As you may have heard already in rumours here and there, Longhorn (the next version of Windows, due out whenever Bill Gates fancies it) will move the desktop from 2D to 3D
, offering a whole new computing experience.
The new technology was demonstrated at this year's Microsoft Meltdown conference
(held July 27th and 28th in Seattle).
Many changes are on their way to the desktop. For one, the new desktop will be rendered using the full power of the graphics card's GPU. For another, the the distinction between vertex and pixel shaders will essentially go away, being replaced instead with a "common shader core" that will perform both types of operation.