The Unknown: The Red Line

Microsoft Announces New Unknown Operating System

Today Microsoft Corporation dismissed its half-baked idea for a Windows 2000 operating system and instead has begun developing a new Unknown operating system. The Unknown operating system will replace Windows' familiar desktop and folders with a sprawling, cyclical, genuinely multisequential hypertext novel detailing the adventures of one to four supposedly famous writers on a supposed book tour around the world. The names of applications and files will appear at various points in the novel and can only be discovered through close reading.

Say, for example, that the user wants to open Microsoft Word. The user would then have to read through the hypertext novel until she found the underlined phrase Microsoft Word in one of the 400 scenes, perhaps a scene where the character named Frank is on a plane which is about to crash in southern Iceland, and he is using Microsoft Word to write his last poem on his laptop, for example. The user would then click on the phrase to launch the application. Finding a given file could take any amount of time, depending on how long it takes the user to find the right part of the hypertext novel. Eventually, however, the user would come to know the novel well.

As the user creates new files and documents, the Unknown operating system will write the names of those files into the hypertext novel, generating new scenes as necessary. So if, for example, the user created a file called myfinances.xls, in order to find that file, the user would have to read through the hypertext novel until she found a scene where, for example, Frank, perhaps in a codeine-and-amaretto-induced stupor, murmurs the words myfinances.xls. The user would then right-click on the underlined phrase to access a file menu with options to rename, delete, open, etcetera.

The Unknown operating system will be available in a free beta version tomorrow.

Microsoft could not be reached to verify this story.


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The Unknown at Spineless Books.