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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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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By B3an on 6/15/2012 11:17:22 AM , Rating: 0
quote:
So i have EVERYTHING in the stupid Metro Start screen? So if I want a calculator - it has a Icon there. And RDP. And GPO admin. And 20 games. And I'm calling BS on your part, or Microsoft is turning the Metro "Start Screen" into 500 little tiles instead of an ORGANIZED Start MENU. *waves BS flag*


LOL carm down yeah? You've not even used it and you're assuming stupid things, making yourself mad. It's funny but sad.

No the calculator and many other default apps like MS Paint are not in the Metro Start Sreen. BUT... you can pin or unpin almost anything to the Metro Start Screen, including sites and folders, so if you want your calculator icon just pin it! You can also arrange groups of Metro tiles in to named categories, something you cant do in the Start Menu. You can arrange the categories in any order you like and drag and drop tiles between them.

And to get to anything that isn't in Metro simply start typing to do a search. Searching is often the fastest way on Vista/7 anyway! Like i said you often dont even have to type the whole word, just the first 2 or 3 letters. And obviously touch devices have the onscreen keyboard. When you install some software it will currently dump a load of unneeded icons on the Start Screen but i'm sure this will be fixed over time because none of it is made for Win 8. You can easily unpin this stuff for now though.

I'm not saying the new Start Screen is better at everything compared to the old Start Menu, but overall it's a definite improvement.


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