Microsoft’s “2019” Video

This article originally appeared in Canadian Developer Connection.

One of the things we saw at the behind-closed-doors, Microsoft-eyes-only TechReady 8 conference was the 2019” concept video shown to us by Business Division President Stephen Elop. Since then, the video’s gone public, with his showing it recently at the Wharton Business Technology Conference and its appearance on Long Zheng;s blog, I Started Something.

The video is a montage of “slices of life” in the year 2019, and shows a vision for how people could be using technology in their everyday life then. Don’t think of this video as an attempt to predict the future; they’re notorious for being hilariously wrong in retrospect. Instead, think of it as inspiration for future projects, a source of ideas for applications and user interfaces and a way to shake loose any assumptions or fixations you might have about how applications should work. As developers, I thought that you might find the video (it’s 5 minutes, 38 seconds in length) an interesting watch, and possibly even the spark that gets you started on your next project.

For those of you who are the type to analyze still frames from your favourite movies, you can see some close-ups of the future user interfaces featured in the video in the PowerPoint deck that Stephen Elop used when he showed this video.

5 replies on “Microsoft’s “2019” Video”

I saw a video like this from HP or some other large company waaaaay back in 1997, on video tape of all things. I wonder how it would stand up now, over 10 years later. That is something I would LOVE to find again on the internet if only I could remember the details.

Ha. It’s always cool to watch these things, but I’d bet money that in 2019
1)We’ll still be typing on keyboards (tactile feedback).
2)We’ll still be printing stuff out on paper, especially stuff like boarding passes.
3)We’ll still primarily be using audio-only phones (only in sci-fi are people willing to answer their video phones right out of bed.
4)Teleconferencing in schools will still be prohibitively expensive, and more importantly, prohibitive to maintain (“Teacher! Bobby-Sue just scratched the screen with her pen!”, and teachers will still resent the surveillance possibilities).
5)We’ll still have very limited touch screens (fingers are too large for conveniently small devices, and accidental button-pushes cause problems).
6)Navigational tools will continue to be limited to one’s person (who wants to sort out their directions from everyone else’s, and who wants to advertise that they’re lost).
7)There will still be very low adoption rates among those with grey hair.

That’s just so amazing! It might not happen in 2019, but I am sure that it will come true! I am just so attracted to this kind of interactive media! I often think if the new Kindle is thin like paper and have the texture of paper, wouldn’t it be nice! For people who miss the old days, they can grasp info from TV and drop into the newspaper, which is a symbol of old days. The commercial is like Harry Potter for me. Seriously, I really look forward to that day!

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