Microsoft buys maker of CNN’s ‘Magic Wall’

Microsoft has announced that it will acquire Perspective Pixel Inc., the company behind CNN’s Magic Wall.

Microsoft will combine the Perspective Pixel large touchscreen monitors and underlying technology with its Windows 8 operating system, which is slated for release this fall.

This isn’t Microsoft’s first foray into interactive touchscreen technology. In 2007, Microsoft released “Surface,” an interactive tabletop touchscreen device.

Early on, Surface was touted as a solution for restaurants and retail establishments, but MSNBC, with ties to Microsoft, opted to use Surface for its 2008 election coverage, while other networks selected Perspective Pixel.

Microsoft recently resurrected the “Surface” brand for its new line of consumer tablets.

CNN’s Magic Wall rose to fame during its 2008 election coverage, with anchor John King becoming closely associated with it.

Signifying its time in the limelight had indeed come, Saturday Night Live lampooned the technology in an October 2008 skit, notably using a Perspective Pixel-powered screen instead of a imitation.

Earlier this year, CNN applied for trademark protection for its Magic Wall moniker.

The Magic Wall also gained some notoriety over the years. In a notable incident in January, anchor Erin Burnett saw the technology go awry during a live segment. “Colbert Report” anchor Stephen Colbert quickly fired back at CNN with a lesson in “flickology,” prompting Burnett to reply with her own zinger to Colbert: “I want to flick with you.”

Anchor Anderson Cooper also was quoted as saying: “Again with the social media screen? This is the third hit and I still don’t understand what the hell this thing shows!”

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