Home > Windows > Windows Longhorn build 4015 M5 Screenshots Windows Longhorn build 4015 M5 Screenshots Submitted by Alejandro Neira 2003-04-14 Windows 59 Comments For more information and screen shots for this newly… leaked alpha version of the next generation of Windows, codenamed Longhorn, check WinBeta.org. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 59 Comments 2003-04-14 5:58 am 404 on the URL, there. 🙂 2003-04-14 6:02 am It looks a lot like KDE 3.1, IMHO. But, again, in the spirit of MS, it also looks like even more control has been removed from the user. I understand why they do this but — doing things in XP, even, is annoying. 2003-04-14 6:04 am Link has been fixed. 2003-04-14 6:07 am Doh. I had it fixed a second before you did Adam (you just logged in before I did). But you took away my name by saving it under the writers backend, which default to “special contributor”. Fixed now… 2003-04-14 6:23 am Unbelievable. Can Microsoft ever come up with an original idea? Why are they copying the rounded text boxes of Mac OS X 10.2? Is there some functional reason for it? Or is because it looks cool and Apple thought of it first… yeah, we all know the answer. *snigger snigger* Jared 2003-04-14 6:28 am Or is it because that today we have the computing power for non-rectangular windows, so even a product which has been traditionally very conventional and strict to its advancements on UIs, like Windows can actually now feature them? There is nothing on “innovating” on round text boxes. The Drawers as found on OSX are indeed innovation, but not the round text boxes, come on don’t try to make MS look cheap on every little thing you find. 2003-04-14 6:33 am Well.. i know Microsoft is stealing ideas from everyone, but in this case, i doubt they took it from Apple. I’ve made such textbox inputs in Flash long before MacOSX came, and i doubt anyone took them from me ;] 2003-04-14 6:40 am I really hope this is what the next version of windows looks like! The reason I say that is that MS is starting to fall behind (in the UI department). I personally think Windows is starting to look dated compared to OSX and KDE3.1. If they continue to think they can just doddle around and keep 99% of the market they are wrong. After a while people will figure it out and start (VERY slowly) migrating to other systems. I fully expect MS to realize this – but if they don’t they will find themselves losing marketshare over the next 5 years. Derek 2003-04-14 6:40 am Is it just me, or is MS copying things from KDE? You gotta admire the way they organise things, though. 2003-04-14 6:41 am I don’t think I’ve seen so much blue before! Yuk! Who’s coming up with this stuff? Is their monitor broken? 2003-04-14 6:44 am Well, this is not the final version, just a beta, remember??? The final version will look a lot more better. >> personally think Windows is starting >> to look dated compared to OSX and KDE3.1. I think so too. I don’t think they will ever fail behind, they’ve got too much talent and resources to stumble that way. But it is easy to see that Linux is already catching up to windows in the looks and useability department. The gap is closing rather quickily. I expect linux will be leading the way, with MS following, in the longer run. 2003-04-14 6:47 am Only recently KDE started to move away from “everything is a shade of blue” style. Fortunately, MS is here to fill the void The interface looks even more dumbed down. Maybe they should focus on something more useful, like building database filesystem (promised in XP) and converting their apps to use it? 2003-04-14 6:48 am As I said in a previous post, ALL the betas of XP were looking like crap, and MS only unveiled the final UI design on the LAST beta of XP! I believe they will do the same with Longhorn. This way, people won’t get immediately bored/accustomed to it, and skinners won’t copy it immediately. 2003-04-14 6:53 am Unfortunately, release of XP didn’t go far from its betas in visual crappiness. A half-finished plastic toy isn’t that much better then a finished one – it still looks like a plastic toy. 2003-04-14 7:02 am it isn’t even a beta, it is an alpha and for all we know there are around 200milestones and everything so far has nothing to do with the GUI. The GUI is the last thing on the programmers mind. 2003-04-14 7:05 am … Windows XP “bloated” edition! D 2003-04-14 7:07 am Matthew, and why are you replying this to me in particular? You think I don’t know? I am not the one who said how ugly that GUI is, I just replied to another reader (however, personally, I do believe that all this blueness is ugly) 2003-04-14 7:11 am > The GUI is the last thing on the programmers mind. Programmers don’t deal with GUI so that irrelevant. GUI may be in separate development, true, but no programmer should ever be let near GUI development for any other apps than perhaps programming tools. Ever. That being said – it does look ugly. 2003-04-14 8:03 am Yay… this must be a nightmare for people who’s favorite color isn’t blue (mine is) Maybe they’ll have a silver & green theme too… *sigh* The 5th screenshot is horrible imo, wastes waaay too much space. The 6th looks like crap. The toolbar icons don’t fit in with the blue, guess they can be excused considering this is still only build 4015. 