Should Metro be an add-on for Windows 8 instead of fully integrated?

So it’s pretty interesting that a lot of people have been asking me why Microsoft need to build an intrusive Metro interface into ALL versions of Windows 8.

When you really stop to think about it, the Windows 8 Metro interface really feels more like a theme that can be launched instead of the traditional desktop.

The problem is, Microsoft look at it the other way round. Metro is Windows 8 and the desktop is just another application you can get to from Metro.

This is now looking like it might be more of a problem based on the people who write in to the blog and based on the empirical evidence of people who I speak with.

The Metro UI is beautiful and flows great but it’s also a large gamble. Some people will love the beautiful look and feel and want to see it every day.

Windows 8 Metro UI Screenshot

Windows 8 Metro UI Screenshot

Some people will think it’s the worst thing since Windows Vista and will make a big fuss about it.

This leads to the obvious question, why merge the two so blatantly?

The Metro interface has limitations on what resolution looks best (1366×768), is hard to use with a mouse, is ideal for a touchscreen and basically belongs on a tablet.

Why is this so visible in this version of Windows?

The answer I believe is that Metro is a look that Microsoft want to be consistent across their platforms and to them, the desktop should be no different.

From the Xbox to Bing to Windows 8 Server to the Phone to the Tablet to the desktop, the idea is to make Metro the new look and feel of Microsoft applications.

It’s what they want you to think of when you think of launching an application in Windows.

To me the challenge is they are dealing with a population of people who are still (reluctantly) letting go of Windows XP. People who think that Windows 7 works just fine and see no reason for massive change.

I wonder if Microsoft need to make the Metro interface a little more unobtrusive and give users the opportunity to switch TO Metro as opposed to switching TO the desktop.

It seems like that would solve a lot more problems.

However, the Windows 8 Beta is coming soon and there might be some answers to some of these questions in the Beta. We’ll have to wait and see.

What about you, do you like the Metro interface? Use the comment form below to let us know…

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