9 reasons why Microsoft should keep the Metro UI separate from the traditional Windows 8 desktop interface

So I have this annoying habit of saying what I really, really feel and this post is no exception.

Some of the readers have accused me of being an Apple fan and being a Microsoft hater. That makes no sense.

You see, only a Microsoft hater would spend 3 years off and on blogging about Windows 8 and how potentially game changing it could be. And only a true Microsoft hater would be a (former) Microsoft MVP.

No folks, my posts have become a little more solemn because as an independent blogger and publisher I’m free to reflect the reality of the landscape as I see it.

Since I don’t work for anyone else, I can speak freely (that’s the nice thing about being your own boss).

Since September 2011, I have gotten tons of reader feedback on this site about Windows 8 and where it’s going.

It’s been somewhat of a mixed bag.

The good news is that the Technology community mostly seems to want Microsoft to succeed.

Cooler heads recognize that a healthy and robust Windows 8 will be good for Microsoft, OEM’s, Apple (competition keeps you on your toes) and for us the consumers.

The only consistently negative feedback that I have received since the Windows 8 Developer Preview has centered around the (unwelcome) marriage of the traditional Windows 8 UI and the Metro interface.

I absolutely have to agree.

Having pondered the issue a bit, here are 9 reasons why Microsoft should keep the Metro UI separate from the traditional Windows 8 desktop interface.

Why merge them in the first place?

I know the wise people in Redmond don’t owe us an explanation but why the merger in the first place? I get the need for Metro and we know the traditional desktop interface is a winner but why do the two have to be joined? I haven’t heard a clear, coherent rationale for the merger and it just seems counter intuitive.

It’s clearly not very popular

Some things don’t sound right when they are explained but make sense when they are implemented. This is not the case here. We got past the Windows 8 Developer Preview and have used the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

The marriage of the two interfaces still doesn’t feel right and people still haven’t had the lightbulb come on about this one. Once again, this doesn’t seem to make sense to piss off so many faithful users.

Different from Windows 7

In the Microsoft community, Windows 7 walks on water. It’s stable, fast, looks great and reliable. More importantly, numbers don’t lie – with over 550 million licenses of Windows 7 sold, why radically change the Coca Cola formula? – Why force desktop users to endure something they have no interest in?

Different from Apple

I know this sounds like a good thing but umm.. in this case it’s not. Just like Microsoft, Apple sell a desktop OS and a Tablet OS. They keep their Operating Systems separate.

Now, Apple are arguably the best UI designers on earth today. More than any other company, they know exactly what people want and what people wouldn’t go for. I have to imagine that if they thought for one second (and validated) that there would be a benefit in having two Operating Systems in one, they would have done it.

I know that there are similarities between their iOS and OS X and they integrate features here and there but that is only happening in strategic areas, very carefully and very slowly.

They are winning – why literally reinvent the wheel?

Who wants or needs touch on their desktop?

I work on a desktop all day with a keyboard. I send emails, browse and use apps. I have absolutely no desire to use my fingers to move my screen.

Now I’m not saying nobody wants this. This may make sense for certain professions (Architects, Visual designers etc) where they may need to move complicated things around occasionally but the last time I checked, they were a minority.

Most of us can get along with a mouse and a keyboard. Making Metro mouse friendly doesn’t help either.

How do you market this?

How do you market something that isn’t intuitive and has your fans scratching their heads?

  • What is a rational reason for me to leave behind the stability of Windows 7 which my (hypothetical) company spent $7 million deploying?
  • Why would I want to figure out this new mixture of Windows 8 Metro and the old interface I am used to?
  • Why shouldn’t I just stay on Windows 7 for the next 5 years?

It’s not clear how a Microsoft sales person would respond to that.

Desktop on a Tablet

Who exactly wants the traditional Windows interface on a tablet? Where are the sales numbers and facts that say consumers are lining up for a traditional Windows desktop on a Tablet?

I’ve used Windows 7 on a tablet and it wasn’t great. The traditional Windows interface does not belong on a tablet – pretty clear to see.

Why force that on users?

WOA or not to WOA? – A muddled message

I am dreading the day when a civilian asks me why there are two versions of Windows 8 Tablets out there – Wintel and Windows On Arm (WOA). What are the differences and why did this happen? Why should civilians have to even know about this stuff?

Harder to develop a hybrid

Kudos to the Windows 8 development team for doing the work they do. Working on a Tablet OS and working on a Desktop OS and then working on making sure each one hands off smoothly to the other one and there are no glitches.

Maybe it’s just me but that sounds pretty inefficient to me. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to have two separate teams working on separate Operating Systems?

Now a wise mentor of mine once said, never bring up a problem without proposing a solution and I agree with that concept.

So here’s my solution.

Offer 3 versions of Windows 8.

  1. Windows 8 Desktop
  2. Windows 8 Desktop/Metro Hybrid
  3. Windows 8 Metro

Windows 8 Desktop would be an enhanced version of Windows 7 with all the goodness we’ve come to know and love. Slight enhancements like the refresh and reset or changes to Task Manger would be received with open arms.

Windows 8 Desktop/Metro would be the current OS they are developing. This would be OPTIONAL for those who had touchscreen monitors and wanted to experience Metro on their desktops/laptops. Or even just for those who love metro and love the current direction that the company is going in.

