Some of you may be aware that this week is a global sales briefing within Microsoft.  A great time for the field sales force to find out about new products, get demos, get trained, etc.

One of the best presentations I saw was done by Bill Gates around the Surface Computer.  If you haven't see it yet, check out the videos on it at http://www.microsoft.com/surface.

In talking earlier this week with a VP from a large biotech, he said something that gave me some pause: "Imagine the surface computer in the research laboratory.  I can scan documents, draw compound diagrams and have them captured electronically, manipulate 3-D visualization of molecules (large or small) with my hands - without having special 3D manipulation tools.  And that's just the beginning!"

Take a look at the videos - if you get beyond the obvious consumer applicability (photos, music, etc), and think about the device recognition, think about the image manipulation, and then think about some of the data visualization and the 3D manipulation of that data as is now available from PerformancePoint (http://www.microsoft.com/performancepoint) - when you think about the surface computer in those terms, you start to get some notion of the places this could go within biopharma research and discovery.

Of course, this is a multi-day event, so I'll have more updates on new products and thoughts on their impact for Life Sciences companies over the next few days.