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Windows Longhorn Beta Screenshots

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  • by scsirob (246572) on Monday July 11, 2005 @02:36AM (#13030775)
    I'm puzzled by the whole hoopla of transparancy. Besides being a 'cool feature', how does it help me in becoming more productive?
    • Using some window managers on Linux as soon as you move the window it goes transparent. The result is that you only have to move the window a tiny bit to see what is under it. That saves you time, therefore increasing your productivity.
    • by icleprechauns (660843) on Monday July 11, 2005 @02:43AM (#13030827) Homepage
      Half the features on modern UIs don't increase productivity, and that includes OS X and other non-Microsoft products. People just like eye candy...
      • by ericdano (113424) on Monday July 11, 2005 @02:53AM (#13030869) Homepage
        Perhaps true, but it does make the whole work experience more enjoyable. I use a Mac and a PC (XP). I seriously love spending time on the Mac. The XP machine is boring and dull. Does that make me more productive then? No, but I walk away from using the Mac without a headache.
      • by Paradox (13555) on Monday July 11, 2005 @03:14AM (#13030941) Homepage Journal
        Well, sometimes eye candy doesn't directly contribute to productivity, but helps reduce overall strain. For example, people used to think that shadowed window edges were "just" eye candy, but as you spend time in WMs that do shadowing, you realize it's a useful visual cue that keeps from obstructing other data on the screen.

        Is it leaps and bounds better than a thin window border? No. Is it a small step in the right direction? Definitely.

        Personally, I'll encourage all the iCandy that I can, because it drives people to make powerful display architectures. Without all the focus on visual glamour, Mac OS X wouldn't have Exposé, which I use nearly constantly and find to be superior to multiple desktops for many scenarios.
        • by BorgDrone (64343) on Monday July 11, 2005 @03:23AM (#13030994) Homepage
          For example, people used to think that shadowed window edges were "just" eye candy, but as you spend time in WMs that do shadowing, you realize it's a useful visual cue that keeps from obstructing other data on the screen.

          Another example is the 'genie' effect when minimizing/restoring windows. At first it looks like a gimmick, but it is in fact a very useful visual cue, it shows you where the window went so you can find it quickly when you need it back. Nowadays, when I use Windows, I get annoyed by windows just disappearing into thin air.
      • by Calroth (310516) on Monday July 11, 2005 @03:17AM (#13030956)
        Half the features on modern UIs don't increase productivity, and that includes OS X and other non-Microsoft products. People just like eye candy...

        As long as these features don't decrease productivity, why not have them? After all, given two UIs with the same productivity, one with eye candy and one without, I'd take the eye candy...
      • by venicebeach (702856) on Monday July 11, 2005 @03:38AM (#13031048) Homepage Journal
        Yes. And seriously, I'm kinda tired of hearing this come up over and over again. Does it increase productivity? Jeez. I spend so much time on my computer I think of it like a second home. And is everything in my home there to increase productivity? I design my home so that I enjoy living in it, and so that I live well in it. It should be the same with computers, (not to mention buildings, cities, etc.).

        For some reason it's accepted to choose furniture based on how it looks as well as how it works, but when it comes to computers you are being frivolous if you want it to look nice. Just imagine if every technology we have were built only with its most narrowly conceived function in mind. It would be like the whole world was made of those cookie cutter housing complexes. Maybe they're great for housing people, but don't they also slowly suck the inspiration out of us? Sorry, I don't want to live in one of those places.
      • by Angostura (703910) on Monday July 11, 2005 @04:13AM (#13031171)
        Sounds insightful ... but wait a minute; which half precisely?

        The whizzy minimize effects?, the rotating cube effect when using fast user switching (on a Mac). Eye candy, nothing more? Maybe? but just perhaps this type of stuff provides useful visual cues that make using the machine just a little more intuitive ... you see one desktop rotate out of the way; you kind of 'know' it's waiting for you somewhere. the silly minimize effect; well it lets you know intuitively roughly on the screen where the minimized window has gone without searching.

        The ripple effect when you 'drop' a dashboard widget? Doh you got me - eye candy.

        You say "people just like eye candy". well maybe they do, maybe it make using the machine subjectively more pleasant in some way. Might that 'pleasant' interface not also aid productivity?
    • by Aqua OS X (458522) on Monday July 11, 2005 @04:03AM (#13031145)
      Originally, Steve Jobs tried to justify transparency by claiming you could see if there was anything being obstructed by a window bar, menu, dialog box, etc.

