Microsoft accidentally leaks desktop Windows 8 UI [Updated]

We don't hear this one every day. It appears Microsoft has leaked their very own UI, with a new marketing video for the company showing two short flashes of a new interface that is consistent with what we've seen previously from the company.

Despite this, the quick shot of the device shows a major overhaul of the taskbar, a move which has not been seen in years. Winrumors reports that the new UI was outed in a marketing video for "Flexible Workspace" and points out that it could be concept art. Despite this, the UI seems consistent with what we've seen over the last few weeks.

The new interface depicts a clock in the middle of the taskbar, surrounded by text. Winrumors points out that in the video the interface is animated, so it's unlikely to be concept art at this point. In addition to this, a video posted by Microsoft last week shows the new flattened task bar button styling (pictured below on the screen in the background), which matches up with the video posted today.

A new build of Windows 8 leaked today -- Build 7927 -- just ahead of Microsoft's BUILD event for developers in September, where the company is expected to unveil Windows 8 and make available beta bits and devices to attendees.

Update: And despite the reports around the Internet that this is a refreshed UI within Windows 8, WithinWindows (currently down as of writing, possibly due to heavy traffic) has stated that it is in-fact, Rainmeter!

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Its not a leak if they put it right in the video...right?
Also, anyone ever notice when they show PC's in the videos, they always blur the brand? Since all PC's are Windows branded, why blur them?

I take it what you are talking about the clock and stuff in the taskbar?

I'm not so sure that is actually a windows 8 feature, why? Because it looks like the old classic skin Enigma for rainmeter simply put over the taskbar...

The fact that it's only visible on one of all the screens with Windows we see in the videos just makes it even less believable it would be Windows itself.

"Despite this, the quick shot of the device shows a major overhaul of the taskbar, a move which has not been seen in years."
Someone said that exact thing about Windows 7.

I kinda like the unified ribbon interface MS is going for. But it's too early too tell how good it is. For me ribbon in Windows Explorer seems a bit space heavy, but looking forward to test it later this year.

Will the build in September for developers only? (MSDN subscribers, etc?) or we all can get a taste of Windows 8?

Though I guess there are always other means to grab a hold of one....

It looks like custom PowerPoint controls to me. The clock is a timer and the text on the left and right are next and previous slide controls. In other words, apps can take over or use the taskbar as part of their UI.

JJMustang said,
It looks like custom PowerPoint controls to me. The clock is a timer and the text on the left and right are next and previous slide controls. In other words, apps can take over or use the taskbar as part of their UI.

That's an interesting observation. I just hope that, if it's true, applications don't treat it like they do to Finder on OSX and shove their File, Edit, whatever menus down there.

JJMustang said,
It looks like custom PowerPoint controls to me. The clock is a timer and the text on the left and right are next and previous slide controls. In other words, apps can take over or use the taskbar as part of their UI.

Interesting point. Thanks for that!

JJMustang said,
It looks like custom PowerPoint controls to me. The clock is a timer and the text on the left and right are next and previous slide controls. In other words, apps can take over or use the taskbar as part of their UI.

Wow! That is a unique idea/thought! That sounds plausible!

Microsoft won't go this way. This seems more like a customisation or a very old concept. Win7 superbar is much more functional the way it is. They cant take a step back.

Zain Adeel said,
Microsoft won't go this way. This seems more like a customisation or a very old concept. Win7 superbar is much more functional the way it is. They cant take a step back.
Well, since they are aiming for a massive change from ground-up, I think it's plausible. Especially after the video has been removed. It no longer appears to be based upon, or an improved version of the older Windows.

It is something completely different, and thought of.

Zain Adeel said,
Microsoft won't go this way. This seems more like a customisation or a very old concept. Win7 superbar is much more functional the way it is. They cant take a step back.

Microsoft is previously credited with saying that Windows 8 is their "biggest risk yet", which makes me feel like they're going for the radical here.

Even the desktop version is far more different than what I originally anticipated.
Anyone else like me?

The video also shows a PC running Vista, probably all of the footage is very old and this is one of the early Windows 7 prototypes. The first prototypes (e.g: Julie Larson Green demoing Win7 Touch at a D9 conferences) of the taskbar also looked quite different.

Aethec said,
Accidentally?
Or a well planned execution to create more hubbub?

Having said that, I don't think they would have any issues creating hype for Windows 8. It's Windows after all!

Yeah well I noticed a black cursor in the video. And Microsoft really doesn't do black cursors. I think it's just a UI concept video, like the many ones we saw during the Longhorn days, and I doubt we'll see anything like that.

