Microsoft Sees the Future, and It’s Extremely Floaty

Data hovers all around, at home and at work

This Microsoft video, about future technology making folks more productive in home, work and travel settings, is an awesome testimony to the marketing genius of Apple's Steve Jobs. The clip's narcotized vision of a busy-bee society with pervasive touchscreens and 3-D holographic data feeds flying through the air is so predictably de rigueur (see also: Microsoft's "Home of the Future" video), it borders on self-parody, right down to the poppy-ambient music that sounds like Moby crawled inside my laptop speakers and died. The overarching problem, however, is simply that it's Microsoft. That brand name, deservedly or not, sends images of fouled-up Outlook in-boxes, trash cans crammed with Zunes, and blue screens of death crashing through my head. I was predisposed to disbelieve and ridicule the clip before I hit play! Sure, the Apple world is littered with malfunctioning iPhones with spinning pinwheels of despair. But that reality is easily set aside, because my perception of the brand is so ridiculously positive, honed by years of Mac getting the best of PC and Jobs's giddy product demos at the Moscone Center. If this clip had come from Apple, I would have been psyched to try out the items on display, and maybe, just maybe, for a fleeting digital second, believed such a future might be an ever-so-slightly slightly better, more humane and efficient place than the world we have today. Anyone out there think different?