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Windows 8’s Desktop UI Is Getting Metro-Fied

Windows 8 is without a doubt a mixed bag, it does some things great and other things, well, we just aren’t as sure about. My personal opinion of Windows 8, as it nears release, is that it’s too early to tell what it’s consumer future will hold but I hold out hope that it will do quite well and will end up impressing us all.

One major ‘issue’ that is complained about by many critics of the OS has to do with the way that Windows 8 desktop and the Metro interface bridge together.

I’ve even expressed some concern about it myself over my many months here at Windows8update. My biggest problem with Windows 8 is that the two interfaces, Aero (desktop) and Metro (Touch UI) feel like, well, two different interfaces.

Part of Microsoft’s goal with Windows 8 is to make a PC feel more like another easy-to-use web device, not a PC. The contrasting differences between the two interfaces is kind of like forcing us to use two entirely different operating systems in one package- and this doesn’t reflect well on their long-term goal of making things easier.

I’ll be the first to admit that the bridge tools and bars in Windows 8 Consumer Preview came a long ways from Windows 8 Developer Preview- but there is still plenty more changes needed to make them feel more unified.

Luckily, it seems Microsoft feels this way, too. Jensen Harris, the director of program management for Windows 8’s user experience team, wrote a 11,300 word novel blog post discussing Windows history in the GUI department. While very long, it is actually interesting enough read that ends with making a pretty big reveal- we haven’t seen everything yet.

Jensen revealed that Aero is getting the boot, calling it out as both dated and cheesy. Instead, Microsoft is working to create a new look-and-feel for the desktop that is clean, crisp and ultimately feels more at home beside the Metro touch UI. We don’t know much about the new UI, other than it should help further bridge the gap between the two interfaces and make them feel more unified.

You might be thinking you don’t have to wait too much longer to see it, with Windows 8 Release Preview just around the corner in June. You are flat wrong, Jensen Harris states that the RC will see subtle hints at the new UI for the desktop, but not the full picture. In what is one of the strangest moves, and a total first, from Microsoft, they aren’t showing us the full reveal of the new UI until the FINAL release.

That’s right, change is coming, but we don’t get a chance to play with it first. While it slightly annoys me that I won’t get a chance to see it first-hand with the Release Preview, it is also a little exciting because it builds anticipation as to what the new UI for the desktop will actually look like.

When Windows 8 first showed up, many users complained not only that they seemed like two different interfaces/operating systems, but that all the changes were relegated to Metro, this goes at least a little way to make sure that there are some real differences between Windows 8’s desktop mode and that in Windows 7.

What do you think of a more Metro-fied desktop?

A good thing, a bad thing, or are you indifferent about all the UI changes present in Windows 8?

Share your thoughts below!

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  • http://www.windowsfaralimite.ro/ Cosmin Tataru

    Total. Moving back to Windows 7 as soon as my new SSD arrives, installing fresh, bye-bye Windows 8 !

  • Timiteh

    Well it sucks. I planned to use way more Windows 8 with desktop/laptops than with tablet (if at all). I expected that Microsoft will offer a light U.I with both Metro and a more Metro like desktop for low end devices/ tablet and a high/end device U.I with more AERO like Metro.
    Apparently they will offer only the first and this really pisses me off >:-((((

    Seems to me that i will either stay with Windows 7 or consider a Linux distro.