Designing for Metro style and the desktop

We thought it would be good to take a moment to talk about where we are heading in terms of the user interface of Windows 8.

By now you've seen two different elements of the Windows 8 design—first, a Metro style user interface we showed previously and in a video seen by millions of folks. And recently, we have described in this blog some of the enhancements we’re making to familiar Windows desktop tools such as Explorer and the copy file dialog. We’ve seen a lot of dialog about these changes.

Some of you are probably wondering how these parts work together to create a harmonious experience. Are there two user interfaces? Why not move on to a Metro style experience everywhere? On the other hand, others have been suggesting that Metro is only for tablets and touch, and we should avoid “dumbing down” Windows 8 with that design.

This is a balancing act, and one we’ll be talking quite a lot about in this blog in the coming months. Having both of user interfaces together harmoniously is an important part of Windows 8. As a starting point for the discussion, here is how we approached the design of Windows 8 from the very beginning. 

We started planning Windows 8 during the summer of 2009 (before Windows 7 shipped). From the start, our approach has been to reimagine Windows, and to be open to revisiting even the most basic elements of the user model, the platform and APIs, and the architectures we support.  Our goal was a no compromise design.

This is an ambitious undertaking—it involves tools, APIs, languages, UI conventions, and even some of the most basic assumptions about a PC. For example, how do you isolate applications from each other, or prevent applications from stealing all your battery power? How can installing (and removing) apps be as quick and painless as changing the channel on the TV? How do you attract the broadest set of developers possible to a new platform? How do you build a touch-first interface with a unique point of view?

When we showed the first demos of Windows 8, we introduced our new Metro experience—fast and fluid, immersive, beautiful, and app-centric. We are certain that as we show you more in the coming months you will see just how deeply we have reimagined Windows.  Metro style is much more than the visual design as we shall see.

Image showing the Metro UI with the word "Start", and several tiles representing different apps in Windows 8.

At the same time, we recognized that Windows 7 has been a huge success. Not just as measured by sales figures or by the number of people using it, but also by the depth of usage. Hundreds of millions of people rely on the Windows 7 UI and existing Windows apps and devices every day, and would value (and expect) us to bring forward aspects of that experience to their next PCs. 

In this light, the role of the Windows desktop is clear. It powers the hundreds of thousands of existing apps that people rely on today, a vast array of business software, and provides a level of precision and control that is essential for certain tasks. The things that people do today on PCs don’t suddenly go away just because there are new Metro style apps. The mechanisms that people rely on today (mice, physical keyboards, trackpads) don’t suddenly become less useful or “bad” just because touch is also provided as a first-class option. These tools are quite often the most ergonomic, fast, and powerful ways of getting many things done.

We knew as we designed the Windows 8 UI that you can’t just flip a bit overnight and turn all of that history into something new. In fact, that is exactly what some people are afraid of us doing. Some have said that is the only path to take. Yet, even those who have fully embraced tablets also own a laptop for those times when they need more precise control or need to use one of the apps that are mission critical (and are still being developed). In people’s desire not to carry around two different devices, “remote desktop” programs for tablets and phones have become popular but extremely awkward attempts to harness the usefulness of the Windows 7 desktop within a new form factor.

Why not just start over from scratch? Why not just remove all of the desktop features and only ship the Metro experience? Why not "convert" everything to Metro?  The arguments for a “clean slate” are well known, both for and against. We chose to take the approach of building a design without compromise. A design that truly affords you the best of the two worlds we see today. Our perspective rests on the foundation of the open PC architecture that has proven flexible and adaptable over many significant changes in hardware capabilities and software paradigms.  This is the flexibility that has served as a cornerstone through transitions in user interface, connectivity, programming models, and hardware capabilities (to name a few).

We believe there is room for a more elegant, perhaps a more nuanced, approach. You get a beautiful, fast and fluid, Metro style interface and a huge variety of new apps to use. These applications have new attributes (a platform) that go well beyond the graphical styling (much to come on this at Build).  As we showed, you get an amazing touch experience, and also one that works with mouse, trackpad, and keyboard. And if you want to stay permanently immersed in that Metro world, you will never see the desktop—we won’t even load it (literally the code will not be loaded) unless you explicitly choose to go there!  This is Windows reimagined.

