Ex-Windows UX guru reveals concept behind Windows 8 Start "Command Center" context menu

Jensen Harris

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.

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.

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.

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