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Windows 8 Immersive looks like Origami 3.0



As screenshots from Windows 8 circulate around the ‘net (round-up at, I feel as if I am unable to appreciate the new elements being introduced because I’ve seen them before. They were already introduced five years ago. By Microsoft. On tablets. What’s being called “Immersive”, I call Origami 3.0.

For those who don’t know, Origami was a delightful user interface overlay from Microsoft that attempted to make UMPCs more touch-friendly. It included a tiled interface to quickly access PIM data, such as calendar and contacts, and messages, such as email, not to mention things like weather and notes. The web browser launched fullscreen and had a single bar of navigation and control buttons. In other words, it had all the stuff that we’re now hearing about in Windows 8.

This side-by-side shot of the web browsers shows the nav bar cleaned up and moved to the bottom.

Here you can see the original tile interface in Origami, a clear precursor to the Metro interface.

If Microsoft went back to the drawing board on Windows 8 tablets, well, they didn’t go back to a clean one.

Don’t get me wrong. I sincerely believe Microsoft can and will improve upon the original Origami Experience. But here’s the thing: why exactly should I believe this tablet strategy will succeed this time? It worked so well the first time that Microsoft killed off the project two years ago after a 2.0 release for Vista and never updated it for Windows 7. You might have read this through Origami 3.0 if not for that. I might have written this through Origami 3.0 if not for that. What part of that would inspire me to believe that a tile-based “immersive” interface will make Windows 8 a success on tablets? That’s the question not being answered for me as Microsoft pursues their “insane” tablet strategy. I’d be happy to get Origami 3.0 in Windows 8, but I’ve already been using Windows tablets. Where’s the draw for everyone else?



  1. Vieya

    04/05/2011 at 9:37 pm

    they never said it would make it successful. I believe they could update it which would be nice but if they are doing an overlay either way it would not work in a tablet environment. The desktop WITH the overlay just makes it even more slugish.

  2. JJShearer

    04/05/2011 at 11:31 pm

    I dont think it looks that much like Origami, It is the Metro UI that they have been using on Zune for a while now. If you look into detail at the origami UI then you would notice that it really looks nothing like Metro,. I think you are definitely too quick to jump the gun on this one

  3. GoodThings2Life

    04/05/2011 at 11:55 pm

    Sumocat, in addition to the comments above, I’d also remind you that it nearly always takes Microsoft 3 major attempts to get things “right”.

    • Anonymous

      04/06/2011 at 1:52 pm

      They have to ease lazy, whiny, stubborn developers (internal ones too) into things or be pilloried (and probably Class Actioned) for trying to make changes that are too radical all at once.

      I refuse to believe that they don’t have 1000 worker bees saying the same things that we say all the time. Those worker bees are then vetoed (if they even got a vote) by Legal and scared Management.

  4. Han

    04/06/2011 at 12:50 pm

    Because they tried to push slates/tablets before its time came. The power saving CPUs, the large and cheap SSD hard drives, multi-touch technology, etc. The last couple of years was the perfect storm for that kind of stuff. Not 5-10 years ago.

    • Anonymous

      04/06/2011 at 2:06 pm

      Correct. Now is the time to strike.

      They need to push manufacturers to make the 1280×1024 or 1152×864 thin tablet I’m wanting. 8.9 inches please, thank you.

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