From The Forums: My concept for the Windows 8 desktop

We have some very talented people on this site, and as Neowin member myownfriend shows, a good eye for design as well.

Microsoft should take note, because myownfriend has posted up a series of Windows 8 desktop concepts that, in his own words, "only uses concepts that's Microsoft has established." and they are beautiful, see for yourself:


Windows Explorer - Click to enlarge.


Control Panel - Click to enlarge.

These are just two of the images that are posted in the forum thread, the concepts have received a mixture of negative and positive feedback already; mainly down to Microsoft choosing to implement so much white, as well as the removal of gradients and drop shadows in the theme.

Time will tell if the finished theme included in the RTM version will be loved or hated. Will we see a sudden restart of user submitted themes for Windows 8, much like the XP era here on Neowin? Who knows, but if this particular member has anything to do with it, it could be great!

View the forum topic for more concepts. Also keep an eye out in that thread for a HTML & CSS version which is being worked on. If you use IE9 or 10 check out this unfinished web concept.

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OMFG how come you aren't hired! Like, insta-hired right now!

It looks absolutely beautiful!! Please make a Deviant theme out of it!!

I don't like the desktop icons on this concept but it's interesting. May be Recycle bin could be more metro-ized like the Office docfile Icons... But I completly agree that taskbar should be more like a reduced part of start screen, More similar to other bars like charms etc.

the zune software is a great example of what the windows 8 desktop should like or borrow some UI element from office 13. Then it will make the desktop and metro look very friendly and smooth. Simple as that. Why microsoft just focus on metro instead of desktop...sad case

Master of Earth said,
the zune software is a great example of what the windows 8 desktop should like or borrow some UI element from office 13. Then it will make the desktop and metro look very friendly and smooth. Simple as that. Why microsoft just focus on metro instead of desktop...sad case

Exactly. Zune software is the perfect example how cool metro can be. Win8 metro is just plain ugly.

Could you imagine having to use Windows 8 after a night of drinking? You might as well slap yourself with a 2 by 4 and call it a morning.

Very nice concept,
I think the biggest difference and why we don't see this in Windows 8 is that Microsoft doesn't design as a whole, rather various teams all working on their individual parts of the OS, each bringing a slightly different look. Thats always been my pet peeve, some parts of the OS follow one design guideline while others seem to be following something different and some parts don't change at all. I would hope after all these years Microsoft could hire some UI designers that could make this happen. Your concept shows that it is possible to unify things

wv@gt said,
Very nice concept,
I think the biggest difference and why we don't see this in Windows 8 is that Microsoft doesn't design as a whole, rather various teams all working on their individual parts of the OS, each bringing a slightly different look. Thats always been my pet peeve, some parts of the OS follow one design guideline while others seem to be following something different and some parts don't change at all. I would hope after all these years Microsoft could hire some UI designers that could make this happen. Your concept shows that it is possible to unify things

That's not really true - they do have overarching design but it's just not been implemented fully in 7 (i.e. you can still get to XP like dialogs) simply as not everything can be done easily in one go. It'll be interesting to see the final theme for Win8 and how deep into the OS they have gone (or whether they ran out of time and only went so far). I'm expecting something like the above (at least for those parts that like on the desktop proper). I hope
they manage to cover as much as possible because I do agree it feels unfinished otherwise.

dangel said,

That's not really true - they do have overarching design but it's just not been implemented fully in 7 (i.e. you can still get to XP like dialogs) simply as not everything can be done easily in one go. It'll be interesting to see the final theme for Win8 and how deep into the OS they have gone (or whether they ran out of time and only went so far). I'm expecting something like the above (at least for those parts that like on the desktop proper). I hope
they manage to cover as much as possible because I do agree it feels unfinished otherwise.

I hope so to, and hope that they finally get rid of those pre xp style control tabs

I don't like the capital letters for the top of the ribbon. Microsoft decided to do the same thing for Office 13 and I think it's hideous.

Nimdock said,
I don't like the capital letters for the top of the ribbon. Microsoft decided to do the same thing for Office 13 and I think it's hideous.

Agreed. and it takes longer for the brain to read capitals too..

