Microsoft VP says Windows 8 tablet UI was planned before iPad

Microsoft grabbed a lot of attention when it showed off its upcoming Windows 8 tablet UI. The new look for Microsoft will keep them relevant in the highly competitive tablet market and will also provide a solid foundation for future growth. But what if Microsoft had beat Apple to the tablet UI game, well according to a Microsoft VP, they did, but were slow at getting the product out the door.

Microsoft VP Dan'l Lewin, speaking to techradar.com, said that all of the planning for the new interface started before Apple's iPad hit the market. He states, "Think about when the planning started for what you saw just the other day; all the planning, the intent, the interface design work was done before the iPad hit the market."

Lewin also went to say that he knows Microsoft needs to improve on its ability to churn out products faster. He states, "We know where we're going - we just have to get there faster." The refreshingly honest approach is a sign of encouragement as Microsoft has been late to the market on several occasions. Windows Phone 7, while a formidable OS, was late to the market, and now Windows 8 for the tablet, will also be a late entrant into the market.

Imagine if Microsoft beat Apple to the tablet market with its new UI or if Windows Phone was released ahead of Android, Microsoft would have claimed the lions share of the market. While Microsoft can't change the past, hopefully knowing their faults going forward will reduce the turnaround time from concept to retail product.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Report: Anonymous has no more plans for hacking Sony

Next Story

Eurogamer blacklisted by 2K Games

76 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

haha hard to imagine this was in development that long ago, but i suppose it was only a little more than a year (correct?)

Apple's strategy is to get a product released as fast as possible in a usable enough form. They leave out the wanted/important features. And they make it look extremely nice to distract you from it's missing features that should've been included from the get-go. Then as time goes by, introduce these missing features as innovations in product updates.

Microsoft's strategy is to include everything a user would want or need into a product before it's released.

Apples strategy is smart. Being first will give you the most recognition and gives you a big head start. Microsoft's strategy puts them behind but at least they listen to their customers.

Also, apples tablet required barely any work to be put into it. It's just a larger iphone. Microsoft is developing something brand new.

I think Microsoft is facing the same problem with tablet market that Android tablet is facing. Android tablet market is not really doing very well. It is highly fragmented and there is no real software for it. In fact no tablet maker is doing well besides Apple.

Hahaha. What's that I see - a pink pig flying outside my window?

You're definitely good for laughs Microsoft.

I think that MS is just AFRAID to introduce products or new UIs... They know they could reach new customers, but they don't want to risk the existing user-base. It took them awhile to realize that a new UI for Windows would be welcomed... they played out the Zune interface for awhile before it matured in WP7 -- and with good reviews they are adapting it to tablets, laptops and possibly PCs.

I mean, they have an ARMY of engineers, all of whom I am sure have interesting ideas, and who could be mobilized quickly enough to produce a product in a relatively short amount of time.

-Its all about the jack $ and this generation are fools for the new gadgets and latest dumbphones. 7 will be developed with this as a primary selling point.

WAR-DOG said,
Long year education and learning .NET stuff, thrown away and substituted with HTML5 & Javascript:
http://www.htmlgoodies.com/dai...future-app-development.html

so much for my MVP status

so because you can also dev for js/html5, not just managed code and native code, you're throwing a fit? How is more options for devs a bad thing? .net, Silverlight, native C++ aren't going anywhere. They are going to be faster, more embedded and smoother then anything javascript and html 5 has to offer. Forever?maybe not, but at best they're going to be comparable to managed code, and native code is always, always going to get better performance.

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,

good greif, why do people believe this stuff, .NET IS GOING NO WHERE!

Exactly right! .NET is WAY WAY too important for MS to just dump it.

And the iPad is based off the iPod Touch and iPhone. An iPad is, essentially just by looks, a giant iPod Touch/iPhone. Did they design it before then?

xWhiplash said,
And the iPad is based off the iPod Touch and iPhone. An iPad is, essentially just by looks, a giant iPod Touch/iPhone. Did they design it before then?

Yes, the Metro UI which is the Win8 tablet interface predates the iphone and ipod touch by several years.

I dont really are if the device I use is first to market anyway. I had it when companies push things to market to be the first. Rushing products to market to be first makes for crappy testing and left out features. I will wait for something that has what I need stock out of the box and that I can keep for a few years without having to upgrade each year.

The average consumer couldn't care less. It's about the company that puts it first on the store shelves.

Not as if Apple came up with the iPad and iOS over night...

.Neo said,
The average consumer couldn't care less. It's about the company that puts it first on the store shelves.

Not as if Apple came up with the iPad and iOS over night...