      Really, it was little more then "cool for cool's sake." Transparent interface elements have practically been eliminated from OS X. Menu and sheets are at around 98% opacity (almost solid compared to OS X 10.0), and the dock's boarder is transparent, but that's about it.

      Transparent interface elements were causing major usability problems. It was hard to grab windows when multiple transparent window bars were layered on top of each other. Moreover, transparent elements were incredibly hard to read when they were drawn over text documents.

      I could go on and on, but in short, it was a bad idea then and it's a bad idea now. Microsoft should scrap this garbage on the default theme. I know it looks "cool" and some execs are probably attached to these stupid effect... but people will complain and they will be killed by sp1 anyway. There are other ways to make an interface hip and cool.
    • I've recently started reading a book called "Emotional Design" by Don Norman - who is some kind of HCI professor. From what I can tell so far, one of the basic tenets of the book is the idea that objects (or software) that are aesthetically pleasing put us (humans) into a better mood while using it, and actually increase our productivity while using them. People will often be happier and more comfortable using something that is actually harder to use than some alternatives if it speaks to them emotionally. Does transparancy fall into this category? Seems likely...

      -If
      • Yeah, that's something that you have to keep in mind about people. We're only as productive as our state of mind lets us be. There's been a number of articles over the past few weeks on /. about how IT people and programmers are working these ridiculously long work weeks, and how after 60 hrs, your productivity goes down, regardless of how smart you are, or how important your deadline is.

        Plainly put, the bottleneck is hardly ever going to be the computer. Unless you're totally in the zone, you've got more
  • From TFA: (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kethinov (636034) on Monday July 11, 2005 @02:36AM (#13030776) Homepage Journal
    Windows Longhorn 5203 Screenshots
    The article lies! There can't be more than a dozen screenshots in that article. Certainly not five thousand! :(
  • by jtbauki (838979) on Monday July 11, 2005 @02:37AM (#13030778)
    Seems like Microsoft is doing what Microsoft does best. Copying other companies. Maybe that's an unfair statement, but man, I hate Microsoft =).
    • by Cloud K (125581)
      "Seems like Microsoft is doing what Microsoft does best. Copying other companies. Maybe that's an unfair statement, but man, I hate Microsoft =)"

      But only Microsoft can 'borrow' from one of the greatest (visually) UIs on the planet and still manage to make it so... butt ugly :)
  • This is not the beta (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DigitlDud (443365) on Monday July 11, 2005 @02:37AM (#13030781)
    I can say with complete certainty that the beta is still under development and has not been released internally or to the public.
    • I met my best friend's girlfriend yesterday. She works for a firm that sells embedded OS software. They've received their beta of longhorn. She didn't seem that impressed and she loves microsoft to the point of trying to convince me Linux (a movix disk) broke her graphics card.
    • I can say with complete certainty that the beta is still under development and has not been released internally or to the public.

      We can tell it's not the beta because they're not selling it for $199 at Fry's yet.
    • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Monday July 11, 2005 @12:14PM (#13033673)
      "This is not the beta you're looking for"

      this is not the beta I'm looking for

      *blink*
  • by smeagols_ghost (644286) on Monday July 11, 2005 @02:38AM (#13030788) Journal
    Good to see you still need to click start to shut down.

    I had great fun explaning that to my mum when she first used xp

    • by DraconPern (521756) <{moc.liamtoh} {ta} {nrepnocard}> on Monday July 11, 2005 @03:54AM (#13031118) Homepage
      Using that is so 2002, I use the power button. And yes, Windows does shutdown correctly when I do that.
      • by Cloud K (125581) on Monday July 11, 2005 @07:52AM (#13031756)
        I think the reason your average Luser doesn't press that button, apart from having it drummed into them not to 5 years ago, is that its behaviour is so inconsistent. Sometimes it shuts down, sometimes it sleeps, sometimes it locks the machine up (yay for Windows' ACPI support)

        Yet again I'd have to be an Apple whore and say that OS X wins on that one - one little window pops up asking you what you want to do.
  • Holy Shit! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 11, 2005 @02:40AM (#13030802)
    Transparency! Tabbed browsing! A search bar in the browser! Brilliant!