A clock in the middle, are you serious? That'd mean that the taskbar is no longer used for switching tasks, and I can't imagine Microsoft ever doing that really. Or at least they'd make better use of the space, not just fill it up with random PC statistics.

I say it's a concept.

Ambroos said,
Yeah well I noticed a black cursor in the video. And Microsoft really doesn't do black cursors. I think it's just a UI concept video, like the many ones we saw during the Longhorn days, and I doubt we'll see anything like that.

A clock in the middle, are you serious? That'd mean that the taskbar is no longer used for switching tasks, and I can't imagine Microsoft ever doing that really. Or at least they'd make better use of the space, not just fill it up with random PC statistics.

I say it's a concept.


I'm really looking forward to BUILD when you'll eat your words.

Owen W said,

I'm really looking forward to BUILD when you'll eat your words.

But he does have a good reason why it may not be the final UI. (About task switching)

FMH said,

But he does have a good reason why it may not be the final UI. (About task switching)

Task switching is still there, its just done differently

Owen W said,

Task switching is still there, its just done differently

I'm sure it'll be there. But we don't know where 'there', actually is!

I actually love the 'info' in the middle idea actually. While I have many fond memories of the classic taskbar, this is really the next logical step for the superbar. If we can balance our icons between left and right I'm sold.
Task switching has already changed.

"(...) a major overhaul of the taskbar, a move which has not been seen in years."

I know it's actually been years since Windows 7, but you made it sounds more dramatic than it needed to be

Kuraj said,
"(...) a major overhaul of the taskbar, a move which has not been seen in years."

I know it's actually been years since Windows 7, but you made it sounds more dramatic than it needed to be


Yeah so uh, you know, the taskbar in that changed soooo much

Owen W said,

Yeah so uh, you know, the taskbar in that changed soooo much

Uh, why the sarcasm? Wasn't it called the Superbar when they first showed it off because it was so different? Dock-like icons, one icon per app, pinned apps, jump lists, drag-to-reorder, and overlay progress bars.

The taskbar was the main UI difference between 7 and Vista.

Stetson said,

Uh, why the sarcasm? Wasn't it called the Superbar when they first showed it off because it was so different? Dock-like icons, one icon per app, pinned apps, jump lists, drag-to-reorder, and overlay progress bars.

The taskbar was the main UI difference between 7 and Vista.


I don't think Microsoft called it 'Superbar', I think that was just the media (I might be wrong this time, I'm not sure).

Vista seems like a far more important and radical change than anything we've seen so far for 8. I've been very impressed with the changes that have been detailed on the Building 8 blog, however. So far, it seems like 8 will be to 7 what 7 was to Vista- a lovely improvement in lots of little things, but nothing jaw-dropping.

Skwerl said,
Vista seems like a far more important and radical change than anything we've seen so far for 8. I've been very impressed with the changes that have been detailed on the Building 8 blog, however. So far, it seems like 8 will be to 7 what 7 was to Vista- a lovely improvement in lots of little things, but nothing jaw-dropping.

Two things to consider:

First, Microsoft learned their lesson for making such major changes to most of the Windows components all at once. The compatibility issues and low performance on outdated hardware tarnished Vista's public perception. Luckily for Microsoft, Windows 7 was perceived as having "fixed" Vista's "problems", when in reality it was just Vista with some interface changes and various new features. By the time Windows 7 was released, developers were already resolving the issues that their software and hardware had with Vista, which also made the stuff work with Windows 7.

Second, the overhauling that Microsoft did with Vista was really good. At this point there's not a big need to make major changes "under the hood".

Skwerl said,
Vista seems like a far more important and radical change than anything we've seen so far for 8. I've been very impressed with the changes that have been detailed on the Building 8 blog, however. So far, it seems like 8 will be to 7 what 7 was to Vista- a lovely improvement in lots of little things, but nothing jaw-dropping.

The whole Immersive experience is completely different to anything we've seen before. You cannot call that "not an overhaul" of Windows; you especially won't be able to rationally call it after after you've seen the demonstrations at BUILD (I imagine).

Beyond Godlike said,
I was pretty excited for Win7, cause i was on vista and i felt like it wasnt right, win8 wont probably impact me a whole lot

Odd, as 7 isn't that different from Vista. A new taskbar is the biggest difference. Nearly everything behind the scenes was the same.

Beyond Godlike said,
...win8 wont probably impact me a whole lot

I'm sure it won't impact a helluva lot of people at all if the "upgrade" price is as high as it was for win7. lol

mrp04 said,

Odd, as 7 isn't that different from Vista. A new taskbar is the biggest difference. Nearly everything behind the scenes was the same.