And companies who rush to be first, leave out features or things are not fully tested. And if android is any indicator, doesnt really matter these days who is first.

MS Lose32 said,
If Microsoft had mass produced and sold the Courier, they wouldn't be in the boat they're in now. The Courier would have made a killing!

MS is like General Motors. Good concepts, but none see the light of day.

Sadly, it doesn't matter now, who cares, the thing is they're late, very late to the game, and they need to run for the new generation of touch devices

daniel_rh said,
Sadly, it doesn't matter now, who cares, the thing is they're late, very late to the game, and they need to run for the new generation of touch devices

+1 No point planning or designing new products, if you aren't going to get them out the door.

IIRC the courier concepts came out before the iPad ao that shows they were thinking about their tablet strategy before rivals launched. Still gutted that got shelved.
W8 does look good tho.

all they are trying to say is they aren't doing this because of apple, they had it planned for a while... doesn't matter who was first, they are just saying we aren't responding to them directly... and how hard is it to believe that someone wasn't planning this years ago? UI's take time to plan and work out glitches... Windows 8's UI was being planned back when Vista was in beta stages, MS always is working 2 to 3 OS revisions out constantly in the planning stages... that's how we knew longhorn existed way back when XP was still whistler alpha and Millennium just came out

It wouldn't be the first time Microsoft made a fatal lapse in judgement and tried to get back in the game years later: First the iPod (wasn't it supposed to be a one day fly according to Microsoft?), then the iPhone (the iPhone should have died off quickly according to Balmer) and now the iPad (I believe Microsoft negatively commented about that never becoming a success as well).

It's turning into a slapstick really.

That's BS, Microsoft was caught off guard with iPad and then started building a brand new UI and ported NT to ARM in just under an year since iPad was launched. THEY ARE COPYING APPLE!!!


/s

Some of you need to calm down a bit. He wasn't saying that they designed it first and Apple copied it. He was saying that they developed the basics in isolation before Apples product came out. No copying involved, just two dev teams arriving at similar solutions independently. Which shouldn't be too surprising.

BS... no one knew the tablet format would take off as well as it did. Everyone ragged on Apple when the iPad was first announced - and now they are eating their words and scrambling to emulate. They still haven't been able to. Everything we see from Apple's competitors is merely reactionary.

First-mover advantages belong to the bold and the brave, neither of which are characteristic of Microsoft, the slow and lumbering Ol' Faithful.

It seems to have learnt its lesson though, for what it's worth.

dewaaz said,
BS... no one knew the tablet format would take off as well as it did. Everyone ragged on Apple when the iPad was first announced - and now they are eating their words and scrambling to emulate. They still haven't been able to. Everything we see from Apple's competitors is merely reactionary.

First-mover advantages belong to the bold and the brave, neither of which are characteristic of Microsoft, the slow and lumbering Ol' Faithful.

It seems to have learnt its lesson though, for what it's worth.

BS? tablet take off? You know MS has been making tablet OS's since 2001 right? Windows Media Center was based on a similar design, and that was from how many years ago?

dewaaz said,
BS... no one knew the tablet format would take off as well as it did. Everyone ragged on Apple when the iPad was first announced - and now they are eating their words and scrambling to emulate. They still haven't been able to. Everything we see from Apple's competitors is merely reactionary.

First-mover advantages belong to the bold and the brave, neither of which are characteristic of Microsoft, the slow and lumbering Ol' Faithful.

It seems to have learnt its lesson though, for what it's worth.

How is it BS? Windows 7 had several touch improvements. But they had different priorities with Windows 7, the previous release had been a PR nightmare and they needed to do damage control. It's very likely they knew that the tablet form factor would take off, but had to postpone the touch UI to version 8. And how is Windows 8 in any way emulating the iPad? the iPad runs a phone OS with a plain icon grid interface. The Windows 8 approach is completely different in terms of UI and underlying architecture. Even though the iPad was a success, it's still just an iPod Touch with a large screen. It was first to market, that's all. When truly innovative products are released the iPad will soon be forgotten.

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,

BS? tablet take off? You know MS has been making tablet OS's since 2001 right? Windows Media Center was based on a similar design, and that was from how many years ago?

You know there's a difference between a tablet with a touch-friendly OS and a keyboard-less laptop right?

MS Lose32 said,
You know there's a difference between a tablet with a touch-friendly OS and a keyboard-less laptop right?

Full blown desktop applications on the go versus $1.99 apps by the dozen?

Max Norris said,

Full blown desktop applications on the go versus $1.99 apps by the dozen?
Full blown desktop applications on the go? Isn't that what laptops are for? Tablets need a new kind of app, something a bit more touch-friendly perhaps?

