Microsoft predicts the future - without laptops (photos)

In the future, business people will not need to carry a laptop around with them to get their work done, Microsoft believes.

Instead, smart devices in connected rooms will change their settings according to the person using them, it has predicted.

In a video released on Tuesday, the company presented its vision for what productivity will look like in the next five to 10 years. It's the sort of world where you can walk into a hotel room and the television immediately displays your favourite channel; the alarm clock sets itself to your preferred time to wake up; the coffee machine works out whether you prefer black or white coffee and begins making you a cup; and the nearest tablet becomes your own personal computer, complete with all your files. 

Much of the video is based on the idea that powerful computers will be embedded in the world around us. These will be imbued with software-based intelligence to respond to the user's needs, according to Microsoft. In this scenario, a business traveller's glasses translate the audio announcements in a foreign airport to help them find the taxi rank and get a car sent for them.

Screenshot: Jack Clark

By Sonja Thompson

Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.