A Microsoft Future Vision


In February of this year, you could see the following video of Microsoft’s vision of how the world might appear in 2019.

<a href=”http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-GB&playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:a517b260-bb6b-48b9-87ac-8e2743a28ec5&showPlaylist=true&from=msnvideo” target=”_new” title=”Future Vision Montage”>Video: Future Vision Montage</a>

Now as reported by Gregory T. Huang, Craig Mundie gave some more insights on the Future Vision in helping to kick off Microsoft Research’s 10th annual faculty summit. These were the top five takeaways from his talk:

1. It’s all about the natural user interface.
Today’s devices are able to understand voice, handwriting, and touch commands better than ever before, but nobody has really put it all together yet. Advances in computing algorithms will lead to software that is “better at anticipating what you might want.”
2. It’s time for the digital assistant—but fear not, real assistants.
In a demo, Microsoft researcher Eric Horvitz talked to a “robotic receptionist” (on a screen) to schedule a meeting. The software used machine vision to track Horvitz’s movements, gaze, and orientation to the screen, speech recognition to understand what he was saying, and speech synthesis to communicate back to him—all in real time.
3. It’s not all about the cloud.
As we move to continuous, contextual awareness, the idea that we can time-share these things is not practical. Processing, communication, and integration with any other software needs to be done locally, not by a remote server in the Internet cloud. – clearly countering the Google approach to the cloud.
4. It’s four devices, not three.
Mundie outlined four types of devices in his broader view of computing: phones, laptops, desktops, and something he called “specialty computers.” These are handhelds specialized to do certains kinds of computationally intensive tasks, like environmental forecasting, medical imaging analysis, or even delivering prenatal care in rural regions of a developing country.
5. The room is the successor to the desktop.
In the office of the future, there will be high-definition displays on walls, a keyboard projected onto a desk surface, gesture recognition software that lets you move things around on a digital whiteboard, a digital assistant on the screen, a video conference with a colleague with interactive graphics within the video screen, and so forth.

This Microsoft vision is certainly an impressive display of what may well be available.

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A Microsoft Future Vision — 13 Comments

  1. Barry, I didn’t doubt that Microsoft did have a very solid and mind-provoking takeaways for the Microsoft’s next 10 years development. However, I’m still think it’s very hard to beat up the Big Daddy, Google, no matter how hard Microsoft is trying…

  2. Couldn’t they come out with a ‘lean’ or ‘lite’ version of their software for tech users? Once you turn off the bells and whistles, MS is not too bad.

  3. I find this amusing. If anyone sees the future of technology nobody with a brain would deny it is Apple.

    Microsoft is, as always, years behind and desperately try to copy what Apple does. All the cellphone manufacturers are going flat out trying to copy the the iPhone.

    Then Microsoft think they have the accurate vision of the future ????

    Maybe if they spent a little time making their OS secure instead of infested by thousands of viruses etc I would take them more seriously. Until then I see Microsoft as nothing more than a PR and propaganda company desperately trying to make good on promises and usually failing.

  4. Lovely video and some interesting ideas, though many of the “ideas” already exist on the iPhone. It would be a lot more thought provoking if they showed a video where Microsoft no longer existed because bulky companies that make inferior products eventually fade away.

    I’m not totally anti-M$, I still use Excel occassionally, but I have a hard time thinking of them as a company that is innovating towards the future. They are large and influential enough that they can often dictate the short-term future and force their audience to adopt it, whether it is in the best interests of the audience or not (witness Vista).

  5. Microsoft is really good at software industry. However as Skywolf said, Microsoft software contains a lot of bugs. The concept itself is very innovative but if let say the digital assistant fails to do the job, it will be very annoying for the customer.

  6. As always Microsoft is very good at telling people what wonderful things will come in the future when much of what they are talking about already exists on the Apple platform. Then when they eventually succeed in copying it they try to convince people it was all their idea.

    MS has great marketing but lousy products.

  7. MS is trying hard to beat its competitor and I’m sure they are focused on their vision for the future.I think that the rivalry between MS and Google is going to do good for us only.


  8. I think that if microsoft is to survive the onslaught of new technology that is coming out from the likes of Google and other software developers then focusing on a niche like “Natural Interfaces” could be key. I think that deep down people would love technology to more fully reflect the subtle elements of daily life and what better way to encourage online users to adopt your technology than by doing this.

  9. Microsoft is drawing further away from all of their competitors .. Now microsoft already launched game console, the project natal, the best gaming console yet :)

  10. Hahaha, that’s very amusing, predictions in the past have been off by so much its amazing, what makes this any different?