WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. and REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 13, 2008 — Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Microsoft Corp. today introduced an entirely new hotel guest experience with its debut of Microsoft Surface, Microsoft’s first commercially available surface computer. Featuring easy-to-use technology and a natural way of accessing information, Surface units will be placed in the lobbies of select Sheraton hotels in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Microsoft Surface breaks down the traditional barriers between people and technology, providing simple and instant access to information and entertainment. Sheraton will be the first hotel to offer Microsoft Surface, creating a new Sheraton brand experience that will bring interaction, connectivity and a social setting to the lobby, providing guests with an entirely new way to explore local tourist highlights and enhance their hotel stay.
Microsoft Surface is a 30-inch display in a tablelike form factor that several guests can use simultaneously. The intuitive user interface works without a traditional mouse or keyboard, allowing people to interact with content and information in a more natural and familiar way, by using their hands and gestures. Sheraton will unveil Surface today at five hotels: Sheraton Boston Hotel, Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, Sheraton Gateway San Francisco Airport Hotel and Sheraton Seattle Hotel.
With each unit, Sheraton is offering a customized version of the Microsoft Surface developed suite of applications to provide entertainment and information about local attractions. Surface, and these unique applications, are designed to serve the needs of the brand’s core guests who are social individuals seeking to share the travel experience with one another. The placement of the Surface units in Sheraton lobbies enables guests to leverage and experience the offerings in a social way. Three highlighted applications are the following:
CityTips®. At the guests’ fingertips are the Surface 360-degree satellite maps and tools to search for local restaurants and bars, entertainment, recreation, shopping, transportation and services, such as banks and pharmacies. Guests can discover all a city has to offer by simply moving their hands across Surface.
Sounds of Sheraton. Microsoft Surface also serves as a lobby-based digital jukebox, enabling guests to create personal music playlists by choosing selections from Sheraton’s exclusive offering of Sony BMG artists, including John Legend, Kenny Chesney and Lauryn Hill.
Sheraton Snapshots. Guests can explore Sheraton hotels and resorts throughout the world by simply browsing the Surface photo library of Sheraton resorts and hotel properties to help them plan for future business or leisure travel.
“Sheraton is redefining the hospitality experience by offering our guests technology that will allow them to interact with each other and our hotel in a revolutionary way,” said Hoyt H. Harper II, senior vice president for Sheraton. “We are proud to partner with Microsoft to offer the groundbreaking Microsoft Surface product, which will enable our guests to stay informed, connected and entertained while traveling.”
“We’re excited to be working with Sheraton in its efforts to feature innovation and redefine the guest experience in its hotel properties,” said Pete Thompson, general manager, Microsoft Surface. “Surface takes a common activity, such as looking up information about a local city, and transforms it into an intuitive and social way for hotel guests to plan their visit. We believe this is just the beginning of how Surface will completely change the hotel guest experience.”
Sheraton Locations Featuring Microsoft Surface
Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers – 811 7th Ave. 53rd St., New York
Sheraton Boston Hotel – 39 Dalton St., Boston
Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers – 301 East North Water St., Chicago
Sheraton Seattle Hotel – 1400 6th Ave., Seattle
Sheraton Gateway San Francisco Airport Hotel – 600 Airport Blvd., Burlingame
About Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
Helping guests make connections at more than 400 hotels in 75 countries around the world, Sheraton is revitalizing its iconic brand while continuing its aggressive international expansion by adding 54 hotels and 20,000 guestrooms by 2009. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries and 155,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched AloftSM, and ElementSM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
About Microsoft Surface
Microsoft Surface brings to life a whole new way to interact with information that engages the senses, improves collaboration and empowers consumers. By utilizing the best combination of connected software, services and hardware, Microsoft is at the forefront of developing surface computing products that push computing boundaries, deliver new experiences that break down barriers between users and technology, and provide new opportunities for companies to engage with people. More information can be found at http://www.surface.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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