Licensing would reflect the fact that these customers would essentially be paying for 2 Operating Systems.

Windows 8 Metro – Pure Metro for Tablets and Desktops. No access to the Windows Desktop and all apps would be Metro applications. There would be no Intel chips for the Tablets (until they got their low powered competitive chips ready) – just ARM processors and the ability to join Windows domains and be managed like everything else.

This would silence the critics, make everyone happy (except Intel) and probably just come on 1 DVD.

Users would be able to pick what install they wanted and enter the right license key for it.

It would also take advantage of all the development work done to date.

The bottom line

Microsoft are betting the farm that users want (or will accept) two user interfaces but what if they’re wrong? If users say no to Windows 8, these users have options.

They can stay on Windows 7 for 10+ years (like XP) and stubbornly refuse to budge.

Even worse, this could be the nudge they needed to visit that clean white store across the street. You know, the one with the Apple above the doorway.

That’s my take, now it’s your turn to tell me what you think?

Am I nuts? Do you love Metro? Is this much ado about nothing?

Use the comments below….

Please Leave Your Comments Below...

  • Daryl Kane

    I hate metro full stop so unless they change it to desktop like windows 7 then I will not be buying windows 8

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      People agree with you…

  • Everybody

    I could see how that would work…
    Been using Windows 8 CP as my primary desktop OS at work since the day it was released (IT SysAdmin), and I must admit, some of the mystery is unfolding. Gladly, I actually find the metro start menu better than the traditional start menu in a lot of cases. I don’t believe it’s 100% there, but I think it’s good. Plus it always get’s a Whoa! out of ppl who see it – hehehe! I’ve not had too many problems with it either – it seems to run fine. I love the new Task manager, and the double-up taskbar. Didn’t like how hidden basic functions are, such as join a domain, remote access, and power. I’m a bit of a Mac nut, I have Mac’s at home, and an iPad 2 – but that’s because I can’t be bothered tinkering with computers after working all day. In any-case, I hope Microsoft succeed, and in the words of a guy I can’t remember his name “Since we all follow any standard you write, Make it good please!”

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Good to (finally) hear a different point of view…

  • Wheels Scotland

    You are bang on right. Metro has no place on a traditional desktop machine – something we will see as businesses avoid the new version. 

    Of course, most copies of the OS go to OEMs and thus to the public who buy new machines so it will be interesting to see if they offer Windows 7 as an alternative OS for people buying new. They did this with Vista to allow people to have XP instead – and they did in large numbers. 

    As for the ‘white store’ across the street – well, I have with my son been building our own machines for years but I am starting to re-think Mac. No only do they have 2 separate OSs but they talk to each other in a way Windows can only dream of. I think Microsoft will need to be more careful of the ‘white store’ if it wants to keen people on board. After all, with a copy of Windows 7 gaming can still be done on a Mac running Windows – and it doesn’t need to be the latest version either!

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thanks for the comment.

  • Frans_Wiggers

    After having seen Windows 8 it becomes all too obvious that the only fundamental change to Windows 7 is the Metro interface. In my humble opinion the Metro GUI is only good for tablets with small screen sizes. On desktops and larger screens it’s even a step back.But there is another thing hovering over us as well. For years now Microsoft is trying to move to a licensing model where annual licensing fees would be due. Have you noticed the Application Shop in Windows 8. Have you noticed that Metro Apps can only be installed through this, Microsoft controlled, Shop? That’s Microsoft’s real drive behind the Metro GUI.I like your suggestion. People should be able to install Windows 8 with our without Metro, as they like it.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Choice is good…

  • Merc30

    You are 100% right on this. I tried the consumer preview and I hated it. The three versions of windows 8 that you mentioned would be the way for them to go. That way everybody would be happy. I have already made up my mind that I am sticking to windows 7 unless they change something. Good job!

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thank you very much..

      • Robert Kegel

        I don’t think there should be 3 versions of Windows.  If they do it where you have a choice there should be a slider the first time you start the computer.  It should be a slider something like this Windows only—–Metro/Windows——Metro only, and you can pick.  It should also state that “this can be changed at any time in the Windows configuration menu”.  That would be the best way to do it in my opinion.  3 more versions of Windows would just confuse people more.

  • Kenningtonbates

    I couldn’t agree more! I’ve used windows 8 extensively to try to work out if it’s me being picky or Win 8 is much more difficult to use than Win 7. I came to the conclusion that the new Metro Interface is a pain in the butt when it comes to user friendly computing. Thus I have put back the old windows interface via a few tweaks. Much better!!  However, I like the fast startup and with  the SSD I use it’s lightning. So, Microsoft, all is not lost. You just need to listen to your old customers of many many years standing!!

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thanks for the comment…

  • CodeMonkeyG

    I think the rationale for merging the two as one OS is so that the machine can behave like those tablet/keyboard combos but with the very best of both worlds to be used depending on when its being used.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      That works for some users but what about the users who don’t like that option?

      • CodeMonkeyG

        Well, I have already seen registry hacks around the net about getting the old start menu back. Building new features in as optional, with the ability to EASILY go back and forth would be an excellent way forward.

  • Blanchj02

    I agree with you.