I like the sidebar concept on the control panel page, personally I think thats the more metro feel Win9 will have, would be too much a leap at this point.

Theming days of XP...time to crack open and bring back the longhorn theme for Win8

Nice article and memories

now that some excellent work there, except for explorer and recycle bin icons and the taskbar. otherwise good idea using Office 2013 design on explorer.

Goodness gracious, this is gorgeous! Not to mention it looks more touch friendly that what Microsoft is delivering in Windows 8 now. One thing remains, Windows Explorer regardless of Metro is not fully Touch Ready, it is still a point and click environment. The Ribbon doesn't even support Touch Mode like Office 2013. The Backstage idea used for Areas like System Properties would definitely have been a welcome. I notice Microsoft product teams do not do a good job at pollinating each other. I was surprised even apps like Paint and WordPad which both have the Ribbon don't even support Back Stage. Its a beautiful interface which shows consistency, I hope Microsoft see's this and at least push to implement it in Windows 9.

Interesting the reaction to this - bear in mind MS haven't yet shown us their "metro" theme for the desktop - it'll be in the RTM but the CP build has almost none of it at all..

Office 2013 is the biggest clue about direction from MS and the above copies it pretty faithfully..

Love it! I'm not sure about the Recycling Bin on the desktop, but the rest is way cool-looking.

Maybe Microsoft should remove the icons from the sidebar, that'll give Explorer is cleaner look.

Awesome. I hope that someone can do this in win 8, or at least the borderless frame and caption buttons and the blue status and th ... damn.

I like these concepts so much better. It unifies things far more with Metro and the desktop. That said, I have been using the Release Preview since it became available and the Consumer Preview before that and I am not sold on Metro for the desktop. Most of the apps are not built for mouse usage in mind. Metro apps are currrently limited in the scope of what they do compared to desktops.
I think it's fine for games and some other niche areas, but many apps are just simplified webpages. It is easier to use a browser for those tasks and I get more functionality.
I'm still taking a wait and see approach but this concept goes further to help Windows 8 that the desktop design has so far.

That is exactly my thoughts on it as well. I already told my boss at work I dont want it on my machine if they do an upgrade LOL. Once other workmates saw the UI, most of them agreed with me and want nothing to do it

Anarkii said,
That is exactly my thoughts on it as well. I already told my boss at work I dont want it on my machine if they do an upgrade LOL. Once other workmates saw the UI, most of them agreed with me and want nothing to do it

In my position at work I would do the implementing and I can confidently say my company wont be using it.

Anarkii said,
That is exactly my thoughts on it as well. I already told my boss at work I dont want it on my machine if they do an upgrade LOL. Once other workmates saw the UI, most of them agreed with me and want nothing to do it

Its not even out yet how can you make an informed decision, but yeah the UI ****ed me off at the start as well but im used to it now and I have to admit its actually in a way better

Shaun said,

In my position at work I would do the implementing and I can confidently say my company wont be using it.

Because W8 is in their opinion bad or because they just upgraded to W7? The latter is the case for most businesses, that's why we won't see W8 adopted by as many as W7. But of course people will claim it's because W8 suuuucks.

dr_crabman said,

Because W8 is in their opinion bad or because they just upgraded to W7? The latter is the case for most businesses, that's why we won't see W8 adopted by as many as W7. But of course people will claim it's because W8 suuuucks.

We are about 50% the way through upgrading to W7 - Our users/managers won't want to see the start screen so that's how I know. Users can barely navigate a ui they have used for the last 15 years

I dunno, good job on work done to produce them.

But I'm not excited about Windows 8 at all, I used it for nearly 4 weeks, I found it inconsistent and irritating. I found myself having to spend time randomly going places to find settings.

I am a very experienced user I dread the average folk at home, the support lines are going to make a fortune.

I think you did a great job, but we should actually see that Windows 8's metro interface and removal of the start menu are the nails in the coffin. The OEM's will be looking for an option that keeps them unified, but also dosent send them into bankruptcy. Intel announced just this week that Android 4.1 is getting x86 compatibility targeted for its Atom chips and I definitely suspect that Google knows the time is right to make android explode by making it useable on on a productivity machine like a laptop or desktop. I will make a bet that 5.0 will work on many current Intel and AMD x86 chips. Also lets not forget that the Android team announced a couple of months ago it was feeding back into the main Linux kernel library pool. I will make any bet that MS will fall out of contention by the time Win 9 aka The Recovery makes its way to consumers. The time of Windows, where most of us became computer savy, is at an end for better or worse.

