I like the new updated concept. I like especially the semi-transparent border around the UI elements; as much as I liked the "stone" look of the official UI semi-transparency gives more room to the actual gameplay area and I'm a stickler for minimalist UIs and maximum gameplay area. The only thing I don't like is where the minimap is located, it's too obtrusive where you have it. I think it would be better in the upper corner.
Me too. The less the UI the better. Of course there's a trade-off between having no UI and showing critical information. There's also the issue of properly contrasting key elements of a UI namely all the icons and dialog text. The reason for the minimap's location is so that it is approximately level with the player's eye. That was one of the things I hated about minimaps in MMOs. They place it all the way up in the upper-right corner. I always felt it should be placed in the center-right of the screen so that it's on the same horizon line as the player's avatar. Less head moment equals less strain... you know, for us "older" gamers.
So, at this point, this is probably more of an 'academic' exercise that may still, nonetheless, influence BW on the design of UIs for future games...
That's pretty much all it is. I found it a fun exercise in UI game design.