29 December 2005

PC or people – who’s the boss? [CNET News.com]

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Even though the days when computer-human interaction revolved around the C: prompt are far behind us, one legacy from that era remains.

Despite sundry advances in operating systems over the intervening two decades, it’s still not entirely clear who’s the boss: the human operator or the PC.

For the folks who helped usher in the C:-prompt era, it’s a matter of high priority. That’s one reason why Microsoft’s research division just hired Bill Buxton, a designer and expert in human-machine interfaces.

Buxton will focus on software design issues that stem from the “society of devices” taking shape now. As more people begin to use mobile phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants) or cars and appliances with on-board computers, software makers have a whole new set of challenges not seen in PC software.

CNET News.com spoke to Buxton about the importance of getting design right in the emerging world of ubiquitous computing.

Read full interview

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