Windows 8 blog desktop screenshot replaced; odd icon gone

On Friday, Microsoft updated its official Windows 8 blog with a massive (over 11,000 word) post which went over how the Windows 8 team designed the user interface for the upcoming PC and tablet operating system. One of the highlights of the post was Microsoft going over some of the changes planned for the desktop UI.

That post included a screenshot, shown above, as an example of the new desktop look. If you look closely at the taskbar in the screenshot, you can see a mysterious icon on the left side. You can check out a close up of that icon below.

 

Well, it looks like someone at Microsoft didn't want that image with that taskbar icon to go out. The Windows 8 blog entry has now been updated with a new Windows 8 desktop UI screenshot. The image now eliminates the odd looking taskbar logo. What exactly this icon was supposed to be, and why it was removed from the screenshot, remains a mystery.

This isn't the first time that Microsoft has changed something in its Windows 8 blog after it has been posted live. Indeed, a few days ago the blog showed an extensive article that talked about multi-monitor support for Windows 8. Microsoft quickly removed that entire post from the blog, although we got the details before the post was pulled.

Microsoft's Windows 8 Twitter page didn't state why the multi-monitor post was taken down earlier this week but did say that an "updated post will appear soon".

Images via Microsoft

Thanks to Techblitzblog for the heads-up

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62 Comments

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This icon was not authorised for release. As you are aware, Microsoft employees are bound by strict non-disclosure agreements that when breached can result in disciplinary action including termination of employment. You should remove this blog post.

50000 said,
This icon was not authorised for release. As you are aware, Microsoft employees are bound by strict non-disclosure agreements that when breached can result in disciplinary action including termination of employment. You should remove this blog post.

Who are you to say neowin should remove it?? a lot of sites already have this story. MS **** up.. that simple

50000 said,
This icon was not authorised for release. As you are aware, Microsoft employees are bound by strict non-disclosure agreements that when breached can result in disciplinary action including termination of employment. You should remove this blog post.

The picture was posted in a public blog and is therefore reproducible by various news agencies based upon "fair use" rights. You can't put the cat back into the bag once it has run off.

TCLN Ryster said,

The picture was posted in a public blog and is therefore reproducible by various news agencies based upon "fair use" rights. You can't put the cat back into the bag once it has run off.

Also, I had an email from Steven Sinofsky this morning who confirmed this was a genuine oversight and not some sneaky leak

I would love to see the option to pin the startscreen to my second monitor and keep it on top. And to make it perfect, I want to pin Metro apps at the rightside. This would make Metro much more usefull for me. The new multimonitor features are great, but the option to pin the startscreen will make it almost perfect.

Dannydeman said,
I would love to see the option to pin the startscreen to my second monitor and keep it on top. And to make it perfect, I want to pin Metro apps at the rightside. This would make Metro much more usefull for me. The new multimonitor features are great, but the option to pin the startscreen will make it almost perfect.

I completely agree! If Microsoft allow us to keep the Start Screen up on one monitor, while we're working with Metro apps on another monitor, I'll be more likely to be excited about using Windows 8. The Start Screen will be very useful to me if it's always on show. I appreciate that Windows 8 can display toast notifications, but I would like to have the Start Screen always on show, to maximise my user experience.

Edited by Calum, May 21 2012, 9:27am :

Calum said,

I completely agree! If Microsoft allow us to keep the Start Screen up on one monitor, while we're working with Metro apps on another monitor, I'll be more likely to be excited about using Windows 8. The Start Screen will be very useful to me if it's always on show. I appreciate that Windows 8 can display toast notifications, but I would like to have the Start Screen always on show, to maximise my user experience.

Someone will make a tool to accomplish this I guess

Dannydeman said,

Someone will make a tool to accomplish this I guess


Hopefully It's very likely they will, if Microsoft don't allow it.

the new flattened out approach definately feels closer to the "real" metro, but i wish they could make the giant icons less ugly

The icon looks like a door with an exit sign. Maybe they are actually treating the desktop as an app, that is when it's "running", an icon will appear on the taskbar?

If you close all Windows and you make taskbar autohide you get a full screen space which should be used as Metro screen instead of creating Metro Screen being a new entity but again how would you have WinRT app sitting on Desktop. Perhaps WinRT is not really way to go. For example there is Zune which is Win32 and works great on Desktop.

Is new Desktop UI just flat or still accelerated by GPU like Aero? Honestly i don't mind new Desktop UI as long as they keep consistency. I'd rather see Metro implementation within Desktop itself than Metro Screen itself as independent entity but that's just me.

Hey, Techblitz author here! When I first saw this, I definitely though Outlook (the O and the envelope are immediate details). Thanks for the high resolution image too!
---
Sincerely,
Techblitz

Bah! it can be clearly seen that it's Alf inside a boat behind a door with a round window wearing sun glasses, obviously MS is getting ready to promote the relaunch of the TV show

MorganX said,
If this is what MS needs to do to generate buzz, Windows 8 may be in trouble ... I kid.

Lol, intentionally or not, they are generating buzz ;-)

MorganX said,
If this is what MS needs to do to generate buzz, Windows 8 may be in trouble ... I kid.

