CNet is reporting that Microsoft's much-lauded "Surface" multi-touch table displays are encountering delays in reaching the market.

Microsoft had apparently originally planned to ship production versions of the technology by the end of the year to businesses but has delayed delivery until Spring 2008.

Sheraton hotels and T-Mobile retail shops are confirmed as customers for the tables, that could be used as ordering points for food and drink, or to demo and provide info about products.

"What we have found out is this is not a one-size-fits-all solution", said senior director Mark Bolger of the Microsoft's Surface computing division.

At around $5000 per unit, the Surface is too expensive for most people to afford for home use but Microsoft say that it will only be between 2 and 5 years before a more affordable option can be offered.