Windows 8 Power Struggle: Metro vs Desktop

10 thumbs up
We understand why Microsoft wants everyone to move to the Start Screen. It's a natural reaction when you've spent years working on an interface, particularly given that this new interface will be infinitely better than the old one for a huge number of users. For tablets, Metro is brilliant. In other fields, it's less-than-suitable -- a fact MS has tacitly acknowledged by keeping the desktop prominently integrated in the first place.


News and Market Watch -- content, easily laid out and "consumed."  A One Trick Pony...

In this case, Redmond really should take a page from Cupertino's book. Apple's MacOS to OS X transition took place in stages; OS X wasn't shipped as the default operating system until it hit version 10.1; Apple maintained the Classic Environment option for running MacOS apps until Leopard hit in 2007. While the parallels are not exact, Apple's slow rollout schedule gave users time to learn the new environment and software developers time to adjust.

Given that Windows supports a software ecosystem that's multiple orders of magnitude larger than Apple's, forcing users to switch back and forth between the Metro Start Screen and everything else makes no sense. There are powerful Windows application vendors like Adobe and Autodesk for whom Metro is a non-starter; there's no practical way to revamp the entire program UI to match Metro's current design.

The best strategy Microsoft could take would be to introduce users to Metro via its included apps and through tablets, while prominently offering the option to maintain the Desktop environment. It literally costs the company nothing -- the desktop environment is already built in. Power users who choose to use the classic UI for desktops and laptops can still be exposed to Metro via tablets and applications without being forced to wade through it on their way to do something important.

This isn't an argument over which interface is "better," it's simply an issue of using the best tool for each task. Metro's Start Screen doesn't meet the needs of power users. Forcing people to change to something different when the superior interface for a particular task is still included in the OS will only breed resentment. Metro deserves a better launch than that.

Article Index:

1 2 3 4 5 Next
+3
+ -

I hate change, so I probably will hate Metro.

0
+ -

Metro is basically a phone OS. Microsoft has cut out lots of .net to get Metro small enough for a phone.

You cant use menu or menuitem commands any more. You cant do graphics without getting into directx.

Access to the hard disc is limited for apps.

+2
+ -

If Metro is forced on me I will move to Linux. I refuse to be put into an environment I can't benefit from.

+2
+ -

Metro UI is absolute crap. For those who, like me, feel that this "change for change's sake" nonsesne has to stop, I recommend Zorin Linux, designed to "look and feel" like Windows XP; or Linux XP, which should be obvious.

I'll have to build my own PCs again, once the OEMs start forcing Windows 8 on us. A pre-installed Windows 8 is a deal-breaker for me; I won't buy it.

+2
+ -

I'm glad that I don't really ~HAVE~ to adopt Windows-8 and can keep the Windows-7 that I own now. (You know,....the one that's already bought and paid for) I could probably make this OS work for me for many years to come if I have to. And I will too.

I have Linux Mint 11 on one of my PC's already, and I'll give the Zorin Linux a try too.

If Micro(don't listen to us)soft leaves Metro in the force feeding tube, I'd rather go hungry..

0
+ -

I used Windows 8 on my main of for about 4 days before canning it. I do still have it on my htpc though. I like the changes made to the task manager, file transfer, and much more. Being a desktop user I can't quite get on board with metro. Like stated in the article, wading through the metro interface is not quite productive, especially when on a 5760x1080 resolution! It's common for me to put tv episodes on one screen while gaming in the middle, and an internet browser on the other side. With metro, every time I bring up the start menu, the screen is blocked for whoever else might be watching. And I have to disagree about browsing media through metro. Searching while in the music task doesn't even bother looking in your library, but jumps straight to the music store, to purchase music you allready own. Once you are able to actually find your music, forget about finding what you want. As far as I can tell if you are browsing by artist, there is no way to quickly enter "artist album" to browse a certain artist's albums. The thing just seems dumbed down to me. Since when does everything need an app store? Sorry for the rant guys, but this needs a lot of work. I hope you can turn metro off for the final build

0
+ -

lifeskills:

I used Windows 8 on my main of for about 4 days before canning it. I do still have it on my htpc though. I like the changes made to the task manager, file transfer, and much more. Being a desktop user I can't quite get on board with metro. Like stated in the article, wading through the metro interface is not quite productive, especially when on a 5760x1080 resolution! It's common for me to put tv episodes on one screen while gaming in the middle, and an internet browser on the other side. With metro, every time I bring up the start menu, the screen is blocked for whoever else might be watching. And I have to disagree about browsing media through metro. Searching while in the music task doesn't even bother looking in your library, but jumps straight to the music store, to purchase music you allready own. Once you are able to actually find your music, forget about finding what you want. As far as I can tell if you are browsing by artist, there is no way to quickly enter "artist album" to browse a certain artist's albums. The thing just seems dumbed down to me. Since when does everything need an app store? Sorry for the rant guys, but this needs a lot of work. I hope you can turn metro off for the final build

 

I had some of the same frustrations initially, then I realized that you can simply re-associate your media files with Media Center or Windows Media Player instead of the Metro based Video and Music apps. What I really don't like is that most of the Metro apps seem to be for touchscreens mainly and do not work very well via keyboard/mouse. Also the metro style stuff doesn't offer any customization everything is either full screen which no re-sizing of the toolbars/etc of the application or 2/3 vs 1/3 and thus getting two apps on screen with primary focus on one. Also adding a Programs Toolbar on the desktop mimics the Start menu without using the third party tool which adds a Start menu.

 

0
+ -

I myself am more concerned with various issues with the new metro version of IE than anything with the Start Menu, I mean you can add a programs Toolbar to the task bar to mimic a Start Menu for Non Metro apps. I mean right now the metro version of IE has no configurable options like disabling 3rd party cookies, setting security zones, tab management, etc. Also I'm finding that often my  Metro version of IE loses any tabs that were open just of its own free will and there's no way to access recently closed tabs/windows/groups, you can at least find the tabs in the history but that is not very efficient.

-2
+ -

I'm really confused on your conclusion. Are you, really, saying clicking *1* tile is harder then the OSX transition was? I mean seriously, if so, then you have such a skewed view of the past it throws everything else you said into doubt.

"Forcing people to change to something different when the superior interface for a particular task is still included in the OS will only breed resentment."

It's a tile right there on the front of the screen! And I call BS; ANY change will "...only breed resentment". Oh and so will doing nothing.

+2
+ -

Metro re-minds me of the latest 'update' for Xbox live. Next I suppose I'll need Kinect to get around my desktop machine. If that fails, I'll just stay with Mint Linux 11. Smooth and it works.

1 2 3 4 5 Next
Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: