Microsoft's shadow, open source and the next great user interface

Microsoft's shadow, open source and the next great user interface

Summary: I met with Mark Anderson, tech analyst and...

TOPICS: Tech Industry

I met with Mark Anderson, tech analyst and consultant,

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • Interface moving onto the web

    I think the interface will move onto the web and become more simplifies with easy searching for documents and other personal content. Have a look at for the first example of this.
    • Yeah, sure

      The first time that someone needs to use a computer, and they can't because the network is down, the "interface on the web" is dead.
      Roger Ramjet
      • Yes, and......

        The first time the telephone system goes down, the 911 system is dead....

        The first time the electricity goes out, the electronic business is dead......

        The first time..... wait a minute, if everyone felt like you did, nothing would have ever been invented or used, because something might go wrong....

        Go home chicken little! The sky is NOT falling.
    • ... and moving the UI onto the web is good...WHY?

      I have been hearing people argue for the benefits of web-
      integrated or web-mimicking UIs for years, and I've yet to hear
      anyone actually make an argument that included real benefits.

      From a human interface design perspective, the web has been a
      disaster. It's as though decades of lessons learned from human
      factors research were simply erased from collective memory, and
      then re-learned (badly) in the space of about 7 years.

      Remember: The network is not the web. HTTP is not web pages.
      Do not equate network integration with silly web-based services
      like cosmopod.
    • CosmoPOD ...

      This looks like a pretty standard thin client / terminal server model with X-Server underpinnings. With demand for bandwidth exploding, I am skeptical that this model will be around for long -- let along ever become maintream. Some variation of this model has been around since UNIX was invented and has historically been used to offset the high cost of hardware. Today, these models are mostly used for either very simple e-mail delivery and storage or for the delivery of highly specialized applications requiring more security than can practically be delivered to a web browser. In my estimation, a new GUI paradigm is not going to be what it takes to displace Windows.
      M Wagner
  • Delusion

    Having read the remarks by Dollar Bill above, I am convinced that the man is out of step with reality. He is as truthful as Bill Clinton and as visionary as Napolean. They both had their time in the sun, and so now has Dollar Bill. The sun is setting on M$ - I have to thank them for being so belligerent, otherwise OSS would never had come into being . . .
    Roger Ramjet
  • definitional question

    You refer to "precense management" in the article, but a google search didn't show up any definition for that -- what is it?

    • Presence management

      First, I misspelled the word...but managing your presence online must be have too many passwords, user names, tools and devices--you presence --who you are, where you are, what information you will allow to be shared etc is the issue...
  • Open Source won't accomplish new UI

    The Open Source process is not suitable for coming up with the next great UI. Why? Because it is not optimized for developing innovative new products. It is optimized for building software that is cheaper and more reliable than existing systems. If you read the Open Source literature, you see that most successful OSS projects start out with a programmer "scratching an itch", i.e. solving a specific problem that they have. Today's UIs work very well for programmers, so what motivation do they have to go out and build a new one? Linus Torvalds has admitted himself that he is *not* a visionary. Why? Because a vision would distract him from doing what he does best, building robust software.

    The other problem is that the Open Source process lacks the economic incentive to come up with a major new interface. As the old joke goes, what would the business plan look like?

    1. Develop exciting new UI that everyone wants to use so much they throw out Windows
    2. Give it away for free, along with the source code so anyone can sell it
    3. ????
    4. PROFIT!!!!
    Ixkorr Oxkarr
    • You are correct ...

      Soon Solaris for x86 will be open source -- but Sun will control the license and will reserve the right to use whatever tools are developed under the CDDL. The GPL removes the commercial angle but, as is pointed out above, without some gain, there is little incentive to innovate. A college student can develop code 'for the fun of it' but the programmer supporting his family needs a financial reward for his efforts -- as does the company for which he/she works.
      M Wagner
    • Maybe - Maybe Not

      Seems like there are a couple of UI's out there for Linux; open source and written for free. Nothing innovative though.

      In time there will be. An open source programmer will have the vision, write the interface and will be very happy with the reward of "I did that!"
      $'s are not the only reward in life.