In the Future

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-05-12 Print this article Print

"In the future, pattern-recognition capabilities will also enable the software to deduce the users activity from context clues and automatically configure the interface and information environment with tools and content appropriate to the activity," Gruver said. Context awareness will result in software that can better simulate the "common sense" that humans use to recognize what information is helpful and relevant, so that search results are more targeted and disruptive background activities do not interrupt people while they are focused on other tasks, he said.
The CIW also shows how advances in machine learning and pattern recognition will further automate the implementation of business rules and preferences, while software will be able to use pattern-recognition and machine-learning algorithms to dynamically sort and personalize environmental variables, as well as search results and information based on user needs and behaviors.
On the search front, emerging technologies use metadata, data assigned to each object within an information environment, to make searches more relevant and responsive, while data that carries tags with metadata that are static—like a document author or date of creation--as well as dynamic--such as rights management status and embedded applications--help solve some of the problems associated with versioning and access, Gruver said. Users may also in the future get the ability to cache search queries and receive notifications when relevant results—even results beyond the scope of the original query—have been added or updated. In addition, implicit queries will provide users with proactive links to people, content and data as they relate to the task at hand. Among the prototype technologies on view at the CIW during the tour is the data lens technology, which allows the user to view large pieces of information and documents on smaller screens; and Microsoft RoundTable, a collaboration and communication tool with a 360-degree camera that promises to deliver an immersive conferencing experience that extends the meeting room across multiple locations. "Microsofts Unified Communications Group, which is focused on simplifying communication and giving people more control over how, where and when they communicate, will continue to develop RoundTable and is scheduled to bring the technology to market in 2007," Gruver said. To read more about Microsofts Unified Communications Group, click here. The CIW also makes use of electronic whiteboarding, which lets people in different locations interact as if they were in a conference room together, using tablet and keyboard input to contribute to a shared space in real time. Automating the archival and retention of all collaboration activities, from team sites and discussion threads to instant messages, meeting activities and application-sharing sessions, in a single logical repository, also helped facilitate compliance and enable knowledge management, he said. "To help our customers boost their individual and corporate productivity, we must continually increase our understanding of the demands facing information workers today as well as the trends shaping the new world of work. The newly expanded CIW is our companywide think tank for cultivating that knowledge and applying it to the next generation of software-based productivity tools," Gruver said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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