In Pictures: The good, bad and ugly history of Microsoft hardware

Microsoft built its identity on software development. Just refer to the name, and pay special attention to the "soft." But throughout its storied history, the company has progressively become much more of a multi-discipline workshop, producing physical gear alongside ethereal software code. And now we have the Surface RT tablet, the perfect springboard to recount some of the most memorable (and forgettable) products in Microsoft's hardware history.

2007: Microsoft Surface 1.0

The original Microsoft Surface was designed with commercial applications in mind, which is why you will mostly find these touchscreen tables in large hotel chain lobbies or Disneyland's Innovations Dream House at Tomorrowland. The Surface has a 30-inch display and can recognize 52 simultaneous multi-touch points of contact. It can distinguish between different objects such as fingers or dice, and can react accordingly.

The included software has a photo browser, video browser and Microsoft's pinball game. The Surface 1.0 was discontinued in 2011 when Samsung's SUR40 with Microsoft Surface 2.0 software was announced. The Surface software was later renamed to PixelSense when two new Microsoft tablets dubbed Surface were announced in June 2012. Perhaps you've heard of them?

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