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April 02, 2008

AT&T First to Introduce Microsoft Surface in Retail Stores

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributing Editor

AT&T and Microsoft (News - Alert) have entered into a collaborative alliance that is expected to transform the way consumers shop for mobile devices. 

AT&T will become the first company in the world to bring Microsoft Surface to life in a retail environment, giving customers the ability to explore their mobile worlds using touch and device-recognition technology.

Microsoft Surface is the first commercially available surface computer from Microsoft. AT&T (News - Alert) plans to unveil the new displays in stores in New York City, Atlanta, San Antonio and San Francisco on April 17, followed by additional stores in other markets.

Further expansion across AT&T's 2,200 U.S.-based retail stores would only be determined after evaluating the success and learning from these initial pilot deployments. 

Microsoft Surface is a 30-inch table-like display that gives individuals or multiple people the opportunity to interact with devices and content by using touch, gestures and placement of devices on the display. 

AT&T plans to harness the power of Surface to provide its retail store visitors with unique opportunities to learn about the growing universe of mobile applications and devices. 

AT&T and Microsoft will also continue to collaborate on new and innovative ways to expand Surface capabilities in AT&T stores. 

"We are thrilled to bring this groundbreaking new technology to our stores so that we can introduce customers to their mobile worlds in a very personal and easy way," Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility said. 

"We look forward to working with Microsoft to continue developing new ways for our customers to learn about the ever-growing lineup of mobile devices and applications." 

"Microsoft Surface transforms the retail environment from a transaction destination to a customer engagement destination," said Robbie Bach, president, Entertainment & Devices Division, Microsoft. 

"With innovative and intuitive ways of accessing information and digital content on Microsoft Surface, consumers now have an entirely new, unique and personalized shopping experience. We're excited to have AT&T bring this to life and be the first company showcasing Surface in its retail locations." 
Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

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