With Windows 7 Milestone 1 released in December 2007, Microsoft managed to give a taste of the user experience that is coming with the successor of Windows Vista.
At the same time, since Windows M1 was virtually identical with its predecessor in terms of the graphical user interface, the UX was also similar. But make no mistake about it; as part of the development process of Windows 7, Microsoft is also building the next-generation user experience for Windows. Starting with the graphical user interface, an aspect confirmed officially by Julie Larson-Green, Corporate Vice President, Windows Experience Program Management at the end of May, when she admitted that work was being done on the Win7 GUI but refused to give out any details.
However, crumbs from the Windows 7 UX feast do fall through Microsoft's fingers. The company is in fact looking for the right people to take the Windows user experience to the next level. For example, the Windows Experience Core User Experience team is hiring.
"We own the high-level features that users interact with daily, such as the desktop, taskbar, start menu, app switching, control panels, gadgets, media experiences, etc. etc. We *are* the face of Windows, and our charter is improving the everyday experiences for millions of customers. We’re looking for highly skilled engineers who are passionate about building and shipping the next-generation user experience for Windows," reads an excerpt from a Software Development Engineer in Test job for Windows.
But at the same time, the Redmond giant is looking for User Experience researchers and designers. In this regard, Microsoft places a great deal of emphasis on the intimate connection between future releases of Windows client and the Windows Live cloud platform. "Microsoft is looking for a design innovator," the company indicated in a job posting for User Experience Designer, the goal being to synchronize the Windows and Windows Live user experiences not only at product level but also as brands, from interaction to visual design.
"Someone who thinks strategically about brands and can invent, drive, and inspire great visual and interaction design to influence the course of the world’s most used software product - Windows, and its new suite of integrated online services, Windows Live. You’ll be working with the world’s best developers, visual and interaction designers, UX researchers, and brand managers, all dedicated to revolutionizing software design. You need to be somebody that loves software, thinks deeply about brands, is hands-on with technology, focuses on the customer, and absolutely exudes a passion for great design," Microsoft added.
There is no telling now where Microsoft is going with the user experience and the design of the graphical user interface in Windows 7. Sill, one good piece of news for Windows users is that Julie Larson-Green is on the job. She is after all responsible for the design innovations included into the Office 2007 System, namely the Ribbon/Fluent graphical user interface.
According to the company, the "Windows and Windows Live UX Research team, a partner with other product development disciplines, we ensure that Windows, Windows Live, and Internet Explorer ship successful and outstanding user experiences to hundreds of millions of customers. Big challenges and success at a world-wide scale are achievable."