Feature: Soapbox Musings

GUI, WIMP And MPG...Huh?

Author: Richard Keggans
Published: June 06, 2011 at 8:29 am

Ah, acronyms - you gotta love 'em. The three examples above relate to the current and future state of the computer interface. The "GUI" (Graphical User Interface) refers to the way we interact with our computers and computer devices. We use graphical representations of items on the computer to help us use the computer in the ways we want.

The "WIMP" part is "Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointing devices", which is what desktop computer operating systems typically use now - Microsoft Windows, Apple OSX and some Linux interfaces.

MPG is "Multi-touch, Physics and Gestures", the most well-known example of which is probably the Apple iPhone/iPad. Seeing the current fascination with tablets and smart phone devices, this seem to be the way things are heading - particularly since after seeing the recent video on Microsoft Windows 8.

Rather interestingly, Microsoft chose to showcase it's MPG version, rather than the more "traditional" Windows 7- type WIMP interface. Even some Linux versions are leaning in this direction, since the popular "Ubuntu" Linux recently launched a version with a very MPG - leaning interface.

While we are not quite at the "Minority Report" type interface shown in the science fiction movie, one can imagine it's not that far away from the mainstream, since it's now possible to control video games on both the Wii and the XBox 360 with physical gestures. The times, they are a-changin'...


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Article Author: Richard Keggans

Blogging baby boomer, originally from Scotland, working and living in the USA since 1982.

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