Microsoft’s venture in to the hardware market with its new Surface tablets was met with much enthusiasm and groaning by the industry in general. Tablet and notebook makers don’t like it when a strong player enters the market to rub up the competition the wrong way and you’re also their customer – its hard to compete with someone who sets up all the rules int heir own favour. Microsoft being Microsoft, they bought another company to help strengthen their entry into the tablet market and to create an even less fair playing field.

More info after the jump.

Perceptive Pixel Inc. makes touch screens on larger scales for business use and in large-scale corporate environments. They’re the ones who make those gigantic touch screens in use for some weather broadcasts on American TV channels and they were at the Windows 8 Consumer Preview release, where a gigantic 50-inch plus screen was demoed showing Windows 8’s Maps application.

Someone is going to come up with a Minority Report skin for Windows 8. No really, I’m serious.

“The acquisition of PPI allows us to draw on our complementary strengths, and we’re excited to accelerate this market evolution,” said Kurt DelBene, president, Office Division for Microsoft. “PPI’s large touch displays, when combined with hardware from our OEMs, will become powerful Windows 8-based PCs and open new possibilities for productivity and collaboration.” Its interesting that the company wants to buy out PPI, seeing as they helped develop and produce the first Surface, a coffee table with a large 32″ touch monitor back in 2008 that had the first inklings of what was coming for Windows.

While its another corporate takeover for the Redmond-based company, its impressive that Microsoft thinks this far in terms of their plans for the market. Cementing the idea of a touch-aware table years ago and revealing a more affordable, consumer-friendly touch OS with the proper hardware by a company they now own and control is a very, very smart move. Whoever works on Microsoft’s product plans needs to have their hand shaken and their back patted – planning this far ahead isn’t something anyone can just do.

What’s really interesting is that this was an announcement made not by Microsoft’s Hardware division, or anyone from its engineering or software departments – it came from the Office division. What would that mean for you? Office 2012 will likely have some very smart touch-based operations that work well on the type of large screens PPI manufactures. If you’re on a Surface tablet and make the transition to a larger touch screen on a wall-mount, the same gestures, moves and tricks will apply, meaning that shifting from device to device doesn’t break your methods or introduce a learning curve.

Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the way Microsoft is handling its new Web 2.0 transformation and I’m actually beginning to get rather excited at the changes the company is undergoing. You should to, dear reader, especially if technology is your first love – the industry is all about change and will always be constantly changing. This kind of change is the type that we can all like, whether you’re buying Windows 8 or not. Its a step forward for Microsoft to being a company that provides an unrivalled, cohesive experience and its trying its best to get you to see the magic in it.

And I’ll admit, I’m beginning to like Windows 8 as well.

Source: Tom’s Hardware

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