this almost five days ago! She lives up to her reputation.

18 insightful thoughts

  1. Very interesting. Looks just like the manufactury-table demo a while ago. I like it.

  2. This sounds amazing. I’m not sure how realistic it is to expect these features in the next Zune but still very cool.

  3. What if the image is from last year’s November 14th?
    The Zune “was going to have multi touch screen”… but they depreceated that capacity (as they did with some many “features” of Longhorn/Vista)

  4. How did you find that? You said you “dug around” the flash file, but how did you download the original .fla file? I can download the swf but thats it.

  5. @101293: You can ‘decompile’ SWF files to inspect their Actionscript files and the like. A popular software is “Sothink SWF Decompiler” which can do this.

  6. it’s useful for hotel and restaurant. but for personal using it’s not a great choice. i will use a pc hang on the wall without the keyboard or mouse. just control by a touch or voice command.

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