Is it International Crap Products Day today?

30 May 2007

Because that's how it feels, what with the uninspiring Palm Foleo and the Microsoft Surface. It's as though vendors are trying to clear the decks of the product-development chaff they have accumulated so that it can get lost over the summer silly season.

Microsoft wants to sell its Surface to hotels and bars. What a cracking idea. You could run Space Invaders or Asteroids on it. No wait, that's been done. Or arrange your photos and download stuff from your phone. Fine applications and were quite original maybe 20 years ago. However, in the meantime, I've lost count of the mock-ups of those kinds of active tables from design students that have appeared at final-year shows in the intervening years.

The demos of people pulling photos around on the table remind me of a colleague years ago who was being told about the coming wave of PDAs (this was a long time ago). Breathlessly, the marketing veep described how you could write on the screen with a pen and push a button to save what you had written. "Push to save, you say," he remarked. "Why, that's almost as good as paper."