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Microsoft's vision

by Kyluke McDougall on 5 March 2015

A glimpse into 2020 by Microsoft.

This just reignites my excitement for technology and the developments that are being made. Most of the technology displayed below is already available in some form or another but to see the end result of where we can take this is phenomenal.

See more here: Productivity Vision

Satya Nadella's vision of Microsoft is an awe inspiring representation of where he wants to see the company in 2020.

The idea seems to be that technology will surround our lives seamlessly. We will no longer have 'devices' but they will be around us. They will freely be available to you at any given moment and the ownership moves from device to data.

In the first video, there is a part where the micro-biologist books a co-working space. She walks in, authenticated by her wrist band, and is greeted by a large flat surface which loads her work with a quick connection to the same wrist band that granted her access to the building.

We are moving towards a world in which our personal computers will no necessarily need big hard drives or many resources. Small, fast SSDs with the operating systems are all that is needed. Our user profiles, data, applications, preferences, work spaces and log ins will all be contained in servers connected to the internet, available to us at all times. We will log in and our profiles will be downloaded and ready for us to use regardless of our location, the device we use or the connection we are on.

Time spent waiting for your profile to download? Probably the same amount as your current log in times.

This shifts ownership from device to data. The devices we use become irrelevant. Whether I am working from my tablet, laptop, co-working space (the concept of which I freaking love!) or meeting room projector/screen/hologram/whatever-else-microsoft-conjures, my work space will always be available to me. Allowing me to pick up exactly where I left off.

Which brings me to my next point. Applications, Operating Systems and file systems. Files and folders will no longer be represented in a file browser to the user. Every file will automatically have it's own set of contexts and will be available from within applications and searches.

Instead of opening a folder or seeing your traditional 'desktop', you will be greeted by a work space which contains the applications you need right now based on your location, time of day, calendar entry etc etc. You will have access to the most relevant data based on the context you find yourself in and the data will no longer be housed in files but rather in applications.

In other words. When you wake up, you will lean over to your alarm clock and see the weather for today, your schedule, small but important notifications and perhaps suggestions for a great breakfast based on what's in your fridge and how long it takes to make.

As you've eaten and gotten dressed, you look at your smartphone and it shows you traffic, route times and your schedule for the day. Perhaps even school schedules for your daughter or details on what you still need to sort out for your next trip to the Alps. It shows what is important to you and what you want to see.

At work, as you walk in, your computer boots up, logs in and displays the project that you need to work on for the day. It connects everyone you are working with to the same work space and you will be able to interact then and there with them via video calls, work sharing and proper collaboration.

At no point in time will you interact with files, the operating system, configurations or network connectivity. This will mold to your current needs.

The Internet

Will disappear. You will not open your browser or visit a web page. You will never be disconnected. The internet will literally be compared to the air we breathe around us. Never gone and always available. You will not interact with the internet the way you do now.

This is where we are heading and I am excited to say the least. You can already get a glimpse of this future by looking at the tech available now and being worked on.

  • Windows 8 settings and profiles are always synced across devices.
  • Windows 8 metro; which tries to present the user with applications and contexts rather than files and folders (too soon for the world)
  • Apple's hand-off feature
  • Google Fibre
  • Windows 10 and it's VR headset
  • Wearables (Android and Apple watches)
  • Cortana, Siri, Google Now
  • Google Glass
  • iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive etc
  • The Internet of Things

It's happening as we speak and once the puzzle pieces are developed, all we need to do is put them together to paint one complete picture.