    I think Windows 8 is good. However, I feel I should have more options to customize it with the desktop – more of a Windows 7 feel if my customers would like.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      People want choices. I agree…

  • Asebaldwin

    Sounds like your pro apple, if Apple was so great then how come anyone I come in contact with has a windows pc. Sure they did a great job on the iPod, but android can do everything an iPod can do then some. IPod still doesn’t run flash. I’ve tried using apple pc before and was to hard to find what you needed. It kinda like smoking, ive tried it but could never figure out what was so great about it.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Be happy that you never figured out smoking. Ignorance is bliss…

    • xinu

      Very good comment. I also use a MacBook pro and found myself using Launchpad (iOS like app menu) very rarely, i just find it easier to use spotlight or the dock. 

  • TheRock598

    You are correct!  Windows 8 will not fly with me unless they make some major changes to be more user friendly. When Windows 7 beta came out I loved it! We all know when something is a hit when you are not fumbling around to get the simple things to work. When I first launched Windows 8 I seen a bunch of icons on the Metro screen that really didn’t help me navigate around windows very well. I bascially deleted a lot of them because they are of no interest to me. Why would I want xbox icons on my desktop, I don’t have a xbox lol.
     Oh well, I guess we will have to wait and see 🙁

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Wait and see is where we all are….

  • Michael

    Well here are my two bobs worth. Sorry it’s a bit long, but I think this really presents the Win8 sales rep with a dilemma.
    I like gloss – which metro seams to lack – big time.I don’t have a tablet – I just don’t need one.I have a touch screen phone – and while the finger prints annoy me a little, I put up with it because I don’t spend a great amount of time on the thing anyway.However it is very different with my PC:I use my PC for programming (for fun) and graphics design (for work), and I use it a lot, like all day! – but I have no need of Metro apps – I don’t even use those type of apps on my phone.I have absolutely no intention of using a touch screen monitor on my PC for at two reasons:1) Finger prints – on my phone I put up with it – on my PC the slightest spec of dust annoys me and is promptly removed with the cloth that is always at the ready. Finger prints would really really annoy me (bold type intended).2) The keyboard and mouse are way more intuitive for my kind of work, Consider for example: VS and touch screen? Photoshop and touch screen? Office and touch screen?I guess the question is: what is the point of Metro and touch screen on my PC. Why do I need that which I don’t want?If someone asks me what I think of Win7, I have no hesitation in my response: it’s stable, it’s fast, and does everything I need it to do. I love it!However with Win8 I am in two minds – love the tweaks under the hood – don’t like, need, or want Metro, or a touch screen.Now it may just be me, but as I get older, if I am in two minds about something I want to buy or consider using – I just avoid it.

    The dilemma for the sales rep is this:  
    I build my own PC’s – it’s a hobby and I am planning to build a new one soon. But I really admire the quality of Apple devices. For some time now (years in fact) I have considered buying a Mac. 

    So which platform do I buy next?

    With software things have changed slightly in that the only application I use – that I really need – is Photoshop. Now I am also planning to buy the latest version of Photoshop in the very near future (my motto with software has always been to buy the full product – I never upgrade) – which is a fairly hefty outlay.

    So which platform do I buy it for?

    The trouble is that I could give Win8 a miss, but what if Win9 continues the Metro saga? For me, considering I am planning to spend $4000+ on hardware and software, this is a real do I stay or do I jump issue.

    I could stay with Win7, or perhaps it is time to make the Mac jump! 

    So bottom line, what will it take for me to want to buy Win8 – well all its performance tweaks will be enough. What will it take for me to avoid it – Metro. 

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      I hear a lot of that too. Metro doesn’t have a lot of fans right now…

      • zulbia_bamie

        it is what you think.
        complainers’s voice are always louder ,that why you think they are more.
        and it is logical , people who agrees with the way that Microsoft is going , are using metro right now and loving it ,they don’t see any need to visit different sites and share their ideas, because Microsoft is doing what they want  and is so serious about it.
        but people who hates metro wants to change Microsoft’s decision , so they try hard to make Microsoft, hear them.

        I myself like metro, but I think it needs some changes/improvements, but overal I like the way that Microsoft it heading. for me , two UI means more power and freedom.  
         

        • Michael

          And your here because….

          • zulbia_bamie

            gotcha me, ha?

            so it seems that my statement isn’t absolute! LOL

  • REWard

    It seems to me if they just give the option to Enable/Disable the Metro Interface then EVERYTHING you ALL are saying would take care of the isssues!!!  With, YES, only ONE OS doing it all…  Which would be a smart & cost effective way for Microsoft to do it!

    I installed the FREE Util Start8 that gives me the Good Ole Windows Start Bar all of the time (with Start Orb) and has some customization options & it has made it much more user friendly since my Notebook does not have a Touchscreen.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Another 3rd party utility.

  • darkpr0fit

    What we see here is Windows Vista again. Instead of building upon a solid Windows 7 core Microsoft is  desperately trying to reinvent the UI, for everything. I agree that the two UI’s should be separated. Windows 7 is a great OS, stable, intuitive and rock solid. Windows 8 is a mess. Hard to use and would require major re-education in the workplace to use. I wonder if Microsoft was thinking when it created this preview. If Windows 8 stays the way it is now, and Microsoft seriously try’s the Vista gambit again, I’m switching to Linux.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Another common threat is the move to Linux.

    • Junkfilter

      Your point about re-education the workplace is seldom mentioned. Why? I don’t know, but it will be the true killer of widespread adoption of Win 8.

