Microsoft demonstrates future Windows UI concept

By Tom Warren, on 26th Feb 11 6:32 pm with 17 Comments

Microsoft recently demonstrated a new concept user interface of a Windows in the future.

The interface was shown off during a recent Microsoft open day at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. TechFlash’s Todd Bishop was part of a small group of journalists and analysts invited to the Microsoft campus earlier this month. Bishop has posted a video of a new user interface shown off during his recent visit. Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, Craig Mundie, describes the UI as an abstract model of the things that happen in people’s lifes. Mundie controls the interface with just gestures from a separate device. The idea is that there’s a radar display and the colours represent activity levels in each part of a persons life. Mundie tips a device (likely a phone) to navigate between one section to another.

The interface is one of a number of Microsoft interfaces that the Research team are working on for the future of Microsoft’s products. Microsoft is currently preparing Windows 8 with a new graphical 3D user interface according to rumors. Microsoft is reportedly building a dual-UI for Windows 8. One user interface will feature a tile-based look codenamed Mosh, specifically designed for Slate and Tablet devices. Microsoft’s second new UI is rumored to be codenamed “Wind” and feature a fully dynamic 3D interface.

Microsoft is currently compiling escrow Milestone 2 builds with a view to start work on Milestone 3 in late February. Microsoft’s escrow stage for Windows 8 is a significant stage towards a Windows 8 beta. The escrow stage marks the fact that Microsoft is ready to compile a final M2 build during its development stage. Microsoft is expected to finish one more Milestone phase and then deliver a beta copy of the OS around September for the company’s annual Professional Developers Conference (PDC).

Microsoft may introduce Windows 8 ARM based tablets ahead of a full desktop release according to recent reports. Microsoft’s competitive tablet strategy is believed to be further along than expected. Dell’s recently leaked Tablet Roadmap revealed that the OEM has marked Q1 2012 as its date for a Windows 8 based slate. WinRumors understands that Microsoft has been working on an ARM based version of Windows for nearly a year and that it is laboring hard to bring this to the market as soon as possible. Microsoft has previously promised a “major revamp” of Windows for slate applications, that will come in the next version, Windows 8.

Microsoft has so far been extremely quiet on the Windows 8 front. Windows Chief, Steven Sinofsky, took to the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January to introduce a technology preview of Microsoft’s Windows ARM support and show off an early build of Windows 8. Microsoft is partnering with ARM-based manufactures NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments to produce new Tablet devices.

Steve Ballmer has described the next release of Windows as the company’s “riskiest product bet”. It is understood that Microsoft will feature deep cloud integration into the future OS to realize its vision of “three screens and a cloud”. Microsoft is also working on a new application model codenamed “Jupiter”. The app store will provide access to new, Silverlight based “immersive” applications that are deployed as AppX packages (.appx), according to reports.

  • Imran Hussain

    I hope it’s not a UI for future Windows ( or Xbox ) . Really lacks usability

    • Daniel Hartshorn

      agree completely while it would work well in internet TV

    • Anonymous

      It could work for something like an xbox. Big bubble acts as a home location, and the increasingly small bubbles act as menus and sub-menus. It would let you see details from menus up and down a level from where you currently are, that could come in handy.
      This type of interface might would be good for touch devices like a tablet or MS Surface. It’s simple and unique if anything.

  • GP007

    MS tries out lots of different UI concepts and sees what parts work and what don’t and then they tend to take the good parts from different things and fold them into one. It’s always good to see a concept like this but it’s a pretty radical one to say the least. I don’t expcet any dramatic UI changes for WIn8 like this one, the tablet mode they rumor about will probably be a hybrid of WP7 with tiles, gadgets and use of full panaromas where you see the whole thing and not just sections like on the smaller screen of a phone.

  • Viruela22

    OK Tom but on this page in the last video appears a tablet seems novel and works very well and smooth, this link:

  • Pradeep Viswav

    This is not future Windows UI … Its just a concept UI.

    • Tom W

      Yes, just like the title says, concept.

  • Florin ✔

    I do like the concept itself but I don’t like the way it’s implemented. The fact is, I do want a much more intuitive experience but I don’t want a Chrome-like OS with everything stripped out. I’m sure there’s a solution that would please the majority, even though they haven’t found it yet. They will…eventually.

  • Gabriel

    Even its just a concept I really hated it, it took away all of the escence of Windows itself.

    • john

      just so long as Aero goes away, I am happy.

    • Keno Butler

      ?? are you stupid?

    • Anonymous

      Aero really looks nice :) Don’t know what you’re talking about

  • Manish

    MS is working on may research projects and not meant that the above shown concept is for the main-stream windows. I has been trying to have different flavours of Windows for different kinds of product. This may be for some future product.

  • Anonymous

    Cool vid, poor copy/paste article though

  • DavidinCT

    It might have some uses in a game console or a dedicated hardware box but, not Windows.

    Interesting concept tho…

  • 10_26

    The concept of it anticipating what I want makes me think of the ribbon in office which I hate. I think I would hate this much much more.

  • guest

    Sad. $9.5b in R&D and that’s the best they can do? Why are they even demoing concepts to the press? Notice how Apple NEVER does that. But then they ship innovative products and don’t have to convince a skeptical audience.