Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Commentary on Microsoft's vision of the future

Today I read a list of items that someone took issue with in a video created by Microsoft and repeatedly dismissed by tech pundits such as John Gruber, among others. After watching the video, which to my eyes only shows a vision for what technology can become, I couldn't help but write this response to the list.
And here's my response to the list (also posted as a comment on the blog):
Talk about focusing on the unimportant minutia and missing the point completely. How utterly presumptuous of Microsoft to have a vision and create a video to express some their ideas.
In response to your list…
1. Font. Seriously? Who cares? Obviously fonts are something that can be changed in an interface, and really it’s more a matter of taste than anything. So lay off.
2. Uni-taps. It seems to me that every time a tap happens, a little microphone icon shows, indicating that voice input is being used. Even for the copy/paste operation the nice lady performs. Maybe that’s why it’s not confusing to anyone. I know it’s a stretch, but you need to imagine that they’re speaking even though you can’t hear it.
3. Gadget dimensions. It’s clear that this video represents all future device development, and that all categories of device are represented here.
4. Input methods. So your expectation is that devices won’t get better at handling a variety of different inputs, and manage them more effectively? Or that new input methods will be devised and used in different ways for different devices?
5. The hand pause. Have you actually used a touch device? There are typically a lot of hand pauses while you wait for visual feedback from the device. Try a kids education app (such as the one in the video) and you’ll see that a lot of the interactions are very similar to the one depicted here.
6. You hate Office. We get it. So do we. Get over it and don’t use it.
Seriously, what is your beef? I’m no lover of Microsoft products myself, but this video shows something we don’t usually get from them, including creativity and vision. Rather than smacking them down for it, maybe they should be encouraged to pursue these lofty goals. It might actually help make for a better tomorrow.

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