updated 04:25 pm EDT, Wed April 30, 2008
Adobe Staff on Windows
An influential Adobe programmer has been tapped to help develop the interface for the next version of Windows, according to an observer at Photoshop News. Lightroom and former Photoshop programmer Mark Hamburg has been recruited by Microsoft to work on the "user experience" of the operating system and has reportedly been given an exceptional offer that persuaded him to switch to the Redmond-based company. The move is also said to have been spurred on by a desire to change fields and comes out of a desire to potentially resolve Windows design decisions.
"Now, given that I find the current Windows experience really annoying and yet I keep having to deal with it, this opportunity was a little too interesting to turn down," Hamburg says.
What elements of the interface would be addressed are unknown and unlikely to be revealed, though the Adobe staffer's experience in designing Lightroom is believed to have a significant part to play in the role, CNET photography expert Stephen Shankland adds. While Photoshop is built on a legacy design, Lightroom provides a context-sensitive interface that adds or removes features to the screen.
Microsoft recently began embracing a similar interface with the "ribbon" interface in Office 2007 and a similar element in Office for Mac 2008, suggesting wider adoption of the concept by the company. The ribbon largely replaces traditional menus with buttons and other controls that change depending on the situation.
The next version of Windows, so far known only as version 7, is planned for a 2010 release and in very early test builds continues to resemble Vista, with more substantial changes unlikely to occur until the beta stage.