Beyond Microsoft: Chapter 5

Chapter 5: The Invisible Interface “[I]increasingly rapid technological changes are likely to significantly change user interfaces. We are at the dawn of an era where user interfaces are about to break out of the ‘desktop’ box…” – “Past, Present and Future of User Interface Software Tools” September 15, 1999 Brad Myers, Scott E. Hudson, and Randy Pausch / Carnegie Mellon University The iPod Secret Five years ago, I walked into a small Silicon Valley room to meet a tiny interface company called “Pixo.” I was there with a team of Adobe senior scientists to present our vision of the future. We hoped that Pixo might be able to help us achieve that dream. Yet as our Adobe engineers described the coming wave of mobile devices and multimedia players, there were sideways...

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Beyond Microsoft: Prologue

Prologue — Victory to Defeat: 1994-2004 Ten Years in the Trenches Microsoft’s obituary was first written in 1994. Companies like Netscape, Sun and Oracle were rising threats on the Internet. Yet Bill Gates rallied the troops and together our team faced down the “Internet tidal wave” that threatened to swamp our company. By 1997, I was part of the horde of ex-Internet developers and business leaders who left Microsoft and worked as a consultant in the burgeoning Website development industry. Eventually I was asked to join Adobe Systems – creators of PhotoShop and Acrobat – to work on a new Internet Products Group, shipping development suites that would compete with creative tools like Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia DreamWeaver. Adobe’s team were excited...

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Beyond Microsoft: Index

Read the prologue and three complete chapters for free online…. and buy the ebook on Amazon. PART I: Beating Microsoft 1994 – 2004 Prologue: Victory to Defeat: 1994-2004 CHAPTER 1: Winning the Browser, Losing the War… The Internet Rises Again CHAPTER 2: Revenue to the Wind… Web Services and .NET Chapter 3: A Bridge to Nowhere…. Windows Vista Without End Chapter 4: Overfed Cash Cows… Irrelevance of Microsoft’s Office Model PART II: Burying Microsoft 2004 – 2014 Chapter 5: The Invisible Interface… No-See-Um Solutions Chapter 6: Software as Utility… How to Add Value in a Commodity World Chapter 7: Beyond Branding… Marketing as Function, not Form Chapter 8: Embrace and Extend… Using Microsoft Against Itself PART III: Beyond...

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Glasses as the Ultimate Interface

Brain interface glasses! I have to admit this has been my ultimate dream, for a long time. In fact, I even wrote a chapter in my technology book about “invisible” or nearly invisible interfaces as the wave of the future. In February 2008, there’s finally a high-fidelity brain to computer interface — they even have an acronym (BCI)! As the article on GizMag points out, we may think we’ve come a long way, but the keyboard and mouse remain the predominant way we interface with computers. We’ve had the unfulfilled promise of handwriting and voice recognition and hope that something better will come along sooner or later. Perhaps this is it – brain computer interface technology pioneer Emotiv Systems will have its EPOC neuroheadset...

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Multi-Modal Computing – What it could mean

Multi-Modal world, as envisioned, back in the day at Adobe. In 1998, there were research groups looking at multi-modality, and by 2000, folks involved in standards creation were already thinking about multi-modal inputs. Today, Google has a group devoted to multi-modal inputs, although the Wiki is a little bare. New stuff over at IBM on this topic. CTG (from whom I borrowed the accompanying graphic to this post), specializes in multi-modal input computing.   facial expression and gesture inputs Now that we have finger inputs, what about facial expressions? My wife said I was “smug” the other day. How did she read that expression? Could a computer read such a subtle expression? Or just sadness vs. smiling (small children find it difficult to tell...

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