Ah! Patents, nothing like them to update my blog.

That big Windows 8 leak and some patent applications show what Microsoft planned for Windows 8, my recent finding is titled ‘Direct Computing Experience’. The patent goes describes that how sometimes a laptop is used for watching movies on DVD but since the laptop is more than the DVD players available in the market, the experience is different.

Microsoft plans to make the computer go into reduced functionality mode or in a sand boxed mode in case you plan to use it for a specific consumer electronic applications, such as the DVD player. Quoting the patent application summary:

Briefly, various aspects of the subject matter described herein are directed towards launching a computing device into a special computing experience (referred to as a direct experience) upon detection of a special actuation mechanism coupled to the computing device. For example, a dedicated button, a remote control device, and so forth may trigger a different operating mode, such as by launching a particular application program. The special actuation mechanism may instead (or additionally) cause the device to be operated in a constrained, or sandbox mode, in which only limited actions may be taken, e.g., as defined by a manufacturer or end user.

The idea is that you might not need to login and wait for your entire desktop to load and then start media player and then start the movie. This process can be automated and initiated by a click of the button.

The patent images show that you can push a button, the system will look for media to play (possible scenario a movie DVD in the drive) and then start playing without you having to login to the system. Some flowcharts from the patent application explain this better:

This sounds like a solution to the battery problems in laptops, reduced functionality mode will definitely improve battery life. This is quite interesting, Device Stage, Sideshow and now Direct Experience.

The initialization of the Direct Experience isn’t limited to buttons but can also be done by plugging specific hardware. I assume, plugging a USB stick that has audio files will directly start playback, again without logging in. Saves a lot of time if you ask me!