Windows 8 may be doing pretty well if small things like this are generating buzz

Please don't tell me they are making the Office 15 icon set ugly too? Seriously Microsoft, just stop it now! Some designers there need a time out.

Wonder if Apple spies have infiltrated the company and are purposely destroying the OS without even Sinofsky knowing.

MWKZ said,
Maybe it is a software installer program's icon running in background

That's a good point; it could well be that.

MWKZ said,
Maybe it is a software installer program's icon running in background

I doubt it, have you SEEN the default installer icon? it's tiny and ugly, from the Win 85 days, it'd be awesome if Microsoft got rid of the stupid ass ico's and started using 512+ PNGs though.

hotdog963al said,
Why would they make Outlook's icon blue?
Even an updated metro style icon would end up yellow/orange, surely...

They've added a blue theme for Outlook in Office 15.

hotdog963al said,
Why would they make Outlook's icon blue?
Even an updated metro style icon would end up yellow/orange, surely...

It's beta. (Not final) Just a place holder I'm guessing.

hotdog963al said,
Why would they make Outlook's icon blue?
Even an updated metro style icon would end up yellow/orange, surely...

They could be changing the colours up or making all of the Office apps follow a blue theme. It's not safe to assume they won't do either of those.

lcg said,
That has to be Outlook.

Indeed. Clearly they just wanted to avoid all the hoohah over them changing the icons in Office until a later date Of course, by removing the icon and going to all the trouble of doctoring the image to make sure the date/times matched, they've just shone a big spotlight on it. Well done Microsoft.

Don't forget that on Friday when the icon was there, I don't recall a single person mentioning it. Now it's gone, everybody is talking about it. Either their marketing department is very stupid or very clever. I can't quite make my mind up yet.

TCLN Ryster said,

Indeed. Clearly they just wanted to avoid all the hoohah over them changing the icons in Office until a later date Of course, by removing the icon and going to all the trouble of doctoring the image to make sure the date/times matched, they've just shone a big spotlight on it. Well done Microsoft.

Don't forget that on Friday when the icon was there, I don't recall a single person mentioning it. Now it's gone, everybody is talking about it. Either their marketing department is very stupid or very clever. I can't quite make my mind up yet.


its an uber simple PhotoShop, just copy a bit of empty taskbar over the icon, 5 seconds work!

They went to the trouble of making sure the date and time on the new screenshot matched the old one... what is this sorcery?!?!

PaCpiS said,

Don't need Photoshop when you can just modify the time/date from Taskbar ;-)

That is true. They could have done either

KrYptiX14 said,
Definitely looks like the Office 15 Outlook logo - clear letter O and an envelope...

Wow, after reading that I now can clearly see it too.m Letter O on a Windows 8 tile with an envelope sticking out underneath it.

I do not really understand, why marketing deps always do the same: trying to remove the thing, already landed in Internet. Now, instead of that some discuss, what is this icon suppose to be, everyone (well, the one who read tech news) will know, that there was something! What a stupid move...

It's an excellent move. It generates interest and discussion.

cpu said,
I do not really understand, why marketing deps always do the same: trying to remove the thing, already landed in Internet. Now, instead of that some discuss, what is this icon suppose to be, everyone (well, the one who read tech news) will know, that there was something! What a stupid move...

Tuishimi said,
It's an excellent move. It generates interest and discussion.

Exactly what Tuishimi said, because here we are now, discussing it

Jan said,
Outlook?

EDIT: Here's what the icon could look like at high res: http://i.imgur.com/5DRG9.png

It'd be a bit inconsistant with the colour scheme they have going with the live tiles. Mail should be green, skydrive is blue.

Also, the icon is lit up, so it has focus when the screenshot was taken. It might be some in house tool they're using, or even an updated Windows Live Writer.

Jan said,
Outlook?

EDIT: Here's what the icon could look like at high res: http://i.imgur.com/5DRG9.png


It does look like outlook even the picture/image behind the "O" looks like the outlook envelope.. maybe you can tweak you high res image so it shows that all familiar evenelope.

sagum said,

It'd be a bit inconsistant with the colour scheme they have going with the live tiles. Mail should be green, skydrive is blue.

Also, the icon is lit up, so it has focus when the screenshot was taken. It might be some in house tool they're using, or even an updated Windows Live Writer.

Yeah, I noticed it was in focus as well, and thought maybe it was a new Explorer icon, but O and the mail icon make it look like an Outlook icon. but where is the outlook window? There's some EPIC photoshopping going on.

BumbleBritches57 said,

Yeah, I noticed it was in focus as well, and thought maybe it was a new Explorer icon, but O and the mail icon make it look like an Outlook icon. but where is the outlook window? There's some EPIC photoshopping going on.


I originally thought it was a new Windows Explorer icon, for that reason, but then I noticed the current Windows Explorer icon elsewhere on the taskbar and in the titlebar of the focussed window.

techblitz said,

Thanks for this image! Do you mind if I add it to the original post (Techblitz)? Thanks!

Sure!