But if you do see value in the desktop experience—in precise control, in powerful windowing and file management, in compatibility with hundreds of thousands of existing programs and devices, in support of your business software, those capabilities are right at your fingertips as well. You don’t need to change to a different device if you want to edit photos or movies professionally, create documents for your job or school, manage a large corpus of media or data, or get done the infinite number of things people do with a PC today. And if you don’t want to do any of those “PC” things, then you don’t have to and you’re not paying for them in memory, battery life, or hardware requirements.  If you do want or need this functionality, then you can switch to it with ease and fluidity because Windows is right there. Essentially, you can think of the Windows desktop as just another app. 

Windows 8 brings together all the power and flexibility you have in your PC today with the ability to immerse yourself in a Metro style experience. You don’t have to compromise! You carry one device that does everything you want and need.  You can connect that device to peripherals you want to use. You can use devices designed to dock to large screen displays and other peripherals.  You can use convertible devices that can be both immersive tablets and flexible laptops.

Which brings us back to the improvements we’re making to the desktop experience: we believe in the Windows desktop. It powers the experiences today that make a Windows 7 PC the most popular device in the world. So, even if we believe that over time many scenarios will be well-served by Metro style apps, for the foreseeable future, the desktop is going to continue to play a key role in many people’s lives. So we are going to improve it. We’re having a good dialog about what folks might think about our design choices but also wanted to put these choices in a broader context of the unmatched utility of the desktop.

Our design goal was clear: no compromises. If you want to, you can seamlessly switch between Metro style apps and the improved Windows desktop. Existing apps, devices, and tools all remain and are improved in Windows 8. On the other hand, if you prefer to immerse yourself in only Metro style apps (and platform) and the new user experience, you can do that as well!  Developers can target the APIs that make sense for the software they wish to deliver.  People can debate how much they need or don't need different aspects of the product, but that has always been the case.  All of this is made possible by the flexibility of Windows. 

This is just the beginning of the discussion. There’s so much more to talk about as we dive into details about the Windows 8 UI. We’re delivering a whole new experience, reimagined from the chips all the way to the user experience, to enable new scenarios, new apps, and new ways of using a PC. 


Comments (369)
  1. J45EPR says:

    I would personally want to see a more Metro themed taskbar and explorer for the traditional style windows too, still keeping the desktop layout that made Windows 7 nice to use but with the new more modern visual style of Metro, Areo in my opinion feels out of place with the new look. I know I'll be getting a Windows 8 Tablet now as well as upgrading all my computers to have it, so having the same look and feel is what I want in my Ecosystem, as I have a Windows Phone 7 and a couple of Xbox 360s.

    Just putting my opinion out there.

  2. Johannes says:

    Looks great! When can we expect a beta? 🙂

  3. Windwalker says:

    Can't wait for you to show us more! Really exciting!

  4. Programming Thomas says:

    Will it be possible to turn off the Metro UI completely or will it simply be the default UI as well as the standard desktop for compatibility?

  5. FremyCompany says:

    The questions is not to "merge" two different experiences, but rather try to have "consistent" experience accross a single product, Windows. People will only be able to tell if you did when we'll see the real interface of Windows 8.

  6. Oluf says:

    I hope you will allow system builders and coporations to choose which shell they want the PC to start initially. I can imagine a lot of frustrated users if they have to start one or the other first and always have to switch to the other to get their first item of work done.

  7. Christian says:

    Exactly what I want: An OS that is both, a desktop and a mobile (tablet) OS, just whatever I need at any moment. Can't await the release next year!

  8. JM says:

    @Johannes At the 13th of September, I guess.

  9. ThomMck says:

    "If you want to stay permanently immersed in that Metro world, you will never see the desktop—we won’t even load it".

    I can't wait to see how this plays out, how instant is instant? I hope it's not Microsoft minutes 😉

    Disappointed there's no video/screenshots on this article, you guys are such teasers!

    "Our design goal was clear: no compromises"

    No compromises? Really? So if you aren't happy you'll push back the release date? That's a very strong promise to make and I fear it will come back and haunt you. Still, I'm sending positive vibes!

  10. AW says:

    If only you'd spend as much time making an OS that works as you do worrying about how it looks. Have you even mastered proper multi-tasking yet? My wait pointer frequently says you haven't.

    Still think you should supply Win7 free to everyone who bought Vista.

  11. Jason M says:

    I concur with J45EPR, definitely need to keep the desktop and windowing system intact but Aero just isn't 'modern' anymore when coupled with Metro.  It would be fantastic to have one seamless transition between the 2 interfaces so that each seems to share a common heritage.

  12. I am ready to trade in my iPad for a Windows 8 Tablet!!!

  13. Although I know that I want a device that could do everything, I don't now if all of your potential customers out there would want a tablet that they heard could run Windows in a classic mode.