  • Djole94hns

    You say that Windows users are going to probably switch to Apple, but you are wrong (well in 90% of cases atleast). See at their pricing: Their laptop performance/price ratio is sometimes up to 3 times (even more) more costly then Windows laptops. And your sugestion on how to improve their sales are not really good in my opinion. You see, simpler solution would be that on first logon, they choose Desktop, Desktop-Metro or just Metro, and enable them to activate/deactivate metro/desktop quickly and easily.

    • Djole94hns

      (forgot to add this) …quickly and easily WHILE they already choose, because who knows, maybe they find a need for it in later use of Windows 8, example: so they won’t need to install a new system again for a few Desktop software they find themselves to need after already installing only Metro interface.

      • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

        I think my 3 options would solve that problem.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      I didn’t say Windows users are going to probably do anything. I said they will have options to either stay on Windows 7 or check out Apple. Big difference.

  • Mrjohncool

    I say Trying to make a Tablet based only or touch screen only OS is a big mistake. This will drive the costs of Touch Screen Monitors and touchpad/laptop prices to go too high for people to purchase. The original Windows 95 Start Menu has been part of microsoft for over 10 years now and they want to remove that feature that people are used to. I say Put it back on and leave it similar to Windows 7 but not taking as much resources like Windows 95/98/2000/XP did. Seems Windows Vista/7 both use some resources. Of course Vista is the new Windows ME because it has resource usage issues and was a crappy made OS that had lots of issues/problems other than just resources. If Microsoft wants to make a good OS they need to keep it simple or people are going to want to move to purchasing Hardware only and go to a free based OS like Linux.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Keep it simple is another common sentiment…

  • Gav_marcel

    YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT WITH YOUR SOLUTION: 3 versions of Windows 8.
    1.Windows 8 Desktop.
    2.Windows 8 Desktop/Metro Hybrid.
    3.Windows 8 Metro.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Glad you agree.

      • mckenziedt

        I agree with the concept of 3 choices.  But I think the choices should take place at the installation stage, or preferably at the usage stage, not at the purchase stage. Sell us one complete package and allow us to install part or all. And if we choose to install both desktop and Metro, give us the option to run in either or both modes by going into the Control Panel or task bar or some other simple way to choose or switch.
        This would cut down on a proliferation of versions to be stocked at the retail level and would allow us to continue to use the OS we had just upgraded to if we subsequently upgraded our hardware to include a touch screen monitor,

  • ECM2

    This is a great article!!!!  It encapsulates the sentiments of the majority of Windows 8 users.
    Now…. please do the Microsoft fans (like me) a FAVOR and make sure that your article gets to the Microsoft big guns. As you and everyone else said, the solution is simple: give the user the option to use Desktop only, Metro only, or Schizophrenic version. Post your article in the Microsoft Windows 8 feedback forums, blog sites, etc. This message must be hammered into their heads… less they lose more fans and fail!!!

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Oh the folks at Microsoft see this. Whether they choose to do anything is anyone’s guess.

  • Meyn99

    I have the consumer preview on a extra computer. I hate the metro theme. Os works ok if you get past this. Their going to have a loser if a option to go to conventional desktop isn’t used. I used blue poison to take mine off. Now it looks like windows 7 and performs very well. They will have a Vista, ME failure if they don’t. That is why I hate Apple. My sister has one and can never figure it out. I am terrible with cartoonish icons.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Yeah I forgot to add the adoption of Blue Poison and other third party apps to my list.

  • Russellg59

    I’m a developer. I’ve got 2 Desktop PC’s, one with a touch screen running Windows 8, one running Windows 7. I’ve also got a MacBook Pro, a Mac Mini and an iPad.  I develop on all this paltforms including Windows 8. When I actually want to get something done I use Winows 7. If I’m just dicking around then any of the rest will do. I’ve tried hard with Metro and it just doesn’t cut it for me on a Desktp PC. Interestinglt Apple do it the other way around from Microsoft, on a Desktop their desktop look & feel is to the front but the IOS stylie is waiting in the background if you really want to use it.

    I hope I’m wrong but I think Microsft are just about to make a bi mistake.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      That’s a very common sentiment.

  • Daniel Gray

    As for me switching to Apple, no thank you. The one major thing Windows has over apple and will always have over apple is the plethora of programs that I have to choose from, sorta like Baskin Robins ice cream. Apple on the other hand is just the generic chocolate and vanilla. I like the ability to use different programs and not be boxed into one choice that is highly overpriced and usually does not do what or all it claims. I also like the idea that these Macmunchers getting slapped in the face when they lie about there being no viruses for the Apple computers, a simple google search will devistate them on this issue clearly showing them wrong. And the more people that have Apple computers the more viruses that will be made for them. I go to a specific site just to keep updated about the new hacks and viruses, and this site has one whole rather large section dedicated to hacks and cracks and viruses for the Mac. One is a simple keyboard bypass of the security on a Mac and allow you admin access in less then 10 keystrokes. Apple cannot fix this as to do so would corrupt the OS, so they are trying to keep this hack under wraps and are losing the battle big time. I mean who in their right mind would want a laptop that if stolen and the thief knows this hack, to gain access to the laptop and all of its secrets in less then 10 keystrokes?