7th wastes a lot of space as well with the grey (useless?) bar, same for 9th though the bar is dark blue/back there (wow… uniform interface). Looking at the 12th I hope they include an option to get rid of the sidebar (assuming that is the space consuming bar in the 5th screenshot). [i]A curious kill button which kills and restarts Explorer, located on the sidebar.[i] Heh… I could appreciate that function 2003-04-14 8:04 am Did you actually read what I wrote? who said anything about them working on the GUI? who said they don’t work on the GUI? who said that there isn’t a seperate team working on the GUI and the programmers implement it once the ground work has been done? who said they aren’t laying this ground work before the new GUI is added and thus take advantage of this new ground work? 2003-04-14 8:10 am > Programmers don’t deal with GUI so that irrelevant. What the hell are you talking about? If the programmers don’t design the interface, who does? The GUI fairy? 2003-04-14 8:11 am Wow. Blue. Very blue….one screenshot caught my eye though. #7 shows a small part of the device manager. Notice the Orange on top of the light blue on that drop down list? Eurgh, I hope that isn’t the default. Other than that, it’s all blue. Blue is the new Grey… : Hang on, Blue & Orange in the same GIU? This is Workbench 1.2! Amiga lives! 2003-04-14 8:30 am But as long as I can turn everything off and have a clean desktop with the classic windows look I’m happy. Personally I hate the Windows XP default appearance, but since I can quickly change it to a look that doesn’t give me a headache it’s not a problem. 2003-04-14 8:58 am “What the hell are you talking about? If the programmers don’t design the interface, who does? The GUI fairy?” Yes, but in Redmond GUI fairies are called “graphic designer” (yes there are even some with a degree in design) and “interface designer” instead of “software designer”. They do the look and the GUI layout. The programmers have no influence on that and some of them don’t like the current look of Longhorn or it’s successor too (BTW, my in-house contacts claim that actually most programmers like the current look and think it’s getting better by the day). 2003-04-14 9:26 am Since when is “bottom” a side. There’s left side, and right side, but bottom and top should be labelled as a “position”. In screenshot #12, we see “Taskbar and Start Menu Properties” dialog, with the “Positions” tab chosen. The label now called “Side” should be labelled “Position”, imho. And why only those three choices? Why even show them at all, if the sidebar and taskbar can be moved by using the mouse anyhow? Seems silly to me. -Chris Simmons, Avid BeOS User. The BeOSJournal. 2003-04-14 9:27 am This seems to be the natural evelotion from XP, though I don’t think it’s the right direction. It looks great if you ignore the fact that you will actually be using it. I thought XP was annoying and got in my way of doing things, but this seems even worse. What’s up with all these manic attempts to fill out screen real estate? Who wants to scroll down in a view just to see the next two devices in the list? What’s with the huge icons and labels everywhere? Looks like it’s designed for half blind five year old kids. Seem like they want to put the desktop environment in focus, and that doesn’t seem very logical to me really. It works when you have an environment like BeOS, where the desktop really is your workspace. But even though MS are moving away from MDI it’s still stuck with the idea of “isolated apps”. And trying to mix two fundamentally different concepts like that will make a big mess. Would have been better to start over from scratch and build something made for SDI IMO. But then again, we wouldn’t want to confuse the old users with a new usable GUI would we? Trying to stick to the old is good as long as the old fits nicely with the new. But sometimes you just got to dump it. However, besides the GUI I think that longhorn will be a nice OS or at least, it looks good on paper and if it hadn’t been for political reasons it would probably be an upgrade I’d recommend (mainly because of the database features) But as for me, I’ll stick to my modest BeOS instead of the loadmouth Windows. Whatever makes you feel good and let the job be done right? 2003-04-14 9:54 am The window borders and titlebars in the Whistler beta that was in MSDN looked nicer than the ones that MS eventually came up with for XP. The .Net-style scrollbars, menus, toolbars and buttons (that are available in Visual Studio .NET, Office XP and KDE) look nicer the XP ones. 2003-04-14 10:02 am About the control panel screenshot… http://www.winbeta.org/images/4015/cp.gif The main mistake they are making (and have always been making since Windows NT) is that System Adiminstration controls are mixed in with User controls. Users don’t need to be able to change user accounts, network connections and device drivers. Also, Sys Admins don’t need to choose users’ wallpaper – users can do that themselves without breaking anything. Mixing all the control panels together was fine in Win3.x and Win9x where the was no concept of “Administrator”, but in NT-based operating systems, they should be aiming to be more like KDE desktops – a menu of user control panels and a menu of system control panels. 