    And why the fuck exactly did recycling old technology take them this long?
  • by aendeuryu (844048) on Monday July 11, 2005 @02:41AM (#13030809)
    Is the server performance a Longhorn preview as well?
  • by Joel Rowbottom (89350) on Monday July 11, 2005 @02:41AM (#13030810) Homepage
    "And in related news, Longhorn's webserver fell on its arse after 50 geeks attempted to look at the eye-candy simoultaneously..."
  • "The technologies of today --- TOMORROW!"

    (yeah, I said that joke before. Kinda lame, I know...)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 11, 2005 @02:51AM (#13030864)
    "many of the new transparency features"

    Some one has turned the transparency up too far. When I click the link I can't even see the website.
  • "Mirror" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nine99 (893150) on Monday July 11, 2005 @02:51AM (#13030865) Homepage
  • Close Window 'X' (Score:5, Interesting)

    by m()p3s (888808) on Monday July 11, 2005 @02:54AM (#13030874)
    It appears that the closed window button (The ' X ', found in the title bar of each application window) has moved 15 pixels to the left.

    Unfortunately none of the screenshots have any maximised windows but if the ' X ' button has moved for maximised windows as well then it will be the worst GUI decision EVER! Gone will be the quick hand flick up and to the right to close a window.

    Using the 'infinite' screen real-estate in the corners and edges of the screen is very important but Microsoft continually abuse the said space and assign these areas as no-action spaces.

    A truly terrible decision if it is the case.

    • by Sneeka2 (782894) on Monday July 11, 2005 @03:25AM (#13031000)
      True. Has Microsoft done anything big to actually improve the usability since '95? The Start menu still has the same usability issues it had a decade ago (i.e. inconsistency with the apps it actually points to and general clutter) and the Taskbar is a usability horror if you've got a couple of dozen windows open. I think they had a bad start with the general UI and only made it worse and more inconsistent over the years. I mean, right next to the fancy glass effect (and yes, it looks rather neat), there are some buttons and elements that seem to have been copied straight out of '95 or '98. I wonder if systray tooltips still tend to appear behind the taskbar occasionally?

      Why don't they give the whole thing a once-over and just do it right?
      Oh, yeah, sorry, it's Microsoft...
      • Re:Close Window 'X' (Score:5, Informative)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday July 11, 2005 @04:53AM (#13031287) Journal
        The Start menu still has the same usability issues it had a decade ago

        No it hasn't. Since Windows 2000 (and even more so in Windows XP), things in the Start Menu would periodically be re-arranged to help you find the one you wanted (or something). This completely destroys muscle memory, making the Start Menu significantly less usable.

        The modern Start Menu has a much bigger set of usability issues than it did a decade ago...

        • One of the problems with the Start Menu is that it never achieved what it set out to do, simplify application selection. In those days, Mac users were of course used to just going into their Hard Disk folder in Finder to launch applications, but given the way application are stored in Windows, in a sub-folder of "Program files" and mixed in with a bunch of .dlls and .ini and other inscrutable crap, it made sense (sort of) for Microsoft to make a simple place to list JUST the applications and not all the cra
        • Re:Close Window 'X' (Score:3, Informative)

          by marauder404 (553310)
          The vast majority of users don't use their computers frequently enough to learn little things like this, so sorting like that works for most of the population, who will continue to read every option from left to right, top to bottom. For advanced users, they should just drag-drop shortcuts to their most frequently used applications to the static launch space on the Start menu -- right below where Internet Explorer and Outlook Express usually sit. On my machine, it reads:
          1. Firefox
          2. Thunderbird
          3. Cygwin Bash She
    • Re:Close Window 'X' (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zouden (232738)
      if the ' X ' button has moved for maximised windows as well then it will be the worst GUI decision EVER! Gone will be the quick hand flick up and to the right to close a window.

      I doubt it... with winXP, the 'X' button on a maximized window isn't completely flush with the corner of the screen, but this is just graphically. In functionality, the button IS in the corner, thus utilising the infinite area.

      Microsoft continually abuse the said space and assign these areas as no-action spaces.

      Actually, thi
    • Re:Close Window 'X' (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jrumney (197329) on Monday July 11, 2005 @04:22AM (#13031197) Homepage
      Unless the main use of your computer is to surf porn at work, closing the window is not the functionality you want most easily accessible. The worst GUI decision ever was to place the Close button in the top right corner in the first place, though it does have the redeeming feature of being a couple of pixels in from the corner.
  • Server is toast (Score:5, Informative)

    by baadger (764884) on Monday July 11, 2005 @02:56AM (#13030881)
    "There is a problem with the database that is preventing the site from working.

