April, 2008 - Microsoft PixelSense Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
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  • Microsoft PixelSense Blog

    Surface launches at AT&T stores


    Wednesday night teams transformed AT&T stores in San Antonio, NYC, San Bruno and Atlanta with Surface. Both AT&T and Surface teams rolled up their sleeves and worked through the night to prep the machines, change out the store experience and get everyone trained and ready for Thursday’s public debut. City to city team members were emailing cameraphone pics and hourly updates back and forth highlighting progress and racing to see which store would be the first to complete their transformation (sounds like New York won, though those teams had less units to deploy…so not really fair!).


    Conference calling

    Checking in with our colleagues across the country at the other AT&T launch stores. 


    Getting it done

    This may be part of the reason the San Antonio wasn't the first store ready.


    Microsoft Surface larger than lifeSan Antonio AT&T

    Larger than life on the AT&T pylon the night before and after the store opened for business.


    Yesterday was a blast. After years of development, Surface had a brilliant coming out party. It was fun to stand in the San Antonio store and see customers coming in just to touch Surface or amazed salespeople, excited about how this will enhance their ability to sell products and communicate rich information. From what I heard from the other stores it was a similar experience, coast to coast.


    The San Antonio Microsoft team

    The San Antonio Surface team after a successful launch day (Left to right: Kyle, Eric, Tom, Maxim and Greg) 


    From a press perspective, media interest was highest in New York, with journalists and bloggers from outlets including USA Today, Bloomberg (print and radio), The Wall Street Journal, CNET, Popular Mechanics and Switched/Engadget visiting the Madison Ave store to be among the first people to interact with Surface in a retail location. Stores in San Bruno, Atlanta and San Antonio all had local print and broadcast interest as well.


    Video: Microsoft Surface experience coming to AT&T


    Here’s a look at some of the top stories…


    ·         The Wall Street Journal | Amol Sharma: Microsoft Surface Arrives at AT&T Stores: After visiting the New York store and speaking to Mark Bolger, Surface, and Andy Austin, AT&T, as well as customers in the store, Amol posted a video piece to the Wall Street Journal Web site.


    ·         USA Today | Ed Baig: Microsoft Surface Makes Its Real-World Debut – Ed visited the New York store and posted a story to his USA Today blog outlining the Surface and AT&T partnership and capabilities.



    ·         CNET TV.com | Natali Del Conte: Microsoft Surface Hits Stores: Natali posted a video to CNET’s video site, CNET TV, which included interviews with Mark Bolger, Surface, and Scott Hodges, AT&T. The video showcased Surface’s role in AT&T Experience retail locations.


    ·         Gizmodo | Benny Goldman: Multi-Grope: Interacting with Microsoft Surface at the AT&T Store – After visiting the New York store, Gizmodo posted a story which followed their announcement coverage.


    We all celebrated the success last night at various watering holes in our respective towns, exhausted team members toasting to a most excellent effort group effort. This was likely followed by much needed rest. Most of the teams are heading back home today though a few tech leads are still onsite to ensure Surface operations continue to go smoothly and local personnel are trained to handle any updates or troubleshooting as necessary.


    San Antonio Riverwalk

    Eating out at Dicks on the San Antonio Riverwalk. Good times.


    Lone Star and Chicken

    Post-launch remedy, Texas style. 



    This is San Antonio, signing out! (Left to right: Greg, Kyle, Tom, Maxim and Eric) 


    Now onto our next deployment (shh…it’s a secret).

  • Microsoft PixelSense Blog

    AT&T and Microsoft Surface Reveal New Customer Experience


    As a follow-on to the AT&T/Microsoft Surface announcement we made yesterday, this afternoon AT&T showcased the actual customer experience before a crowd of a 100 wireless media and analysts at their 5th Annual AT&T Press Luncheon during CTIA.


    After Ralph de la Vega, AT&T Mobility president and CEO, shared their annual "state of the industry" outlook for the company, Ralph invited Robbie Bach, Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices president, to the stage to talk about Microsoft Surface and share a little about surface computing, Microsoft's on-going commitment to AT&T and his excitement for the new relationship.


    Following Robbie's remarks, Ralph took the stage again and along with Andy Austin, AT&T's director of retail sales operations, the two demoed the new AT&T customer experience that Microsoft Surface will deliver in stores.


    This customized application will provide AT&T customers with a totally unique experience shopping for mobile phones and applications. Customers in AT&T stores will be able to instantly access information about a mobile device by simply placing it on the display.


    Users will even be able to place two devices on Surface at once, comparing features and benefits. Even looking at coverage maps becomes an interactive experience when users navigate them by moving their hands across the display. This will give them a unique experience of using cutting-edge surface technology to help make purchasing decisions easier.

    Following the demo, media were invited to ask questions to a panel of AT&T executives as well as Robbie, who answered several Surface-related questions. In fact, I think this pic below is of Ralph joking that if Robbie gives him a good price break on a large unit sale then he'll have no problems deploying Surface in AT&T's 2,200+ retail locations. ;-)

    Robbie & Ralph

    It's a been a great couple of days sharing the news of this exciting partnership. Can't wait for what's ahead. Remember the deployments begin on April 17th in NYC, San Antonio (I'll be at that store), Atlanta and San Francisco.

    Robbie and Ralph at Surface

    Check back for more AT&T/Microsoft Surface updates...we're working on some videos that capture the true in-store experience.

    Cheers from Las Vegas,


  • Microsoft PixelSense Blog

    Collaborative Alliance with AT&T!!!


    This evening AT&T and Microsoft announced a collaborative alliance to transform the way that consumers shop for mobile devices. AT&T will become the first company in the world to deploy Microsoft Surface! In fact, on April 17th if you're in NYC, Atlanta, San Antonio, or San Francisco area you'll be able to get hands on with Surface at select AT&T retail locations (I'll post the locations and details soon).

    AT&T & Surface


    I'm with about a dozen of the Surface team in Vegas right now at the CTIA tradeshow supporting the announcement. It's been a busy day doing media interviews, getting ready for tomorrow's press luncheon and of course celebrating the exciting news!!!

    I'll post more tomorrow...off to bed.



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April, 2008