ZDNet’s Rafe Needleman reviews Microsoft’s office of the future, Center for Information Work. He writes Recently, I paid a visit to Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, campus. Between meetings about Lonestar (the next version of Windows for tablet PCs), the company’s small-business strategy, and other topics, I wedged in a tour of the company’s office of the future, called the Center for Information Work (CIW).
My tour guide, Tom Gruver, ushered me into a large oval room that reminded me of an exhibit at Epcot. Workstations were arrayed around the room classroom-style, facing a main station where Tom held court. Each desk had multiple flat-screen monitors, and some had multiple computers, tablets, or PDAs. All the screens in the room, including the displays projected on the walls, ran red-orange backgrounds, as if to reinforce the idea that what we weren’t looking at the blue-schemed Windows of today.
My office of the future, is not so much about the technology but about how it physically fits together. Wireless technology, connecting all the hardware to eliminate all wires would be great.
Tom took pains to explain to me that what I was going to see was akin to a concept car at a Detroit auto show. The company was exploring new ideas and customer reactions to them, and the items before me were by no means ready for production and might never be.
That was a real bummer; I could really use many of the things Tom showed right now. But others made for great demos that left me wondering what magic would have to be invented before they were ready for the real world.