2003-04-14 10:09 am …or do the cosmetic differences between the latest longhorn screenies look like XP with a fancy windows blinds skin? Maybe that’s all this gui really is…*shrugs* As a multi-booting hippie I can’t say it’s all that bad looking. It’s really not that different than what most newbs have their XP installs look like when they don’t do anything to change it. The screen real estate comments earlier made me go and look at the pics again, and I guess I wasn’t paying attention, but they really throw crap into every free nook and cranny in some of the panels/dialogues! I hope the new version lets you choose your own progz for browser, burning, IMing, media playing, etc., without just “hiding” the m$ apps from view. When exactly is the desktop version supposed to be released? 2003-04-14 10:36 am heh, didn’t even notice that. I think it will be fixed before release though however, I think it’s good to have those option in a controlpanel since it’s not very obvious that you can move the bars with the mouse. Even though it’s more obvious in BeOS a lot of users don’t know how to move it. So I think it might be called for there as well. /me writes a ToDo 2003-04-14 10:49 am Not only the rounded textboxes. Did you all notice the applications in the taskbar are all centered and float to the middle in the screenshots. This is an obvious rip off of the MacOS X dock which also float’s to the center, and is also one of the things that was complained about most bitterly as it makes the position that your aiming for with the mouse constantly changes. 2003-04-14 10:51 am It’s boring, it’s just a monochromatic blue version of XP’s Luna 2003-04-14 10:57 am Good that you people simply don’t want to understand that IT IS A FREAKIN’ PLACEHOLDER/EXPERIMENTAL GUI! If you didn’t notice, it’s still in alpha stadium! 2003-04-14 11:02 am “Yes, but in Redmond GUI fairies are called “graphic designer” (yes there are even some with a degree in design) and “interface designer” instead of “software designer”. They do the look and the GUI layout. The programmers have no influence on that and some of them don’t like the current look of Longhorn or it’s successor too (BTW, my in-house contacts claim that actually most programmers like the current look and think it’s getting better by the day).” UI/GUI designers do more than just pretty GUIs and gradient-filled screens, the graphical interface defines how a user interacts with the OS, something most software engineers are clueless about, most of them, indeed, couldn’t care less about the GUI and would reduce everything to a command-line so they don’t have to bother coding that in. I’m not slamming the coders’ work, I’m not trying to glorify UI designers either, but you’d be amazed at how many people I deal with everyday who think a GUI just happens (it’s very frustrating) or the typical uneducated guess that UI is just pretty gradients (then again, people who aren’t familiar with IT think an administrator just switches servers on and off).. 2003-04-14 11:27 am why do ppl on this side always try to make conclusions on beta’s, pre-releases and other temporary stuff subject to change. alpha builds are a way to experiment with stuff that might or might not be in the final release. stop judging releases on the way their pre-pre-pre alfa looks. (and that goes for longhorn, distro’s and most other projects) don’t judge the release until it’s released 2003-04-14 12:26 pm Doesn’t matter. The linux people are still going to say, “its ugly! KDE is soooo much better.” It doesn’t matter that KDE integrates with the system about as well as Win3.11 does. “KDE is still soooo much better”, if only because it uses the Crystal Icons. Stop trying to confuse the issue with facts when arguing with these people. It just doesn’t penetrate. In their world – fluxbox rocks and WinXP doesn’t network, crashes more than Win95, is not multi-user at all, and doesn’t have a journaling file system. 2003-04-14 12:29 pm Its so….blue. I haven’t seen that much blue since the Smurfs! Each to their own, I guess. I wont pass judgement on a leaked alpha build. As a Linux user, I must chime in that not all of us like KDE or Gnome. I prefer WindowMaker. 2003-04-14 12:31 pm My thoughts (and sorry for my bad english ): The blueness everywhere is ugly! But i guess they does not hardcoding the color. Like in Win Media Player. You can choose your preferred color with a slider. And i think the final GUI will look like WinMedia Player (or a further development). Just my personal supposition. Many people say that the XP GUI look like a kindergarten GUI. I have never this thoughts. But what i see in Longhorn…..really kindergarten GUI. The Taskbar is nice. Much nicer as the ugly kicker in KDE. bye 2003-04-14 1:00 pm I really like the new look, in some cases. The deviceManager that says, “hey, I found some new hardware!” is really good. The blue color in the Explorer is a little bit hard ignore, its to much blue for my taiste. The buttons are really nice. Well good done M$. I still think the GUI in BeOS is the best. (with some tweaks) /Konrad 2003-04-14 1:02 pm Doesn’t matter. The linux people are still going to say, “its ugly! KDE is soooo