When it comes to Windows 8, one of the largest focuses is clearly around the Metro interface. Metro receives a lot of attention for a few key reasons, first of all because it’s a dramatic change from what we’ve seen since Windows 95 (the traditional start bar), but second of all because it is a large part of the gambling strategy of converging tablet and PC developments through the use of a shared operating system.
When it comes to the success of the convergence, what will prove key is the apps. Microsoft will need great apps that appeal to both desktop/laptop users and the tablet crowd. This isn’t an easy task, but it is an important one.
Part of Microsoft’s reason for including Metro in its PC-OS likely has to do with attracting developers to the Metro interface. If Metro was only a tablet interface than developers would be more leery to work on it, they would be afraid that they were designing an app for an unproven platform (Windows tablets).
Instead, they are designing an app for the PC and an unproven platform, so even if tablets don’t do as well as expected at least the PC crowd will still use the apps.
While 3rd party app support is important, it is equally important that Microsoft deliver top-notch apps like WMP and Office that are re-designed with Metro in mind.
I’ve talked recently about merging Zune, WMP, and possibly even WMC into one Metro-app that could stream rentals, music, watch movies on your HDD, and more, all from one source.
While such a product is pure speculation and likely way to optimistic, I am not shocked to see that Microsoft is working on multimedia apps directly from Metro.
Now, it seems that the first screenshots of a Metro-focused music player have appeared on scene. This player is very basic and not at all an iTunes-killer, but that is not the focus.
For those who have a PC, switching back from Metro to desktop just to play music is a bit of a hassle, and so an app that does this from Metro just makes sense.
Additionally, Windows 8 ARM tablets are rumored to not have a desktop mode, and so this makes such an app even more important.
What kind of formats are supported with the player? We know very little about that and this moment. Honestly, I can’t say I’m impressed by the interface and really think that this player just doesn’t cut it.
I understand the desire of very minimalist apps in Metro, but I still want the app to have a bit more pizzazz than that, personally.
It just looks ugly to me, and like some of the really awful Android players I’ve seen out there (although they have some good ones).
At the very least, Microsoft should have crafted a Zune-like music player based on its Zune player (not the Zune PC application that I often talk about).
What do you think of the early screenshot of the new music player for Windows 8’s Metro interface? Is this good enough or would you like to see a more feature-packed music/video play that is an evolution of either WMP or Zune Player?
I personally know where my vote would go, what about you? Share your thoughts below!