Microsoft's touchscreen Surface tabletop computer will go live in American AT&T stores in a move that the software company says will "transform the way consumers shop for mobile devices".

AT&T, the US operator for the iPhone, will become the first company in the world to "bring Microsoft Surface to life" in a retail environment, giving customers the ability to browse and shop using touch and device recognition technology.

The Microsoft Surface, the first commercially available surface computer from Microsoft is a 30-inch table-like display that gives people the opportunity to interact with devices and content by using touch, gestures and the placement of devices on the display.

As from 17 April, AT&T customers can experience Microsoft Surface in select AT&T retail locations, including stores in New York City, Atlanta, San Antonio and San Francisco.

Microsoft recently said they hope to have a consumer version of the Touch ready by 2011.