Mockups show what Windows 8 looked like in 2010

Before operating systems are built, they, like most products, are given rough mockup designs to determine what they should look like and how they should operate. Windows 8 is no exception to that rule, and one Microsoft design manager recently revealed some of the early mockups to its latest operating system.

Jensen Harris, director of program management for the Windows user experience team, took to the stage at UX Week 2012 earlier this year and showed just how far the operating system's interface has come. The event took place in August, although the mockups are just now coming to light thanks to Long Zheng, creator of MetroTwit, noticing them.

During his hour-long presentation, which can be seen above, Harris showed early mockups displaying some familiar – yet at the same time, very different in some ways – appearances than what ended up in Windows 8.

"That has always been Windows' great strength, that it's familiar," Harris said at the conference. "Yet we were seeing things change all around us, and so we wanted to sort of question to the team, 'Is familiarity always the winner? Is that always the thing that's going to keep yourself relevant for years and years and years?'"

Most of the ideas Microsoft considered when redesigning the traditional Windows interface were related to how technology has advanced. In his presentation, Harris pointed out that many of the Windows interface elements have remained relatively unchanged in the past 20 years.

The mockups, which can be seen beginning at about the 59-minute mark of the video, show how Microsoft considered revamping those elements. The majority of the mockups remain consistent with the final version of Windows 8, although it's clear many of the bold colors and shapes of Metro weren't added until later in the design process.

"Originally we had ideas for a whole bunch of charms, but we ended up deciding on five," Harris said. "But the idea that they came in from the side [stayed the same]. Having this vision fixed in people's minds [what the operating system should look like]."

That original charms bar, seen below, included many of the same options as the final version, although some features were removed, such as a favorites charm.

Via: istartedsomething
Source: UX Week 2012

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flat, big boxes, no folders, no multitasking windows, dull 95 look...
The design of windows 8 have just gone worse than windows 7 aero look.
the new metro start is so bad for desktop users with keyboard and mouse.
Only because MS is too slow and too afraid too loose against android and ipad, desktop users will hate windows 8 so badly.

These concepts do not impress me and neither does Windows 8 (UI Wise). If I were to start designing a Windows OS that truely excited me, I would start with Some of the concepts presented in Longhorn before they scrapped it after 4074.

I got his point:

The fact that Internet was created and car design was changed for the last 20 years means that Windows 8 is "modern" and we should buy it ASAP.

Edited by lexp, Nov 22 2012, 11:46am :

The problem with the design team at Microsoft currently is that they're too focused on abstract arbitrary principles like "less is more", "chrome is bad" and "skeuomorphism is dated" and they've lost sight of sound, tried and tested UX design principles. The new Microsoft design language in its current incarnation presents major discoverability problems and major inadequacies for traditional desktop PCs with large monitors and no touch interface.

Windows 8 is perhaps a visionary product but not a very practical one. As much as I like Microsoft, I hope this product fails as it should and Microsoft goes back to the design board for Windows 9.

Hmmm. I think this is fishy. I remember grabbing the leaked versions up to build 7950, and they were past 2010. No sign of any UI changes.

Furthermore, if it was worked since 2 years ago, how come we have today an incomplete UI?

Jose_49 said,
Hmmm. I think this is fishy. I remember grabbing the leaked versions up to build 7950, and they were past 2010. No sign of any UI changes.

Furthermore, if it was worked since 2 years ago, how come we have today an incomplete UI?

That's because these are simply mock-ups of what the interface would look like in the design stages. This isn't what Windows 8 actually looked like in 2010, despite what the headline says.

adriann said,

That's because these are simply mock-ups of what the interface would look like in the design stages. This isn't what Windows 8 actually looked like in 2010, despite what the headline says.


Now that's more trustful

Remember a while back when I said that a lot of the design of 8 was finalized a long time ago, and that while some changes happened it was released almost exactly as originally envisioned?

This is a bit of what I was talking about.

Shane Nokes said,
Remember a while back when I said that a lot of the design of 8 was finalized a long time ago, and that while some changes happened it was released almost exactly as originally envisioned?

This is a bit of what I was talking about.

In war, the best plans are the ones that pass through many hands with little changes. It takes a very comprehensive and well thought out plan for that to occur.

It seems that the most major changes were just refinements and polishing.

That was a funny Subaru ad, although I'd note that VW was once very successful in an ad campaign to define its cars as "no ego" -- meaning all the other car companies tried so hard to be "different" instead of just producing nice, beautiful, well engineered cars. We were coming out of the 80s, when faddism took over everything and everything had to be "new". So people were attracted to the idea that newer doesn't mean better.

