The look of "new" computers

Engadget has some pictures from a design competition sponsored by Microsoft. The company wanted industrial designers to think about what personal and office computers might look like in the future.

Some of the designs are interesting, and suggest that what we call a "desk" may change dramatically as displays get larger and we spend more time (if that's possible) connected.

But some of the designs are just goofy, like the computer that looks like plant, and, well, something that also apparently doubles as a vase for flowers. I'm just not sure I want to be pouring water into a vase that also holds all my business data or the family baby pictures.

And the first design, as Engadget points out, may make Microsoft happy but otherwise makes no sense at all. It is a computer that looks like a shelf of books, and you add content by plugging big, bulky square things into the "bookshelf." It forces you into buying music and videos in a format Microsoft and the music/video/TV industry loves, but your computer keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger as your music/video collection expands.

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