    An email has been sent to the administrator notifying them of the problem. Please try again later."
    ...and their e-mail server will be ready in a minute.

    Mirror:
    http://www.networkmirror.com/JOdkEXG2eLXwsioX/www. flexbeta.net/main/comments.php%3Fcatid%3D1%26shown ews%3D13839.html [networkmirror.com]
  • Cool! (Score:4, Funny)

    by SolitaryMan (538416) on Monday July 11, 2005 @03:04AM (#13030902) Homepage Journal
    "The page cannot be displayed" looks cool! Since it is the page which explorer visits most often it is very important to make it look cool.

    And I'm happy to see that cmd still doesn't show directory names properly.

    GO Longhorn!
  • by Atilla (64444) on Monday July 11, 2005 @03:22AM (#13030984) Homepage
    mirrordot is still happily serving it up here. [mirrordot.org]
  • rofl (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 11, 2005 @03:33AM (#13031028)
    *rofl*
    Did anyone elso notice the open "linux noob" webpage in the taskbar in the last 2 pictures? :D
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Monday July 11, 2005 @03:41AM (#13031059) Homepage Journal
    Now, screenshots aren't a fair or accurate way to judge an OS and User Experience... but I have to say, if the article was titled Bored 15 year old creates Yet Another Windows theme, I sure as hell wouldn't know the difference.

    While the UI skin look nicer than XP IMHO, looking at the dialogues and options/settings ... it's the same as XP ... just a few more items thrown in as far as permissions and security. So what exactly has Microsoft been up to for the last few years? This is the mind blowing, paradigm smashing rewrite? This is innovation?

    What really gets me is the same old tired icons and maze-like system of hierchy-tree gui navigation to be found in all the system level dialogues. That really grabbed me... it seriously gave me the impression that this Longhorn thing was nothing more than a candy shell slapped on top of the same shit MS has been selling for years.

    I think it's very telling how seamless the user experience will be when the microsoft.com address in pic #2 is returning a server not found error... but let's pretend that the computer was unplugged from the net and the user typed in the redirect parameters in the url by hand.

    So I'm left scratching my head... if this was indeed a complete rewrite from the bottom up as MS promised, then why the complete similarity to XP/2000/98/95???? Perhaps all their energy and focus was on real security considerations? Maybe that explains all the jettisoned features... Or maybe when they meant rewrite, they really meant pushing some code under the mat, swapping some API's out and splashing on a quick paint job oer the whole shebang to make the old look new again?

    Of course, Longhorn is just XP with a new UI and added security with tighter .Net integration. What startles me is that it's taken years to get this far ... that does not bode well at all.
  • by Ilgaz (86384) on Monday July 11, 2005 @04:03AM (#13031144) Homepage
  • by Morganth (137341) on Monday July 11, 2005 @04:15AM (#13031183) Journal
    Wow, I actually expected more, considering how much MS has been hyping the "new UI" of Longhorn.

    In no particular order:

    (1) Explorer seems to have taken a cue from PathFinder's [cocoatech.com] directory browsing, a concept which has also been integrated into the GTK File Open Chooser Widget in the Linux world. Definitely a step in the right direction, but perhaps bundled up with a couple steps backward. Notice the new "My Computer", which sports all sorts of useless widgets everywhere, a mixture of task- and object-oriented interfaces, and more panes than one can possibly be expected to comprehend quickly. Typical Microsoft "toolbaritis," now applied to the file manager.

    (2) Media Player continues to amaze in how far it distances itself from any UI sanity. Yet another argument for why toolkit consistency does not matter to normal users. File menu: gone, or just "annoyingly mouseover hidden"? I can only imagine what that menacing "Online Stores" button is for (can anyone say software-as-advertisement money?)

    (3) Transparency: ooh, eye-candy. But wait, why does my desktop look like so many stained glass windows, who are, at the same time, light sources? Yet another Microsoft imitation gone bad. Notice how the borders of applications turn into transparent "stained glass" areas, serving to do nothing but make it more difficult to see, grab, and interact with the border of an application. For some reason, toolbar areas are also "semi-transparent," I guess just so you can make sure your graphics driver is working. Notice also [elliottback.com] how even when the eye candy features are enabled (transparent borders, shadows), Media Player refuses to comply! Stubborn lil' guy, aren't ya? heh heh.