I like Windows 8 and Metro and think its the right direction, btw, I just don't make fun of the opposing view that the Desktop is fine how it is.

Came for the inevitable "better than what we got!" posts that literally ALWAYS accompany articles like this, regardless of the product.

Predictable comments are predictable.

Joshie said,
Came for the inevitable "better than what we got!" posts that literally ALWAYS accompany articles like this, regardless of the product.

Predictable comments are predictable.


Came for the inevitable moaner.

Predictable moaners are predictable.

MFH said,

Came for the inevitable moaner.

Predictable moaners are predictable.


Oh...oh my. You skipped all the other people criticizing the same people I criticized, just to poke fun at lil' ol' me? I feel...so special.

Are...are you...are you in love with me?

theyarecomingforyou said,

How constructive.


So, what, are posts lamenting the loss of something that never existed constructive? Nothing on this entire page is 'constructive'. It's just trivia, and for some reason, there are people who let their emotions get wrapped up in trivial things. If they're so eager to waste their time on empty emotions, I'm willing to spend some of mine on amusement.

But no, act butt hurt. It's very becoming.

xfx said,
00:35:37
Priceless!!!!

I believe that's a slide, not a true BSOD. IINM windows 8 doesn't have a detailed BSOD; or maybe you knew that and I'm just dumb.

eddman said,

I believe that's a slide, not a true BSOD. IINM windows 8 doesn't have a detailed BSOD; or maybe you knew that and I'm just dumb.

Yes, that's the whole point of that section of the presentation -- I just find it funny that they talked about how Windows 8 "improves" the BSOD by removing all the pertinent information that you'd normally use to troubleshoot the issue and replaces it with a completely useless message.

xfx said,

Yes, that's the whole point of that section of the presentation -- I just find it funny that they talked about how Windows 8 "improves" the BSOD by removing all the pertinent information that you'd normally use to troubleshoot the issue and replaces it with a completely useless message.

Actually those information rarely help. The real help comes from the dump files that windows generates, which have those info in them and much more.

eddman said,

Actually those information rarely help. The real help comes from the dump files that windows generates, which have those info in them and much more.

I understand... but what if you are unable to boot after the BSOD? Unable to check Event Viewer?
Things get complicated -- with the old BSOD you could, at least, do some research with some other device about the error.

xfx said,

I understand... but what if you are unable to boot after the BSOD? Unable to check Event Viewer?
Things get complicated -- with the old BSOD you could, at least, do some research with some other device about the error.

Not being able to boot an OS isn't a showstopper anymore - bootable DaRT on a USB key or PXE server allows you to do such analysis - and potentially repair - from a bootable PE environment.

My point exactly...

You expect that the target audience for the dumbed down version of the BSOD screen in Win8 will even know what you are talking about?

At least, with the pre-Win8 BSOD, everyone was able to either call someone or simply google for the error message.

xfx said,
My point exactly...

You expect that the target audience for the dumbed down version of the BSOD screen in Win8 will even know what you are talking about?

At least, with the pre-Win8 BSOD, everyone was able to either call someone or simply google for the error message.

That's true, but again, simply searching for such errors on internet does not result in any definite solutions. Besides, an average person wouldn't even know what to search for.
Also, by default windows immediately restarts the PC after a BSOD, so there is no time to write down the error code anyway, unless you change its setting, which again an average person would not know to how.

Only a dump file can pinpoint the exact problem.

eddman said,

That's true, but again, simply searching for such errors on internet does not result in any definite solutions. Besides, an average person wouldn't even know what to search for.
Also, by default windows immediately restarts the PC after a BSOD, so there is no time to write down the error code anyway, unless you change its setting, which again an average person would not know to how.

Only a dump file can pinpoint the exact problem.

You have a very valid point but the thing is that those that don't know all this stuff are going to call me... and you... to ask for help. And with that "new" window, what are they going to tell us?

Also, what about us, those who know where to look?
In ~20 years of using Windows I've never had to rely on a dump file -- the error information from the BSOD has always been enough.

See? How is this poor guy supposed to ask for help without any useful information?
http://www.neowin.net/forum/in...1121604&view=getnewpost

xfx said,

You have a very valid point but the thing is that those that don't know all this stuff are going to call me... and you... to ask for help. And with that "new" window, what are they going to tell us?

