The Power of 3D
Microsoft is following Apple in incorporating 3D technology into the OS. As a result, we should see some dramatically new graphical effects in Longhorn. There is a growing realization that 3D is not just for games; a decade from now, I believe 3D will be everywhere.
In a business plan presentation a couple years ago, I attempted to mix in three-dimensional graphics and video, but it turned out to be harder than I thought. Video editing software haven't been designed to do presentations, and presentation software isn't designed to work with video or 3D. MS Powerpoint in Office XP had very minimal support of video, although there is reportedly better integration in the recently launched Office 2003. I also looked at MS Producer; however, it doesn't really integrate video and Powerpoint, but just combines the two into a single web page. I supposed that there might be more suitable packages for doing this like Macromedia Director, Maya, and 3D Studio. The problem is that these are packages for sophisticated professionals, not to mention the fact that I don't know how to use any one of them.
I believe that there is an opportunity to retrofit existing mainstream applications such as presentation software, perhaps even basic wordprocessing and spreadsheet, with rich 3D and video support. (OpenOffice offers some kind of 3D support, but it's not done right.) These products would provide easy incorporation of 3D, accessible to the mainstream user.
Sure enough, there is a German company, Ventuz, that recently specialized in 3D, video-rich presentations with an product called Stereolize. Here is a video demonstating the power of this awesome software.
The products that I am working on will likely incorporate 3D technology in a second version. Hopefully, Longhorn will probably make these types of applications a lot easier to develop.