Print 127 comment(s) - last by johnsmith9875.. on Jun 29 at 10:40 AM

Change may be less extreme than some expected, but may leave some unhappy campers

You don't put desktop in the corner.

That sentiment is at the heart of much of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) faithful’s increasing frustration with Windows 8.  Loyal Windows blogger Paul Thurrott went as far as to compare it to the much loathed Windows ME ("Millennium Edition").  Others have been more charitable, praising its strong touch support.  And manufacturers seem to be on board with Microsoft's message, at least, showing of a slew of hybrid notebooks and tablets [1][2][3].

When word leaked that Microsoft had snipped out the code that allowed the Start Menu to be re-enabled on the desktop via third-party hacks, many commenters flipped out and let their rage be known.  They weren't much happier when they heard that the Aero UI theme found in Windows Vista and Windows 7 desktops would be replaced by a Metro UI alternative.  (The current publicly available Release Preview retains the Aero UI theme.)

So how bad (or good) is the new Metro desktop makeover? Judge for yourself from these screenshots from WinUnleaked.

Windows 8 Metro Desktop

Windows 8 Metro UI Windows 8 Metro Desktop Windows 8 Metro Desktop Windows 8 Metro Desktop

Windows 8 Metro Desktop
(Click any image to enlarge) [Images Source: WindowsUnleaked]

While there's no real reason to doubt the authenticity of these shots, bear in mind that the leaked OS is a pre-RTM (release to manufacturing/marketing) build.  Even the poster "canouna" warns, "Please keep in mind this is not the FINAL theme."

Some people have already (for better or worse) drawn comparisons between the Metro theme and the Windows XP Water Color theme:

XP Water Color
 [Image Source: "The Rock"/WindowsUnleaked]

Of course, the bad news is that Microsoft appears to be locking the Desktop to Metro UI, though there's faint hope that it might leave in legacy code allowing transparency to be re-enabled.  Desktop Windows Manager (DWM) is still running on the test builds, but there's no telling if it will contain the Aero code any more.  Microsoft has stated before that Aero wastes battery life and consumes extra processing power versus the cleaner Metro UI, so that may be justification in Microsoft's mind for the switch.

As far as further changes to the desktop, the top two rumors are that Microsoft may complete the Metro makeover with new Metro-styled icons.  A second rumor is that the Office-esque "Ribbon" will be added to more of the menus, as this was the case in certain early builds.

So what do you think?  Is the Metro desktop in its current form a stud or a dud?

Source: WindowsUnleaked

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By PrezWeezy on 6/14/2012 9:10:52 PM , Rating: 1
Microsoft is turning the Metro "Start Screen" into 500 little tiles instead of an ORGANIZED Start MENU.

Apparently you haven't used it yet. But the first "Start Screen" that comes up is your customized set of icons you use all the time. They are "pinned" on the first screen. If you want to see everything that is installed you can do that too. It is in a list view with the icons organized under headers just like folders in the Win7 start menu. It is a little more cluttered, admittedly, when you look at all apps. That said I have never, since it launched in March, used it. I use the icons on the first screen that I've setup the way I want, or I use the search. The "all apps" view is there and can be used, but I haven't found need for it. It actually works really well. Instead of multiple clicks to get to a program (I know I used to have up to about 6 drilling down into menus) I now have two. It works really well.

By twhittet on 6/15/2012 2:13:08 AM , Rating: 3
No, I AM using it, that's the problem. Hasn't been close to intuitive for me - so good luck for a typical user.

Admittedly I did find calculator under the Apps screen.
- The Apps screen is a mess. I have like 3 programs installed so far on this pc and I already have to scroll a whole page over (lots of wrist action vs small movements). It will be much worse once programs are actually installed. Organized like crap. Running higher res may help. It will still be 500 stupid tiles!
- How the hell does a person get there? I finally googled it. Because nothing is intuitive. You can get to it by right clicking at the bottom of the Metro UI. If you right click in the middle, you have to scroll all the way over to the left corner. Once again, horrible on a mouse.

So to find a calculator with just a mouse, I have to go to a completely different screen (hiding any work I was in the middle of - like maybe some numbers I wanted to put in a damn calculator!) and sort through a jumbled set of icons/tiles. Awesome.

Why don't they just call this what it is - Windows tablet edition.

By CaedenV on 6/15/2012 5:30:48 PM , Rating: 1
Um... the apps menu is alphabetically organized, what exactly is confusing about that?
Also it has icons next to each name, so you don't even need to be able to read to find the calculator. Also, if you are on the start screen you can just start typing 'cal...' and by the 3rd letter you can hit 'enter' to open the program, or right click on it and pin it to the start screen or superbar and NEVER have that problem again.

I'll be the first to admit that there is a learning curve (especially moving from version to version as things have changed slightly), but once you get use to the new workflow it is quite nice. And it is just as drastic a change as it was moving form dos to win3.1, or 3.1 to '95, but without 1/2 the headaches I had moving between those platforms because most of the good old keyboard shortcuts still behave the same in spite of the GUI changes.

By augiem on 6/15/2012 10:13:10 PM , Rating: 3
I'll never understand why so many people think lumping everything together in one giant grab bag is superior. I guess because people have forgotten how to think or are senile and don't want to put forth the effort to learn anything. All the smart phones were this way in the beginning until some GENIUS at Apple with, what, iOS version 3 or 4, got the idea to add... *drum roll* FOLDERS (WHOA what an idea) to the app page. MS is guilty in various degrees of this in the past with MyDocuments and now Windows 7 phone (What?! a 1-app column of every prog installed on the phone? brilliant!) Apple is taking it even further with changes to OSX Lion Finder where they encourage users to just go to the giant grab bag for all their pics, videos, docs, etc and not remember where they put things.

Why is every version of the start menu superior in every way to ScrollBar 8's new gimmick? O R G A N I Z A T I O N . I am a power user, I admit it, but I just did a quick catalog of my start menu and I have ... 935 items in my start menu all neatly organized under 6 main categories and further subcategorized below that. I know some people love the Win Vista/7 type-to-find thing, but I don't at all because some programs I use infrequently and don't even remember the proper name, but I know they're organized under Utilitiess\Security\etc. They stay neatly tucked away, not in my face all the time like in Metro. I don't always go for the start menu either. My most commonly used programs are run with hotkeys, quick launch, RocketDock, or a Favorites folder on the start menu. I like having my options.

By JediJeb on 6/15/2012 5:07:56 PM , Rating: 2
I just a lot of legacy programs, some still 16 bit that can not be replaced easily, will those install to the Metro UI screen or where will they end up? Our IT department is always trying to push us to the newest OS available to make their lives easier, but most of our equipment has not had new versions of software written in years. I would hate to tell our IT guys they need to find us $100k for each computer they want to upgrade because we would need to replace the expensive equipment attached to it. Well maybe I would like to tell them that to keep them quiet on making changes so often.

By johnsmith9875 on 6/29/2012 10:36:35 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like my LG800 phone interface, and I hate my LG800 phone.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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