Also, what about us, those who know where to look?
In ~20 years of using Windows I've never had to rely on a dump file -- the error information from the BSOD has always been enough.

See? How is this poor guy supposed to ask for help without any useful information?
http://www.neowin.net/forum/in...1121604&view=getnewpost

Simple. He/she should search for "IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL". This is the useful part of a BSOD which is still there.

You can click the "Store" button on the bookshelf, because that's how it works in real life...

I laughed my ass off when he said that.

He's right, Apple has gone overboard with the whole skeuomorphic thing. Now Jonathan Ive has taken over OS X and iOS' interface design I expect most of it to disappear in future versions. Apparently he wasn't too happy about it either.

I prefer the current implementation, using the OS on a tablet is great. I wouldn't object to seeing the clock on the start screen and some addition to the charm bar, like the favourites coming back.

I like the story behind the backgrounds too, I agree why isnt this guy at the launches does a good job

notchinese said,
A few bits are better, but quit being delusional, that charms bar in the video is HIDEOUS.

amen. the charms on that video look absolutely intrusive and crowded.

IronChef75 said,
Where's this guy when Microsoft need to announce or demo something publicly? He runs circles around Balmer, Sinofsky et al.

they don't need a clown that runs circles.

IronChef75 said,
Where's this guy when Microsoft need to announce or demo something publicly? He runs circles around Balmer, Sinofsky et al.

He is very compelling; I like his attitude to "pride in detail" - something MS has sorely lacked in previous times.

I want that dock for a Surface Pro he mentions.

Waaaaaaaaaa. Quit crying. If this was the release and they showed the currently release as the past you would say it's cleaner and better. Stop complaining.

I would have loved the old designs in the beginning. Now I'm starting to get used to "flat everywhere", and I can't live without it.

It's better for my eyes at least, and presents me with content instead of chrome.

ffMathy said,
I would have loved the old designs in the beginning. Now I'm starting to get used to "flat everywhere", and I can't live without it.

It's better for my eyes at least, and presents me with content instead of chrome.

Sometimes it makes me feel soulless and dead inside.

ffMathy said,
I would have loved the old designs in the beginning. Now I'm starting to get used to "flat everywhere", and I can't live without it.

It's better for my eyes at least, and presents me with content instead of chrome.

I'm okay with people loving flat and bland square.

But you really can't live without it ?

THolman said,

Sometimes it makes me feel soulless and dead inside.

That's witty I guess, but in this context, it reads like you're saying you get your life and soul from the gloss and drop-shadows of the UI of your computer.

When it really should be where your own "content" is supposed to come in. Like the stuff you do in your life. The boxes won't be empty if your images are there, your videos, images of your favorite sites, pictures of people important to you, etc. In this way, your computer adapts to your life, rather than your stuff being styled by the computer.

One could, and some have argued that the flatness of Win8 has been taken a little too far, but I think it's a better starting point to work from.

Edited by Kyang, Nov 20 2012, 5:02pm :

Kyang said,

When it really should be where your own "content" is supposed to come in. Like the stuff you do in your life. The boxes won't be empty if your images are there, your videos, images of your favorite sites, pictures of people important to you, etc. In this way, your computer adapts to your life, rather than your stuff being styled by the computer.

You're right - those pictures of my dick really do liven up the Start Screen.

theignorant1 said,

You're right - those pictures of my dick really do liven up the Start Screen.

Windows 8: Access what's important.

Edited by Kyang, Nov 20 2012, 8:15pm :

LaP said,

I'm okay with people loving flat and bland square.

But you really can't live without it ?

I wish they would have flattened the interface before 8. I love minimalist design principles and I'm glad many of the chrome elements are gone. Shadows, raised buttons, etc are distractions that eat resources and don't make my computing experience any more enjoyable.

theignorant1 said,

You're right - those pictures of my dick really do liven up the Start Screen.

Good thing it's also designed for small, low-powered touch devices then.

yowanvista said,
So much better than the current abomination.

Of course you can do much better. How about you join MS and change 8 the way you see fit, or even better, create a new OS all by yourself. /S

yowanvista said,
So much better than the current abomination.

except off course if they had shipped that, you'd say the same about the current one

The prototype Start Screen - shown at 01:00:00 - is dramatically better than the shipping version, at least in terms of the background. It annoys me that they decided to make everything flat and bland in the final release.

theyarecomingforyou said,
The prototype Start Screen - shown at 01:00:00 - is dramatically better than the shipping version, at least in terms of the background. It annoys me that they decided to make everything flat and bland in the final release.

