Windows 8 was meant to be Microsoft’s next statement of intent to the OS market. Their way of reasoning was that they were going to try and capture both the tablet market and the desktop market in one, call it Windows 8 and voilá – the perfect OS! Things didn’t quite work out though on release, with many users being confused by the tile system, incompatibility issues and, of course, users wanting the classic Start menu back. The best analogy I’ve heard on Windows is from Jay Machalani:
Microsoft has a lot of great ideas and they smashed them together to create Windows 8. They have some pretty amazing blocks, it’s just a matter of arranging them the right way.
There is no truer statement about Microsoft’s direction with the new Windows look and feel, and Jay has also took it upon himself to correct the wrongs and issues with Windows 8/8.1. Detailing one of the most comprehensive and clear redesigns I’ve ever seen – even more than Andrew Kim’s take on the Microsoft branding – Jay has done an incredible job in bringing Windows to where it should be.
Instead of completely redesigning the OS like many designers, Jay has instead kept a lot of what is recognisable in Windows 8 and simply improved it. No gimmicky designs or animations, and just went to the core of the OS and its UX and refined every logical step and area. From Jay again:
My goal here is simple: Research and design an improved Windows 8 that doesn’t change the whole OS, something that could be easily pushed in a near update based on the feedback of the users and respects Microsoft’s strategy and vision.
Jay has done a marvelous job at presenting Windows 8 the way it should be. I would strongly advise anyone to give his full report and good read over at his blog.