Microsoft research chief talks 'computing rethink'

VIDEO: A glimpse of a radical new Windows 8 UI?
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Microsoft has shown off some of the firm's research into new user interfaces which could herald a radical new change due in the firm's Windows 8 operating system.

In the video Microsoft research chief Craig Mundie says that "we found ourselves at a point which I think maybe one of the biggest shifts in the evolution of computing ever," suggesting that future computer interfaces may be "more like us."

A short section of the video shows a radical new user interface based on round window bubbles, a radical departure from the icon-based Windows desktops of old and a clear move towards the ability to interact without fine mouse control.

"What's really going to happen now, with the arrive of more and more powerful computers with a lot more integrated information, is that we're going to be able to expect the computer to work on our behalf. not just work at our behest."

The UI is shown running on a large screen television, remotely controlled by a smartphone touch screen. Even if the interface is nothing to do with Windows 8, the video does show that Microsoft is thinking about a variety of new user interface ideas not confined to keyboards and mice.

The public discussion of blue sky research into user interfaces could be seen as an effort to assert the software giant has no intention of repeating the Microsoft's much publicised failure to adopt to touch screen interfaces.

You can see the Microsoft video "A Look Ahead" below:

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