Microsoft is hoping to bring its exciting Surface technology to the UK within 2008 – confirming to TechRadar that the device is going through governmental red tape at the moment.

Surface has garnered huge publicity since it was launched by Microsoft – bringing table-top multi-touch and shape recognition.

TechRadar has already had a hands on with Surface – which has launched in the US – but we got another look at the Future of Web Applications conference in London and managed to glean some UK information.

Coming soon

"I can't give you an exact date but it will be fairly soon," said Microsoft's Dave Brown – who has the brilliant job title of architecture evangelist.

"I hope it will be this year but I'm not entirely sure. It's going through the relevant bodies for emissions testing and electrical safety and all that sort of stuff but it will be launching soon.

In the UK already

"We've got partners in UK building apps for this with a view to launch as soon as it is available.

"There are devices in UK that our partners have so they can build apps and obviously get the proof of concept stuff ready for launch.

"So you will see apps ready when it does launch but you won't see any in a live environment yet."

UK price?

The Surface technology is very much pitched at businesses in the short term – with a hefty price tag ensuring that the average Joe will not be rushing to his nearest Comet to pick one up.

"They've gone into mass production," added Brown. The cost in the US is $15,000 but obviously what that will translate to in pounds I don't know. Probably a lot at this rate!

"I'm sure price will come down eventually as production costs come down as more people buy them. With all of these things it's higher price when it first appears."