Well, gee whiz. At the D9 conference this afternoon, Windows honcho Steven Sinofsky presided over the first good look anyone outside of Redmond has gotten at “Windows 8.” And it turns out that it has a strikingly new user interface. Maybe the most strikingly new one it’s gotten since…well, Windows 3.0 back in 1990. (Windows has added plenty of new features over the past twenty years, but the basic metaphor has barely budged at all.)
In short, Windows now has a touch-first user interface that looks a lot like Windows Phone 7, which means that it draws on ideas that originated in the iPhone without mindlessly mimicking them. The Windows 7 keyboard-and-mouse world is still in there, but it’s subsidiary. That’s Microsoft’s apparent intent, anyhow.