Microsoft Bob, a discontinued Microsoft software product may again come to life in the near future. It was considered as the one of the major software failures from Microsoft. The software which was codenamed as Utopia brought easy to use interface to desktop operations. It was designed to be used on Windows 95 and Windows NT.
Even though the application was discontinued before Windows 98 came out in the market, the media continued to criticize the poor Bob. It even landed up as one of the worst tech products of all time on PC World.
Microsoft is going to bring back the good old Microsoft Bob as an intelligent personal assistant that will assist users in carrying out everyday computing. Microsoft Bob was launched in 1995 and it provided users with a virtual house that came with different rooms such as kitchen, living room and so on. Inside each room there were different furniture and icons for accessing different applications. The entire house could be customized by the user.
Microsoft Bob also featured different ‘assistants’ which were nothing but amazing cartoon characters that helped users to get around the virtual house. At the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit that was held on last Monday at Redmond, Washington, Bill Gates claimed that the Microsoft Bob was not good enough at that time but now he feels that the concept should be again brought to light after sophistication.
The last stable release of the Microsoft Bob was on 30th Aug, 1995. Bill Gates said that Microsoft Bob will be reintroduced as intelligent personal agents. Gates added that the potential of Microsoft Bob is now much better than before.
When it was launched in 1995, it completely failed to impress the users. At that time people preferred to use icons and folders that were simple in appearance. Cute cartoon characters providing instructions were simply not something that interested people at that time. Hence, Bob only managed to survive for a year and then it made its way out in 1996. However, the idea did not die completely, as Clippy, the cartoon character which popped up as Office Assistant helper remained for quite some time. However, in 2003, even Clippy was pulled off.
Bill Gates assured that Microsoft Bob won’t be brought back as a cute dog helping you around in a virtual house. Instead the new sophisticated Microsoft Bob would be somewhat like Apple’s Siri and Google Now. It will remain in the tiled interface of the Windows 8 OS. It will be able to comprehend everything that the user does, predict what the user would like to do and offer relevant information.
The reemerging of Microsoft Bob makes us feel that Microsoft wants to offer a competitive personal assistant like Siri and Google Now. Both Apple and Google have succeeded well and Microsoft is only trying to do the same.
How would the new Microsoft Bob be? Will it again feature new animated characters or it would just provide users with voice assistance like Siri. Microsoft will have to do something out of the box when it offers new voice assistant software