MS Lose32 said,
Full blown desktop applications on the go? Isn't that what laptops are for? Tablets need a new kind of app, something a bit more touch-friendly perhaps?

I dunno, I like carrying around Windows 7 and my various must-have software in my purse versus fooling around with two separate programs, one on the desktop and one mobile, just makes it more cumbersome than it need be. Just my own preference of course, a lot easier than carrying around a notebook. Been pretty touch friendly so far, although very interested in Windows 8.

Jen Smith said,

I dunno, I like carrying around Windows 7 and my various must-have software in my purse versus fooling around with two separate programs, one on the desktop and one mobile, just makes it more cumbersome than it need be. Just my own preference of course, a lot easier than carrying around a notebook. Been pretty touch friendly so far, although very interested in Windows 8.
Windows 7 might be touch-friendly enough for you, which is good and everything, but it is obviously not touch-friendly enough for the average person. The very low sales numbers of Windows XP/Vista/7 tablets reflect that.

MS Lose32 said,
You know there's a difference between a tablet with a touch-friendly OS and a keyboard-less laptop right?

Tablet PC was more then a touch friendly OS, it had full handwriting recognition support, something that Apple still doesn't have..... it was a true tablet in the sense it worked like a pen and paper tablet, you could write on it, take notes, organize using one note, have all your writing turned into documents, etc...... stuff that apples over sized iPod Touch still doesn't do

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,

Tablet PC was more then a touch friendly OS, it had full handwriting recognition support, something that Apple still doesn't have..... it was a true tablet in the sense it worked like a pen and paper tablet, you could write on it, take notes, organize using one note, have all your writing turned into documents, etc...... stuff that apples over sized iPod Touch still doesn't do

You mean Tablet PC was more stylus-friendly? Handwriting recognition only works good with a stylus, not fingers. Unless everyone is born with a stylus attached to their hands, a finger friendly OS is better for the average tablet user.

MS Lose32 said,
You know there's a difference between a tablet with a touch-friendly OS and a keyboard-less laptop right?

Yea they are both still called Tablets.

Max Norris said,

Full blown desktop applications

That's why people use laptop ....

I don't see a lot of people working with office and visual studio using a touch based interface. There's a reason.

MS Lose32 said,
Unless everyone is born with a stylus attached to their hands, a finger friendly OS is better for the average tablet user.

Unless of course you want to run real software, not various little apps that may or may not be compatible with your desktop, never mind a much larger selection available. Better is purely subjective. If you just want a ginormous phone-OS, then sure, it's better. If you want to get real work done, not so much. And handwriting aside... your fingers work on regular tablets too.

LaP said,
I don't see a lot of people working with office and visual studio using a touch based interface. There's a reason.

Oddly enough Office 2010 works just fine for me on a tablet. Using my native software versus something else... I don't see a reason or need. It works. Menus work. Typing works. No conversions, synching, third party stuff, etc etc. And no stylus or extra fluff required. Visual Studio works as well, although rarely use it mobile, usually work via remote for that... too much stuff to move back and forth.

ahhell said,
Wrong. Everyone ragged on Apple for the design of the iPad because it's just a giant iPhone.

Actually, it's just a giant iPod Touch. The iPhone can make phone calls...

MS Lose32 said,
Yeah, and only one of the two types is selling good, i.e., that's the kind people want.

Sales have nothing to do with this story, but thanx for playing the Apple defense force game

Jen Smith said,

Oddly enough Office 2010 works just fine for me on a tablet. Using my native software versus something else... I don't see a reason or need. It works. Menus work. Typing works. No conversions, synching, third party stuff, etc etc. And no stylus or extra fluff required. Visual Studio works as well, although rarely use it mobile, usually work via remote for that... too much stuff to move back and forth.
Of course they work! or else why would Microsoft be selling them? That's not the issue here. The issue is whether they work GOOD ENOUGH for the AVERAGE user. And the answer obviously is no, or else they would be selling well. Microsoft thinks Windows XP/Vista/7 on a tablet sucks too, or else why would they be wasting time making Windows 8 so much more touch-friendly?

MS Lose32 said,
Of course they work! or else why would Microsoft be selling them? That's not the issue here. The issue is whether they work GOOD ENOUGH for the AVERAGE user.

Need to stop confusing "personal preference" with "what everybody thinks". It's obviously not good enough for everybody.

Max Norris said,

Need to stop confusing "personal preference" with "what everybody thinks". It's obviously not good enough for everybody.
Companies don't, and can't, make products for everyone. They cater to the "average" user. Sales numbers are the best tool to determine what the "average" person likes more.

dewaaz said,
BS... no one knew the tablet format would take off as well as it did.