    I wonder how you guys are taking this into account.

    Very exciting times ahead of us.

    Thank you Microsoft for making me actually believe in Microsoft again, and become extremely excited about technology in the coming years (can't wait for Windows 9 as well :p).

  14. Joe says:

    You know he basically just said absolutely nothing. This blog is a tease. They're revealing minor details which we already know about or regurgitate what they previously said. They wont reveal anything of significance till build

  15. Fulgan says:

    When I read this, along all I read and saw about Windows 8 and metro, I have two old saying that come to my mind:

    "In your haste to make new friends, do not trample on your old ones"

    "When provided with a choice between the original and a copy, people will always prefer the original"

    I'm all for Microsoft to develop a rich tablet-centric UI for Windows but tablets aren't going to replace PCs any time soon for a variety of things. Tablets are gadgets. Nice gadgets indeed, but certainly not up to the task for serious work. Basing the whole Windows experience on that and treating the traditional UI as a second-class citizen is a serious mistake. If Windows 8 goes this way, I predict it will have the same fate as Vista: it will be ignored until something better comes around.

  16. k4kaliazz says:

    I can't stand this teasing! When will BUILD come? Alas!

  17. Dasharath K. says:


    well, first of all I miss some images here. at least a teaser !

    I know this will generate some thousand comments on how to improve it


    at the same time, you can think at this blog as an immediate beta feebdack on precise features

    (and I guess the 1000 comments about explorer claerly show it )

    As far as I'm concerned my desktop is quick clean and neat: about 10-12 icons 2 widgets and a cool background

    I don't need more than that

    it's usability and immediateness I'm looking for – I hope win 8 will give me that

    using the metro interface with mouse & keyb it's easy ?

    I doubt a bit…lets' wait for an alpha

    my opinion is that the desktop should always be there with a portion of it reserved for "tiles" with info

    this can be an evolution of the widgets

    keep up the good work !

    but post some images too !

  18. Okay, that is a perfect solution for me 🙂 Thank you, Microsoft. Of course we need the normal desktop, you just have to think for the Windows servers out there! At our company we using hundreds of Windows servers! Just think about the developer – of course needs a developer for working well with Visual Studio 2010 a normal desktop. But I'm very happy with the solution, that the user can make the own decision to active the normal desktop or just using Metro. Thats perfectly fine. 🙂 I hope for a beta for us MSDN Ultimate users after the Build 🙂

  19. Don says:

    Please get rid of Aero.  Metro is fantastic, but Aero looks old and antiquated.  I'm completely in favor of keeping the traditional Windows desktop experience, but something needs to be done about the way it looks so switching between Metro and the desktop isn't so jarring.

  20. Guest says:

    Looks abhorred. Windows 95 had better UI. This is why I haven't looked back since I switched to Apple 3 years ago.

  21. Thilo says:

    Strong words man!

    Two parallel worlds with no compromise for each one? I will bow down for that, if it will happen for Windows 8.

    The future will tell us the truth.

  22. richardt says:

    I love the fact that Steven and team are not only providing glimpses into what they are building but also providing deep and thorough descriptions of their thinking. Few other such high profile product design teams that are willing to open their kimono this widely.

    Can't wait to immerse myself in Win8 at BUILD in 2 weeks' time. Really hop to be able to get some hands-on time with Win8's new UXP 😉

  23. Forbes Lindesay says:

    Seems great.  What about the app store mechanism, how does that span the two styles.  Do you expect most apps to have both metro and traditional UI and will they typically be priced as one/installed as one or will they be separate?  I can see a lot of pain if developers have to make every app twice for the different styles, and a lot of frustration for consumers if some apps only work in one of the UIs and it's not their preferred choice.

  24. cjfynjy says:

    So far I like what you are doing, and I accept this fusion between Metro and Desktop, but I'm kind of afraid of this move towards Metro and away from Desktop in the future. What I like about Windows (in general, not only Win7 or Vista or XP) is that you see what's under the hood pretty much. Let's say, on the left we have Unix systems, where lots of things are done with deep knowledge of system's gears, on the right we have Apple's systems, where "mechanisms" are hidden under much more user-friendly interface where even my grandpa can understand easily what's going on; and in the middle we currently have Windows. I love that you have control, or at least a feeling of control of what's going on, programs being actual .exe files with other necessary files for them located somewhere near, in a structurized folder, and I really have an understanding what's running at the moment, which files are used, etc. Metro (and Apple's systems, if we talk about that line from left to right that I mentioned) is moving towards hiding all the gears under the shiny look; it's ok if my computer has, for example, categories, like My Programs, My Music, My Movies – all of which you can launch in one click – but control of what's going on behind the scenes is very important imo; otherwise it's basically behaving like "system is smarter than the end-user". So far I don't have anything against providing both Metro and Desktop in Win8, but I'm afraid that at one point in the future, say, Win9 or 10, the developers will leave only Metro.