    If windows would vanish tomorrow, I would much rather go to Linux or Unix then to get a Apple product and I agree with Djole94hns when he says that you are incorrect when stating that windows users would switch to Mac. But then again I also agree with you that the Metro is a completely useless waste of space on my hard drive and should be replaced by the Glass Aero from Windows 7 as well as make it a virtual XP (like in seven) so I can use the programs from Xp that I am used to using that for some reason refuse to make them available to 7 or 8

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Sounds like what the Betamax people said about the VCR. Didn’t work out too well there…

  • Brandon

    I feel largely the same when I sit down and use Win8 on my desktop, but I really do see value in Metro on the tablet. I don’t have a problem w/ the two being integrated, but I believe it should simply be a *preference* instead of something you can’t shut off.
    For everybody that hates Metro but likes what Windows8 brings to the table in terms of the new changes to Explorer, etc, I always recommend the 3rd party tools already available that can shut off metro or even make it another “window” on your desktop. eg: http://www.thewindowsclub.com/metro-ui-tweaker-windows-8-released

    I think that bringing a baked-in option simply for doing this would go miles for them. I also think that those talking about a metro-only version of Windows missed one of the key reasons that won’t happen: Office. Office (and any other MS apps deemed worth) will be the *only* “classic” desktop applications allowed on WOA, and will of course run on Wintel. MS can’t cut Office out of a potentially new product segment, and it can’t afford to maintain two Office code bases any more than it can afford to maintain two Windows codebases.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thanks for the comment.

  • hemb

    This is absolutely the right strategy for Microsoft to go, I think hybrid (metro/desktop) can offer a lot of advantages when the apps are there and more offerings come with touch. It will take some time to get used to and be accepted but we will get there. Meanwhile we have win7 for the mainstream enterprise (it will still be available to all with SA on their licens agreement). So Microsoft will just bite the bullet of not that many people adopting Win8, but that is OK cause it has win 7 and when Win9 comes out the interaction between metro and desktop will be more refined, the apps will be there and the users will be ready. What is wrong with running Win7 in the company for a few more years???
    Saying that Apple is the king of UI and if they haven’t done it it must be the wrong strategy is an extremely strange way of putting things, can’t imagine how the world would be if everyone thought like that!!!

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      The world does think like that. 

      You continuously learn from the mistakes or strategies of your competitors. Apple and UI are almost synonymous. It would be instructive to study why they do what they do (or don’t).

  • JM

    you know what… it will be as usuall…. a bunch of angry people won’t like it… and they’ll have to deal with it….. same thing happen on xbox when they implemented the metro ui there…. bottom line xboxes are still selling like hot cake….
    to be honnest i suspect a lot of angry people not having tried or put the effort into really look into it….
    but to me todays windows 7 and older versions of UI don’t make sens anymore… from a casual and high rate of productivity stand point…. the thing is way too cluttered in todays form factor…
    people are bitching… but i’m sorry in todays format if you wanna be productive you use keyboard shortcuts 90% of the time, i hardly use my mouse anyway unless there isn’t a shortcut for it….. but the format task bar and tabs and desktop icon and menus is a broken stonage concept….
    i have used win 8 for quite a bit and touch screen or not…. it is way more intuitive, WAY faster to use even with a keybiard mouse combo especially if you don’t know/use short cuts… everything is again 2 clicks away as it should be…. it is not true in many case with today’s UI unless you have gazillion of shortcuts on your desktop task bar and roll diwn menus…. and if it’s the case it still make it outdated and unproductive…. 
    the metro ui is way faster to navigate even without a touch screen to that you eventually add voice command gesture tracking and touch and the old ui  makes even less sens…. 
    and man if those angry two left handed people with a slow brain to hand reaction time want to switch to apple let them…. they’l be part of the minority fir decades to come… heck android on portable device plastered iOS in less than 18 month… fact is apple will never be anything more than a fashionista device or casual users because it is idiot proof and nicelly designed… but it comes to serious use and price perfirmance is the main factor they lose every time….
    so yeah let them bitch in 10 years we will all have integrated it, have touch and voice command and gesture tracking if not brain waves sensors…. and the fact is we’ll be even more productive… cause we won’t have the choice anyway… imagine typing while speaking commands like “underline”, or “font size 18 center caps lock” all that while thinking about scheduling a 12 o clock meeting on your outlook…
    to go back on apple joke…. there is an other reason they won’t ever be number one in the PC market…. their ecosystem is not in favor of hardware OEMs…. if they’d become numero uno a butt load of pc hardware manufacturer would go under…. samsung and other big boys like that would probably stop providing apple before they reach critical mass cause it might make sens in todays market to work with them for the extra bucks but not if they are actuall leaders… they would all make less money… so unless apple start making their own component they’ll be stuck in their tracks for a long while…

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      We’ll have the choices. Stay on Windows 7 – that’ll be a choice. Or buy a Mac – that will be a viable option too.

  • GeekMommaRants

    No misconceptions or hater-raid.  You, Sir are spot-on. 

    Microsoft is IMO reacting and NOT responding to Google, not the Apple folks.  Google’s OS synch’s phone to tablet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=33808037 Jeff Gimbel

    With the advent of more and more powerful tablets, I could see Windows 8 being a dream environment for tablet computing.  Handy and easy to use tablet interface for on the road computer etc, you come into your office and plug the tablet into a docking station and you have your desktop to work from.  If you need the desktop on the road its a very quick touch and there it is. 

