MS plans UI that helps novices

First there was the C: prompt. Then came BOB. Now Microsoft thinks it has developed a better way to let users control their computers.

In short, keep it simple, stupid.

At Wednesday's Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference, a company executive discussed for the first time plans for a "scalable user interface," which would tailor itself to the expertise of the user.

While giving no timeline for its introduction, Jim Allchin, senior vice president of Microsoft's personal and business systems group, said the new "scalable UI" would enable a Windows-based machine to adapt to a user's level of technical sophistication