Microsoft Germany Creates Digital Piano Using 88 SurfaceRTs (Video)

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Employees at Microsoft Germany have put SurfaceRTs to creative use by creating a digital piano using 88 tablets. Four employees play a simple tune in lobby at the MS Germany offices near Munich.  Little is known about how the employees went about creating the project at this time.

via Neowin



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Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • arorak

    And what’s the use of this? Microsoft needs to manage its resources well and put it on to do stuff what is needed, specially on WP team. That’s the fastest growing market and microsoft is lagging there big time limiting its hardware vendors. It’s been close to 3 years now, so there is no more excuse. Microsoft has to deliver not just the missing features but to provide features which other platforms don’t have yet.

    btw, looks like there is tons of Surface RT inventory sitting at Microsoft’s office.

    • nohone

      It was a couple guys who collected a few tablets sitting around the office and having a little fun. It doesn’t mean that there are stacks and stacks of unused Surfaces laying around and they need to find a way of getting rid of them, first, each employee got one (just like Apple and Google give each their employees phones and tablets), and going around the office asking each to borrow their tablets would not be a hard thing to do. Companies also have a number of devices they use for testing, so gathering them up to film a short video wouldn’t be a tough job.
      And what does WP have to do with any of this? Just because somebody works at Microsoft dos not mea they are developers and can be taken off of one product to work on another, such WP. These people could be build engineers, localization, help authors, and even if they were developers, you do not want to take them from one project and threw them at another – that has the potential to make the code worse, letting a developer jump into an unfamiliar code base and start changing things without understanding the impact of making changes.
      Finally, what is wrong with letting employees have a little fun sometimes. Forcing them to work nonstop without a small diversion now and then makes for grumpy employees. I hope I never have you as a manager.

      • arorak

        Keep Ballmer and company as your manager. I am a happy programmer and don’t intend to be a manager anyways.

        What WP has to do with RT? A lot IMO. If i am not wrong, in near future RT and WP will merge. Both run on arm. And if i am not wrong, in near future RT and WP will merge (depending upon how soon Microsoft does it)
        I am NOT against employees having fun. I am one of them and i know I need it time to time and I am sure there are tons of surface tablets available at redmond for people to play around and just do anything.
        Thats not to say people at google and other companies dont have fun. They are on roll and i just hate to see microsoft moving slow in everything. You might disagree, maybe u work or have worked at microsoft. But that’s how i see it.

        Sure they will bring all the features and will merge platforms maybe 6 months, maybe year or 2 years from now. If you happy waiting, good for you. I am not one of them. Sure this might not be a good article to bash Microsoft, but I m just pissed off.

        • Ben A

          if you done wait why can you fuck off and stop bitching and use a different product like normal person would do. Im sick and tired of whiney bitchy people like you.

          • arorak

            I don’t give a fuck to what you say either.
            You have nothing valuable to add but a bad words. Go get a medicine you sick.

          • AB

            You are following what you preach Ben A.

          • AB

            Are you? arorak

        • Ben A

          good things come while you wait. if your done feel free to throw all your Microsoft in the garbage because nobody here gives a fuck.

        • nohone

          I definitely think that Microsoft needs to do more and do it now. But to use a short video of some employees having a bit of fun as an example of the supposed downfall of Microsoft, is very misplaced.
          Again, you don’t know what these employees actually do at Microsoft. They could be non-time critical people who have a bit of time on their hands to do this type of thing. In addition to the job descriptions I listed above, they could be testers who’s job it is to test scenarios like this, and they did a good job of it. They could even be marketing people – imagine one of the iPad commercials where they show the standard iPad piano commercial, but with surface they go so much farther and have a giant keyboard in addition to the so many more things Surface can do above the iPad.

        • nohone

          (hit send too soon…)
          No, I have never worked for Microsoft. I make my living off their software, partnering with them, and the better they do the better I do, so I want them to do better, release better software faster to increase my paycheck. But to search for another reason for them to fail, rather than promoting them, does not help. Apple/Google have plenty of failures, and rather than dwelling on them, why do the Apple/Google fanboys focus on the successes? I am not saying that Microsoft should not learn from their mistakes, but we as consumers of their products have so much to be excited about, that works well, and by being excited about those, it will help in other areas.

    • grs_dev

      How is Microsoft limiting hardware vendors?! What are you expecting WP to do at this point beyond what it can currently do as an OS? Run on 64K for fuck’s sake?

      Enough with the notification center crap and the lockscreen shit, and the sound controls. Let’s talk OS here! What do you fucking want the Kernel to do that it doesn’t do today and that other mobile OS platforms do!?

  • FateStayNight

    Hey, that’s the song from the windows 8 advert ;)

  • Duel

    Well they have to do something with all those unsold tablets :)

    • PoohGQ

      Lol.. Stop it now! I love my Surface RT and get a lot of use out of it..

      • JNate

        hahah!

  • SategB

    Hmmmmm with iOS there is an App for that. I guess that is the advantage of having developer support.

    • PoohGQ

      Yes! My Surface RT has an app for that too, but does your iOS device have an app for full Office, Thumbdrive support, Keyboard cover, build-in kickstand, monitor support, etc..?? Phew!! :P

      • Tips_y

        LOL!

    • nohone

      There is one for iOS? I can find small piano apps on the app store, but not one to use across multiple devices like this.

      There are piano apps for Win8, just like on iOS. You would know that if you actually used Win8, but instead you would rather troll and claim there are none with out any real knowledge of what you are talking about, revealing your ignorance. There was not one for the Win8 store that spanned multiple devices, just as with iOS. So these Microsoft people created one that does much more than the, in regular Apple manner, limited in functionality and usability version available to iPad users. How many apps for iOS are there to use 88 iPad to create a full piano? One thing we can be sure of – Apple will soon create one, call it new and innovative, throw millions of dollars in marketing at it, charge the price of a real piano, and require everyone buy a new iPad to install it.

      • grs_dev

        @noh_one:disqus
        I get your point assuming they actually assigned a different octave to each tablet or set of tablets. What I don’t get is why did they need 88 tablets to do it!

        There could be some actual innovation here in this work. It’s hard to tell from the video and the story. Are they saying they got the 88 tablets to collaborate somehow over wifi? blutooth? what?

        @stageb yeah, there are multiple apps for that actually on the Windows 8 store just in case you were wondering!

        • nohone

          This was not a marketing ad, it was just a few people having a little fun. You know as much about as I do about the setup from the few minutes of video, so I cannot go into anymore detail about the setup than you can. My guess is that someone saw the movie Big, saw the iPad commercial with the piano, and thought “we can do better” then wanted to share it with others.
          If your fun time must have a purpose other than just trying to get some enjoyment out of life, then you need to find a different hobby.

        • Tips_y

          The modern piano has 88 keys, each one representing a different note. So I would think that each one of the 88 Surface tablets represented an equivalent note of the modern piano keys.

          • grs_dev

            Yes, I was thinking the same thing too, but why need 88 tablets when clearly more than 1 key could fit on 1 tablet. Anyway, I still think there is some sort of story behind this. I hope they shed more light on what they were “playing” around with…

          • Tips_y

            Quite right – they could have done it as you suggest. But I think it’s way too cool the way they did it, don’t you think?

    • Tips_y

      You can find several of those apps in the WP store, in fact I have two installed in my phone for the kids to play with – so nothing exceptional, unlike what you have there in your iPhone which would be exceptional, revolutionary, and innovative /sarcasm.