  • xinu

    I sort of agree and disagree with the article above. Yes Windows 8 metro simply does not work on a desktop for most users, and there should be an option to turn it off when you configure your pc or in the options menu. I can however see some older PC users liking the new interface, it does make everyday things simpler. I can imaging my grandmother liking the interface as she certainly gets confused using the traditional ui, the tile layout would just make things easier for her.

    As for a full os on tablets, I think Microsoft took the right steps. If you don’t like using the traditional ui on a tablet, then simply don’t use it. But for many professionals, businesses this could be a very useful feature. Some applications may have to be run using the traditional ui and may just get optimised for touch, i know where I work this would be the more likely option. Also by having a full UI we can create Tablet/PC hybrids where you can use the touch UI when using it in tablet mode, and when you plug it to a dock, you can use it as a normal pc. As portable hardware becomes more powerful and more efficient this is the way to go.

  • Maitreya Vyas

    I think Windows should now wake up as on their blogs many are saying disable the metro ui in the Final Release  

  • dchapin

    I am a power user that uses a desktop for work and entertainment.  I have 3 24″ displays.  I also support approximately 350 households/users with limited PC knowledge.  I will not be upgrading to Windows 8 if not given the option to diable Metro and use the traditional Start button/menus.  I will not support any user that upgrades to Windows 8.

  • Jackharrison21

    I agree. Tried to use metro on a pc and it doesn’t make sense, especially the fact that only some apps are on metro. Just make a completely metro OS and a completely desktop OS. Or develop more  programs (firefox, word, itunes)  for metro, then i might actually use it!

  • Fvdave30

    I am enjoying the metro beta version so far.

  • livebriand

    I agree with you – the metro UI, with a few little changes (ex. IE) is fine on a tablet, but AWFUL on a desktop or laptop. Unless they stop trying to force that BS on desktop and laptop users, I’ll stick with Windows 7. Metro is very poorly laid out if you have a mouse and keyboard.

  • Michael

    We left DOS so we could have Windows (meaning multiple apps running and easily accessible). Now we leave Windows to have one app at a time (Metro).

    Perhaps we should reinvent DOS install an updated QuickMenu (haa remember that?). 

    Imagine the power we would have with todays hardware? LOL

    • CptHero

      Herp derp. W8 was multitasking, it just puts all the focus on a single application (two at most) which covers the overwhelming majority of real use case scenario.

      Derp.

      • Michael

        Derp, so did DOS!

      • Michael

        I should add also that the real use case scenario you are referring to, would surely only be those who serf the web and have media player running as well.

        For those types of usage Metro may be OK, but those who use the desktop for work undoubtedly use more than two apps. I generally have 4 or 5 programs running….

  • Abraão Alves

    Like much of the design option of transfer:
    http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/24/2822891/windows-desktop-ui-concept
    Although, I think there’s more time to work on a concept meters for traditional windows

  • CptHero

    9 reasons and one is weaker than the other, Only a handful of those have some validity behind them while most simply don’t. For a (former) Microsoft MVP. you sure don’t seem to grasp some very simple concepts

  • IanSingleton

    There will really be no reason for the average user to upgrade their desktop or laptop OS, if Windows 7 is on it.  The interesting thing will be the sales of new laptops with Windows 8 already installed these might not get bought, or if they do people will wipe off windows 8 and put Windows 7 back on it just like Vista and XP.  De ja vu…

  • Steve Morris

    I think that everyone is forgetting how clever Apple has become with their products. Firstly they introduce the Ipod and now the Ipad. This will eventually make the decision for a lot of people to switch to Macs if Microsoft screw up with there next OS release. They made a huge mistake with Vista and I believe lost a lot of respect because of it.

    A couple of things that has stopped me trying out Mac is cost firstly. Second I simply don’t like the UI. Now I actually have not played around on it much so I don’t know if one can customise it.

    I have Beta tested Vista and Windows 7 and yes there is things that are niggling with Microsoft products but once you learn how to use them then it is just part of the course really.

     I write music and know that a Mac would be more stable for me but I am kind of loyal to and love windows 7. 

    Apple can’t beat Windows Media Centre that’s for sure. I have my film and TV on my main computer linked to my Xbox 360 in my living room and can access it all in WMC using a third party bit of software called Mediabrowser. You can have great themes and have your programmes and film DVD covers showing and it downloads information from IMDB to help you choose which film or programme to view.

    Apple does not have this option and if nothing else, this has stopped me switching.

    So come on Microsoft. Put the work in and make this next OS the best.

    • Robert Kegel

      Most people won’t switch to mac.  The thing that will happen is if Windows 8 is a flop it’ll be like Vista and people will stick with Windows 7 until Microsoft fixes the issues and gives the people what they want in either SP1 or Windows 8 which would probably come out in 2013-2014 if Windows 8 doesn’t sell as well as MS expects.   Most people will not go to mac though, apple products are just to expensive and people are tethered to Windows because of the programs they use which mac doesn’t have.

