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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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By Gondor on 6/15/2012 12:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
With an application running it surely takes even more clicks just to get to that silly list ?

With start menu you simply open the menu and launch whatever you want, you don't have to move your hand from mouse to keyboard and back.


By CaedenV on 6/15/2012 5:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
If using the mouse just go into the bottom left corner where the start menu use to be;
Lo and behold! a start screen button appears! Just like the good old start button, then scroll to the application that you want and launch it. Really, it is better than the old defunct start menu.
Lets not forget that you can also still set up hot keys in win8, and pin programs, and have desktop shortcuts, and very easily organize the start screen to just about anyone's liking, and it brings together news, weather, programs, websites, RSS feeds, photos, facebook/twitter updates, etc. all in a single medium (play/pause/next options on the tile for the player would be nice though...). I may not like the tile aesthetic, but to say that it is worse in any way to the start menu is nuts. And if you don't want all that crap on your start screen? Just right click or swipe down on what you don't want, and then remove it. Personally I love it now that I have gotten use to it.


By JediJeb on 6/15/2012 5:29:17 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't been able to use W8 yet so I was wondering if I can use it they way I do XP now. I put my three or four programs up, stacking the windows so I can easily click the edge of each one as I need it, and leave a small amount of desktop showing around the borders of those windows where my most used program icons sit. I can open and close everything I need without using the start menu and I can easily jump from one to the other with no hassles at all. I heard that with the Metro UI everything goes full screen, or has that changed? I would hate to be minimizing and maximizing everything back and fourth all day, that would just waste a lot of my time.


By Belard on 6/16/2012 2:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
If you want access to four programs, windows 7 pin to task bar works fine. Better than XP's quick launch. You can cover your whole desktop with windows and have access to what u use he most.

Win8 desktop is pretty much the same as 7/xp. It's just going to be ugly and have a full screen start menu that you can't customize much.


By Belard on 6/16/2012 2:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
If you want access to four programs, windows 7 pin to task bar works fine. Better than XP's quick launch. You can cover your whole desktop with windows and have access to what u use he most.

Win8 desktop is pretty much the same as 7/xp. It's just going to be ugly and have a full screen start menu that you can't customize much


"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad














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