Surface computing is the use of a specialized computer GUI in which traditional GUI elements are replaced by intuitive, everyday objects. Instead of a keyboard and mouse, the user interacts directly with a touch-sensitive screen, replicating the familiar hands-on experience of everyday object manipulation.
Major innovations in the surface computing field are attributed to Apple, Inc and to Microsoft Corporation. Apple had demonstrated surface computing interfaces intended for professional use since 2006, with no expected product release date. Microsoft unveiled plans for the Microsoft Surface in May 2007. The Microsoft Surface seems to be closer to production, with devices intended for consumer use at large establishments such as hotels and casinos.