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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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Windows 8, gets worse by the week!
By Belard on 6/15/2012 9:59:04 AM , Rating: 2
When I first saw / heard about Metro, I thought it was a good idea... I didn't do the first preview... some liked it, some didn't.... but I think, its a GOOD idea.

I did the consumer preview... they already flattened the interface a bit, it looks cleaner and better than Win7Aero... but still nice.

Whats in these photos, looks like flat-ugly crap. Really, Microsoft is racing to fail? They are going out of their way to make a crappy ugly, stupid operating system?

Windows ME didn't FAIL because of how it looked. (Which Win8 seems to strive for) WinME sucked because it was unstable, it crapped all over itself, some things didn't work... the strange pastel colors were the least of its problems. MS ripped out things that were STILL important at that time in 2000~2002. XP wasn't out yet or it was quite new. Having an MS-DOS prompt was a life-saver and needed for a Win9x OS (which Me is). ME was bad and many PC makers sold new PCs with WIn98se because it was stable.

XP was growing pains. It looked good, it worked pretty good and not too hard finding your way around.

Vista, look mostly good - drank memory like it was water. It bugged you a lot, it locked up or didn't want to wake up or shut down. It needed 8GB just to be usable. (Win7 and WIn8 will run with 1GB better than Vista with 4GB)

Win8? Looks kinda good, but the new buttons above are ugly... did they hire retards to come up with this stuff? WIn8 us excellent with resources, the system monitor is vastly improved. Copying files is better...

But amazingly, WIn8 still retains the same UGLY blue-purple pie-chart for DISK PROPERTIES from the Windows95 days!

When Windows7 was in development, people like / loved it. MS was actually LISTENING to their customers, the people who buy/sell their stuff. I used Win7Preview as my primary OS. it was that solid.

But with Windows8... hello? There are a lot of people who FLAT OUT hate it. I'd rate it below vista, its so un-usable for a desktop user.

I foresee the future: People will be returning their hated new Win8 PCs. Some manufactures (like Lenovo's ThinkPad line) will be able to continue to sell Win7/XP notebooks.

When bestbuy/frys/sears/toy-r-us get tired of the returns... as well as HP, Dell, Acer, Sony, etc... MS is going to get punched in the balls.

Its easy to UNDERSTAND why microsoft is doing all of this. They cannot retain or grow market share. They can slowly lose it or collapse. With PC gaming virtually dead with all the AAA titles going to consoles, who needs a PC?

Windows OS is nothing more than a launcher for MS-Office and Quickbooks.

As long as WE have access to a browser (such as my 4" screen cell phone), we can do anything. Work, play games, read mail, do facebook, twitter, look at porn, etc.

Nobody needs Microsoft Windows for that. Eventually, some people will say "Why am I spending $300 for an OS and office suite? Who am I really writing letters to?" Libre Office does more than enough for most people (I know and agree, its not up to Office2003 standards and not 100% compatible). Its free... Linux, free. My experience with Windows8 had me download and try out LinuxMint on the same hardware. Its as elegant as Window7... more functional than Windows8/metro.

I'll keep my Win7 though. When Adobe gets around to making Photoshop for Linux, then I'll make my switch.

Window8, if it somehow scores a homerun and everyone loves it (I doubt it), then MS may see increase sales in their tablets and phones. But MS's pricing system is garbage and such tablets will costs $750~1000?! Meanwhile Apple and Android tablets are starting out at $200~350.

But, when Windows8 bombs worse than vista and they are force to extend the sales of Windows7 (I cannot sell any of my clients onto metro) for 3 years while MS sticks their fingers up their butts trying to figure out where they went wrong... their tablet sales WILL tank and the phone market will stay at or below its current -2%. yeah, that's right... If the Win8Metro experience is HATED by the consumer base, they WILL NOT BUY Win8/metro tablets.

Good or bad, in the next few months its going to be an interesting show. I hope I don't have to stock up on some Windows7 licences. :(

Bonus points: Microsoft, this is HOW I would have handled it. Windows8 Mobile covers tablets and phones. Its $20 to licence (not $85!), its strictly a metro interface.

Windows8 would have all the cool improvements you currently have now. Remove the idiot things you have done to it. Metro is not the boot-up interface. When your mouse hits the START button (with or without a click) - The default Metro Start-menu shoots out. The mouse wheel scrolls it up and down. BUT, IT HAS THE WINDOWS 7 Run/All Programs and Startmenu items.

And when a user clicks on a METRO Application, it opens a WINDOW on the desktop or full screen (user prefs)... Thus, Metro Apps can follow its owner/user on any device.

Thats all you had to do... The user has their metro apps, a feel for metro a little bit.

PS: Stop selling Upgrade versions... Sell retail Home for $80 and retail Pro for $100... a 3-pack of them at reduced cost! (1 media, 3 keys) for $120 (home) & $180 (Pro).




By StanO360 on 6/18/2012 12:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
Linux Mint is not as "elegant" as Windows 7. It's good, but not that good, and it's clunky to use. Granted I've never installed it on good hardware (old XP machines).

And been there done that with Libre Office. Yes it isn't bad and it's free. But that's like getting day old donuts.


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