Two Interfaces Surviving Together: Windows 8

The Windows 8 Metro Experience

Microsoft has found a way to have two different interface designs living side-by-side and in harmony. Once you turn on your Windows 8 computer you will find that you are suddenly in a colorful, attractive world of boxes, and a touch screen interface, but the next minute you will be in the world of Windows that you are used to, with screen icons that you are used to.

What is this new interface?

This new interface is called Metro. The Metro UI is geared towards tablets and touch screen devices [making it more convenient for tablet users], but it still works well with desktops and laptops as well. In many ways, Metro marks the departure of the traditional Windows we are used to, but in essence Windows 8 offers you the best of both worlds – according to Microsoft.

The concept of the “best of both of worlds” is one that can only be deciphered by the individual user. Microsoft has argued that “Windows 8 brings together all the power and flexibility you have in your PC today with the ability to immerse yourself in a Metro style experience,” but is this entirely true?

Both Microsoft and Apple have tried this approach in the past with the media-focused Media Center and Front Row experiences – but neither convinced their users to switch between these two interfaces.

Yes, recent speed tests have proven that Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7, so not only can you use the touch screen features, you will have the convenience of a fast start-up and [hopefully] no delays. However, the truth is, even though the Metro UI is visually impressive, Windows 7 has been extremely successful in terms of the depth of usage.

Millions of people use Windows 7 on a regular basis, so adding the Metro UI could [potentially] steer people away, especially those who count on their familiar desktop experience. But what users should understand, according to Steven Sinofsky, is that just because the new Metro style has come into play does not mean that the mechanisms that people rely on today are gone, or that they are less useful.

It just means that the Metro UI is a way for users to get things done in a faster and more powerful way.

This being said, perhaps Metro will make our daily computing life much more convenient, even for individuals who are unfamiliar with touch screen devices. Users who use touch screen devices will be provided with an amazing touch screen experience, and users who do not use touch screen devices will get the same experience by using their mouse and keyboard.

Summing it up, Microsoft has stated that this is Windows reimagined, one that all users will benefit from.