As we all very well know, the biggest (and most noticeable) change to Windows in Windows 8, is the addition of the Metro user interface. Other than that, the only thing that consumers will notice is the absence of a Start Menu, and possibly the addition of the Ribbon user interface to Windows Explorer.
The new Metro user interface has been praised around the web for being easy to use, colorful, and innovative (especially for Microsoft and when every other company is basically copying Apple’s sleek, shiny look.) It also makes getting around Windows a lot more fun (both in PCWorld’s opinion, and mine.)
Metro does have its flaws though. And that is to be expected. It is a new user interface that has never been tried before, and its running on a 17 year old platform. Add that factor to a keyboard and mouse computer that only has 1 gigabyte of RAM, and you might as well just stay in the desktop user interface the entire time you’re using Windows.
Its shortcuts are hard to use, it disappears whenever a little program wants to use the desktop user interface, not to mention that whenever you want to change something, you have to go through many menus.
Of course, this is still not the final version of the operating system, and Microsoft will hopefully make the needed fixes in time for the final release. In the six months between the release of the Developer Preview and the Consumer Preview, Microsoft made many fundamental changes that I certainly noticed (For starters, the Metro apps actually have a purpose to them.)
Now that we’ve covered the bases, here is PCWorld’s list:
Windows 8 has two user interfaces: the Metro interface and the desktop interface. PCWorld makes a good point in saying that they act like two different operating systems just working together side by side. (Much like Phoenix Hyperspace for any of you that own a Samsung netbook.)
The apps on metro and the desktop don’t work together almost at all. Internet Explorer has two versions and if you want to switch between them, you have to start your web browsing session over again. This goes for other apps as well. I think that apps should work together in both interfaces, doing some things in one interface, and some things in another.
Obviously, Metro was designed for use by touch, not point and click. A good example of how this comes into play is how when you move the mouse down to the lower left hand corner of the screen and see a popup of the Metro user interface. You instinctively want to click the popup right? Wrong. If you do that, you’ll click whatever icon is underneath it. After repeating this many times, it can get annoying.
Another annoyance is whenever you are in a metro app, you always have to right-click to get the full controls. This is just plain annoying overall. Using the right-click in this way just seems unnatural.
To read the full list of Metro annoyances from PCWorld, click on the source link below.