Outlook / OS Integration
July 15, 2007

I gave a presentation in 2005 at a tech conference about the future needs and possibilities of Operating Systems. The key item that I spoke about was relationships. Currently the file structure of the OS is that of singular objects that do not have a relationship with each other outside of the fact of the folder/folder structure that they reside within.

One issue is that users are required to create a file name, thankfully larger than the old 8.3 restriction from DOS. However the fact that the user has to distill down the basics of the document to 256 characters and then remember where they save it. The next large scale evolution of an OS needs to remove this unnecessary step. The OS and applications should automatically save their data and allow the user to get back to their data by a search by an number of data points. When I spend my day at my computer there are multiple data streams at any given moment. For example while I am writing this I have surfed to multiple web sites, answered a few emails and music has been playing via WinAmp. The user should be able to search on any of these data points to get back to their data. The OS should store information as the application needs as well as the relative data points.

This application was written to give a quick example of what can be done to this extent. The application allows the user to monitor multiple folder for multiple document types. As documents are created or edited an entry is made in a document type specific calendar within MS Outlook. The entry gives the user a link to the document. Many users in corporate environments live in Outlook and this was a way to give them addition reference to their data.

This project was started to show the possibilities of the issue and currently the project is in limbo. The source code is not available at this time.