I don’t take unsolicited redesigns very seriously because they by their nature they avoid all the issues and interchange that come with a true designer/client relationship, but Sputnik8’s proposed design for Windows 8 is fantastic. It is a lost future, in the same way that old illustrations of the hover cars we were sure to have by 1950 are lost futures. Nevertheless it is beautfiul and worth paying attention to on its own merits.
Everything from the evolutionary step forward in the logo, which I actually prefer to Paula Scher’s recent design, to the UI interface exudes class. I have used Macs my whole life but would gladly buy an operating system that is this exquisite. If Microsoft deigns to pay attention to this, and they should, they would see the benefit of bringing some serious refinement to their “classic” mode in addition to their new Metro interface.
I am pretty excited about the current state of software design. For the a few years it seemed like Apple and their developer community were the only ones who cared about software design, with the notable exception of Palm and WebOS. I think that some of Apple’s recent skeumorphic excesses have been for lack of aesthetic competitors, but that is changing. Now Redmond is bringing its A-game. If they hired Sputnik 8 and some of his ideas made it through the gauntlet of Microsoft internal pitches then they would really be bringing the fight to Apple’s doors. High tide raises all ships and right now there is a flood of amazing design. We are all better off in the current state of software craftsmanship.