Microsoft Dreams of a Taskbar-less Utopia

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Really intriguing stuff about interface design news we found by way of Usernomics: I Started Something is reporting that Microsoft was just issued a patent for a new taskbar-less interface for Windows. They’ve got the whole patent sheet laid out on the site for you, with explanations for each piece. It seems really unusual, using something called “clipping lists,” but we suppose that’s the way it would be with taking something so thoroughly engrained as a taskbar, in OS X, Windows, or otherwise, and approaching it in another direction. It’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out (in 2092, when it gets released). Here’s some:

Their proposed solution, one of many I’d imagine, detailed in over 30 or so odd pages can be summarized as thumbnails with an icon – “A clipping comprises an image of a region of a window and an icon.” To picture what that might look like, imagine each of your minimized application buttons represented by a ’tile’ and an overlaid icon with text. These tiles would then be stacked vertically on the side of the screen looking somewhat a sidebar.