Microsoft demos Big Ass Ball (Updated)

“A group of academics will be among the first people outside Microsoft to see Sphere, a spherical surface computer developed by Microsoft Research,” Ina Fried reports or CNET News.

MacDailyNews Take: If this were any other company, we’d swear this was a joke, but this is what happens when “Microsoft Research” strays from its primary focus: 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014.

Fried continues, “The sphere-shaped, multitouch computer is similar to the tabletop Surface computer that Microsoft announced last year… This incarnation, however, remains a project within Microsoft Research and the company has no current plans to bring it to market.”

MacDailyNews Take: We can’t wait for Microsoft’s Big Ass Toilet Seat. Now that would sell – to women (guys would leave it up all the time). If it offered the gals some haptics, the lines would stretch for miles.

Fried continues, “Bill Gates has talked about a vision for surface computing that stretches far beyond the high-end commercial applications of Surface and in several years’ time would have many, many of today’s surfaces becoming computerized, both at home and at work.”

MacDailyNews Take: Because he’s such a visionary (dripping with sarcasm).

Full article here.

Todd Bishop reports for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “Sphere will be shown Tuesday at the annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit alongside other projects from Microsoft and university researchers.”

Video: Microsoft’s Big Ass Ball:

Direct link to video here.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers too numerous to mention for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Steven P. Jobs on a popsicle stick! After they reverse themselves and bring it to market, Microsoft is going to corner the entire novelty world globe market which is worth… wait for it… ONE MILLLLLION DOLLARS!

At this rate, “Vanquishing the Borg” is going to be easier than we thought.

Go, Ballmer, Go! Shovel that filthy lucre into your giant cash furnace, you sweaty SOB!

[Originally posted at 1:03pm EDT. Updated: 3:31pm EDT with new photo illustration and some additional “Takes.]


  1. Actually this looks great. Even though it would not be a consumer product, it could be used as a kiosk.

    It also would be great for an interactive globe of the earth or of other heavenly bodies.

  2. That has to be the most pathetic attempt at innovation I have ever seen. Its ridiculous.. Sphere, what genius conjured that up! What are these losers smoking while they are watching Star Trek reruns? Are we all gonna walk around with Spheres in our pockets? I wonder if you can run Zune software on a Sphere. Wonder if it bluescreens?

  3. It’s the same as the Surface, but the rear projection is most likely like a small planetarium projector. Technologically it is impressive, but the production costs would be significantly higher than the Surface. The Surface would cost a lot less, with no loss in functionality. At least Microsoft has enough sense left to know that this is unmarketable

  4. Other than displaying a globe, i can’t see any benefit of having this rather than a normal screen – or even a table.

    Personally I don’t have a great desire to drag around a load of images and occasionally resize them.

  5. OK — there are some smart people on this site. (we are Mac users)

    Let’s just take a minute and brainstorm the amazing, important, significant, and innovate uses that come from this new form factor of a sphere for M$’s touch innovation…

    a globe (once you zoom in, however, this no longer is a sphere. So no matter what planet you are on, or moon, or sun, a sphere is not a significant/important shape once you zoom in, out)

    a fisher-price people head (this is interesting)

    a sphere–like a giant multi-colored, dynamic ball people can virutal finger paint on. (this has promise. DANG expensive)

    any others?

  6. I shoulda proof read that ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> you get my drift. (maybe if I wrote it on a giant orb my tyops would have been more apparent.)

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