Your Mac OS X desktop may become exactly as messy as your real-world one if Apple finally develops this newly-released patent, which describes a 3D desktop that obeys the laws of physics.
I have a hard time believing that this one will become reality, since 3D-based user interfaces introduce more complexity than benefits for the user. However, this one—called Multidimensional Desktop—has awesome and completely useless eye-candy potential thanks to its physics-based rules.
This means that if you displace an icon, it may fall. While this may sound useless, there are other potentially-useful things that Apple is introducing in this multidimensional desktop. One of them is the fact that each surface in the 3D box will give icons different attributes: If you place an icon on one plane, it will show some information:
For example, on the bottom surface, icons and other system object representations can be displayed according to a large scale; on the side surface, icons and system object representations can be displayed according to small scale; on the back surface, icons and other system object representations can be displayed in a list format
While this may never become a reality—or maybe yes, given that Apple needs to push forward with something really new in future releases of Mac OS X and all the operating system services and infrastructure seems solid now—it's interesting to see Apple trying to evolve the classic 2D user interface into something new and potentially useful. [MacRumors]