Microsoft is preparing to 'mass produce' its giant Perceptive Pixel touchscreens

Two years ago, Microsoft acquired Perceptive Pixel (PPI), manufacturer of gigantic touch displays for business and education. PPI's screens were most notably used by Microsoft to show off the 'touch-first' capabilities of Windows 8 at its launch. 

Since that acquisition, though, things have been a bit quiet on the PPI front, although the cost of these immense devices has gradually crept down to more 'affordable' levels. The 55-inch model is currently available for around $7,500 - but that still puts it out of the reach of many smaller businesses, as well as schools and universities, which are all carefully watching their pennies in these straitened times. 

But as ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reports, that may be about to change. Mary Jo highlights a report in The Australian - which she has confirmed via one of her own sources - noting that Microsoft's Stephen Elop spoke yesterday of the company's plans to begin 'mass producing' PPI displays. 

Elop did not elaborate further on exactly what Microsoft has planned, but it seems likely that the company intends to extend the availability of its productivity-focused touch displays, and that could mean new products at lower price-points. For now, this is purely speculation - but the fact that Microsoft is already gearing up to increase production suggests that we could be hearing more about its plans soon.

Source: The Australian / ZDNet | image via NYT

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Hey if they work for Al Roker and Carson Daly why not.... (NBC News uses them a lot on the Today Show if you don't know what I'm talking about)

I think $2500 is very realistic. 55" HDTVs are going for less than $900 at retail, so LCD panels of this size aren't that expensive. Also, the PC components contained therein don't have to be high-end. Nobody's going to be doing CAD work or video processing on these things. It's really all about the PPI components. I'm sure a lot of R&D went into the product, but I can't imagine that the current models have to be priced at $7500 simply based on the bill of materials.

If they can mass produce them and get enough orders from business and schools than it should drop down in price to between $3-4k I'd say. It's hard to see the prices coming down too much, they're giant touch screens AND PCs as well.

At $3k for a 55" version though, tempting.

George P said,
If they can mass produce them and get enough orders from business and schools than it should drop down in price to between $3-4k I'd say. It's hard to see the prices coming down too much, they're giant touch screens AND PCs as well.

At $3k for a 55" version though, tempting.

If it gets that close... I may be game for my office.

MrHumpty said,
If it gets that close... I may be game for my office.

I don't see why not, if it's at $7.5k now and it's not being mass produced then it's easy to see it dropping down to half when it is as long as the volume is there. So the key is to offer a price, get pre-orders so you can then push the volume at production time to meet the price you offered and you're good to go.

MS does have those Nokia factories now, though they're not going to keep them all, I think out of the 7, iirc, they're going to keep 3 maybe? Not hard to see one switched over to making these, or they can just outsource them to someone else, whatever works best to bring the price down.

I was able to use one of these when Windows 8 was in its beta stages. It was a trip to be touching an 80" screen as my touch monitor. These screens are pretty awesome and I'll be glad to see more of them around.