Microsoft predicts a 'poetic age' of software

Annual user conference kicks off in the Gold Coast

Microsoft has forecast the future of software development, labelling the developments to follow the Natural User Interface (NUI) as “poetic”.

At its annual user conference, keynote speaker, August de los Reyes, Microsoft’s former principal director of user experience, discussed the shift to the user experience, specifically the move to NUI and the philosophy behind what’s next.

By looking at the differences between the command line interface and the graphical user interface, de los Reyes, said he was able to extrapolate “guiding principles” around NUI, and beyond.

According to de los Reyes, the three ingredients behind the “next thing”, include semantics, syntactic and pragmatics.

“The semantic relates to how two things can be right and wrong at the same time… this kind of phenomenon is called dualism and the trend that we’re talking about is the rejection of dualism… where two sets of ideas are that seem discreet are somehow related and they’re usually presented as opposites or two ends of the spectrum, like body and soul, culture and nature, the subject and the object,” de los Reyes said.

Syntactics was the second element discussed, which refers to “algorithms” existing within people, basically in the form of culture and trends, which is leveraged by NUI to become intuitive software.

Lastly, de los Reyes talked of pragmatics, or horizontal thinking as opposed to vertical, a structure he likened to the “aborescent” tree menu.

“What’s interesting about this is these three ingredients… braid into the fabric of another discipline, which is poetry,” he said. “As we start looking to what’s coming ahead, not just natural interface but to what’s coming beyond that… I would argue that we’re about to embark on what I call the poetic age of software.”

Demonstrating the move to more natural interfaces, without using a mouse or keyboard, Microsoft used a surface tablet, a tablet PC, and Windows Phone 7 to show IT professionals how it would power multiple screens via the cloud.

The annual Microsoft user conference, Tech.Ed, is being held on the Gold Coast from 24-27 August with approximately 2700 guests in attendance.

Chloe Herrick travelled to Tech.Ed as a guest of Microsoft

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Tags Microsoftsoftware developmentTech.Ed 2010

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