Windows Vista: reality vs imagination

Back in 2004 when Microsoft was still confused about what build numbers to use for Windows Codename Longhorn, it was like puberty for concept art and codenames: dribble on Aero, draw with Avalon, talk on Indigo, store in WinFS and wrap around WinFX. Everything aside, I think the best thing that came out of WinHEC 2004 was this picture. When I first saw that picture, I went “Wow. Longhorn looks amazingly polished.” Of course I didn’t know it was one of many Macromedia Director demos showcased. Nevertheless, time moved on.

September 2006. Windows Vista RC1 released. Bit of a bummer in the UI area. Better than any Vista beta, but worse than any Longhorn concept art. And just to demonstrate, I mocked up what I would have hoped as the “Longhorn-standard” for Windows Mail.

Windows MailWindows Mail Long Zheng mockup

The Windows Vista UI is an evolution, not a revolution. Oh well. All bets are off for Codename “Vienna”.

10 insightful thoughts

  1. Would MS dare open up an old version of Windows, perhaps Win 2000, and make it open source — see what a community of developers could make of it…and help bring MS to developing countries legally…

  2. What is Windows Mail? A reskinned Outlook Express with a search box, plus a new Help/About dialog. Far from revolutionary or even evolutionary. Nice mock uup though, very nice.

  3. I hate the inconsistencies in Aero.

    Microsoft should see this and hire you as a designer. Your mockup is exactly how I picture Vista SHOULD be. It’s a shame MS is letting this happen.

  4. the one on the right doesnt look much different but is so much cleaner and nicer, why did windows mail look like the one on the left, it still looks like it came from an older version of windows

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