Windows 8 Desktop's Metro UI Makeover Leaks
June 14, 2012 11:21 AM
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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. (
) 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 [
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
(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 (
arketing) 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:
[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?
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
6/15/2012 2:08:34 AM
XP was the best. clean look, intuitive/practical.
Internally there were lot's of problems but most were worked out after SP3.
Vista/7 are just XP with better looking GUI with improved internals and many things that
to intuitive and practical hidden under menu's.
now Metro is going to be revamped GUI with same internals as Vista/7 hidden under even more archaic menu's.
they do this all the time to make it look newer. same stuff.
They are hiring newbies who have no clue what the power user wants.
RE: EPIC FAIL!
6/15/2012 5:54:59 PM
Perhaps you do not remember all the belly-aching about XP being the 'cartoon OS', and that it ran poorly compared to Win2K due to all the 'eye candy' and 'effects' (and the pesky security features that ate resources without doing anything). And the Welcome Screen was a terrible thing and inefficient way to log into a computer.
Vista/7 are quite different from XP in that they changed a lot of the structure to make it much more secure from the viruses that plague XP (really... antivirus is like a comfort blanket these days... almost entirely unnecessary). Add to that the new Aero Interface, an IP stack that finally worked OK, a wireless interface that was usable, much better Ram usage, the ability to offload graphics to the GPU (in 7 at least), better thread management for multi core support, and the list goes on and on. It is like saying that winXP and 7 are the same because the registry and the file structure are similar, because that is about all they have in common.
Saying win7 and win8 are the same is equally short sighted. There are a lot of similarities (especially in the early builds), but now it has an entirely different UI, and UI engine. It has pretty good cloud integration simply not available in win7 (though it needs work still). It has yet a better IP stack, and the USB stack is noticeably faster. The resource monitor is so much more available and easier to use, as is the new file transfer management, and file association capabilities. The ram footprint is extremely small (XP sized) on systems with limited memory capacity, while still taking full prefetching ability for desktops with skads of ram. Oh, and the install is nearly 1/2 the size of win7 with all these improved features, while still retaining arguably better backwards compatibility than win7 had. But the taskbar is the same, and the file and registry structure are similar to win7/vista/XP/2K/NT/98, so it must be the same thing with just a little window dressing...
RE: EPIC FAIL!
6/15/2012 6:56:12 PM
Microsoft gave some choice then. You can turn of the Weclome screen and the eye candy.
What you emphasize is exactly what I said.
They did improve the internals but it still is based on XP. If you look at all the resulting menus such as device manager and many other menus it is all the same. All they did is re-arrange it to make it look new but not better.
In XP I can change several things just by right clicking my desktop and choosing properties.
in 7 they added several windows to do the same thing. that is better?
Windows explorer was perfect but now it is a complete mess.
and like I mentioned I was talking about the power user.
for the masses who don't tinker it is probably ok.
RE: EPIC FAIL!
6/29/2012 10:37:42 AM
Personally I found XP to be goofy looking. In Windows 7 the first thing I do is switch it back to the classic interface.
Microsoft's GUI peaked at Windows 2000.
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