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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 Wolfpup on 6/15/2012 3:15:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the Start menu makes WAY more sense than this Metro thing does for a normal desktop. Sure, for touch Metro may make sense, but it's inefficient for normal PC usage.

Right now, most of us probably have a handful of programs we almost always use pinned to the task bar, and then from there lesser used stuff on the start menu.

Well Win 8 you're having to drop to a different screen to launch lesser used programs...and then the Start menu of course hides even LESSER used programs better still. Win 8 appears to give you quick access to your programs you'd already have pinned, but much clunkier and slower access to everything else. I'm TRULY amazed they'd do this.

Heck, even if they wanted to make the Start menu more Metro LIKE, I can see that, so long as it's not actually switching to a seperate screen.

Also...presumably they're not REALLY getting rid of Aero right? Sounds like they're just getting rid of transparencies for some reason? I like them, but so long as it's still actually using hardware acceleration...

I am actually kind of excited to see whether Windows 8 on an x86 tablet really can give you everything an iPad does...except with more power and it's a real PC. If it can do that and give similar-ish battery life, iPad SHOULD be dead. Now it's Apple, and they can sell absurd products to millions, but still...


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