I took the liberty of creating a concept of what Windows Longhorn might look like by beta one. A lot of what persons have seen in the Alpha Builds of Longhorn are actually place holder themes or interfaces, Microsoft is definitely withholding the actual interface (Aero/Aero Glass), until beta 2 or at least RTM.
But I was paying close attention to some screenshots taken by Paul Thurrott on his Winsupersite at PDC ’03, please take a close look at the start menu Composite Aero Desktop here
You will notice how different the start menu is thought out from build 4074 of Longhorn in this screenshot here. So, I decided to do a mock up for a much more magnified look at what the start menu might look like in beta 1, see screenshot below.
Differences such as Photos & Videos, Music & Radio, Contacts, Hardware, etc. Although its still not well thought out, it does show a more user understanding Longhorn that Hillel Cooperman, showed off at PDC 2003, which featured a cool menu hover over animation. I must say I like. When I say User Understanding, I specifically mean features that you or I are most likely to want to interact with.