September 25, 2016

"It looks as though Microsoft stands to garner more criticism if its recent patent filing comes to life in a production software product."

hot hardware: The title of the company's patent filing is “Query Formulation Via Task Continuum” and it aims to make it easier for apps to share data between them, in real-time, so that the user can make more informed decisions when performing searches. by Brandon Hill

'Microsoft feels that the current software model, in which applications are self-contained within their own silos, is detrimental to productivity and potentially slows the user down. “The first application does not provide the browser implicit hints as to what the user might be seeking when there is a switch from the first application to the second application,” writes Microsoft in the patent filing. “The user perceives tasks in the totality. However, since applications are typically disconnected, and not mediated in any way by the operating system, the computing system has no idea as to the overall goal of the user.”

'Microsoft has devised a way to facilitate better communications between apps through the use of what it calls a “mediation component”. This is Microsoft’s all-seeing-eye that monitors all textual input within apps (including text embedded in photos and digital fingerprints from songs currently playing) to intelligently decipher what the user is trying to accomplish. All of this information could be gathered from apps like Word, Skype, or even Notepad by the Mediator and processed. So when the user goes to, for example, the Edge web browser to further research a topic, those contextual concepts are automatically fed into a search query.

'To some people this likely sounds rather creepy and big brother-esque. The Mediator would in essence keep track of everything you type and interact with in the OS and stockpile it in real-time to data-dump into Bing.'

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