There are lot of hard jobs at Microsoft. Like the guy who collects Steve Ballmer’s dry cleaning. But Sam Moreau just might have the hardest gig in Redmond. Or at least the most harrowing. Over the past five years, he’s taken on the tiny task of redesigning the operating system used by like a billion people all over the world. You know, NBD.

Sam’s the Director of User Experience for Windows, Windows Live and Internet Explorer, and along with Julie Larson-Green, the Vice President of Windows, they’ve been re-imagining Windows from the ground up with Windows 8, in ways that might surprise you.

I’ve broken this gigantic interview—which I’ve edited and condensed—into three parts, roughly descending in order of importance: The big ideas behind Windows 8 and what it’s like to design it, Metro across Microsoft, and the nuts and bolts of the Windows 8 redesign.

Make no mistake, kids, you’re gonna want to hold onto your pants when Windows 8 drops into your lap. And you’ll even be able to use it while you do. [gizmodo]