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  • Microsoft PixelSense Blog

    Links to SDK and Resources


    As I mentioned last week, today is the big day! Today we are releasing the Microsoft Surface SDK and related resources. Below are the links to the development resources we promised.

    All these resources and links can be accessed through our new Surface Developer Center, or by going to and clicking on "Technical Resources & Support".

    Luis Cabrera
    Microsoft Surface Team

  • 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 | 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

    Surface Grand Piano


    Rob and Thomas think one cool use of Surface would a piano app.  I agree :)  Believe it or not, this concept is actually one of the first tech samples we shipped to partners in early drops of the Surface SDK.  We chose this because 1) it's a good example of leveraging multi-input, 2) from an development perspective, it's a good example of the benefits Surface gets from leveraging WPF, and 3) most of the work was already done for us.

    It turns out that the Expression Blend team shipped a Grand Piano sample with their tool to highlight the power of having developers & designers work closely together using tools built for their specific needs.  In that sample, each key on the Piano is simply a WPF Button control which is given a custom style which makes it look like a 3D piano key.  If you don't have Expression Blend installed, there's a Silverlight version of this that you can play with online.

    Grand Piano 

    So how did we Surface-enable this?  3 easy steps:

    • Replace <Window> in the XAML with <SurfaceWindow>
      • SurfaceWindow is a subclass of the WPF Window class which automatically does some initialization stuff that we require of all Surface apps (like making the window full-screen on the right display)
    • Replace <Button> in the XAML with <SurfaceButton>
      • SurfaceButton is a subclass of the WPF Button class which knows how to correctly respond to Surface input so you can press multiple buttons at once and use multiple fingers on each button.
    • Ask Celso on the Blend team to provide updated images for the piano keys
      • The ones shipped in the original version of this app have an optimization that assumes only one key will be pressed at a time.

    I don't have a video handy to show this in action (it's pretty much exactly what you'd expect), but will create one if people express interest in the comments on this post.

    Disclaimer: This was created purely as an SDK tech sample to help show partners how to leverage Blend and WPF with our SDK.  It's not something we consider to be a "complete" app (there are tons of ways it could/should be expanded - including ideas Thomas mentioned on his blog) and it's not something our Demo crew uses at events to tell the Surface story (they prefer things that better fit our v1 business model and leverage all the multi-user & object recognition aspects of Surface).

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