Is the Computer Desktop an Antique

    After 20 years of point and click, we're ready to handle multiple interfaces within a single operating system. Bring on the zoom!
Steven Berlin Johnson has written a great article in Slate (with some additional commentary on his blog) about the divergent approaches/directions Apple and Miscrosoft have been taking with regard to desktop and application UIs. With Apple's iApps, the company is implicitly making the argument that the "one interface fits all" model doesn't work for organizing some types of data -- each iApp provides a unique interface for dealing different file types. Microsoft's Longhorn is going in the direction of making one interface work for browsing all kinds of data that might exist on your computer.

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This article was pointless. Of course different types of data require different interfaces. That's why you don't use the same interface for Word and Excel. This revelation may have been revolutionary when VisiCalc came out, but not today.

I think the point here is tha

I think the point here is that different approaches to file management are appearing. Apple and Microsoft are looking at user perspectives of file management and manipulation and are thinking of different ways to evolve beyond what's been offered in the past. What seems to be happening is that the OSes are trying to offer more format specific file handling and manipulation right into the OS (The Mac's Finder & iApps or Windows' Explorer). I don't think he's simply talking about the fact that different formats require different interfaces, I think he's talking about the evolution of the human-computer interaction at the level of the OS.