Windows 8: Metro vs. Desktop?
Here are few different ways that Microsoft could have addressed the situation:
1. Keep approaching tablets the same way they had been. Microsoft has been offering support for pen-based input in Windows for over two decades now (remember Windows for Pen Computing?), introducing a Tablet Edition of Windows XP in 2002 before just baking pen-support into later versions of Windows. Obviously this approach wasn't cutting it, so it's no surprise they changed course.
2. Bet on Windows Phone. The iPad runs on iOS, not OS X, and I don't think it would have been at all unexpected if Microsoft's tablet solution had been based on Windows Phone rather than Windows. That'd mean Windows 8 would be more of an evolution of Windows 7 than the radical departure it's turned out to be, keeping continuity of the desktop OS while Windows Phone serves as the underlying OS for tablets.
3. Offer Metro only on tablet PCs. Imagine if instead of the two interfaces of Windows 8, they had instead introduced "Windows Metro" for tablets and regular Desktop-only Windows 8 for PCs with keyboards and mice (or touchpads). Rather than trying to shoehorn two distinct UIs into one OS, each UI could be fully optimized for the kind of hardware experience it excels at. In some sense this is the approach they're taking for Windows 8 PCs running on ARM processors, which reportedly will not run non-Metro third-party apps (but will offer access to Desktop mode), so it's not a stretch to imagine them limiting Metro to tablets altogether.
Unfortunately, while there is some logic to this, it would probably result in Metro becoming a defacto third platform, alongside Windows Phone and regular Windows. I doubt anyone at Microsoft wanted to make the case for supporting three ecosystems, so instead we have this odd compromise where Metro is included on Windows 8 and will coexist (uneasily, I'll bet) alongside Desktop mode.
4. Burn the ships and get rid of Desktop mode entirely. This wouldn't be totally unprecedented for Microsoft, which gutted Windows Mobile and started over from scratch with Windows Phone, but it'd be a big risk to change Microsoft's flagship product (and cash cow) so drastically. There are way too many users that would freak out if Microsoft did this.
5. Make Desktop mode look and feel a lot more like Metro. I'm actually surprised they didn't do this. Surely they could have imported more of the visual language and style of Metro into the Desktop experience to make them flow together a bit more. Yes, there'd still be plenty of apps stuck in the old design, but at least Microsoft could make the overall OS experience a little more coherent and make it less jarring to move between them.
I wouldn't describe the path that Microsoft took as the one of least resistance -- not including Metro at all would surely have been easier (and arguably safer) -- but when I use Windows 8 it feels a bit like they punted. My opinion might change over time as I use Windows 8 more, but right now I feel like a computer shouldn't have two competing UIs (and yes, I am familiar with Media Center and Front Row). The goal should be to create a more holistic experience unifying Metro and Desktop, or failing that, admit that they are designed for different kinds of hardware and simply cleave them apart.
But it's weird that the Metro apps don't get represented in the desktop taskbar; it feels weird to have some things open by default with Metro versions, once you tab back to the desktop you don't immediately know what is open or not.
Alt-tab works to alternate apps, and Windows Key+tab works for others, but I'm not sure if MORE keyboard shortcuts is the answer.
then either right click to display your app bar(universal way to show app menus) and click all programs similar to the way you do on the current start menu and then right click and select pin to start screen where before you had the option to pin to start (the first page displayed) and desktop now you just pin to start no need to pin to desktop also you can even set desktop IE as the default so that when you launch pinned websites they launch in desktop ie so you can have flash and java if you need it
there is some learning curve with win 8 but its not much if you look at it with a clean view and give it more then 5 days
of course right now most apps are not built to take advantage but like most os releases there are updates just before the launch or right after and then you will find your self away from the desktop more and more remember there are huge incentives for Devs to target metro of classic so im sure most new app style applications will come in that flavor we are still several months from launch this is still essential a beta that still is missing all the software bits and applications to make it really make sense that's what the preview apps are for to give you an idea of how it will be when most everything is targeted at the future instead of the past
they have had no problems with this system, I upgraded their device because I coned them into windows phones last year they are very happy with both and now understand why I was so persistent they now fully understand how to use their new computer and for the average consumer they will not be working on the desktop much but it was quit easy for my mother to load her old photoshop elements and play with her picture collection just as much as she licked the new photo gallery on her start screen
power users complaining they want less features is ridiculous. even my mom understands that on her big computer she should be able to do everything she can do on her little bitty phone and voila MS figured out the best way to integrate the to styles. It would suck for you that in 6months from now when that awesome app comes out you couldn't have it because you choose to go with old school windows instead of moving forward wow for the apple and android camps that should be compelling reason number one to upgrade to windows 8 at least that's the primary reason given to why windows phone sux the app I want isn't there well your asking for the same scenario in windows
What I wrote is an analysis of the different approaches Microsoft might have taken, with my suggestion that they do more to try and unify the two UIs they are offering with Windows 8.
