Microsoft's laptop-free future in pictures

Microsoft's laptop-free future in pictures

Summary: Within the next decade, Microsoft suggests, smart devices everywhere will be able to recognise individuals and fire up apps and intelligence to match that person — a scenario that calls for a single overarching OS

TOPICS: Emerging Tech

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  • Translator Glasses Microsoft

    In the future, business people will not need to carry a laptop around with them to get their work done, Microsoft believes.

    Instead, smart devices in connected rooms will change their settings according to the person using them, it has predicted.

    In a video released on Tuesday, the company presented its vision for what productivity will look like in the next five to 10 years. It's the sort of world where you can walk into a hotel room and the television immediately displays your favourite channel; the alarm clock sets itself to your preferred time to wake up; the coffee machine works out whether you prefer black or white coffee and begins making you a cup; and the nearest tablet becomes your own personal computer, complete with all your files. 

    Much of the video is based on the idea that powerful computers will be embedded in the world around us. These will be imbued with software-based intelligence to respond to the user's needs, according to Microsoft. In this scenario, a business traveller's glasses translate the audio announcements in a foreign airport to help them find the taxi rank and get a car sent for them.

    Screengrab: Jack Clark

  • Augmented Reality Microsoft

    In Microsoft's future, the identity of the person determines the environment around them. For example, the windows in this taxi call on the user's calendar and a geographic database to display an augmented reality view of the city.

    Screengrab: Jack Clark

Topic: Emerging Tech

Jack Clark

About Jack Clark

Currently a reporter for ZDNet UK, I previously worked as a technology researcher and reporter for a London-based news agency.

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  • They would, wouldn't they?
    The problem lies in the differing requirements of each piece of hardware: either such an OS will be overwhelmingly inefficient, or hugely wasteful of power. It's the old management trio, speed, cost and beauty, of which you have to trade in one against the other two, a beautiful fast woman won't come cheap. In this instance, they're bidding for beauty, leaving the question which of the other two you want to lose.
    However, at heart any system involves a simple cycle, input-process loop-output, with cycle interrupts and storage IO in the far end of the process loop. That hardly requires something as grandiose as an Operating System, and if everything's farmed out to drivers, then the existing CPU Assembly instruction set should suffice. Pair that with a disciplined file extension key and Bob's your uncle. A much kinder one than the endless Bill we'll end up paying otherwise.
  • I want the hotels crappy tablet or my own souped up laptop with the capability of using it's own components to make the experience even smoother? The PC will not be dying anytime soon, not that you said it would :)
    roger andre
  • Wouldn't it be great to be able to hold up a photograph (3d?) of someone and access their computing?