    (4) I'm utterly not surprised to see that Windows still makes use of dialogs whom cannot be resized, as in the displayed (and New) Copy Dialog. Yet another great "feature," as my 1920x1280 screen real estate can't even be utilized to show me the full directory name of a the path I'm copying from. Instead, I must make due with two halves of a path concatenated by three dots '...'

    (5) Internet Explorer 7. Does this even need comment? What a UI disaster. First, the "toolbar" area is a different color than the rest of the application, which gives us some sort of Carbon/Cocoa hybrid in a single application. Then, the menubar exists below the tabs, implying that these options are on a per-tab basis, when this is clearly not the case (It's true sometimes, like in View Source or Save As, but not true others, like Work Offline or New Tab, which alter the whole application and not just a single tab).

    In conclusion, Longhorn, at least from a UI innovation standpoint (but probably from others, too), looks to be the vaporware we were all expecting. Let's keep our eyes and minds pointed at where the real innovation is happening: in ANY of the alternative OSes, proprietary or Free. Maybe by the time Longhorn is released, we won't even need it anymore. We'll just send Microsoft a memo: "Dear Sirs, you can have it back."
    • Be patient (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DigitlDud (443365) on Monday July 11, 2005 @04:59AM (#13031311)
      Microsoft is doing Longhorn right by not focusing on the UI. Most of the changes made in Longhorn are internal. Logic to handle driver failures without the bluescreens, sandboxing in kernel file system filters to stop virus scanners from crashing the OS, componentizing everything to end the days of rebooting on patches, creating a single world-wide binary, hardware support for all the PCI express features, microphone arrays, ambient light sensors, hybrid hard drives, the list goes on and on. And then you have the whole 3-D desktop compositing thing which OSX may do as well. But they don't have to deal with the fact that Windows has to contend with both D3D and OpenGL apps on the same display surfaces. Plus an utterly massive library of software and hardware to run it on. It's a really big deal. It took years to solve the problems of putting OpenGL on a D3D surface while handling the tons of pixel formats, and supporting accessbility screen readers, and working over terminal server as usual.

      You will get your UI innovation in beta 2, because it's not a big priority. And when you do, you will have a completely replaced library of icons, games, and dialogs. UI can be done overnight, internal changes can't. This beta was ment for IT departments, not for consumers to scrutinize the interface.
      • Re:Be patient (Score:5, Insightful)

        by earthbound kid (859282) on Monday July 11, 2005 @05:22AM (#13031367) Homepage
        UI can be done overnight

        It's exactly that attitude that will keep me on OS X for the foreseeable future.

        While it's true that a UI can be whipped up quickly, a good UI is the product of testing, testing, and more testing in order to smooth away rough edges, figure out where users are confused and make the application better fit to how one would expect the application to be. None of that can be done quickly.
  • by KylePflug (898555) on Monday July 11, 2005 @04:25AM (#13031206) Homepage
    When I first watched the Keynote where this OS was shown live, and now looking at the screenshots, I can't help but wonder: Won't these windows be impractical and ugly when maximized? I know I tend to do nearly all of my work in maximized windows, especially web browsing, and I don't think I could take surrendering the top fifth of my screen to some blurry amalgam of my desktop and ten underlying windows, each blurring the next, while the remaining 4/5ths are opaque.
  • UI Latency? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by marcovje (205102) on Monday July 11, 2005 @04:38AM (#13031238)

    One of the things I'm expecting from Longhorn can't be seen in screenshots.

    I'd expect a significant drop in UI latency due to the new minimal standards for video hardware, much like Panther. (OS X 10.3).

    (for the ones that missed that, Geforce3+ or comparative ATI required. From that, it seems that programmable T&L is what they are after)

    Anybody has any hands on info? Does LH feel faster than XP?
  • It's a fake? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GuyErnest (869942) on Monday July 11, 2005 @04:39AM (#13031247)
    Did you notice that in screen 4 that shows the "new" explorer you have a link to firefox "the browser that you can trust" along with a Red-Hat link?

    I can't believe that such images can come from real Microsoft source, unless FF is on radar of MS future purchase list.
  • by oberondarksoul (723118) on Monday July 11, 2005 @06:47AM (#13031563) Homepage

    Some criticisms:

    Why is the close box larger than the minimise and maximise/restore buttons? I can see a lot of accidental closing of windows simply by flicking up to where the buttons 'ought' to be. Why emphasise a destructive task?