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So I think that Microsoft is on the right track for a tablet OS with WOA, but I am disappointed with the desktop OS. I don't mind having two user interfaces, since you can pick and don't have to use both. However, I don't like the idea of a new layer grafted on to an old rotting core. Windows is badly in need of what Apple did with OS X - blow up the OS, start with a secure, fast core, and run old software with virtualization (and Microsoft owns good virtualization software). That there is still a registry in Win 8 is incredibly disappointing.
To me the best thing about Win 8 is the store. Moving your applications from one Windows machine to another has always been a nightmare, and it looks like that will no longer be the case, which is a huge step forward for the user experience.
Even with the Registry, looks like Windows 8 will be faster, fluid & smoother than OSX
The demo tablet that Microsoft used to run full Win 8 needed an i5 processor and a fan - I shudder to think what this is going to mean for battery life, weight, cost, etc.
Keep thinking, my friend. Not all tablets will be Core based. Not all tablets will be ARM based. Any moderm x86 and x86-64 processor will run Windows 8 and SoC from Qualcoom, Nvidia and Texas Instruments. A good number of tablets will come with fans but a gazillion more will run without any active cooling.
no one has had enough time to truly see how this os will work or not work for their day to day operations it has not even been available for download for a week yet. the dev preview doesn't count it just reduces learning curve of metro as its intent was the touch ui for Dev purposes. all im saying is it doesn't serve the greater good to down vote actual answers just because you don't like the system the truth in operation is still just that
I'll be honest: I hate the preview Metro apps. But I could see myself using them in a pane on the side of my monitor, for Facebook or Twitter once those are available, or email, weather, traffic conditions, etc. I think once people start using the 2 interfaces, they'll naturally start using one more than the other, either preferring Metro apps or Desktop apps to do what they want with their PC. I'm liking Windows 8 more the more I use it.
Apple route : start over build iOS slowly add more and more features until it becomes essentially Mac OS's replacement.
Microsoft: Take an exisiting product rip it completely apart and rebuild it from the ground up in a compartmentalized fashion so that modules can be added and taken away depending on use case allow the Desktop OS to live on a device.
Google: Doing the Charlie Scheen they're sure are "winning" of course they are pretty much copying anything that succeeds with the other 2
Different approaches with the same eventual outcome unified experience and capabilities.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but touch is not a fad it is here to stay for a while this is just v1 as we head off into that way of computing. who wouldn't want their entire work surface to come alive. This os could actually handle that if the technology was available for masses not there yet but its on its way this is just the first step touch device prices will start to drop drastically as it becomes the norm
Since this is a preview, they could still change a lot of the finer processes. I haven't played with the OS yet but will in the very near future but I think the disconnect with metro and desktop will be resolved by the time the OS is in its final release. It doesn't make sense to have the system work the way it does if they intend to stay alive. I look at the way Apple is doing their systems and feel uninspired. Lion made OSX more iOS like (which I don't like). Mountain Lion is really just adding programs.
Desktop mode is needed for the customer who isn't comfortable with "the hip new thing." I know plenty of people that would feel uncomfortable with a metro only UI.
What I would love to see is the Motorola or new Ubuntu way of computing. For those that are not familiar with this please check out reviews.cnet.com/motorola-atrix-review/
Imagine having a Windows 8 tablet and having metro for when you are on the go. When you need to do a lot more computing you can dock it to a keyboard that gives more processing power and storage with disk drives. I think this would be a great way to transfer media and organize data. Granted this may be a bit wasteful as you would have equipment at home that would be unusable without a Win8 tablet connected.
Metro is the way Microsoft has to go, but consumers need desktop mode so its not such a huge jump. Metro looks like it would difficult to transfer content from a flash drive to many folders. This is a big step for Microsoft and they will win me back as a customer if they can pull this off. My Mac will look so outdated.
After looking at a demo of the Metro interface on a tablet, it looks like Microsoft just bolted the Metro interface onto Windows 7. During the demo, the user inadvertently exited the Metro interface and ended up in the more standard interface with a number of popup message windows. Very Strange. Right now the Metro interface looks cluttered and confusing as I imagined it applied to a desktop. I am not sure I would appreciate a bunch of large tiles staring at me on my 27" monitor. It is also not clear how well a mouse would work in this interface, especially when it comes to multi-touch gestures. I am certainly not excited about reaching out and touching my screen. Microsoft still has a fair amount of work to do to avoid the apparent schizoid behavior.
It almost seems like the mobile group and desktop groups from Microsoft could not agree on a unified approach and ended up going down a dual path.
to select things with touch in new start screen you must long press and then slide your finger down and release when the check box appears to select things with the mouse you simply right click left click actions are the exact same. Mouse and keyboard support have drastically been improved since the dev preview mouse and key board work very well especially if you know all you keyboard shortcuts.
operating in touch to get you edge menus you swipe up from the bottom and only the bottom with mouse you just right click tabbing through open applications requires you to swipe from the left flicking the items across the screen until the one you want is up or slide out pause and slide down and it will show everything that's open similarly with keyboard you can just alt + tab or with mouse move to the bottom corner when the start tile pops up move your mouse up and the rest of your open applications are displayed most actions are the same or slightly quick with mouse and keyboard