No actually system requirements is the biggest change
Windows 7 Home Premium runs perfectly fine on the first generation Acer Aspire one (netbook, 1gb ram, 1.6ghz atom cpu), vista on the other hand was completely unusable, I had to use the powerbutton to shutdown as the CPU and ram where filled and I couldn't get to the shutdown option in the startmenu.

Leonick said,

No actually system requirements is the biggest change
Windows 7 Home Premium runs perfectly fine on the first generation Acer Aspire one (netbook, 1gb ram, 1.6ghz atom cpu), vista on the other hand was completely unusable, I had to use the powerbutton to shutdown as the CPU and ram where filled and I couldn't get to the shutdown option in the startmenu.
That particular issue had more to do with driver quality improvements, as opposed to changes in the underpinnings. Vista was plagued by lots of "a lick and a promise" drivers, especially from second-tier IHVs (and even some first tier IHVs early on; nVidia has come in for particular scorn regarding their Vista driver issues). There is one other rather odd factor - some hardware actually works better with the seemingly *wrong* bitness of Windows; despite my having *never* had 4 GB of RAM, the two Celeron DC CPUs I have had always ran better with x64 flavors of Windows, as opposed to x86. (Mom's Prescott-based P4, despite that it actually came with XP32 for price reasons, is another odd quack that runs better in x64.)

DukeEsquire said,

Look at taskbar like the article said.

I downloaded that video before and watched it again, and saw what's pictured above, a different Windows 8 Taskbar with a clock in the mid, and logged in user info after the start button.

thenonhacker said,

I downloaded that video before and watched it again, and saw what's pictured above, a different Windows 8 Taskbar with a clock in the mid, and logged in user info after the start button.

Wow. So a user can see his own info next to the start button? How amazing!

Anyhow, whatever you saw can be done with a taskbar widget. I highly doubt they can do anything more than what they already did in Windows 7 that would qualify as useful.

DukeEsquire said,

Look at taskbar like the article said.

I'm not so sure that is actually a windows 8 feature, why? Because it looks like the old classic skin Enigma for rainmeter simply put over the taskbar...

The fact that it's only visible on one of all the screens with Windows we see in the videos just makes it even less believable it would be Windows itself.

Anyone else super excited for Windows 8?

I can't remember being this excited about an OS since Windows 95...

For all the hate that Apple gets, I think the market share advances that Apple has made in the past few years has forced Microsoft to innovate and bring something new to the table.

Competition is good!

DukeEsquire said,
Anyone else super excited for Windows 8?

For all the hate that Apple gets, I think the market share advances that Apple has made in the past few years has forced Microsoft to innovate and bring something new to the table.

Apple's desktop/laptop computer market share has been hovering at around 10% of the US market (and nigh upon 0% overseas) for years now.

I don't really see much direct competition between OS X and Windows 7 these days. They both appear to be on separate, each successful in its own way, paths IMHO.

DukeEsquire said,
Anyone else super excited for Windows 8?

I can't remember being this excited about an OS since Windows 95...

For all the hate that Apple gets, I think the market share advances that Apple has made in the past few years has forced Microsoft to innovate and bring something new to the table.

Competition is good!

O YEAH MANN! I CAN'T WAIT.

DukeEsquire said,
Anyone else super excited for Windows 8?

I can't remember being this excited about an OS since Windows 95...

For all the hate that Apple gets, I think the market share advances that Apple has made in the past few years has forced Microsoft to innovate and bring something new to the table.

Competition is good!

Very good point!

Switched to OS X several years ago, however Windows 8 is certainly looking promising!

It almost looks "pretty".

excalpius said,

Apple's desktop/laptop computer market share has been hovering at around 10% of the US market (and nigh upon 0% overseas) for years now.

I don't really see much direct competition between OS X and Windows 7 these days. They both appear to be on separate, each successful in its own way, paths IMHO.


Last time I check Apples market share where steadily growing, not hovering, maybe not very fast but still growing faster and faster.

As for overseas, well I can't talk for all of europe or asia for that sake. But it sure has to be a few percent marketshare with all the Macs used by Students (University students), Macbook Pros seem to be the most popular computer among students.

DukeEsquire said,
Anyone else super excited for Windows 8?

I can't remember being this excited about an OS since Windows 95...

For all the hate that Apple gets, I think the market share advances that Apple has made in the past few years has forced Microsoft to innovate and bring something new to the table.

Competition is good!

I'm Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious