We’ll see the official Windows 8 Consumer Preview later this week. But so far, the evolution of the Windows interface has received mixed sentiments from those within the technology community. While Windows 8’s interface has for the most part been set in stone, the naysayers in the crowd can revel in a refreshing Windows 8 desktop concept designed by Sputnik8 (also known as “Phyek” elsewhere) on The Verge’s forum, “Microsoft Tribe.”
The clean, re-imagined Windows 8 concept is a refreshing break from Microsoft’s Metro user interface. It’s a kickback to earlier versions of Windows, and has us wishing that Microsoft could buy out Phyek’s design to offer it as an alternative. Don’t get us wrong, Windows Metro aligns with Microsoft’s 2010 mobile operating system, Windows Phone “Mango”, and in itself is an innovative product. Microsoft developed a solution for integrating social media, and up-to-date information, alongside the typical icons for files that all operating systems to this day have used.
One thing is sure: Metro is absolutely far from a mimicry of Apple’s OS X. As ZDnet humorously points out, it brings back memories of 2006, when Apple’s Bertrand Serlet compared the uncanny similarities between Mac OS X Tiger and Microsoft’s Windows Vista. Microsoft’s fervent desire to differentiate itself from Apple has been evident, and to that extent, the designers over at Microsoft have accomplished their goal with Metro.
Forgoing the clustered squares that is unique to Metro, Sputnik8 has re-envisioned the next interface of Windows by using a design aesthetic that values the intuitiveness and angular simplicity of Metro, while maintaining a semblance of the interface that users of Windows 7 (and its predecessors) have come to know. Note that Phyek’s concept, as he stated in the forum, “Didn’t aim for the design to be completely consistent with what MS calls ‘metro’ (for instance, I specifically didn’t want loops around icons, among other things).”
The screen shots of the conceptual interfaces include redesigns of Internet Explorer, Bing, Media Center, and even Skype. Admittedly we can’t help but admire and favor Sputnik8’s interface concepts over the originals.
He was aiming for a minimalistic concept. “I wanted avoid unnecessary chrome and lines,” Phyek exclusively revealed to Digital Trends. When asked about his sentiment about Window’s previous user interface, he responded, “It was inconsistent. Otherwise, I loved the UI design of Windows Media Center. In my opinion, it’s still the best TV/DVR interface.”
What we could find from around the Web is that Phyek has been re-skinning to create beautiful, functional interfaces for the open source media player, Xbmc. You can can find phyek’s professional portfolio on phyletik.com.
Update: For those of you were wondering, Microsoft has contacted Phyek.
See the screenshots of Phyek’s Windows 8 concept design below:
Media Center (Window Mode)
Edit: Phyek’s responses have been included.