  • Robert Kegel

    I hear what you’re saying but I think Microsoft isn’t giving the full story on why they’re betting on desktop on Windows 8. I think one of the main reasons is because if they made just the Metro interface then they’d have another Windows Phone on their hands. Apps is one of the main reasons they’re having these two interfaces in one. If they just make Windows 8 Metro people are going to say “Android and ipad have more apps”. This is what’s keeping Windows Phone from skyrocketing and its a catch 22 because people would buy more Windows Phone devices if there were 200,000+ apps to compete with Android and iphone but a lot of the big developers aren’t making apps for Windows Phone because there aren’t enough people buying Windows Phone devices. SO what does Microsoft do they make Windows 8 with both UI’s so 1) they can say they have more apps than Android and ios and 2) if people buy Windows 8 devices and like Metro maybe the major devs will make their programs into Metro apps. If enough do this then maybe by Windows 9 or 10 they’ll get rid of the desktop all together (or make it into more of what command prompt is now to Windows.

    I too wondered why they don’t just make it so if you install Windows 8 (or buy a tablet) they don’t give you a choice “do you want desktop, Metro or both” and let people choose. Then I thought about it and the above reason is my best guess because its the only one that fully makes sense. If Microsoft just came out and said this was their reason it would confuse people more plus if Windows 8 does backfire they can make SP1 or Windows 9 which will give you the choice between the two UI’s or both together. Microsoft is doing what they do, t hey try something their way and if things doing work then they listen to the people and give them what they want. So we’ll see how this works.

  • http://profiles.google.com/brookfieldfreecycle Brookfield Freecycle™

     As the author acknowledges in an earlier blog, “metro” isn’t totally about user interface and appearance.  The bigger piece and the less-publicized one is virtually anyone can write applications that will run under “metro.”  “microsoft” further claims they will release the complete API for “metro.”  Yes yes yes, the corporation should have released a complete API fifteen years ago.  So one would tend to infer we’re entering a Brave New World in computing.  What more could a computer user want?

    I’ll sidetrack just a few seconds and say “metro” applications likely won’t be backward-compatible.  That brings forward the upgrade-and-dispose cycle and at least a few other side-effects.  This isn’t among the most important issues though.  My story paints an interesting picture.

    The published system requirements say a 1 ghz processor, two gigs of memory for 64-bit and 1 gig for 32-bit.  30G hard drive and video supporting DirectX9 — supposedly you can use lower-grade video hardware but visual effects can’t be enabled.  That would encompass several of the pentium 4 machines I run.  So I burned a DVD and installed.  Such installation was indeed much, much quicker than previous versions.  Then startup came.  “microsoft’s” standard VGA has come light years and supported the resolution and frequencies I need.  My monitors are NEC XE21.  Intel, Turtle Beach, AC97 sound setups didn’t work — the only one that would work was an Audigy card.  I have NICs with even greater choice of manufacturer.  The only one that would get recognized was a Realtek card from 1996!  I can perhaps understand not supporting a long-discontinued 3Com, but why did an ancient Realtek work?

    Getting to the login screen was also quicker than for windows 2000.  That’s when the mayhem engaged.  On P4 machines there could be three minutes before the metro screen came, and then I couldn’t get even the built-in solitare to run.  Video had grains and streaks.  Okay, let’s continue to play: I put the drive into my pentium D 2.8 workstation with Geforce 6600 and 3 gigs of RAM.  I got almost a dozen good modes for the Geforce card, and could explore system folders — that part looking good.  Video was still lousy, even when I swapped in a Viewsonic monitor.  I could run IE9 if I waited minutes for it to load, but even the included solitaire would put the system into cache lockup.

    So I’m wondering and I continue to wonder, how is win8 going to run on the Atom machines which have less cache and a 1.6 ghz processor?  Granted the pentium D has processing stalls and less-robust threading, but this is ridiculous.

    I put the puzzle aside for a few days.  Then one morning I glanced at computer I use as a jukebox, and recalled that I registry-replaced shell explorer.exe with progman.exe.  Why had I done this?  The Profile 2 computer is proprietary and has limited resources.  Progam Manager is old and simplistic, but has a very small footprint.  All I wanted to do was put the jukebox application into the Startup group, which I did.

    I chose Emerge shell to try out on “windows 8;” apparently it’s now open-source, but it also came up first on a Google search.  This time win8 worked far better than in my earlier attempts.  Performance was acceptable on the pentium 4, and very good (not superb) on the pentium D.  I was able to install and use Libre Office and some other applications.  There is a dock and task bar if you want to use them.  What’s missing?  I know of no way this setup will run “metro” applications.

    “Metro” seems to be above all else an application layer; it does involve a user interface, but that’s maybe 40% of what it does.  Most anyone here could read up and change out the “metro” shell, but that would break microsoft’ paradigm of “metro” programmability.  That’s why you won’t see the company taking it out of the package.  In my case however, “metro” layer rendered the system unusable.  In simplest terms, take all the functions and libraries required for win8’s essentially-NT engine, then layer on everything needed for “metro.”  Depending on efficiency of “metro,” (who knows?) memory and other needs could potentially double!

    Brought down to its essence, anyone who can install an .EXE file can change from “metro” to a shell like Emerge (switching back involves just one menu click).  But aside from update support, newer DirectX etc., you wouldn’t gain much with win8 over win7, xp or in some cases even w2000.  Emerge, in fact, can be simplified such that it looks and acts a lot like windows 2000.

