Surface is essentially a Windows Vista PC tucked inside a shiny black table base, topped with a 30-inch touchscreen in a clear acrylic frame. Five cameras that can sense nearby objects are mounted beneath the screen. Users can interact with the machine by touching or dragging their fingertips and objects such as paintbrushes across the screen, or by setting real-world items tagged with special bar-code labels on top of it.
Microsoft Live Search Maps will begin offering three-dimensional, photo-realistic views of New York City buildings and landscapes, with perspectives that few people have ever seen. The free online service will provide a unique look at many of New Yorkâ€™s iconic locations, along with local listings, ratings and reviews and driving directions to help people easily find, discover, plan and share relevant location information that is important to them on the web.
The 3-D imagery of New York City will debut along with similar aerial perspectives of several other Canadian, U.K. and U.S. cities, with many more cities worldwide expected to be available by the end of summer.
Microsoft has released what it claims is an easy way to build mashups, web pages and apps using pre-built blocks. Popfly is a set of online tools that allows building and sharing mashups, web pages and applications. Another component of Popfly is Popfly Space, an online community of creators where you can host, share, rate, comment and even remix creations from other Popfly users.
Go check it out. The ducks are cute.
And by the way, Microsoft also said that it is buying online advertising firm aQuantive for about $6 billion in cash. It is so far the company’s largest acquisition in the company’s history but they justified the move saying that aQuantive is “”exactly the right company to buy.”
Feeling the heat from Google, Microsoft reportedly asked Yahoo to re-enter formal talks about buying the web portal company. The deal could easily be worth around $50 billion, according to Bloggingstocks.