Earlier this month at TechForum Monday, Microsoft addressed a rumor that Windows 8 will have a radical new user interface. The response Microsoft Chief Research and Technology Officer Craig Mundie gave was yes. He demonstrated this new UI on the Microsoft Surface 2 using his Windows Phone 7 smartphone as a motion based controller.

This UI, which has been nicknamed Bubbles for obvious reasons, uses your daily computer habits to calculate the level of importance a task has for you. It then arranges these tasks into small groups where the more important tasks get larger bubbles and appear closer to the center. Mr. Mundie then showed you can move though the bubble clouds to find what you need such as Facebook updates, new tweets, flight schedule, newly recorded TV shows, and so on.

As part of the demo, Mr. Mundie showed a green bubble related to his current travel plans. It showed his flight had been canceled due to weather concerns. According to Mundie, the compuer then cross checked the weather and airport schedule to show options for a new flight, then waited for his approval of one.

The new interface is nice to look at, but very limiting based on what was demonstrated. I would like to know why the computer decided weather was the most important thing about his flight reschedule? Can the focus be changed on the fly to say cost difference, airline brand, length of the flight’s layover or lack thereof?

I am glad to see Microsoft’s research team is thinking way outside the box (and into a bubble, as it were), but I see a lot of weaknesses for my daily PC use. I do see this being a great HTPC interface for your TV, using a remote with motion control. During the demonstration, Mr. Mundie stated, “Our view is that computing is getting embedded in everything, and everything is getting connected. And more and more the computing will be invisible. Most of where you encounter computing won’t be in front of something you call a computer.”

I find this statement to be both exciting and terrifying.

Source: Tom’s Hardware

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