Microsoft's Surface taking a while to, you know, surface

While the tech demos are always sure to draw a crowd, Microsoft's Surface is still having trouble making it past the prototype stage. Originally slated to show up in a few commercial venues this year, applications of the tech have been pushed back to next spring at the earliest. Microsoft has plans to build devices for Sheraton hotels, Harrah's casinos and T-Mobile retail spots, but CNET reports that all the custom software needed and a lack of a one-size-fits-all solution for customers has Microsoft struggling to ship anything just yet. That said, there's still plenty of interest in Surface -- Microsoft says it's received 2,000+ inquiries from companies around the world and in many industries -- and while initial versions of the tabletop device are going to range from $5,000 to $10,000, Microsoft hopes to have a consumer-affordable version in three to five years.