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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. (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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RE: Luxury
By NellyFromMA on 6/15/2012 8:18:02 AM , Rating: 2
In many ways, Microsoft can afford to expirement with Win8 and make these bold moves; even if it doesn't work, it wasn't worth pouring all of those resources into a strictly desktop OS. win7 is already the best desktop OS hands down. It's established. Win8 is an attempt to come up with the best of both worlds but its unashamedly geared towards mobile touch interfaces. That much is clear. Anyone that will like Win 8 will be pleased. Anyone who doesn't already has the best desktop OS available to them to either purcahse or conitnue using. Look, MS didn't even trick you into buying a modest upgrade of their OS, you can just continue using what has already been established as the best.

Of course, MS wants to make their successor win. The question is, what winning means to them isn't necessarily what you think winning means for them. As far as I can tell, they already are and IMO Win8 will be deemed a success internally if it succeeds in the touch and mobile sectors. Anything else is extra.

RE: Luxury
By Belard on 6/15/2012 9:02:54 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, the plan to have a common interface between 3 platforms (desktop / tablet / phone) makes some sense. It so it feeds on itself.

- Windows Phone OS is excellent. Love it... nobody is buying it. Maybe because todays Windows Phones are 2 year old tech. My contract is up, if at&t sold a Lumina 800 with HD/retina like rez, dual core for $100 (the price of a 900), I'd get it.

- Tablet = nothing.

- Desktop, they have about 95% of the market.

So by making the desktop interface standard the same as their phones, the GOAL is to get people to want to buy said phones and tablets. Makes sense.... but.

Limited and poor phone choices, $700~1000 tablets (really?!) and a broken desktop interface.

I think Win8 will piss off so many people, they will RUN away from WP8 phone and tablets.

I have Win7 on my hardware... I use an iPad and my phone is Android - running a WP7 interface launcher.

Windows8 is going to be very painful. Make Vista look like nothing.

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