11 of 30Image
Once logging in from the previous screen, the user was sent to this absolutely gorgeous desktop. To note, this presentation was only a mock-up made and demonstrated in Macromedia Director (flash-based, basically). This look would directly inform visual development of Longhorn straight up through its cancellation with build 4094.
Though the Aero name and some of its properties (like transluscency) would carry on through the completion of Windows Vista, the lack of many of the shell changes that would have truly shown it off made it nothing like its earliest incarnation, as showcased throughout the next handful of screen shots.
The Start menu in this Longhorn concept was animated in numerous ways: the Windows flag waves, there's an aurora animation running on the left-hand pane, and as you hovered over menu items, their respective icons would swing into view at the top of the left-hand pane. It was an awesome, awe-inspiring vision of the Start menu!
Big glass borders gave an exciting look and feel to the shell, also providing a space for recent thumbnails. The thumbnails feature seemed odd and out of place, but at this point in time, the focus was on showing off the potential of a sleek, clean, and glassy UI that Windows users would hopefully drool over (and we did).