“Metro Style”: Windows 8 User Interface

In 2010 Microsoft shocked the world releasing OS for Windows Phone 7 which interface looked unlike previous Windows versions (both mobile and PC).

The UI developed for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 is called Metro, the most distinguishable part of it are the bright-colored tiles that serve as shortcuts for programs and live widgets reporting data from them. The new desktop was a complete break from the traditional desktop metaphor.

From the first glance these changes look absolutely terrifying. Windows 8 is designed to play a central role in Microsoft’s search for future with touch-centric devices. Metro isn’t just pretty it’s also highly efficient and supports considerably faster navigation than was possible with earlier Windows siblings.
Large tiles covering the screen seem to be really disorienting, but clicking through couple minutes in a row you’ll easily accustomed to the new interface. Metro’s live tiles display dynamic content that is a crucial piece of the whole puzzle:

  • Mail app shows several recent emails;
  • Calendar reflects upcoming events;
  • Photos app will cycle through images that are connected to your Windows account.

Few apps currently available in the Windows 8 store take advantage of this functionality, but being able to have useful information within easy reach is a wonderful step forward. Live tiles function identically to Windows Gadgets, which many users have already set up on their Windows machines; but giving app developers a way to make their applications informative without having to develop an individual widget is a positive step.

If you spend some time browsing through forums and discussions you will see that Windows 8 evokes absolutely diverse feelings, some like it, some adore and others simply take it for an abominable Microsoft creation.

Having a closer look at this OS one can say that it’s extremely usable for touch-oriented devices but not for the PC. This is true to some extent, but still lots of people find it fit for PCs. If you have already “laid your hands” on Windows 8 feel free to express your impressions.

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