Windows 8: Does Metro actually work?

by Volker Weber

Introduced by Microsoft as a key element of Microsoft Windows Phone strategy, Metro is now being positioned as the aesthetic standard just shy of an absolute requirement for Windows Phone and tablet-optimized apps for Windows 8 and Windows RT.

What no one’s asking, though, is this: “does Metro actually work?”

In my opinion: No.

I don't agree. It works for me. Well, read on ...

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Comments

For me it is not really working. Yes, it looks nice, but I agree with the article that there is a certain amount of hide-and-seek that you have to play with the buttons, which is quite annoying. I tried it out myself on a tablet PC and I also watched a fellow student struggle for a while with the Metro UI.
But for me the real problem starts when using Windows 8 as a desktop OS, without touch controls. Because Microsoft threw out the Windows 7 start menu in favor of the Metro start screen, there is a disruption whenever you want to access something from the start screen. Each time the whole screen changes. I find this the most annoying thing about the new UI and I really hope that there will be good launcher apps available when Windows 8 ships. Otherwise I will hold on to Windows 7 on my desktop PC as long as I can. I saw a funny video on Youtube where one guy tries out Windows 8, starts the Explorer from the start screen, which brings him to the desktop, then closes the Explorer window and then is stuck on the desktop because he can't figure out on his own how to get back to the start screen. I think that says it all.

Daniel Haferkorn, 2012-05-18 11:10

I found that article quite surprising. It seems the author is heavily invested in WinRT/Metro development. Upcoming book, giving training courses, running a programmer community,...

Now, why would somebody spend so much time on something he considers utterly broken by concept?

Max Nierbauer, 2012-05-18 13:00

For me, my biggest question is: how is that the future on the desktop is an 8 color palette, 2D GUI with 3D "window" animations? It is all text, no icons, black/dark background with white/light text. Its too sad to restrict a GUI to 2D elements, with a minimal color palette and no graphics.

The problem with Metro is that Microsoft will use it in every Windows App, and all 3rd party developers will do the same. Remember the Ribbon in Office? Now everybody use it, but at least it is better than an all metro interface with a mouse/keyboard.

Metro is fine, for and only for WP and Windows Tablets.

Oliver Schulze, 2012-05-18 16:45

I bet, there was the same discussion when Xerox, ehrm I mean, Apple introduced a graphical interface and a mouse back in the 80s.

Mathias Ziolo, 2012-05-18 18:32

Except the graphical interface allowed us to put more information on the screen, not less.

Craig Boudreaux, 2012-05-18 23:10

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vowe.net is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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