I looked at some screenshots the other day of Lonhorn (Build 5203) and I thought to myself, "Could this be it? Have Microsoft finally cracked the crappy GUI problem?"
Well… sort of…
At first, I thought MS’s decision in adding those transparency effects made the OS’s GUI look better, but the more I look at those screenshots, the more I wonder if they would actually confuse you. Take for instance this screenshot from Lonhorn, the transparency effect have made the toolbar area (the top area) of the topmost window harder to see than if it were simply opaque, like my workspace in XP (screenshot). It is also worth mentioning that the title of the window might be difficult to see especially when that window do not have focus (another screenshot). However, this is not as big a problem for those of us who find windows via some kind of enhanced task switcher like TaskSwitchXP or the taskbar. As well as the transparency problem, MS have not sorted out transparency and shadows of drop-down menus in the builds I’ve seen…
Dispite these small problems (which I expect MS to sort out when Longhorn ships, whenever that might be…), I still expect Longhorn to provide a better overall user experience than XP did (at least by its default installation anyway…).
(Oh, and for those of you who wondered how my workspace looked the way it did in the screenshot, I’ve got a tutorial on my website to show you how you can do that – Try visiting between 16:00 and 02:00 or you might not be able to connect to it…)
Longhorn screenshots obtained from _http://www.torrentspy.com/download.asp?id=349420