A while back I saw this interesting video of Robert Scoble interviewing Jenny Lam, creative direct of the Windows user experience at the time. The video gives some background information (pun intended) about the choice of a wallpaper with grass for the official Longhorn beta 1 release. You can find the video on Channel9 here: Designing Experiences at MicrosoftBelow you find the transcript of the part where they briefly talk about wallpapers.


So, when we’re going to get Vista, what are we going to see that is yours?


I drive the desktop wallpaper and screensaver. I’m working on..


So, you’re the one responsible for all the green grass I see all over campus?


Yeah. Well see, that’s kind of a trick cause that was.. ..we want to save all our ‘thunder’ for launch so we wanted to come up with something that really showed of the glass really well. So when you run the glass over the blades you can actually see the refraction and you can get a sense of dimension and depth. It’s higher fidelity, but it wasn’t another wink to anything in the future. It’s, sort of, a placeholder – but then a nicer version. But, yeah.. I’m responsible for grass. Even the bails of hay in alpha – I don’t know if you remember that (…)1)Channel9 Jenny Lam – Designing Experiences at Microsoft 

So, now we know the story of the grass: it was kind of a placeholder which – not so – coincidentally could show off the new Aero glass really well.

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