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MS to turn IE Favourites into giant Data Mountain

Wrap up warm before you head for the summit, folks, and watch out for the parrot...

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A sniggering reader mails us the URL for Microsoft's fabled research division, claiming it's a blank page. This may be the case if you look at it on a Mac, but we can see it fine. "This URL is supposed to provide a glimpse into Microsoft's next-generation user interface," he says. But "at least on my Mac, the page comes up blank." We're not sure what MS research has been doing to Macs, but there's some very weird stuff visible to plain old Win95 and Navigator. "Data Mountain," it says here. "An alternative to IE Favourites or the Explorer." MS Research is apparently oblivious to the irony of substituting a data mountain for your favourites list, but if you like data mountains, click on the link and you can download a 1.5Mb word document on it. Something of a mountain itself, right? The unfortunately named UI, the pictures indicate, seems to heap little snapshots of all your favourite URLs in a kind of 3D mountain shape across your desktop. Nightmare, we reckon - they'll have little cartoon guides wandering across the desktop, pointing at them and talking to you, next. But funny we should say that, because here we have the Persona Project: "In an initial prototype, an expressive 3-dimensional parrot named Peedy responds to user requests for music." Ask it for Madonna songs, and it'll tell you what it's got then play it. Really useful, right? You can download a 116Mb AVI of Peedy in action, if you want. But we hope this one flies - if this "parrot" turns out to look too much like a vulture, we're letting him have it right in the look and feels. ®

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