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Metro Windows UI

March 4, 2012 by staff 

Metro Windows UI, The public preview of Windows 8 has won “rave reviews” according to the Daily Mail, the newspaper that claims to reflect Middle England and is proudly conservative in every sense of the word. The Mail, it’ll have you know, is a feisty opponent of “change for the sake of it”.

So not only do I fear that somebody has spiked the water supply at the Kensington HQ of Associated Newspapers, the Mail’s publisher, I’m puzzled about what it is in Windows 8 that merits a “rave”.

For, apart from an outbreak of violent electromagnetic storms that zap our PCs at random, nothing is going to disrupt ordinary users as much as the design changes Microsoft wants to introduce. So detached from reality has Microsoft become, it touts every one of these disruptions as a virtue.

Metro is a user interface designed for smartphones, which I have praised generously, and which looks good and works well on small devices. It may yet mature into something equally attractive and useful on iPad-like tablets. But welded onto a non-touch laptop or desktop PC, it represents a huge negative for the majority of Windows users.

The problem isn’t so much Metro, which by itself represents some good thinking about touch device design. It’s Microsoft’s insistence on inserting Metro between us and what we want to do – and at times Metro is spectacularly inappropriate.

But over at Redmond, the Metro team appears to be completely out of control, like the Red Guard during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. They’ve sent the educated to the countryside to dig trenches, and for good measure broken their spectacles. Nobody seems to be able to say no to the Metro Guard, it seems, for fear of punishment. But welding this immature and inappropriate smallscreen UI into the everyday Windows experience is being carried out in a quite totalitarian fashion.

And this is being welcomed not just at the Daily Mail, of all places, but on blogs and fansites. Apparently, according to WinSuperSite the vanguard of the Red Youth will spend most of its time in Metro while the legacy UI will only be relegated for use by “office workers”.

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