Microsoft Partners now offered Microsoft Surface SDK

If you're part of a company which is enrolled in the Microsoft Partner program, and you are lusting for the ability to try out Microsoft's Surface SDK, your wish is now granted. According to Ars Technica, Microsoft has opened up the SDK to three different levels of Partners, each with bigger benefits than the tier below it.

To get access to it, you'll have to join what Microsoft is calling the Surface QuickStart Program, which has the three aforementioned tiers; the lowest are called Microsoft Surface Community Members, a step above that are called the Surface Partners and the highest level are Strategic Partners. We've included a chart below detailing the benefits, thanks to Ars Technica. Please note the Partners level is the one in which the SDK is offered, and above; Community Members aren't allowed.

If your company is not already a Microsoft Partner, then you'll have to go through the following steps to become one:

  • Ensure you have a Windows Live ID.
  • Use said ID to sign in to the Partner Membership Center
  • Answer a couple questions about yourself and your company, which won't take long.
  • Accept the Microsoft Partner Program Agreement.

If you do get a chance to test this out, please fire back in the comments on how it goes.

Neowin took a look at a bunch of Surface applications at Microsoft's PDC 08, here's the kind of applications you can create:

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This looks nice and impressive. This has a lot of potential. Personally though, I kept thinking "Big, non-portable iPhone!" :-P

Big iPhone Really?

Since when did the iPhone add optical surface touch recognition? I thought the iPhone was just a multi-touch device, like you can find on some Tablet PCs going back to 2004.

There is a HUGE difference between a multi-touch device and a 'surface' device that actually sees the screens. Multi-point interaction is just a side effect of what surface is doing.

When you can place an object on an iPhone screen and it can SEE what the object is, then it would be JUST LIKE THE SURFACE... And to date the only 'portable' devices that do this are alive in Microsoft Research Labs, sorry Apple fans.

winrez said,
did you buy a Surface Unit already?

Its still to high of a cost for my business to buy one yet.

No... It looks like the SDK comes with a simulator.

GreyWolfSC said,

No... It looks like the SDK comes with a simulator. :)

Simulator you say...../me says prayer to the torrent gods that this appears at some point.