You can make custom backgrounds and the default ones give you a lot more design options as you can change design and color independently.

theyarecomingforyou said,
The prototype Start Screen - shown at 01:00:00 - is dramatically better than the shipping version, at least in terms of the background. It annoys me that they decided to make everything flat and bland in the final release.

Yeah, a different background is soooo much of a showstopper lol. You're really having trouble whining about nonissues, aren't you?

Gaffney said,

You can make custom backgrounds and the default ones give you a lot more design options as you can change design and color independently.

Not out-of-the-box - you have to use third party software.

bviktor said,
Yeah, a different background is soooo much of a showstopper lol. You're really having trouble whining about nonissues, aren't you?

My comment was that the included backgrounds are inferior to the prototype shown here. That didn't stop me buying Windows 8 on the day of release. Or am I supposed to blindly praise every element of the operating system? There was no need for your immature criticism of me.

theyarecomingforyou said,
The prototype Start Screen - shown at 01:00:00 - is dramatically better than the shipping version, at least in terms of the background. It annoys me that they decided to make everything flat and bland in the final release.

That background isn't much different from the current ones, but heck at least the live tiles aren't as ugly as in that prototype xD

theyarecomingforyou said,
The prototype Start Screen - shown at 01:00:00 - is dramatically better than the shipping version, at least in terms of the background. It annoys me that they decided to make everything flat and bland in the final release.

plenty of freeware exists to let you set the background to anything you want. but if the BG selection is the biggest problem, well, then they will fix it in 10 minutes.

Tyler R. said,
Charms menu look a hell a lot nicer than they do now.

I don't think so. The shadow and rounded corners and the weird line in the background really doesn't appeal to me

Cøi said,

I don't think so. The shadow and rounded corners and the weird line in the background really doesn't appeal to me


I didn't realize it imeditly either, actually had to look at the source, that weird line in the background is in fact in the foreground and not at all a part of the UI, it's a transparent drawing of a hand representing touch input.

For the rest of it, I agree about the rounded corners but a shadow might actually have been nice. The current icons are without a doubt better than the old ones shown here.

trogenda said,
Better.

I agree. The old look at least looks like they put a little bit of time and effort into it. What we have now is flat, plain, and just ugly.

Take any random element of the Metro style and ask yourself: "Could I have designed that in Paint in less than five minutes?"

Chugworth said,

I agree. The old look at least looks like they put a little bit of time and effort into it. What we have now is flat, plain, and just ugly.

Take any random element of the Metro style and ask yourself: "Could I have designed that in Paint in less than five minutes?"

I probably wouldn't have been ablet to create the icon within the tile, but the collored tiles, of course I could have made that under 5 minutes. 10 seconds tops.

But what exactly is wrong with that? Tiles provide more pixels for live information than an icon. I prefer functionality over style and on top of that, when you put all those live tiles together I actually like the look of it. Especially if you also have some tiles that show pictures of contacts, your own library and the news. It really makes the UI come to life.

Your opinion that it looks flat, plan and ugly is just that, your opinion. I do like the minimal approach. But I wonder, have you seen the UI in motion? Because I felt the same about Windows Phone 7 when I first saw it online. It eas even worse because it only used one collor. But when I saw one in real life it was a totally different experience. And now I own one.

Ronnet said,
Your opinion that it looks flat, plan and ugly is just that, your opinion. I do like the minimal approach. But I wonder, have you seen the UI in motion? Because I felt the same about Windows Phone 7 when I first saw it online. It eas even worse because it only used one collor. But when I saw one in real life it was a totally different experience. And now I own one.

Well I'm running Windows 8 right now, and I have been using it as my main OS since the release preview. I will say that the tiles run nice and smooth. Sometimes I hit Start just to watch the Start screen fade in. But then I laugh at the ugly mess once it appears. 99% of my time is spent in the desktop. I hope Microsoft is gathering telemetry data from this.

Chugworth said,

I agree. The old look at least looks like they put a little bit of time and effort into it. What we have now is flat, plain, and just ugly.

Take any random element of the Metro style and ask yourself: "Could I have designed that in Paint in less than five minutes?"

The question isn't "Would I be able to make it in Paint" (which is a stupid question) but "would I have the knowledge, foresight and training to make it look simple AND good?"

There is so much more to design than just tools. A key example is whitespace, of which many developers show no sign of understanding.