Skip to main content

Longhorn - and the UI of the future will be

"Among the features shown off were transparent windows, animated windows that pop open and a new taskbar on the righthand side of the screen that displayed a clock, buddy list, and news and other information streamed onto the desktop via an RSS feed. "

ooohhh...ummm - don't I already have that? (hopefully it's an intelligent RSS feed that combines from multiple sources) Quite frankly I don't WANT my news streaming onto my desktop - I have too much news right now when simply clicking on newsfeeds in Outlook (thanks to Gator)

Granted I was not present but if this is the best the news media had to offer about it...I'm worried.

There is something to be said about "cluttered" windows (which is why Apple trotted out their new Panther software with a better Alt+Tab view). People today suffer from information overload.

The System Tray was supposed to only hold a few icons but now every company loads onto it so much it looks like an old TSR list in DOS.

The problem with running streams exclusively from an RSS feed is you still need to filter out the junk and it needs to be intuitive. For example, my feed may be on Blogs but you know there are so many stories or posts every day on various Blogs news sites that what I really need is for "something" to say "This is important because it was really a worthy news story instead of just a regular post."

I thought of this when I re-watched the Knowledge Navigator video. Apart from a "talking head", we have a lot of this today. Yes, it could certainly be better and it needs to be. Maybe it's more like an intelligent MSNBC newsfeed, that tells me the news when it happens ("Roy Horn attacked by tiger") but no more on a single story unless I actually ask about it. ("did something happen about Roy Horn lately?" or "find Roy Horn")

These features are already available in the best news aggregators and it also needs to start being available in regular email.

My biggest fear in reading about the graphical look of Longhorn is that it really is simply taking all of the great stuff that is ALREADY available and putting it into the O/S. Sorry - but that won't fly in an age when free and public source add-ons do the same.

(consider FoxPro - GENSCRNX was public domain and became a virtual "built-in" add-on for every developer).

What the industry needs is some serious innovation and not just in "better file-systems" or "transparent windows", something that actually increases productivity.

Right now, there are too many distractions on the desktop that prevent users from doing things. I want to work on a project, I have to shut down my email, and my IM, etc just so I can get work done. Why can't the OS do that for me?

It wouldn't be that hard - an O/S that intelligently hides things that aren't being used (so they don't even show up in the Alt+tab or task bar) but then re-appears them when the task is complete. Of course, it would also need to be able to interrupt a task if it really was important.

As I write this, I've got 6 windows open but also about 6 other things on my System tray. One of my windows is Outlook because I pulled up this news story because of it. But it is 7am and no one is actively looking for me. What needs to happen is that while I'm actively working, the O/S senses that I am hard at work and thus, automatically puts everything on "hold" until I finish.

Now that isn't something that can be easily shown in a 15 minute demo but it does introduce a REAL PRODUCTIVITY increase for those users who currently are feeling information overload with too many things on the screen (like a newsfeed), and are being distracted from doing what their jobs really need to be.

Gates trots out Longhorn | CNET


Popular posts from this blog

Well, that explains CodePlex...

In a move that will be sure to anger open source (or rather anti-paid software, anti-Microsoft open source)  zealots, Microsoft is planning to buy GitHub . A year ago, I mused about why Microsoft would shut down CodePlex and how the world needs competing source code repositories to be strong. I'm not the only one per this Slashdot article  : "...   people have warned about GitHub becoming as large as it did as problematic because it concentrates too much of the power to make or break the open source world in a single entity, moreso because there were valid questions about GitHubs financial viability...." - Jacques Mattheij I will be interested in seeing this play out - whether developers jump ship or not. Have all the efforts Microsoft has made in pushing towards open source be seen as genuine or will all the zealots jump ship or maybe even attack? Microsoft's comment about why they shut down CodePlex referred to how spammers were using CodePlex. Well, GitHub

Attending Southwest Fox 2019 could change your life - Find out how

Southwest Fox is coming up in October and as I do every year, I spoke with the organizers Rick , Doug and Tamar on the FoxShow. Deadlines for Southwest Fox: Super-saver price (before July 1): $695 Early-bird price (before August 1): $770 Regular price (August 1 and later): $820 This year, I took a different approach with separate shows for each organizer but the main message is still the same : July 1st is their Go/No-Go date. Conferences don't talk about this very often. I don't think developers really question if Apple will hold their WWDC in June or Microsoft will hold their Build conference - but that's because those conferences are vendor-led. Southwest Fox is a community-driven conference - it's not driven by a company with an agenda. Listen to the interviews and you can hear how important each of the organizers feel the live connection between speakers and among attendees.

FoxInCloud Stats

FoxInCloud sent this link a while back about their statistics regarding visits to their site: What's interesting here is the breakdown of people. Yes, I think it's understandable that the Fox community is getting older. Another factor is the growth of the mobile and web environments taking over development. These environments really do push people towards the newer non-SQL or free SQL/hosted environments but more towards hosted storage options like Amazon and Google. A tool like FoxInCloud that helps MOVE existing applications to the cloud inherently competes with those environments. But FoxInCloud also allows developers to extend their application further by giving them a starting point using Javascript and the basic CSS (such as Bootstrap). If you're not rebuilding your application from scratch, it's certainly a great step forward. FoxPro VFP