In order for Microsoft to win the hearts of the masses over to its new Metro-styled “Windows Everywhere” approach, it needs to make sure that the experience it presents is as flawless as possible.
Microsoft has made it their goal to converge the look and feel of all their products at least to some degree.
The new style first started out on the Windows Phone mobile platform and then it migrated over to Windows 8’s Developer Preview. When the world first got a taste of what Microsoft was doing with its new Metro interface, there were certainly mixed reactions.
Then Microsoft decided to take things a step further and bring a Metro-like interface to its Xbox 360 dashboard.
The update has largely been received positively by most users, though at the same time there has been a small percentage that have reported a major flaw on their consoles. At the very beginning of this post I stated the importance of a near flawless transition in order to win fans, but apparently this isn’t yet the case.
For some users the Xbox 360 update caused a block that keeps users from getting back online for playing games. Considering Xbox 360 is still first and foremost a game console, this is a pretty big error that could negatively impact users feelings about Metro.
I realize that Metro in Windows 8 is a completely different product, but I can still already imagine some users saying,
“My Xbox was messed up when Microsoft decided to change around the Xbox interface. It was fine for me the way it was before. No, I’m sticking with Windows 7, I don’t want a repeat of problems with Metro in Windows 8.”
Perhaps I am taking the impact of this one error way too seriously, after all according to Microsoft only a small percentage of users were affected by the problem. Microsoft is also reportedly working on a fix, which I would hope arrives at least somewhat close to Christmas.
After all, many gamers will have at least one or two game choices under the tree.
There are some of us in the techie world that are against Microsoft’s plan to use one interface on nearly all of its products, but I personally do not think this way. The ease-of-use by having familiar interfaces will be comforting and inviting for many users, especially those that are less technologically inclined.
The key is to have a smooth transition to the Metro interface, something I hope Windows 8 pulls off a little better than Xbox’s dashboard (or even to a lesser extent, Windows Phone) did. Will users ultimately turn away from the Microsoft Xbox because of this problem?
If it is handled quickly, I highly doubt it. After all, if gamers can forgive Sony for its huge PS3 network downtime earlier this year, than anything is possible.
Do you think that initial issues with the dashboard version of Metro will have any affect on Windows 8’s Metro reputation at all? Additionally, will it affect Xbox sales in any way? Do you enjoy the new interface for those that do own an Xbox?
As always, share your thoughts below.