Can You Really Be Productive With Windows 8 Metro?

Can You Really Be Productive With Windows 8 Metro?

Those who have read my posts before probably have figured out that I actually use Windows Developer Preview and don’t just write about it. Although this is true, I have a dual-boot with Windows 7 and have up until recently only used it for testing and little entertainment.

I’ve decided to kick it up a notch and as of last Friday I have ONLY used Windows 8 and am no longer relying on Windows 7. This is an experiment to see how well it performs for both play and business in its current state.

I am a full-time writer and I love to play PC games, so it’s a safe bet to say I spend a good deal of time on my PC. If you are wondering how the experience has gone so far, I will tell you that Windows 8 is a fairly stable OS- though not without its minor problems.

I have thousands of songs, movies, and games that have ran with ease on the OS. When in desktop mode it’s easy to forget I’m even using pre-beta software thanks to how smooth the whole operation is.

Now I can tell you that using desktop applications like Word is a snap, but what about the Metro side of things? The new interface is really the part of Windows that has us most intrigued so I will focus on that.

I have quickly found it very easy to toggle between desktop programs like Word and IE-Metro. Metro’s IE browser is fun to use even without a tablet and runs in full screen mode that looks visually stunning on my 32-inch monitor that I use for work.

When you right click you are presented with a bar for typing your web address and an easy to use tab system that displays “page previews” showing off what content is on the page.

My only major quirks with IE-Metro is that I noticed it absolutely refused to play nice with uploading a photo via WordPress which means I really can’t update pages like the one I’m writing now unless I use the desktop version of IE.

This significantly hurts the functionality of IE-Metro for my business purposes but it seems more like a bug than a permanent issue and will likely not be a factor at all in the BETA.

Overall from a productivity point of view, basic uses are perfectly functional for now as long as you incorporate a mixture of Metro and Desktop programs. What you are probably wondering is if Metro adds anything to my productivity experience and the current answer is a resounding no.

It doesn’t hinder my experience but I could do just as well using only the desktop. What needs to change if I want to get more out of Metro for business use? Better apps will change everything actually.

If Microsoft offers even a basic version of Word for Metro that can interface back to the desktop version for more complicated things, which would be great. An application that tracks emails and similar data is also severely lacking at the moment.

When BETA comes out you can fully expect I will adapt it as my primary OS as well and likely have a much better status report to give about business use. Keep in mind that I’m a writer and my needs are fairly basic, though.

For a graphics design engineer, no little paint app is going to make them ditch 3D programs, AutoCAD, and Photoshop. The truth is that Metro really is about entertainment and ease-of-use and not real productivity, though I think Microsoft could certainly tackle both if they decide they want to take this direction.

Metro is a smooth interface and works fairly well. In time I think that the traditional desktop and legacy programs could disappear, if not in Windows 9 than certainly by Windows 10 it could at least be possible. What do you think of Metro for business uses?

Does it have any potential or will ‘desktop mode’ always be the option of choice for getting important things done?

  • LeeAnne

    “The truth is that Metro really is about entertainment”

    I’m curious how you reached that conclusion.

    It IS focused on simplicity and ease of use though and it will be interesting to see if Metro can work well for productivity apps. It’s a challenge and it will require some fundamental changes but I think it might be achievable. When it comes to productivity tools the Office suite is by far one of the most popular ones and it’s Microsoft’s baby. If they can come up with a Metro version of Office then that will set a trend which all other developers (such as Adobe) could follow.