  25. This is truly "Windows Reimagined"!

  26. domenicoav says:

    I Love you Steven 😀

  27. doum says:

    Like I said previously, we understand we will have metro experience and desktop experience with the same OS. And it's the force of Windows 8

    BUT for me, the most important thing is consistency.

    We don't see it for the moment, but I really hope it's coming. Desktop have to be more integrated in the new Metro look.

    The switch from the new interface to the desktop interface should not offend the eye. We must feel that we are in the same operating system.

  28. Completely agree with @Don here – the traditional UI needs to be updated to be consistent with the new Metro interface, if just subtly. A new taskbar / Start menu and icons would do the trick and would make switching from Metro to traditional more seamless and less awkward IMO.

  29. G says:

    Great Job guys.

    I hope your design team does a great job of stitching both Metro and Aero together. Because, what i saw on Rajeev's computer in the last video was an eyesore; it was Metro overlaid on windows 7. I assume that is not what you mean. Right?

    (my commments on previous blogs did not post, i hope this one does)

  30. hi. i would like to make a suggestion for the classical shell. actually this suggestion would better fit in the previous blog post:)

    you know, in win7 one can switch between taskbar programs by pressin Win+1, Win+2, Win+3, etc. However, the human eye cannot enumerate 6 or 8 icons *instantly*. one has to start counting the desired icon's order before using this win key shortcut.

    here is my suggestion. in office ui and the new win8 explorer ui, when one presses the alt key, shorcut letters appear on ribbon buttons, and numbers appear on quick launch bar icons. can you make a similar numbering appear while the win button is pressed?


  31. …"And if you want to stay permanently immersed in that Metro world, you will never see the desktop—we won’t even load it (literally the code will not be loaded) unless you explicitly choose to go there!  This is Windows reimagined."…

    "But if you do see value in the desktop experience—in precise control, in powerful windowing and file management, in compatibility with hundreds of thousands of existing programs and devices, in support of your business software, those capabilities are right at your fingertips as well. You don’t need to change to a different device…"

    YES …YES This is the right way…That is exactly what i need to know…AMAZING….WAOUHHHHH….I love this approach…

    Thank you very much Steven…NOW Windows 8 will be success…

    All the best…

  32. Dominic says:

    sounds great., but please at least give the desktop a metroish look.  Make sure everything flows together.

  33. Forbes Lindesay says:

    I disagree slightly with what @doum said, I'm not really convinced that the two interfaces do need to look like part of the same OS.  I don't really see a problem with it feeling like 2 OSes on one device with one set of users/files/etc.

    @pelister I agree that it would be a nice touch for numbers to appear on the icons in the task bar when you hold down the windows key, seems like a no brainer really.

  34. I love it.  This is really awesome!

    Just clarify.  When you boot a PC with Win8, you will launch into a Metro UI?  Or can you set it to launch the Destop as a default?

  35. TJ says:

    Thanks Steven for the insight into the Metro UI experience.

    Essentially what I want is a Windows desktop that contains a complete Metro experience, I have been a fan of Metro ever since the first Zune software release came out.

    I think in order to please consumers, corporations and those resistant to change; support for existing themes must be included (at least for Windows 8).  If it would be possible to have an additional theme that consisted of the full Metro desktop integration (taskbar, windows explorer and desktop application support).  A basic theme would serve the corporate/server side, the aero theme would be for those who want a familiar Windows 7 experience and Metro would be for those who want something new and vibrant.

    Keep up the great communication!

  36. Saul says:

    I agree with @pelister such a brilliant idea.

    "you know, in win7 one can switch between taskbar programs by pressin Win+1, Win+2, Win+3, etc. However, the human eye cannot enumerate 6 or 8 icons *instantly*. one has to start counting the desired icon's order before using this win key shortcut.

    here is my suggestion. in office ui and the new win8 explorer ui, when one presses the alt key, shorcut letters appear on ribbon buttons, and numbers appear on quick launch bar icons. can you make a similar numbering appear while the win button is pressed?"