No and no, I don't think you understand that many users and enterprises are locked into the NT kernel operating environment. You can't just simply move all of your users onto an entirely different platform. Windows 8 may face some opposition from people hating change but consider the change from an NT environment to a Linux based environment. When Vista wasn't taken on by enterprise it didn't mean people were rushing to get Ubuntu or some other Debian based OS. We saw the whole Ubuntu thing fail with netbooks several years ago, they were being returned by the thousands because people realised they had no idea what to do and they couldn't run MS Office or other business critical tools.

The truth is Windows will be around for a very long time like it or not. Android or iOS for that matter is in absolutely no way a replacement for a real OS like Windows 7. On a side note the reason for Intel porting Android over to atoms is not because they felt threatened by Windows 8 being a disaster but because they want to get a slice of the "Gingerbread" that Android is offering.

On another side note, no one is forcing anyone to upgrade. Many businesses are still on XP and are only now, after about ten years, deciding to upgrade to 7. Enterprise is loyal to MS and always will be so your theory about Windows dying is preposterous.

Iridium said,
The time of Windows, where most of us became computer savy, is at an end for better or worse.

Why exactly should the almost 700 mio that bought W7 (plus countless illegal versions) and are invested in the ecosystem completely jump ship to something that right now doesn't even exist for desktops and take OEMs and developers with them? It's nice to wish for things but my bet is you will be sorely disappointed. Of course please feel free to explain to me in what regard Android 5 will be better on my PC than W8.

I think the original ideas behind metro were simplicity and typography. NOT a white slate with no color. half of MSFT missed me point of metro. The only ones that seem to get it right are some of the web designers that create metro versions of the MSFT end points and the designers of the new task manager.

metro can be beautiful, colorful, and yes it can use drop shadows and gradients as many 3rd party developers do in metro apps.

the worse of the worse was the visual studio team which shipped an early version of the metro theme for visual studio that used two colors, black and white or white and black. no color on any icon whatsoever.

MSFT should train their UI designers on what metro really is because the office, visual studio, windows 8 shell team don't have a clue.

Really makes me wonder why Metro apps can't be shown in the taskbar, the left sidebar popout thing does the same sort of job as the taskbar, no? Although quite limited as well.

Neobond said,
Really makes me wonder why Metro apps can't be shown in the taskbar, the left sidebar popout thing does the same sort of job as the taskbar, no? Although quite limited as well.

I was thinking that just then as well, being able to launch and see metro apps on the taskbar would be awesome!

Neobond said,
Really makes me wonder why Metro apps can't be shown in the taskbar, the left sidebar popout thing does the same sort of job as the taskbar, no? Although quite limited as well.

Metro apps are primarily designed to run in full screen. There is little use to have that in the taskbar.

You can use the left charm bar for that if you really need it.

Neobond said,
Really makes me wonder why Metro apps can't be shown in the taskbar, the left sidebar popout thing does the same sort of job as the taskbar, no? Although quite limited as well.

i believe it is because of all the security. Metro apps run in a confined environment so that ...ahem...Microsoft can only sell them from their Store! who needs that much security anyways??? I am ****ed that I cannot run Metro apps as the native Administrator. I hate my own PC telling me what I can and I cannot do with my PC. Hey, I'm not blaming Microsoft if some malware sneaks in. I am careful.

Neobond said,
Really makes me wonder why Metro apps can't be shown in the taskbar, the left sidebar popout thing does the same sort of job as the taskbar, no? Although quite limited as well.

I'm a power user, and if I had all my metro apps in my taskbar it would annoy me because I on average use up 98% of my taskbar. Removing the start button helped a lot, but this would be 2 steps back;
http://u.xrax.me/55LSCG.png

daCrazyDude said,

I hate my own PC telling me what I can and I cannot do with my PC.

You just defined Trusted Computing aka Palladium; corporations knows whats better for you, me, everyone.