Friday, May 14, 2004

ExtremeTech has posted a slideshow of Windows Longhorn. I’m not impressed.

A few issues, off the top of my head:

  • I’m disturbed that buttons and menus now have no visual cues to tell you that they’re buttons or menus. This is a good example; what’s clickable, and what’s just a static text label?
  • The new ALT-TAB feature is an improvement on the current little popup window in Windows, but it’s nowhere near as useful as MacOS’ Expose, for example. With the new ALT-TAB, you can’t see all of every window; you just see a slice of the left-hand side of each window. With Expose, you see all of every window. Think it doesn’t matter? Okay, imagine that you have three terminal windows open. You hit ALT-TAB, and you see the left 80 pixels of each window. It’s a lot easier to remember the visual layout of all the text on each window rather than having to squint and read the text on a small visible slice of the window (if it’s even readable at that size). Check out the DOS windows in the screenshot.
  • There’s an awful lot of different colors used in the interface. I count four different background colors on this screenshot alone; white, pale yellow, light grey, and dark grey. Granted, this is a very early alpha. But then, if it’s an alpha, why are they putting in lots of different colors? I’d expect there to be very few colors in an alpha.

Sure, it might get a lot better as time goes on. But this is a public release that Microsoft made available to ExtremeTech. If this isn’t representative of their interface, why are they letting ExtremeTech show it off?

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