To date, Whistler had provided the same desktop environment that Microsoft had used since its debut in Windows 95 in 1995. But Microsoft added a twist, with a visual style choice that could be set to “classic,” the basic look and feel of Windows 9x/Me and 2000, and “watercolor,” which introduced a bolder color scheme. Early Whistler builds also showed off simpler new UIs for the Start menu, Control Panel, Help and Support, and other key interfaces, that were matched to the Watercolor visual style.
The first few Whistler builds of 2001 continued this evolution, and a late January build was the first to include the wallpapers, including the iconic Bliss, that would ship with the final version of the product. But that was about it.