Microsoft teases mystery hardware

Microsoft has released two images of an as yet unnamed device, which it says it plans to release "soon".

The images, first spotted by Engadget, were shared on Twitter yesterday and today by Microsoft's newest Twitter account, Microsoft Hardware, and show a sleek, black backing of a mystery product.

"Don’t be so touchy…flat is where it’s at," one tweet says, with another earlier today pointing to a second image of the device.

Speculation about what the device could be is running amok, with rumors including a new Microsoft-built Windows Phone 7 smart phone, new Zune device or a tablet computer, all of which seem unlikely given the Microsoft Hardware team are usually prone to working on desktop peripherals.

What's therefore more likely to be revealed is a Microsoft trackpad to rival Apple's recently released Magic Pad, which brings the ability to use touch interactions on any Mac computer. Then again, it could be just about anything.

Microsoft says it plans to release more information about the upcoming device "soon".

Update: Microsoft Hardware just tweeted "Thanks for all of the guesses for today's sneak peek image. We'll release another image soon to give you a better idea of what's in store." 

Image Credit: Engadget

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A mousing device that doesn't need to be glued to the desk would be nice. If it is a wand-like device, hopefully there are sensors that can pick up where you are pointing, etc.

Maybe it's a multitouch wand. I seem to remember MS hardware dabbling with input devices in a form factor similiar to harry potter. a multitouch device you can wave around.....

Possibly a track pad with the matt/rubber coated place being where you rest your hand (non slip) and the gloss bit you utilise.
Then again could be a phone

Ambroos said,

A final, combinated version of what you can see in these videos. Problem solved!

Wow... it could be the Side Mouse + Cap Mouse combined!

vette said,
iPhone case to fix antenna problems....j/k lol

Really? I'm no fan of Apple or how they handled that situation, but is that REALLY still funny to you? I'm sorry, but that's just really reaching hard to try and fit that mess into this article, and its getting pathetically old. My advice is to let it go.

I don't think this is a phone since the sides taper opposite of how most phones are currently designed. If we're looking at the backside, it appears to be tapering from back to front rather than tapering from front to back. Ironically, I think this design offers better ergonomics. A device is much more comfortable if the wider surface faces the palm, allowing the fingers to curve over the taper to the front. Of course, this would mean that the screen is smaller, which people would complain about.

I'd really be digging a replacement for the Trackball Explorer right now. Or even just shove the same thing out again. They're going for twice (or more) what they sold new now on Ebay. My arthritis (since 35!??) is bad, but I don't mind the trackball at all. The other trackballs out there are just yuck.

mrmckeb said,
Jsut so everyone knows - Microsoft Hardware (the brand) are responsible for mice, keyboards, controllers and webcams only.

I don'th think it will be any of the above, usually there isn't this much tease over a mouse or keyboard. Although if it is a mouse, it's a touchscreen mouse like the magic mouse.

mrmckeb said,
Jsut so everyone knows - Microsoft Hardware (the brand) are responsible for mice, keyboards, controllers and webcams only.

Yep exactly, of course it will be an input device

80% probable is a Microsoft Phone, maybe trying to pull a Nexus one to push the Windows Phone platform.
15% probable it's just another thing
5% probable its a Zune follow up
0% probable it's a tablet. The "Microsoft" brand name it's too big on what it seems to be the back to be a tablet, would be to ugly to be real. Also from the form factor and what appears to be the surface texture looks definitely like a one hand device.

Bern@rd said,
Notice the microUSB/HDMI Type D connector in the lower left...

Exactly what I was going to point out.
I BELIEVE that is a HDMI connection so Im going for that it is a phone.

Oh wow the stupid Apple Magic Trackpad who in the world would buy that piece of cr- OOOh, the Microsoft Surface Pad, gotta get one of those!

Stetson said,
Oh wow the stupid Apple Magic Trackpad who in the world would buy that piece of cr- OOOh, the Microsoft Surface Pad, gotta get one of those!

That was retarded.

Stetson said,
Oh wow the stupid Apple Magic Trackpad who in the world would buy that piece of cr- OOOh, the Microsoft Surface Pad, gotta get one of those!

That was retarded.

LiquidSolstice said,
That was retarded.

but, he's probably right.
This is definitely some form of multi-touch input device.

I'm going to guess that's it's the MS hardware answer to Apple's magic mouse, or whatever they call their multi-touch mouse.

Einlander said,
It looks like the battery case for something seeing as the word Microsoft is upsideown from the picture

Yep, it sort of does look like a phone. The phone would be laying face down, and the picture is taken from the top of the phone, looking towards the bottom.

Just glancing at it, it looked kind of like a wireless charging pad.... It kind of has the texture like the touchstone for the Pre. The glossy part of it could hold a screen or something...? Highly doubtful but would be cool.

i wonder what it is...
doubt it is a zune or tablet.

where is the second image???
EDIT: seen the second image. still no idea.

my guess - input device (and i dont claim i came up with this idea)

panacea said,
i wonder what it is...
doubt it is a zune or tablet.

where is the second image???
EDIT: seen the second image. still no idea.
my guess - input device (and i dont claim i came up with this idea)


They've been combined - to form the image above.

It does look like a touch enabled mouse... kinda boring really. And "flat" is not cool for a mouse, flat usually means uncomfortable. So maybe it'll be slightly interesting

warwagon said,
What ever it is, it will be a total let down.

Microsoft origami anyone?

Origami is a tech sample for the Metro UI concept. It's also pretty cool, especially if you stick it on a touchscreen PC.

mrmckeb said,
Oh oh! Australian launch? No.

Australian launch was rumoured internally as October--same with Indie Games.

NB: This is pure rumour that has been spreading internally around Microsoft AU and connections to Corp. Don't quote me

ascendant123 said,

Australian launch was rumoured internally as October--same with Indie Games.

NB: This is pure rumour that has been spreading internally around Microsoft AU and connections to Corp. Don't quote me


If it does I am seriously going to wet maself
Has been waiting for zune sooo long lol

danisflying527 said,

If it does I am seriously going to wet maself
Has been waiting for zune sooo long lol

The Australian Zune release will probably be the Windows Phone 7 release in Q4

pyehac said,
with an imminent iPod Touch refresh, I'd say its an updated Zune HD

With how fervently the Zune team claims to not compete with iPod touch, I doubt they would bother. The just released a 64G version of the ZuneHD a couple of months ago.

I really hope it's a Windows Phone 7 phone. I also wish they would create their own desktop/laptop hardware to go along with Windows.