How we designed the default background in Windows 7

How we designed the default background in Windows 7

  • Comments 20
  • Likes

Channel 9’s Larry Larsen pinged me earlier today to let me know of a video they just posted to Channel 9 on the default background in Windows 7. Larry was able to talk to Denise Trabona who is a Senior UX (User Experience) Lead on the Windows Design and Research Team. Denise shares insight into how we went about designing the default background see on Windows 7 desktops (the default) and also the logon screen. If you’re someone interested in UI and the thought processes behind how and why we make things look the way they do in Windows, this video is just for you.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Denise also stopped by Channel 9 back in August to talk to Larry about the other fantastic backgrounds see in Windows 7. You can check that video out here.

Another post worth checking out is this post from the E7 blog. In this post, Karen Wong who is a Program Manager on the Core User Experience Team shares how we designed the Windows 7 boot animation.

You must be logged in to comment. Sign in or Join Now
  • For 2012 , New Client Operating System Windows 8 .. :)>

  • SergeSF
    6 Posts

    Who cares about backgrounds, if the vital part of Windows - display frequencies - does not work either???

    2 months since Win7 release and 3 years since Vista driver model release - and STILL viewing Full-HD video on TV Set is IMPOSSIBLE??????

  • What happened to the Family Pack?

    Please bring the Family Pack back!

  • pdxpaul
    1 Posts

    Hey guys, I'm really disappointed that you pulled the Win 7 Family Pack. I was planning on upgrading some my family's computers over the holidays, and I was shocked to learn that the Family Pack is "sold out". Now I won't be upgrading. It's too bad because I've heard lots of good things about Windows 7, but now, not only has Microsoft lost another sale, they've lost my good will.

  • kmruss
    1 Posts

    Very disappointed the 'Family Pack' has disappeared.  I had no idea it was 'limited-time' because when I first saw it in Office Depot, there was NOTHING stating it was limited-time - nor a 'sale price' .. etc.  Now I was trying to build a computer for myself (I'm an IT Administrator by day) - and wanted to purchase a 3-pack Windows 7 to put not only on the new computer - but also upgrade my other two desktops.  Now I will not do that at the price point of $360 total instead of $150 unless Microsoft brings this back!  LISTEN TO US PLEASE Microsoft - you said you 'were listening'.  My idea: bring back the Family Pack permanently.  Horrible marketing to end this before even the first week of December .. horrible.

  • I suspect every Windows 7 blog from now until the reinstatement of the family pack 3 upgrade licensing for $149 will continue to go off topic.  Bring back the family pack please.  (Microsoft, your customers' are talking - is anyone listening anymore?)

  • I agree completely bring back the Family Pack.  I've got 7 computers in my household  5 running XP, 1 on Vista, and my newest member running 7.  Along with 2 net books ( Christmas) that I would like to upgrade. Its reasons like this that we need this type of option. It helps all of our bottom line and expands the sales which help your bottom line.

  • ericnay
    3 Posts

    Bring back the Family Pack!

    Limiting it is absurd, ridiculous, incredible.  It's an infinite good, there is no shortage or limitation except by artificial means.

    Why don't you call your PR firm, Microsoft.  Ask them what people think of this bonehead move!

    That's it, no more Win7 installs for me until this is restored.

  • Thanks everyone for your comments and feedback on the Windows 7 Family Pack. Let's keep the discussion here on topic for this particular blog post - if you have anything you want to say regarding the Windows 7 Family Pack offer, leave your comments on this post here:

    This will allow us to track comments all in one place regarding the topic as well.

    Thanks everyone!

  • mrclm
    1 Posts

    Bring back the family pack.  I think it is pretty shady that it was taken away so quickly.  I was considering upgrading 5 computers to Win7, but will honestly not do a single one if I have to buy the licenses 1 at a time.  Obviously I know that is no threat to you (and isn't intended as such) but is the reality of this decision, and I suspect there are many others like me.  It was worth it to upgrade at the family pack price.  It is not otherwise.

  • creative!

  • ctb123
    1 Posts

    I really like Windows 7, so please bring back the Family Pack.  I can't believe it was only available for 6 weeks!  I would have picked it up if I had known it was going to disappear so quickly.  

    Surely it's in Microsoft's interest to encourage people to upgrade to 7, and to make it financially attractive to do so?

    I have 3 machines that I would like to upgrade, but $360 vs $150 is enough to prevent me from doing so.

  • Great Job with Windows 7 Only thing lacking is the Windows Family Pack!

    Bring back the Family Pack!  Please?

  • I really liked this post, it goes into a lot of what I am interested in. I'm also studying to work in the UX :)

    I must say this is the first time in a long while that a post on these blogs has really caught my attention. It just seems so busy now, especially with all of the rather useless promotions of other companies' products. I'm just a bit overwhelmed with how often and how many new posts are added. I liked the feel of this blog site back in the Vista days. Just the "small blog" feeling to it.

    (Also the commentors have gotten less and less on topic as the popularity of this place grows)

  • I actually enjoyed the video. Makes you stop and think, really. 34 versions of the log in screen!

    I liked the prototype wallpaper better too.

  • 7flavor
    352 Posts

    Thanks but for the resources spent, we would have preferred DreamScene making it in as an OS component. Some people can stick with Vista too.

  • CStorm
    2 Posts


    In response to your previous post: Your solution for those who wish to purchase Windows 7 Family Pack is to spend 140% more on 3 individual licenses. Each Home Premium upgrade Retails for $120. The Family Pack retails for $150. Your suggestion is insulting to your customers.

    While I recognize Microsoft stated this was a limited time offer and would consider its future based on feedback, and that Microsoft as a company can choose to price its products in whatever way it sees fit, I offer these 3 pieces of feedback:

    1) Talking about availability and supplies is nonsense. It was available for download. Microsoft *chose* to discontinue it in the US immediately prior to Black Friday, just in time for the holidays. This decision reflects how Microsoft values its home users.

    2) This never should have been a "limited time offer" as this model has been proven to be successful by both Microsoft and its competitors for home use.

    3) I will not upgrade to Windows 7 until this offer returns. Am I threatening to switch? No, I already use a Mac and a Linux laptop. But I certainly won't be upgrading my Windows PCs.

    Microsoft is touting how its listening to its customers with Windows 7. I've yet to see anyone on here say "Yea, we're glad that family pack is gone, it was useless." So, listen.

  • jwburke
    1 Posts

    The Family Pack 3x - I have been looking at ordering the my parents the family pack for their 2 pc's.  I have noticed that the limited release for $149.99 has expired.  I for one have thought this was great idea and price as many others undoubtly have. It would be great to restart this program or if not buy 1 get half off the secound.  I am a pc and this is my idea!

  • The pragmatic Dutch have a word for this: mierenneuken. I have to say that I'm with Peter Bright on this: the default background in Windows 7 is horrendous. The first thing I did was to get rid of it.

  • Great information, great background.  Too bad I'll only be able to see it on ONE PC in my home.

    Bring back the Family Pack!  If you have any "goodness" in you whatsoever bring it back!!!  (Please?)

    Robert in Texas