Microsoft: Windows 8 UI was designed before Apple launched iPad

By on June 16, 2011, 3:00 PM

Microsoft says it started working on the Windows 8 user interface before Apple had even launched its first iPad. The insinuation is that Redmond's tile layout, which will be a major new feature in Windows 8 on tablet devices, was not influenced by Cupertino's user interface for its own tablet. That being said, the software giant admitted that its rate of execution was too slow. This isn't the first time Microsoft has announced it needs to speed up the process of moving projects from R&D to product launch, and unfortunately it likely won't be the last.

"Think about when the planning started for what you saw just the other day; all the planning, the intent, the interface design work was done before the iPad hit the market," Dan'l Lewin, corporate vice president for Strategic and Emerging Business Development at Microsoft, told TechRadar. "We know where we're going - we just have to get there faster."

The user interface in Windows 8 is heavily influenced by the Metro UI used in Windows Phone 7, but it's not the only thing that Windows 8 will be borrowing from its smartphone counterpart. Earlier this month, we learned Microsoft is planning to build Xbox Live into Windows 8.

Microsoft announced earlier this year that Windows 8 will support Intel, AMD, and ARM architectures. The company gave its first preview of Windows 8 earlier this month, showing off a new touch-oriented UI: icons are replaced by big tiles that can be customized to show live information or launch applications.

Although a rumor suggests that Windows 8 will arrive on January 7, 2013, we expect that the operating system will ship in time for the 2012 holiday season. In fact, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said Windows 8 is coming in 2012, but Microsoft quickly claimed this was a misstatement.




User Comments: 16

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mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

That's why Apple's R&D is almost non existent and their product development team is their R&D. That's why Apple never shows (at least for the last decade) proof of concepts or pre-rendered product concepts. What they announce and show are working products that will be available to the public.

It doesn't matter when the Win8 UI was conceived it matters when it will ship, I'm sure people will adopt it I'm just not a fan of it being a hybrid with the old school windows UI.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

As long as its customizable I'm not worried.

As far as who did it first, I don't recall car buffs arguing about who introduced the intermittent wiper or power brakes first, some things just become standard because through natural selection they are the best tool for the job.

Apple certainly had no trouble adopting a lot of features "inspired" by other OSs in their last update, and a lot of iOS users seem to happy with them, regardless of their origin.

I guess only the die hards would eschew using a mouse with two buttons.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Additionally gwail, it doesn't matter who introduced something first, e.g. Lancia was the 1st car company to sell a car with a Turbo Charged and Super Charged engine, they were the first company to sell road cars with V6 engine, they were first car company to sell a car with retractable rear spoiler ............they did many other firsts, but I wonder if anyone remember them now.

aj_the_kidd said:

I could be blind but how does the win 8 UI resemble the iPad, or did I read it wrong, seriously how can anyone "insinuate" that the win 8 UI is similar to that of the iPad's, i just don't see it.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

Thor is AWESOME!

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Additionally gwail, it doesn't matter who introduced something first, e.g. Lancia was the 1st car company to sell a car with a Turbo Charged and Super Charged engine, they were the first company to sell road cars with V6 engine, they were first car company to sell a car with retractable rear spoiler ............they did many other firsts, but I wonder if anyone remember them now.

Isn't that what I said. =)

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I only made it obvious, as you and mario pretty much summarized what came to my mind after reading this article.

By the way Lancia sold many of most beautiful cars of its time (at least when they were independent car maker) ...... despite being rubbish . Now I wonder how I ended up praising and demonizing them in one sentence.

Guest said:

I agree with you.

The "new" windows 8 GUI is just plain ugly anyway.

I don't understand the excitement.

And those poor .NET and Silverlight developers won't be needed anymore...

What is Microsoft doing?

Guest said:

Tiles: the most advanced user interface feature ever made!

tengeta tengeta said:

uhh... this is a mistake and thats a picture of windows 8 MOBILE... RIGHT?

at this rate i'm going back to MSDOS.

example1013 said:

This is the Windows 8 for Kids UI...right? All those pretty colors and big buttons. Windows 8 for grown-ups will be something more useful...I hope.

raybk said:

Oh, really?

Hey! I have the design of Windows in mind before Microsoft develops Windows. Do you trust me? LOL

Guest said:

Seriously. It's a table. No big deal. That's just like people saying how great the idiotPhone layout is. They're just pieces of content put in a logical table format. I don't think R&D was really necessary here, and no one should be bragging about who was first to do it.

And I'm sure this whole UI is just a touchscreen subsection of Win8. Just like Windows media center has its own GUI. Close it down and you can go back to running your real programs. There's no way MS would stop supporting .net and other languages in windows.

example1013 said:

Guest said:

Seriously. It's a table. No big deal. That's just like people saying how great the idiotPhone layout is. They're just pieces of content put in a logical table format. I don't think R&D was really necessary here, and no one should be bragging about who was first to do it.

And I'm sure this whole UI is just a touchscreen subsection of Win8. Just like Windows media center has its own GUI. Close it down and you can go back to running your real programs. There's no way MS would stop supporting .net and other languages in windows.

But if they're not making any changes to the "real" UI, why do I want this as a desktop product?

JudaZ said:

Guest said:

I agree with you.

The "new" windows 8 GUI is just plain ugly anyway.

I don't understand the excitement.

And those poor .NET and Silverlight developers won't be needed anymore...

What is Microsoft doing?

...well currently they are trying to destroy Nokia..

..and yes the tiles and the U is plain ugly .. I totally agree.

Guest said:

The Apple iPAD UI was designed before Apple launched iPad.

Des

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