Windows 8 Desktop's Metro UI Makeover Leaks
June 14, 2012 11:21 AM
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. (
) 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 [
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
(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 (
arketing) 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:
[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?
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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