The new Windows UI might contain some ideas from the Linux and Mac desktop. Using what they would call an “Advanced Desktop Mode”, it would allow multiple virtual desktops, among other things. As usual, Windows 8 isn’t released yet, so it is all still rumors. But, it’s always fun to entertain these rumors to see if they do become reality.
While put forward as a collaboration with academics to improve Windows 8, it’s not yet known how many if any of Manduva’s features will reach the shipping version. Microsoft has only just finished Milestone 2 and still has at least one more milestone before it reaches a beta that would show the largely complete interface. The proposal nonetheless implies that Microsoft is planning to continue the back-and-forth use of ideas between itself and rivals.