  37. Guest-User says:


    will it be possible to sort files free in Windows 8 Explorer? Because I very miss that feature in Windows 7. Maybe you can implement it with a toggle. So "normal users" and "power users" (wich you seem to consider in designing Win8, as mentioned in the article above), can switch to what they need or want.

  38. Couldn't agree with your decision more Steven. The fact that Windows will feature both interfaces means that I can take a slate on the go and then dock it into a "laptop mode" for serious work. I love that. It's why I'm not buying a tablet until Win 8 is released!

    While I certainly want both interfaces, desktop and Metro, I believe there is opportunity to take many aspects of the Metro design language and apply it to the desktop metaphor. These key Metro design elements include aspects such as:

    -Content is king

    -Chrome-less design

    -Typography is beautiful

    -clean and modern

    I think this is what most users are thinking of when they comment that they want a more "Metro-styled" approach to the design, as opposed to the Explorer and Copy-Paste dialogs you've presented on this blog which certainly offer the more dated "Area-styled" design that directly conflicts with the Metro language.

  39. TheTechFan says:

    "And if you want to stay permanently immersed in that Metro world, you will never see the desktop—we won’t even load it (literally the code will not be loaded) unless you explicitly choose to go there!  This is Windows reimagined."

    This is awesome and exactly what I was hoping for!  But will it also work the other way? Will users be able to permanently stay in the Desktop and never see Metro?

  40. doum says:

    @Forbes Lindsay  : because it returns a better feeling to the user. Because he did not feel an "overlay". Because it's just the same OS.

    When we enter a house, we love that architecture has been designed from start to finish. We do not like the dining room is ultra modern, while the kitchen is old school.

  41. What are the minimum system requirements for Win8?  Will my current tablet be able to run it or should I plan on an upgrade?

    1 Ghz CPU

    2 GB RAM

    40 GB HD

  42. "And if you want to stay permanently immersed in that Metro world, you will never see the desktop—we won’t even load it (literally the code will not be loaded) unless you explicitly choose to go there!  This is Windows reimagined."

    – pretty much excited about this! We can now see a very flexible "Windows 8"

  43. Juankk says:

    Excelente post aclaratorio, me han sacado de muchas dudas.

  44. RWalrond says:

    Choice is all I want and it looks like Windows 8 will give me choice.

    One device to rule them all? I'm all in!

  45. Carvalho says:

    @Steven Sinofsky,

    I'm one that bought that concept since the AllThingsD presentation. Some people said "nah, that's just an windows 7 with a new jacket" and I knew that wouldn't make sense.

    First, even if it was real, it was clear to me that the desktop interface wouldn't be the same that windows 7, even keeping the base, I think there will be some changes to turn it more Metro-like, the colors, I don't know, but something would change.

    Now it's a little more clear, and I have two things to ask:

    1) We know it's going to have an Marketplace (or App Store – I don't know how it'll be called), and I think it's VERY important that the apps there show clearly for what kind of "experience" it was designed to. I don't want to inadvertently install an desktop friendly in my tablet that I want to only have touch-friendly apps.

    2) Related to 1, I think people had some reason when they were doubtful about this two-in-one experience. I think in the following scenario: some hardware maker want to build a great touch-only experience, and, for some reason, prolly a monetary one, they will build a tablet with modest hardware requirements, that is enough to the touch-only html5/javascript, but would be really awful in the most scenarios of an desktop usage. I think this maker should be able to limit the desktop usage or even deny it, so that it can keep the usage of its product at a good point. It will be possible?

    (Sorry my english, I'm brazilian and it's not my first language)

  46. Kevin Menzel says:

    The only concern I have is for very single focused machines. For example, I have a home studio recording computer. 99% of the time, I'm running a single application, and to optimize that experience, I need as little running in the background as possible. For such single-focused machines, it seems like Metro is a waste of system resources, so will it be possible to turn it off completely? Any CPU resources it's taking means I can run less plugins live, which means it takes me longer to do the work I want to do. Any GPU resources it's taking means my user interface has the possibility of being less smooth. Any RAM it takes up means I can load less sample libraries directly in to memory before paging starts taking place.

    I hope that this relatively single-task workstation situation is something Microsoft pays attention to, because as much as I want the full Windows 8 experience on my main desktop and my laptop, I really want to be able to get rid of as much as possible on my workstation.

  47. Joe says:

    Sounds great.  The thinking is right.  I just hope this is reflected in the execution.

    For example, for network set-up – will there be a metro app?  If so, will the complex set of dialogs in the control panel be rethought in a metro/device way?

