Windows chief calls for GUI 'revolution'

The PC interface must develop into a multimedia platform where the user can interact with their machines through voice, video and even 3D images, according to Brian Valentine, VP of Microsoft's Windows division.

The PC interface must develop into a multimedia platform where the user can interact with their machines through voice, video and even 3D images, according to Brian Valentine, VP of Microsoft's Windows division.

Speaking exclusively to silicon.com, Valentine claimed that although information will increasingly be accessed through a variety of devices, PCs will still play a strong part in the future as the graphical user interface (GUI) evolves.

"The user interface is still not simple enough to use. We need to revolutionise the design of the interface so that end users feel comfortable using their PCs. The design needs to be activity based rather than application driven," he said.

Martin Brampton, analyst at Bloor Research, believes the browser will become the most dominant interface: "PC applications will be converging towards the browser interface - most tasks will be done through the browser. This will simplify and remove unnecessary functions which will then work together with voice-based devices such as PDAs and mobiles."

Chris Ingle, analyst at IDC, sees the multimedia browser revolution focusing on the consumer market, and leaving the business PC largely untouched.

He said: "The corporate PC interface will evolve very little because its design is application-based, which is suitable for most business use. The consumer side will change dramatically - it will become more browser-based which will cause a sharp rise in Java applications."

SILICON SAYS: Pundits have long predicted the death of the PC, but the platform is proving more resilient than many people thought. That's likely to continue in the business world, but as always, great ideas from the consumer sector will undoubtedly get adopted. We'll increasingly see PC hardware and software companies focusing on audio and video as means of interaction.

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