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Microsoft reveals early mockups of Windows 8 UI from 2010

A recent demo of Windows 8 by a Microsoft designer shows mockups for the OS as it was initially envisioned in 2010.

The Windows 8 Start screen of today isn't much different than the mockup of 2010.
The Windows 8 Start screen of today isn't much different than the mockup of 2010.
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Windows 8 mockups from two years ago show more or less the same interface found in the OS today.

The mockups from 2010 were revealed in a keynote demonstration given by Jensen Harris, a director of program management for Microsoft's Windows User Experience Team. Dubbed "The Story of Windows 8," the demo was given during a UX Week conference held by design firm Adaptive Path.

As displayed by blog site, images of the mockups show that Microsoft certainly tweaked some of the look and feel of Windows 8. But the overall design of the OS has remained the same.

The Start screen sports the same tiles of today, both live and static. The upper right corner of the Start screen displays the familiar profile photo. But it also shows the date, time, Wi-Fi signal strength, and battery charge, all items that Microsoft eventually moved to the Lock screen.

The Lock screen itself is the same as today's, with the time and date on top of a personalized background image.

The Charms bar of 2010 is much more crowded than the one used today. The familiar charms for the Start screen, Search, and Settings are there, along with five other unidentified charms. The touch-screen keyboard is missing the CTRL key but otherwise has all of the other necessary keys in the right spots.

According to, Jensen said that the mockups were used for an internal "vision day" to make sure all designers on the Windows team were united in their vision for the new user interface.

Of course, that "vision" has proven controversial.

Some users have embraced and praised the Windows 8 UI, especially for the way it works and flows on tablets and touch-screen devices. Other longtime Windows fans have complained that the new interface doesn't work well, particularly on PCs and laptops without a touch screen.

Some analysts have pointed to the mixed reviews of Windows 8 due to its confusing UI as one of several factors for lackluster demand thus far.

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