A Year Ago: MS plans flexible UI

Microsoft will phase into future versions of Windows a flexible user interface that gives users Internet-style navigation and customisation options. The firm made the announcement at the Microsoft Developers Conference in Los Angeles.
Written by Martin Veitch, Contributor

"We want to address a new set of users with an adaptive, intelligent user interface. There will be seamless connectivity with the broader public network ... the Net forces us to bring [desktop and Internet] together and the ultimate client [will be based on] a component architecture that brings them both together. You'll simply think about access ... personal productivity applications will become more like enhanced Web pages with toolbars and menus and [will come with] a tool set to [let users] customise options. There will be a pervasive use of the page and link metaphor," said Paul Maritz, group VP applications and platforms.

The beginnings of the process will come with the integration of Internet Explorer 4.0 into the desktop of the next version of Windows 95, referred to by Microsoft as Windows 9x, or by its Memphis code-name.

In a live satellite link from London, Microsoft CEO and chairman Bill Gates referred to "uniform information browsing for help, mail, files, the Net", and reiterated his company's commitment to introducing speech and gesture recognition.

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