One of the most influential designers in the team behind creating the look of Windows 8 was Marius Bauer. His area of expertise was in the Start and lock screens, and notes of how designing wallpapers for Windows 8 was something of a "dream project" to him. But now the designs themselves paint pictures of somewhat dreamy atmospheres.
Bauer liked the idea of keeping things simple and clear on the Start screen. The design elements really shown-off on the comparatively-clear lock screen. Observe here:-
The new look is still a source of frustration to those who say that nothing wrong with the old style of Windows. The early concepts look nice, but as do a large portion of the wallpapers offered in Windows 8, and compared with the likes of Windows XP and Windows Vista, Microsoft has really offered with regards to the selection and quality of wallpaper.
Looking at the earlier concepts, it also becomes apparent just how much depth the stock images have, with various different layers culminating into some very aesthetically-pleasing backdrops. Each has matured from beginning to end, and Microsoft’s Windows 8 package includes some fine examples of architecture and nature.
We got really inspired by the beautiful nature and iconic architecture of the city and the [Redmond] campus. Both elements are integrated in the final design.
It’s unknown whether Bauer will work again for Microsoft in the future, but he seems to have enjoyed his time, as demonstrated his "dreamy" state of mind. He has done a stellar job, and whether you love or loathe Windows 8, the Start Screen and lock screen are key in completing the overall look.