Years ago, Microsoft launched Windows XP Tablet version and it raised a small gold rush, it was short but intense. Now, (almost a decade ago), Apple launch the Ipad and it is activating the same gold rush

Rudy said,
That's a long time ago.... they should try to push new stuff out faster

I know! A year and a half and the first glimpse we saw of it was last month. Seriously, I can't even program but i bet i could churn out at least a concept quicker.

And before the iPad came out the iPhone was released many years early with the same ui...so was it before or after the iPhone?

Co_Co said,
And before the iPad came out the iPhone was released many years early with the same ui...so was it before or after the iPhone?

I think they meant the overall concept of a tablet-centric UI.

Co_Co said,
And before the iPad came out the iPhone was released many years early with the same ui...so was it before or after the iPhone?

The Metro UI which is what the tablet UI is based off has been around alot longer than the Iphone or IOS it started in Windows media center than was used for the zune software and interface.

And what if the dinosaurs didn't get wiped out by that meteor?

It's all well and good saying, "we had the plan first," but ultimately it doesn't do anything but create hypothetical situations which we're never going to see.

Intrinsica said,
And what if the dinosaurs didn't get wiped out by that meteor?

It's all well and good saying, "we had the plan first," but ultimately it doesn't do anything but create hypothetical situations which we're never going to see.

Do you know how I know that you didn't read the article?

Lewin also went to say that he knows Microsoft needs to improve on its ability to churn out products faster. He states, "We know where we're going - we just have to get there faster."

No, I read that part, and it's great that they're learning from their mistakes. But the article ends up making it sound like they're making some kind of excuse. I was merely pointing out that there is no point in making an excuse for something like this since it won't change what actually happened.

Edited by Nick H., Jun 16 2011, 1:40pm :

Intrinsica said,
No, I read that part, and it's great that they're learning from their mistakes. But the articles title ends up making it sound like they're making some kind of excuse. I was merely pointing out that there is no point in making an excuse for something like this since it won't change what actually happened.

I'll give you that

Intrinsica said,
No, I read that part, and it's great that they're learning from their mistakes. But the article ends up making it sound like they're making some kind of excuse. I was merely pointing out that there is no point in making an excuse for something like this since it won't change what actually happened.
I took it as they're trying to calm their investor base. Since Apple's gotten a foothold, the investors have been unhappy, calling for Balmer to leave, etc.. This is Microsoft's way to saying that they're moving, just not fast enough.

At least that's how I take it.

While he may be speaking truth..... I higly doubt it! Besides, having had the UI planned before the iPad means zero unless it was a pattented design because as far as the general public is concerned; Apple beat them to the gate and thats all that matters.

NPGMBR said,
While he may be speaking truth..... I higly doubt it! Besides, having had the UI planned before the iPad means zero unless it was a pattented design because as far as the general public is concerned; Apple beat them to the gate and thats all that matters.

The design pattern was being used in the Zune software before the iPad and Windows Media Center/Origami before that.

GreyWolf said,

The design pattern was being used in the Zune software before the iPad and Windows Media Center/Origami before that.

Having had a Zune 80, Zune HD and now a Dell Venue Pro, I'm well aware of that. This topic is not about Zune hes talking about a product that has not yet been released and trying to claim that its significant because they already planned this UI befor the iPad. Its total bull****!

Glassed Silver said,
Good...
Now get back to work.

GS:mac

I've been a Neowin lurker for years. I hate all of your comments. Who the **** cares what device you use to reply. You're not Steve Jobs.

Saqqara said,

I've been a Neowin lurker for years. I hate all of your comments. Who the **** cares what device you use to reply. You're not Steve Jobs.

Seconded. Every single time I see that "signature", it annoys the heck out of me. There's no use for it!

Saqqara said,

I've been a Neowin lurker for years. I hate all of your comments. Who the **** cares what device you use to reply. You're not Steve Jobs.

Haha could not agree more.

Saqqara said,

I've been a Neowin lurker for years. I hate all of your comments. Who the **** cares what device you use to reply. You're not Steve Jobs.

+1
Same here. Finally registered after ages of lurking because I just couldn't agree more.

Saqqara said,

I've been a Neowin lurker for years. I hate all of your comments. Who the **** cares what device you use to reply. You're not Steve Jobs.

As well as I! Honestly. Plus I've never seen this woman reporting from another device. Like anyone cares about a signature and device input mention at the end of a comment.... Maybe I should try leaving one too.

Quikboy:HPPaviliondv6