    If the programmers can substantially scale down the footprint of “metro” then win8 _might_ represent the dramatic change microsoft needs.  I appreciate access to the pre-release, and I understand there are going to be shortcomings and flaws, but history doesn’t suggest monumental amendments before release time.  For microsoft’ sake they need to step up development pace and quality of product.  Simpler variants like Android and IOS are already eating into the corporation’s market share; customers discover they work just fine, and may not care about upgrading or even having windows OS.  Extending that migration to Linux and even Google Chrome OS isn’t all that much of a stretch.

    I moved all but one of my systems onto Ubuntu back in January of 2009.  I had used some variant of windows OS for over 16 years, but in the final days I needed a paid downgrade from “xp” to w2000, what with all the security challenges.  Most significant to me: I moved my Mom’s computer from w2000 to Debian.  I used to answer three or four help requests every week; now I’m getting one or two a month, INCLUDING the month immediately after the changeover.  That speaks more powerfully than any words I could come up with.

    Steve

    • Robert Kegel

      I don’t know why you had such issues.  I put Windows 8 on an Acer Aspire 4730Z with a dual core pentium processor 2 gigs of ram and Intel graphics and besides it using the basic graphics Windows 8 works well.  I even put Developers Preview on the same machine and worked great and Consumer Preview works even better. 

      The only time I’ve rebooted is when I installed something that needed a reboot.  Windows 8 has been as rock solid ans Windows 7 so far.  I haven’t put a ton of software on it (because I’m trying to use as much Metro apps as I can), but the software I did put on, skype, yahoo messenger, pale moon (Firefox 12 beta has had some issues but I think thats more the change in Firefox than Windows 8 because Pale Moon 11.0.1 works great and that basicall Firefox 11), Chrome) all work great.,  I like IE 10 but not all the sites I go to look right, Flash would be nice in IE 10.

  • Chapin516

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.  You did leave out the fact that Metro on a mobile device has a certain visual appeal… on the desktop it’s “romper room” and tends to insult and infuriate the average user.

    • http://profiles.google.com/brookfieldfreecycle Brookfield Freecycle™

       dchapin I considered bringing up Metro
      screen topic but had typed enough already.  It’s easy enough to use in
      most senses: just hit the Meta key and type first two letters of the
      application you want.  The flow does borrow rather liberally from Ubuntu
      Unity; difference is, Unity has a relatively-stylish launcher on the
      left margin.  Metro isn’t quite a pigpen, but it’s inelegant.  I would
      hope less-used applications retire themselves from the panel — there’s
      so much there for which I shall never have interest.

      The sweep-to-start clock screen is another matter.  If my Mom bought a
      win8 machine this screen would paralyze her use of it for 25 minutes or
      so, until she finally called me for help.  This was easy for me as I
      knew to just hit the escape key, but for someone just starting out it’s
      no more intuitive than alt-tab.  I would hope there’s a Help bubble for
      first time the machine is started.

      Interfaces need to evolve, especially with the many 16:9 screens on the
      market.  In too many cases developers don’t ask the users before they
      implement something.  If I can’t shut off that which annoys me, perhaps
      Microsoft Bob needs to return.

      Steve

  • heavyhanded

    Well I’m a tablet pc user primarily who runs a Motion Computing LE1600  with Windows7.  I also have an ipad 1. I bought an ipad 3 and returned it after 3 days and I’m now waiting for my Samsung 7 Slate to arrive.  I say all this to show I know about mobile devices a bit.  Tablets are the future. Windows 8 will be the what MSFT needs to get its footing in that market. People who use Windows on slates and tablets I think will want it on their desktop too. MSFT needs to make the user choose their primary interface upon installation on laptop and desktop machines, as you mentioned In your article, but not charge additional. Pray that MSFT listens to reason.

  • Marko Djordjevic

    Hi. Very interesting text and I especially agree with your “trinity” proposal. One question thou, wouldn’t it be better to avoid all selection trouble and use only mixed version, with something like taskbar hiding.
    Listen, personally I like metro and I find it almost refreshing. It’s a little pain when you try  minimizing and closing, otherwise it seems clearly, yet simply organized.
    I am not sure, Windows 8 more smells like an OS for transition from one interface to another. The base was good – Windows mobile with Windows 7, everything already there… Now, let’s wait and see the price for Win 8

  • Michael

    If you get a chance, go into your local PC store and check out the Samsung All-In-One. This has a feature (Samsung’s Touch Launcher ) that shows what metro couldshould have been like – and it is be completely in keeping with the aero interface of the current Windows7 desktop:

    http://www.samsung.com/au/consumer/pc-peripherals/notebook-pc/all-in-one

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FT6BMUUZNIYEDUKDI3TGLUKICE GaryP

     agree with every single word you said. windows 8 sucks period. I will stay with win 7

  • Oliver Mills

    I think you’re missing the point that Microsoft know the future of computing is in smartphones and tablets. They know how crucial they are, and they are struggling to keep up and by introducing all their Windows users to metro, they hope to boost adoption of Windows Phone (and of course Windows 8 RT).

    And why do people seem to think the start screen is more appropriate on a laptop than a desktop? It’s so slow to navigate on a laptop, whilst on a desktop it’s actually a breeze to use once you get the hang of it (and rest assured, people will).

    Just because it requires a little will power doesn’t mean people won’t eventually be won over.

    Maybe I’m an odd case because when I first saw Windows 8 I thought it looked amazing.