Throughout this year Microsoft has been running a competition, in conjunction with the Industrial Designers of America (IDSA) to: “Rethink the Windows-based PC experience today and the role it plays in people's lives”.
Of course, this fits nicely with Microsoft’s never-ending quest to increase its hold on our lives and homes, whether it be Xbox 360s or Windows Media Centers, so what better way of helping this process along than by getting us, the people, to do the hard work.
There will be two top prizes of $50,000 USD, one of which will be judged by the big Bill G himself, and another $25,000 USD people’s choice award. The winners will have their products showcased at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
Entrants were encouraged to focus on key areas, “from personal productivity at work or home, to entertainment, mobility and lifestyle.”
Much like that see–through dress on the fashion catwalk that no women could possibly wear without getting nicked for public indecency, or the fibre glass car that would shatter if it got into a fight with a shopping trolley in a car park, some of the ideas are pure flights of fancy.
Nonetheless, they do make interesting viewing, and there's not a beige box in sight. You can even rate the designs yourself at the competition website. Below is a taster of some of the designs on offer.
"The Real Desktop PC"