Those Giant Fox News Touchscreens Are Microsoft Perceptive Pixel Displays Running Windows 8

Huge iPads or tiny journalists? That’s the question that many are asking after Fox News released a video detailing a new set that includes a number of analysts sat before massive touch interfaces. The screens measure 55 inches, run Windows 8 (soon: Windows 8.1, presumably) and look damned futuristic.

Secret Fox News hardware? Something that Samsung kicked together for the company? Nope, just Microsoft’s PPI display technology deployed in the wild, the company confirmed with TechCrunch. Microsoft’s PPI business comes from its acquisition of Perceptive Pixel in July 2012. Microsoft, through that acquisition, is now an OEM of some of the largest touchscreens in the world; PPI displays also come in an 80-inch variant.

For fun, here’s a shot of long-time Microsoft denizen Craig Mundie poking a PPI display at TechForum on Microsoft’s campus this March:


And here we have Shep Smith’s crew using their own PPIs:


According to Smith, Fox News can toss the images of any of the displays on air when they wish. The skinning you see above (from black to white) appears to be in place to let the displays match the color scheme of the new studio.

Aside from it being simply neat of Fox News to use the displays, it’s a nice moment for Microsoft: The company has found an early commercial use for the technology. Inside of Microsoft you can better tell the pecking order by who has a PPI display in their office, compared to a whiteboard, if you were curious.

I spoke with Microsoft’s Eric Rudder in March, who told me that the multitouch slate screens cost around $7,000 for the 55-inch model. Once that goes through a few product cycles, PPI displays could become affordable enough for the rest of us. For now, I’m jealous of Fox News for the first time in a long time.

Top Image Credit: Screenshot via Seth Fiegerman