Microsoft buys Perceptive Pixel, maker of CNN’s ‘Magic Wall’

“Microsoft is adding a magic touch. Microsoft said Monday that it has agreed to buy Perceptive Pixel Inc., which makes large, multi-touch displays, including CNN’s ‘Magic Wall,'” Erin Kim reports for CNNMoney.

“The software giant plans to power these displays with Windows 8, slated for release in October,” Kim reports. “The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.”

Kim reports, “Microsoft already had similar technology in house: Its 2007 ‘Microsoft Surface’ touchscreen technology, created for tabletops and retail displays, had comparable features. Microsoft recently hijacked — or recycled — the ‘Surface’ name as the branding for its forthcoming tablet. Its earlier giant-screen Surface technology was renamed PixelSense.”

“Microsoft plans add the interactive display to its Microsoft Office division ‘to build technologies that enable people to collaborate and communicate,’ Perceptive Pixel founder Jeff Han said in a written statement,” Kim reports. “Microsoft declined to go into detail about how it will handle the product overlap between Perceptive Pixel and the company’s own PixelSense line.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The software giant plans to power these displays with Windows 8.

BWOD: Blue Wall of Death. Live on CNN. Nightly.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “WS” for the heads up.]

Related article:
Apple’s granted yet another foundational Multi-Touch patent – March 6, 2012
Apple snags blockbuster multi-touch patent – February 29, 2012
Apple adds another core iPhone Multi-Touch patent to their arsenal – December 27, 2011


  1. Looks like those Redmond guys are just doing some retail therapy. – “Hey maybe if we buy this, that and the other thing, we’ll feel better about ourselves.” – I mean, they don’t really know what to do with the shit they buy.

    1. What put CNN in last place was becoming TeaNN- pandering to the Teabaggers. Instead of attracting Faux Newz viewers it just ran off old ones.

  2. Well, the big-ass-table was just a poor derivative of Han’s work in the first place. Although I think The Mac That Roared has it — they don’t know what to do with anything, anyway.

    1. Just what I had thought, I have seen at least 4 times live on CNN the crashing and the lovely blue screen, how embarrassing for CNN and still Mirosoft thinks its the leader.

      Well the only leader in BSOD live on televised stations, with millions of viewers that is.

      1. That was my immediate thought! I’ve seen CNN’s John King and other announcers perplexed and apologizing for their “Magic Wall” freezing dozens of times. With Windows 8ista it can only get better!

  3. Typical corporate mentality. No matter how many times this strategy hasn’t worked for long as Ballmer is CEO, they will continue to go down this road.

    1. Isn’t MS simply attempting to mimic Apple by providing both the software and hardware? It seems MS finally acknowledged Apple had the right business model from the start.

  4. I’m seeing a full blown surface strategy from the palm to the wall. I see it taking place extremely rapidly. You can operate your Windows 8 Phone, you can operate your Windows 8 mini-tablete (you know there’s gonna be one), you can operate your hybrid computer/tablet, you can operate you television, you can operate your Wall. All consistent.

    Meanwhile Apple is struggling to a half inch added to the iPhone.

    We can joke about Balmer all we want. This is looking a well thought out strategy. He’s not behind it. More interesting minds are.

    Yeah yeah I know. Microsoft is stupid and we stick our tongues out and no one is smart except Apple.

    1. You do remember you’re talking about the company that brought out Vista and thought the bleating sheep would just lap it up and be happy?

      “Yeah yeah I know. Microsoft is stupid and we stick our tongues out and no one is smart except Apple.”
      Well — they seriously don’t seem to have an ounce of innovation between them. Where is ANYTHING in the mobile space that not just a wannabe iPhone or a wannabe iPad? Besides any rancor, I’m truly baffled at the blinding lack of original thought and business initiative with ANY of these companies.

      1. Hey! TM makes a good point. Even the most hard-core of Mac/Apple fans here on MDN can look objectively at the situation and render an opinion that may be that M$ has a good strategy. Look at the 7 inch tablet issue. We all recognize that it’s a weakness in Apple’s iPad strategy and hope that they correct it, but it doesn’t mean that we’re on our knees in front of Samdung’s CEO.

    2. Ballmer is a genius I tell you! The Zune, the Kin, the “Surface (caution, vaporware ahead)…all of the wannabe products and presentations.

      MFST Stock Price July 12, 2002 = $27.42
      MFST Stock Price July 15, 2012 = $29.74

      Ten years of utter genius I tell you!

    3. That will never be realized regardless of how much of it might seem to be in plain sight. Besides, what’s the advantage of that anyway? Each of these will have very different use cases. Wouldn’t it be better to create the most optimal interface for each use? Sure consistency would be great if it actually made sense, but it doesn’t and I don’t see how Microsoft’s products are all consistent or even could be?

      Microsoft has one goal, which they’ve made clear over and over, “Windows Everywhere!” It hasn’t gotten them “anywhere” in the last decade. Tablets = “no where”, UMPC (remember those?) = “no where”, Netbooks = “now where?”.

      And speaking of strategy… The best are the one’s you don’t recognize until you’re hit over the head with them. Being able to see a strategy before it’s fully realized, is never a good indication. It usually means it’s only surface deep or an after thought.

      Microsoft bought this company for one reason, customers. If they can buy up the market they usually do. They certainly didn’t gain any technological advantage; there is no reason Microsoft couldn’t have designed and built their own huge-ass wall touch display and run their own software. Hell, I already thought it was Microsoft’s. (Mainly because it seemed to be fairly crappy. How many times did those talking heads have retouch something or reattempt to drag things or pan around. Seemed very unresponsive.)

    4. T I M. Hmmm, have you considered an iPad and a 50 inch tv with Apple TV??? All CNN has to do is use the iPad in front of them, and Airplay to the big screen. What they see is what they get.

      Use an app that lets you touch screen to highlight or mark local areas of screen and away you go.

      Just a thought,

    5. This reminds of some rambling I heard from Bill Gates a few years ago. He was talking about how very soon, every table, wall, other furniture surface would be a MS touchscreen. People would look at history books and be amazed that there used to be tables couldn’t surf the Internet. It sounded completely ridiculous to me. I think Apple’s strategy makes much more sense – put touch screens in thin portable devises, and leave walls and tables as is.

      You can always place an iPad on table top or wall mount anyway – building a computer into furniture just doesn’t make any sense 99% of the time, in my opinion.

  5. Well. I guess they will need a screen the size of a window to display all the “tiles” you need. What a stupid OS. Making icons up to 1/3 the size of the screen?!

    1. Where some the tiles aren’t icons but update with content, and the icon ones are all the same color. So you end up with an inconsistent, jarring interface that is simultaneously boring, flat, and low contrast. It’s just not thought through with real-world use cases.

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