Microsoft’s 2010: real-time collaboration concept

The Near FutureStephen from AeroXP has snatched an exclusive from Microsoft’s killer deck of concept videos showcasing Microsoft’s vision for the future of computing. This particular 6-minute long video was produced in 2005 and focuses on the scenario of ‘real-time collaboration’.

The story involves a scientist who was snowed-in on return from his vacation, forcing him to work as well as give a presentation to 900 other scientists all from the hotel room. It’s a story we can all relate to.

The technologies this demo utilities includes smartphones, mobile connectivity, cross-platform communication, Tablet PCs, virtual office synchronization, collaborative editing, professional networking (think LinkedIn), VOIP, internet shopping and remote presentations with video.

This is also a particularly ‘red’ concept with most technologies glowing a warm shade of red for all consistency purposes, or perhaps in 2010, red becomes the world’s favorite color.

There’s a lot to like about this video and all other Microsoft concept videos, that is, everything works like if it was shaped by the hands of programming angels. However, that is also its flaw. Everything clips together like little Lego bricks with other Lego bricks because it was designed for only one purpose in mind, to demo in this prototype.

In the real world, you have standards, protocols, specifications, the European Union and everything else designed to make sure one thing doesn’t work with another unless you pay someone a truckload money. But it’s always good to dream right?

I’m always in awe of how much time and effort Microsoft designers puts into prototypes – concept art, videos and interactive demos. If you think about it, even filming something like this is comparable to a small-budget short movie. So much attention has been paid to make sure everything’s pixel-perfect; animates and interacts as if it were a real product and most times, even better than real products, which leads me to the question “why aren’t real products this good?”.

To end on a light note, I thought the ending scene was priceless. Here’s a few interesting screengrabs.

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42 insightful thoughts

  1. The clip is only 6:44 minutes.

    They should do an example of this setup with college students, sort of how Groove is working towards, there is a huge market there.

  2. Hmmm, why did they created such a video and not a demo app? All stuff could be realised.

    This is different from Apple’s “Knowledge Navigator” concept video, because it was not possible to create this with present technology.

  3. hmmm…. the last part of the video where the guy talks in front of a screen for a presentation looked so much like George Bush.. no kidding

    but for the demo… it looks pretty neat BUT…. UI is still rather cluttered yeah i know it looks FANTASTIC but haven’t u noticed where the part he clicked to pop up the contact cards? wow that’s so many steps to see just one thing.

    ummm.. MS still need to learn a bit from Apple in the UI department…

    simplicity

  4. @ghgfhdhd: you realize that this is not what the final UI looks like, right? And when what you want happens (that is, Microsoft learning from Apple), your people (Apple fans) will scream “Microsoft is copying us!” So what do they really want? For Microsoft to learn or for Microsoft to not copy them?

  5. I loved that video, Microsoft should just release a suit of software applications designed to work together. Sell it in a giant pack (hardware included) and that way no-one can argue the point.

  6. The guy giving the presentation looks like George W. Bush. I love the concept art, I just don’t think we will be seeing any of that in “Windows 7” since that release is considered incremental focusing mainly on short term features such as better multi-core processor support/virtualization and syncronization. But who know’s, we could be wowed then.

  7. Market all you want Microsoft. Just as nothing that the educational publishers create (as late as copywrite 2009 . Not to mention Sims and most of my other games) is compatible with Vista, nothing will be compatible with this 2010 software either. Funny how MS tried to force everyone to purchase new PCs with Vista for one year – but when we all went to special ordering XPs from places like Dell – Walmart & Best Buy suddenly saw the light and began ordering XPs again.

    Let the market control Microsoft now. We have shown our power through our purchases.

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