Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has expanded its footprint from PC and server operating systems to internet portals and video games. Now, it is going a step further to help create the impression that it is still one of the leading edge developers in the tech community.
The world's largest software company has introduced a computer that looks like a table and works with a touchscreen. The first markets for the new product, named Surface, will be hotels and casinos where it can be used to buy tickets and play games.
The new product is a pet of Bill Gates, who believes that the next generation of PCs will need to be more intuitive and easier to use. The new product runs the Microsoft Vista OS.
If Gates is right, the new method for using PCs, making them extensions of hand motions and writing instruments could be very good news for companies beyond Microsoft. As PC sales have slowed, firms that are PC-centric including Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), AMD (NYSE: AMD), and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) have suffered.
That may change now if a new generation of PCs drives better sales.
Douglas A. McIntyre is a partner at 24/7 Wall St.