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Microsoft Shows Off ''Radical'' New UI

A demonstration provided by Microsoft Research at TechForum Monday has ignited speculation that a "radical," colorful user interface used in a presentation may very well be what's coming in Windows 8 in the coming years. The bubbly UI was seen running on Surface 2 and accepted direct input from a Windows Phone 7 smartphone, the HTC HD7.

Presented by Microsoft Chief Research and Technology Officer Craig Mundie, the UI auto-generated colored bubbles rather than icons: blue represented specific personal and social features like Facebook, Twitter, and so on; green represented work-related features such as the current presentation; yellow represented special interests such as listening to music, watching movies and more. The size of the bubbles also indicated a specific level of importance-- the bigger the bubble, the higher the importance.

During the presentation, he highlighted one green bubble encasing an airplane icon. This bubble indicated that something was going on with a particular scheduled flight that he needed to address. Using the phone as a makeshift motion sensing remote, he clicked on the bubble and thus revealed information that his flight was indeed canceled. The UI thus went through his calendar, checked the weather for possible problems, and then found other flight options, but awaited his authorization before rescheduling. The UI then rearranged all the bubbles on the screen to reflect his new schedule once a flight was accepted.

What made this interface even more interesting was that Mundie was able to use the WP7 smartphone to navigate through the bubbles buy tilting the phone forwards and from side to side. "Our view is that computing is getting embedded in everything, and everything is getting connected," Mundie said during the closing discussion. "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."

To see the presentation, check out the YouTube video embedded below:

  • ubergeek
    Is it April 1st already?
    Reply
  • soundping
    Don't like it.
    Reply
  • alikum
    What if I'm color blind?
    Reply
  • alikum
    What if I'm color blind?
    Reply
  • digitalrazoe
    What the hell is Microsoft thinking ? No.. SERIOUSLY !!! If I wanted some bubble laced GUI I would go out and drink a fifth of something bad and run into a brick wall !! Can't they just make an OS that works ? no fancy gidgets or widgets . No stinking wavy windows . Just give me something that can serve my Editing platform, Audio studio, and the occasional website I decide to visit.. this cloud/control soft-n-fuzzy stuff has to stop! May work for "my first computer" but it just BLOWS for us thats been around these things for any length of time! ( I think I just threw up in my mouth...)
    Reply
  • reprotected
    Horrible. No questions asked.
    Reply
  • ta152h
    It's March 1st, right? Not April 1st?
    Reply
  • bobusboy
    dear god no.
    Reply
  • compton
    My guess Windows 8 won't use this, at least not in the way presented; there will be some aspects of this in the next release, but this UI will be more for appliances. Like a Windows appliance in your home, like a TV where the visual cues will give you information on your "connected life" at a glance.
    Reply
  • shadow187
    A lot of people already have an extremely hard time understanding icons..

    Also, Windows Aero in Win7 actually requires a better-than-intel GPU..I wonder what this will require.
    Reply