Slide shown by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer this morning.

Microsoft’s default Windows 8 interface, unveiled last month, was clearly modeled in part after the Xbox Live and Windows Phone design — aiming to give the company more consistency across its various devices and software platforms. But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer drove home the point when he showed this slide this morning during the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference, talking about the company’s larger goals.

“We’re moving in a great direction in terms of a common, coherent design language and user interface across phone, slate, PC and TV,” Ballmer said, via webcast.

Even though we’d seen each of those modular interfaces before, hewing to the company’s new “Metro” design aesthetic, it was striking to see them all laid out like that, making it clear that they’re pieces of a larger package.

As we’ve noted in the past, the big question is how longtime Windows users will react to such a dramatic change in the default experience, even with the option to run the traditional Windows desktop. As it rolls out the new operating system next year, Microsoft will find out if one size, or at least one interface, can actually fit all in the modern tech industry.

At the very least, it’s looking pretty … and consistent.

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  • Guest

    Congratulations to Microsoft! While its competition (Apple) continues to embrace the grid-of-icons aesthetic that went out of style with the PalmPilot, Microsoft innovates with the Metro Design Language. Kudos to the designers who are writing a new page in the book of design.

    • Mark

      Meanwhile, who is growing share in mobile, tablets, and PCs? Answer: Apple.

      • Guest

        Who is growing share in mobile? Android.

        Who is growing share in tablets? Android.

        Who is growing share in PCs? Microsoft. (More than 400 million licenses of Windows 7 sold — that’s more PCs than Apple has sold in its corporate lifetime.)

        • Guest

          Nice. Thank you.

  • john

    Ugly choice of pictures to show in a slide, but obviously you can customize them on your own device.

    I am loving this change to a more consistent experience. Keep up the good work Microsoft.

  • Guest

    Not sure if it sounds like a good move to me.  MSFT’s advantage is its core Windows and Office user base.  It has tried to make its operating system be all things to all people, by taking the PC and applying it mobile, which did not work.  Now it sounds like it wants to take its mobile experince (where it is playing catch up and has limited market share) and apply that to the PC?  It seems like a big risk to me and then they are trying to play the other guys game.  I also think a phone and tablet are very different use cases than a PC.  I just hope they don’t change the PC user experience too much!  However, maybe if they do, it will make it even easier for me to move to a Mac, since I already have an iPad and iPhone…

  • Eqorbit

    Coherent metro ui across devices?! It just show how Msft don’t understand the cloud business at all. The cloud is the internet, and the ‘coherent’ ui and its language is Html not xaml based metro ui. Msft once again is attempting users to more lock-in with their properitary and crappy products.

  • Oscar

    I love this UI just hurry up, I want my Mango update, then I want Windows 8. 

    Windows 8 is stunning and beautiful

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