Delay in technological innovation: the "MS Surface" case

Glenn Derene in Popular Mechanics address the reasons why it took so long for Microsoft Surface to be "finally here":

"Microsoft's initial plan was to put a very limited number of Surface machines in stores and hotels with demonstration software just to show what the thing could do. But now AT&T has come along and leapfrogged over that demo mode to Surface on a larger scale—and in a much more useful way. (...) What struck me at the time was that the hardest part of the project seemed to be complete (...) All that was really left was for partners to design software customizing the Surface platform to their businesses. But that part of the equation seems to have taken forever. (...) What's ironic is that Microsoft has traditionally been a software company (Surface is one of the few pieces of hardware it actually makes), and it has all the necessary programming talent to build generic templates for Surface (...) it seems that Microsoft is more interested in launching what could be a breakthrough product solely with image-conscious partners who want to use the Surface as an attention-grabbing, brand-building device (...) this particular delay was probably more a result of the bureaucracy of complex business partnerships than of any defects in the design and engineering of Surface itself. But the end result is the same: Those of us who get excited about new technologies feel disappointed, and maybe even a bit embarrassed, for our own initial enthusiasm."

Why do I blog this? The article interestingly illustrated the gap between the glamorous projected at first by a technological innovation such as Microsoft Surface and where we stand one year after (" a classic example of how a lot of hoopla followed by a long delay can drain much of the excitement out of a technological innovation"). Especially when examined in the context of other interactive surface projects (also mentioned in the PM article). That's of course a common situation in the tech industry.