Microsoft Surface street art ads pop up in NYC

Street art ads spotted around New York City appear to tout Microsoft's Surface, though so far the company is mum about their appearance.

Lance Whitney
Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Surface Evangelist

Microsoft seems to be taking to the streets to promote its upcoming Surface tablet.

Eagle-eyed residents of New York City have discovered new street artwork gracing the walls of certain buildings, as reported by The Verge. The colorful art depicts the word Surface in a tablet-shaped rectangle with a keyboard below.

A Facebook user named Surface Evangelist posted one photo of the artwork appearing on an unnamed street, while a Twitter user named Amanda uploaded another photo of a billboard-sized Surface ad on a building near East 2nd Street.

CNET contacted Microsoft, but the company said it's not commenting on the ads.

Assuming Microsoft is behind this latest campaign, it's not the first time the company has used the streets to market new products.

In 2010, Microsoft chalked up some of the sidewalks of Manhattan to promote a couple of concerts to kick off the launch of Windows Phone 7. In 2002, the company heralded the debut of its MSN network by sticking images of MSN butterflies on sidewalks and street signs, The Verge noted. In neither case were city officials too happy with Microsoft's graffiti art.

Microsoft will start selling its Surface tablet on October 26 along with the official release of Windows 8.

Surface has elicited a mixed response from Microsoft's manufacturing partners.

Acer chairman JT Wang has expressed concern that a low-priced Surface tablet could steal business from Acer's own tablets. Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing said he believes his company can build a better Windows 8 tablet than can Microsoft.