much better.” Of course they are, or they wouldn’t be using Linux. Just like those who use Windows are bound to think that this looks better than KDE. People use things because they like them. It doesn’t matter that KDE integrates with the system about as well as Win3.11 does. “KDE is still soooo much better”, if only because it uses the Crystal Icons. KDE integrates with the Linux kernel in a very similar way to the Windows 2000 desktop UI integrating with the Windows 2000 kernel. Some of its icons are nicer, others are not. They’re very similar tools IMO. Konqeror has some features that Explorer doesn’t though. I like being able to change the look and feel of my GUI, since I get bored with it every now and again, without using some 3rd party app that is really just a nasty hack. I like all my apps to look similar (including the title bar of my command prompt window). Stop trying to confuse the issue with facts when arguing with these people. It just doesn’t penetrate. In their world – fluxbox rocks I’ve never used it. I really don’t care what window manager I use as long as it doesn’t waste too much screen space. and WinXP doesn’t network, Linux doesn’t have built-in drivers for every network card, and neither does Windows XP. Nothing’s perfect. There’s no need to constantly moan about it. crashes more than Win95, Feel free to point me in the direction of someone’s review saying that XP crashed more than Win95. I think you’re just making this up though. I very much doubt that there is anyone who thinks that XP crashed more than ’95. is not multi-user at all, It is partially multi-user. Yeah, more than one person can log in at the keyboard/mouse/screen that’s connected to the machine. yeah. it’s got a Telnet server. Telnet’s a very old and insecure technology. Where’s the SSH server? How can you change from one user account to another while logged in remotely? Windows is still catching up with Unix in this respect, and Microsoft’s SFU helps a lot. and doesn’t have a journaling file system. Again, it’s got a partially journaling filesystem. It doesn’t offer all the features of a proper journaling filesystem, but then most users don’t care and wouldn’t bother using all those features. 2003-04-14 1:08 pm …is about the amount of wasted space. The sidebar has been talked about endlessly. But there’s lots of wasted space on the other screens as well. Microsoft, repeat after me: usability != spread everything out 2003-04-14 1:12 pm Ok, so far we have what exactly to discuss? Some screenshots. That’s pretty much it. So if we’re not allowed to discuss the screenshots because it’s “Alpha” then what are we supposed to write about? 2003-04-14 1:14 pm On the note of stealing idea, im thinking that microsoft got the “sidebar idea” from QNX which has had a sidebar for as long as I can remember, hopefully though they will add more functionality to the sidebar as that in QNX! Had great success in speed after a lot of tweaking in 4008, can’t wait to get my hands on the new one… Gets ready to scour eDonkey & Overnet hehe Best Regards S Rockett 2003-04-14 1:31 pm I thought Microsoft spent millions of U.S. dollars on GUI research and design. Do they actuallly there entire cliental have 21″ monitor to display the desktop (see pic below) <a href=”http://www.winbeta.org/images/4015/cool.jpg“>desktop 2003-04-14 1:38 pm what is up with the *blue*? Of course you will be able to change to the *Olive Green or Silver* appearance too. Wow. It is awful, and it seems that you will need by default at least 1280×1024 resolution to actually work in the enviroment. 2003-04-14 2:16 pm If I had to use that blue theme all day long, my eyes would eventually melt out of their sockets. It’s an eyesore! 2003-04-14 2:46 pm “It is awful, and it seems that you will need by default at least 1280×1024 resolution to actually work in the enviroment.” You mean 10240×7680, right? i mean look at the size of those widgets! 1024×768 is probably not enough if you really want to focus your attention on one window… 2003-04-14 3:32 pm when did windows gui look good for fuck’s sake in ms history? what do you expect from longhorn? a revolution like apple did with its aqua? ha ha. of course it would look bas as usual. lets talk on other things. 2003-04-14 3:40 pm First > Apple Logo is multicolored Second > Window’s Logo is multicolored First > Macintosh Second > Windows First > Mac OS X Second > Windows XP First > Aqua Second > Luna First > Apple Logo goes Monochrome Second > Windows Logo goes Monochrome 2003-04-14 3:52 pm First > Apple says it wants to buy Universal Second > Microsoft says it wants to buy Universal The default is blue… now you have a permanent BSOD . . . 