    In the Internet Explorer window, why are there still several different icons for a web page? The icon in the title bar is older than that in the address bar.

    In Computer Management, why have the icons still not been updated to match the rest of the interface? In Windows XP, for example, there are still some folder icons (Downloaded Program Files, for example) which maintain the Windows '98/2000 appearance. This just looks sloppy.

    In Internet Explorer, why are the File, Edit, etc. menues below the tabs? That makes no sense at all.

    Windows Media Player. 'nuff said, really.

    I think I'll stick with Mac OS X. Eye candy, stability, and complete immunity from the masses of Windows viruses/trojans/worms/spyware? Yes please.

  • by EMIce (30092) on Monday July 11, 2005 @06:55AM (#13031592) Homepage
    You can't take a competitors recipe and hope to change it "just enough" to make it look like your own. Like recipes GUIs involve a balance.

    If your making coleslaw decide to cut the amount of mayonaise in half, your probably going to want to cut back on the sugar and vinegar too, unless you want to end up with pickled vegetables instead of coleslaw. This requires understanding what makes coleslaw enjoyable. Someone who has chanced upon coleslaw for the first time and is trying to imitate _and_ tweak it, just so that it doesn't taste too much like the original, will probably end up making something entirely different.

    Same goes for GUI design, you can't slap competitor's ideas in there without understanding what made original recipe great, plain and simple. Market surveys may say people are interested in a competing product X, but without an understanding of why, you can only end up with a superficial and inferior imitation.

    Microsoft has accelerated what appears to be their old GUI with GPU hardware and the result looks smooth and slick, but this only makes the old thorns look more enticing. It's amazing how much they pigeon-hole into the start menu, when most of the time users go straight for "Programs". Games, Music, and Pictures? Set Program Access and Defaults? Help and Support? Computer?!?! Even Programs is not categorized in terms of user goals, or sometimes not even even by application name, but by meaningless brands.

    Like a good chef, MS management needs a vision to work towards, not a mish-mash of market surveys that say what to put in next. I bet there will be a link for MS' new blogging service on the Longhorn desktop, but little UI coherency implicit in the design. That starts with the OS and extends into the applications, where accomplishing most basic user goals should be implicit in the design - that means avoiding unnecessary clutter, and sticking to things that the user will find immediately useful in a given context.

    But no, not for Longhorn, which will probably be more like a french onion soup without the sweet onions to temper the hardiness of the beef - with maybe a candybar thrown in there for good measure. Edible or even not bad, but definitely lacking some things and having too much of others.
  • by Spoing (152917) on Monday July 11, 2005 @06:55AM (#13031593) Homepage
    Wasn't Microsoft ditching the whole "My" prefix?

    Let's hope that they do, though if the layout of this desktop is any indication, it looks like a transparency skin for Windows XP and little more.

    I wonder how many of the remaining features actually are going to make any difference this time round? Will Windows die-hards have something to brag about when the version one past Longhorn comes out...hard to tell. 8 ball says 'Try again later'.

  • by theolein (316044) on Monday July 11, 2005 @07:02AM (#13031613) Journal
    Firstly, although I'm a Mac OSX user, and don't even have a PC capable of running XP let alone Longhorn, I think these screenshots show that Longhorn has indeed evolved since the first screenshots came out with alpha builds last year where that huge fugly task column/widget bar thingamajig was on the right hand corner taking up almost 20% of the screen.

    It seems that since then Microsoft has toned Longhorn down to better fit within an XP user's experience, so as not to overburden upgraders. This is probably fairly important for business users.

    Also, I am fairly sure that the transparency seen in these screenshots of window borders is just one of many default skins available and it won't probably be the default.

    I am just as sure that the weird UI glitches, such as having the menu bar under the tabs in Explorer, plus the somewhat blocky and unseeming tabs themselves are all still in beta. They will probably change before Longhorn becomes a release candidate.

    Otherwise, I kind of like it. The rounded corners are smaller than those in OSX, which I find good. The Start button is now fully anti-aliased as are all the window icons in the task bar.

    How it all performs is imposible to tell from screenshots of course, so time will tell.
  • by JohnG307 (695948) on Monday July 11, 2005 @10:16AM (#13032559)
    As someone who would never use the default WinXP theme, I can't wait to enable the "Windows Classic Theme" on Longhorn and then have it be EXACTLY THE SAME OS as XP. Rockin'.

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