Jensen Harris, who served as a Director for user experience (UX) at Microsoft, has been sharing tidbits of info about previous Windows versions and canned projects during his time there. Recently, he revealed the Windows 8 start-up sound that was axed, though chances are you may probably have heard it somewhere else. Harris also chimed in recently to talk about the Windows 11 Start menu revealing how "shocked" he was at the (terrible?) experience.
A few days ago, in a follow-up discussion related to the topic, Jensen Harris showed off what was meant to be the original Windows 8 Start button right click context menu.
Here was the original menu as I drew it.— Jensen Harris (@jensenharris) September 1, 2022
It’s more than a decade later, so definitely it makes sense that some things have changed (and possibly a lot more need to) as the world of Windows advances.
Most of these items were about warping directly to a Windows 7-era experience. pic.twitter.com/5TfECzbhlE
The idea behind the Start button context menu, dubbed "Command Center" then, was to make it much more useful for power users and was planned to be customizable via Registry tweaks or other power user-based applications.
I originally had the idea that this menu could be customizable via the Registry (and thus also by third-party Tweak UI kind of programs).— Jensen Harris (@jensenharris) September 1, 2022
I don’t remember if we built this, but I think maybe we had to cut it because we didn’t have time to finish it. pic.twitter.com/ZYUPKvDdMj
Sadly, however, the Command Center project was dropped as there was a lack of time to complete the whole thing and it was also a difficult task to balance the needs of power users and less experienced ones all within the ambit of the same UI experience. Hence, the additional power features, like the ability to be tweaked via Registry edits, never made it to final version.