2003-04-14 3:58 pm What’s the real purpose of the side bar and how essential is it going to be for dealing with the new file system? I guess you can turn it off but one of the screenshots “sidebar_options” doesn’t have such an option or is it buried deep down the menus. If MS insists on the side bar we better get 21′ monitors and laptops with 15′ LCD or die! 2003-04-14 5:12 pm Call me an old hat user, but I still think that the classic theme is better than a lot of new themes that they are coming up with. I don’t know when QNX added the sidebar, but I remember a windows shell in the early 90’s that had a sidebar as well. Their is certainly plenty of prior art on the sidebar concept for a UI. MS is adding more and more fluff that I question what is the point beyond forcing users to upgrade their machines if they want to use the new OS without really slow redraws. Using grey(or the brushed metal apple for some of their apps) seemed to be the least distracting to the colors that are inside of the window. The human eye’s impression of color is influenced by the colors that surround it. Hence, I think using grey while perhaps bland ought to be the dominant color. 2003-04-14 5:37 pm “why do ppl on this side always try to make conclusions on beta’s, pre-releases and other temporary stuff subject to change. alpha builds are a way to experiment with stuff that might or might not be in the final release. stop judging releases on the way their pre-pre-pre alfa looks. (and that goes for longhorn, distro’s and most other projects) don’t judge the release until it’s released” That’s why we’re commenting on these screenshots, not the actual products, but what’s available/leaked to us. 2003-04-14 6:15 pm It will be useful for various things, such as news and stock tickers, reminders, calenders etc. However, I doubt it will do anything filesystem-related that you can’t do from an explorerwindow.. But the sidebar is a good thing IMO, as long as it’s optional. 2003-04-14 8:35 pm I agree it has the prospect of being useful, in all Win OS there’s no such thing as handy applets in Linux which you can dock in task bar or have new floating around, I really like those. You can get some systray based s/ware for Win OS but it doesn’t come close to Linux counterparts and I’m Win proponent so far. It looks to me that this is just another new-OS selling gimmicks, but lets just wait and see. 2003-04-14 9:42 pm Call me an old hat user, but I still think that the classic theme is better than a lot of new themes that they are coming up with. I agree 100%. In fact, I like the classic theme better than any other theme I’ve ever seen in any OS and/or desktop enviroment – nothing else comes close. 2003-04-15 9:01 am Why do we need innovation? It’s a desktop OS, how much more innovation is left? MS borrowing from KDE? KDE borrows from Windows all the time. Linux is not innovative in some senses because it’s a UNIX workalike. OSX is not innovative because it’s based on NExT. All GUI’s can be traced back to Xerox and I think Xerox borrowed ideas from somewhere else. Basically, who cares. All I hope is that I can switch off all this themeing crud and get back to the Windows Classic environment – it may not win a beauty contest, but it’s one of the most functional, stay-out-of-your-face GUI themes out there. 2003-04-15 10:35 am Looking at the expanse of wasted space in nearly all of the screenshots of Longhorn, I can’t help but wonder why Microsoft would think this was good design. Then I looked at Microsoft’s partner page, and it all started to click. Larger screen real estate requirements mean millions of new purchases of larger monitors in order to properly display the Windows. Take a good look at the Partner page here: http://www.microsoft.com/partners/ Then look at the catalog page on monitors: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/catalog/default.aspx?xslt=category… (Sorry for any bad url wrapping.) It’s in Microsoft’s best interest to generate sales for devices that are “Microsoft Certified”, as not only does this increase name recognition, but it enforces the continuous upgrade cycle that joe user is running in. It’s never been about principle when it comes to Microsoft. It boils down to the bottom line: sustained revenue. Do you honestly think that the “review” of GUI design as sponsored by Microsoft’s R&D fund was anything of geniune value? The decisions about how each product looks and what resources it requires comes from one mind, that of Bill Gates, and his endless desire to increase the rate at which the upgrade treadmill spins for the industry. It’s time to get off the treadmill, and start thinking about the principles of good design. -Chris Simmons, Avid BeOS User. The BeOSJournal. 2003-04-22 4:32 pm eh hem… **cough cough** more like Alpha build… remember, when MS announces the “Final” release it is their way of announcing the “First Public Beta Release” This is why we wait for 4 months before you buy. LH looks good. Since Blue is my favorite color, it looks good. However, being a linux nut as well, I see some things taken from KDE 3.1 in LH. Round text boxes are a nice touch, but I wish MS would get ideas from within instead of taking it from other companies. Whats a End User gonna do? Just my 2 cents (.0016 cents after taxes) >> Well, this is not the final version, just a beta, >> remember??? The final version will look a lot more better. >> personally think Windows is starting >> to look dated compared to OSX and KDE3.1. I think so too. I don’t think they will ever fail behind, they’ve got too much talent and resources to stumble that way. But it is easy to see that Linux is already catching up to windows in the looks and useability department. The gap is closing rather quickily. I expect linux will be leading the way, with MS following, in the longer run.