Microsoft Research finds new use for screensavers

When screensavers were first introduced in the 1980s, they were designed to prevent burn-in on CRT monitors. In the LCD era, they’ve largely been used as a distraction and minor security feature, but Microsoft now has a new potential use in mind: reminding you of stuff that you’ve forgotten you ever did.

An ongoing Microsoft research project to discover how to digitally archive every aspect of an individual life — capturing photos, videos, PC history and even TV viewing habits and archiving them automatically — had found that using a screensaver was one of the most effective ways to browse the massive volume of content that results.

“There’s so much stuff you can’t remember to look for a lot of it, and the screensaver brings it up,” Microsoft Research senior researcher James Gemmell told the Storage Visions 2010 conference in Las Vegas. “This could be the killer app of the lot.”

Read more at APCMag.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. He enjoys following and reporting Microsoft news and developments in the world of Personal Computing & Social Media.

One Comment

  1. Jim

    I always wondered why you need a screensaver with a LCD monitor. Just as I thought, you don’t. Now there’s a use for it.

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