Now that could be cool, or maybe not: a whole new look to the MacOS desktop could be on the cards after Apple puts in a patent application for a 'Multi-Dimensional Desktop.'
The patent application, 20080307360, describes how the planned graphical user interface will have "a back surface disposed from viewing surface to define a depth, and one or more one or more side surfaces extend from the back surface to the viewing surface." In other words, a 3D Mac desktop!
The patent abstract talks of "An icon receptacle is disposed on one or more of the side surfaces, and one or more icons are disposed within the icon receptacle. The one or more icons correspond to one or more desktop items." Fortunately, there are images attached which give a better idea of how it might all look. Unfortunately, that better idea can best be summed up as 'complex' and certainly not the usual simple functionality combined with pleasing design that you expect from an Apple OS.
Of course, there is no hint from Apple as to when, or even if, the idea will ever make it into production.
If it does, I hope it has better success than the recent Google exploration of 3D worlds.