The UX enthusiast site to read –

Stephen Chapman is one of those people who know every pixel of Windows inside out, inverted and flipped horizontally. If you think I’m a Microsoft snoop, he might as well be snoop dog. I wouldn’t doubt if he knew more about the design of Windows than the Windows chief Sinofsky himself. Which is why his new blog, is the Microsoft user experience blog to read.

Stephen is known to provide some of the best insights into the development of Windows over the course of “Longhorn”. Before contributing to the UX enthusiast community AeroXP, he wrote a blog called UX.Evolutions which some of you might be familiar with. It was later abandoned, but in its heydays, it was the best insight into all things user experience-related about Longhorn.

If you’re not already convinced, just check out some of the rare Microsoft concepts he’s posted to his Flickr account.

MSX (Microsoft Design) was pretty serious about Aero Glass.

A Vista taskbar mockup with alternate styling. I still reckon this one looks better than RTM.

A Vista start menu mockup with slightly different styling. Nice detail in the reflection of the user icon.

Now go check out the rest of his gallery and blog yourself.

17 insightful thoughts

  1. very nice….i have a great deal of respect for Stephen doing something along the line of this and was a huge fan of UXevolution as well!

    glad to see this and it will be a huge asset to any Windows UX fan!!


  2. Phodeo was a view mode that got cut from longhorn. (well vista)
    It was never in any builds of longhorn that leaked. I’m not sure if it ever was in a build. I think it was only in the form of the Director demos.
    Shame hey….

  3. Hey, Long! Thanks a lot for the write-up; I really appreciate it! I hope I can continuously provide content that interests you and your readers. Thanks for checking out my site, everyone!


  4. Phodeo is awesome… why didn’t it get implemented??? Probably because they were trying to appease the “Vista needs too much power” crowd, also known as the “I bought this computer for Windows 95, why shouldn’t I be able to still use it?” crowd.

  5. I think it’s because back in the day the shell was using Avalon (WPF). It could have file animations and 3d-ish views in Explorer etc.

    But explorer in Vista isnt using WPF at all.
    I’m not saying you NEED WPF to do such things. But it appeared to be the easiest way of implementing it.

    Also as we know, longhorn was using the pillars to power itself.
    While Vista really just offers them for developers to build on top of.

    Windows ver 7 should really start using these technologies that Vista introduced but doesn’t really use.

    I just hope that Windows 7 has far better search and organize functions. Basically WinFS’s with a new name. Or at the very least make Unified Data stores. E.g. Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Gallery and Explorer all would write there meta data to the same place.

  6. @Imsomniac

    That’s a valid point. I’m surprised Microsoft didn’t use WPF at all in any of their Vista apps… not even Movie Maker or Photo Gallery… I think that would have been a great way to show off WPF. But then I guess WPF wasn’t ready early enough?

  7. Yeah thats what i think. And thats probably why Longhorn had the reset.
    You cant build something when you haven’t finalized the foundations that you are building it on.

    So i hope to see Windows 7 really make a lot of use with it all.

  8. Indeed – and I’d say it will. I am quite surprised the Windows Live team haven’t made a WPF messenger or another Live app in WPF. Lets wait and see…

  9. @mrmckeb: Yeah, even the newest Windows Live “Wave 2” software looks really ugly. It feels like a third party company tried to copy Vista’s style. Imagine what they could have done with WPF in Messenger and Photo Gallery.

  10. i agree with tino – the new live software does a bit look as its designed from another company than microsoft. they look nice, but different.

    nevertheless, excellent products and i enjoy them very much. more of those please!

Leave a Reply