    I think most people will be fine with an 80/20 approach.  if 80% of the use-cases are handled touch-first then that's fine.  

  48. JPS says:

    Excellent approach IMO!  Keep the thriving ecosystem going and innovate right alongside. Looking forward to more.

  49. Hope we can see a "new" desktop interface in the next video

  50. @Steven Sinofsky

    This is exactly what I wanted to hear!

    One can finally dream of a full Metro tablet experience without the legacy application model on a slate device and a more traditional computing experience when dealing with more demanding computing tasks. And the best part, all of this using the same core operating system.

    This is great news.

    Now, let's bring the segmented application models, nicely secured and confined by the hypervisor and we have a winner.

  51. Harley says:

    File manager should look & feel like a folder, not like an app.

  52. Joe says:

    Some big questions still –

    Background task management – the WP7 agent model is great here.  

    Extensibility – what about custom print dialogs from printer drivers?  Will the metro UI surface these?

    What about shell extensions, AV apps, tray notifications etc… what does Metro do with these?

    The advantage of the 'reset' approach was to force app developers to start over with their OS extension products.  With the support of ARM maybe Win8 can force some level of reset.

  53. mike says:

    no compromises? you talked about the pros of switching completely to metro, or of keeping the desktop. then announce you are offering a nice combination of both.

    do you actually know what compromise means? i think you just made one.

  54. Kevin says:

    I hope the entire "normal" desktop experience is also Metro to be consistent with the new Metro touch-first Start Screen. Otherwise, there'll be a jarring difference between Metro and Aero. This is NOT a consistency a user would want to see.

  55. @ Mike …

    Do you actually know what compromise means? I think you have to go at school again…

    Please more respect…

  56. Brian says:

    In fairness to Mike's point (though not his tone which ranks high on the d0uch3baggery scale), when I first read this post I assumed he meant "our team won't compromise on our goals" but later I read it as "we won't force you to compromise" (i.e. by giving up your preferred UX).

  57. @ Steve Sinofsky

    Will the explorer be shared between the two UI styles or will the (awesome) Metro UI have a different explorer UI as well?

    And thanks for the option of permanently switching to the Metro…I personally think id be using that most of the time, if not always. 🙂

  58. Usman Masood says:

    I love your approach but so far there is a big disconnect in the "desktop" and the "immersive metro" UI. Throw away Aero and make the "desktop" more metro. That will definitely make the experience a lot more consistent. There are already a lot of Metro inspired "desktop" themes out there, and some of them really good. I'm sure you guys can one up those themes. Stop trying to save Aero, it was too fancy, glossy to start with.

  59. Sumit says:

    Can we have lesser chrome and window embellishments in the desktop mode please? Please be frugal with use of pixels for decorations only. XP/Vista were bad with chrome, Win 7 is better, Win8 Desktop view would do a world of good to usability if the chrome was reduced to a minimum. I guess it would blend better with the 'Metro View' too.

  60. EnterpriseSupport says:

    If I can't set the desktop EXACTLY as I need it for large deployments in my enterprise it's going to cause massive problems. This Metro makes me think of the not-so-easy to set TaskBar and StartMenu icons MS introduced in Win7. Pretty, but you have to jump through hoops to get them setup correctly in an enterprise deployment scenario.

  61. "And if you want to stay permanently immersed in that Metro world, you will never see the desktop—we won’t even load it (literally the code will not be loaded) unless you explicitly choose to go there!  This is Windows reimagined."

    If that's real than Windows 8 will be officially the best operating system EVER released by Microsoft!

  62. Brian says:

    I'm puzzled by all the people asking with such passion whether we'll be able to configure the system to start in one UX or the other…c'mon folks, let's give them a little more credit than that…

  63. DBrown says:

    This is excellent news.  I know our organization will value both UI styles.

  64. Windowsfan says:

    Thanks for taking the time to answer the hundreds of comments concerning Metro in Windows 8. I'm glad to see so many people so excited about Metro. Anyway, I've seen the leaked […/windows-8-history-vault1.jpg] "History Vault" UI. [/url] It looks really modern and clean, as well as functional, even in these early stages. Great job on that. Is there any chance you'll replace the raised, glossy buttons of Windows Explorer (elements such as the back/forward buttons, the search bar, icons, refresh, etc.)  with the beautiful Metro ones used in "HIstory?

    I agree with so many Windows users above that although Aero has served us well and impressed us in the past, it's time to let Metro shine. the History vault UI proves we can have forward-thinking Metro design AND usability in the same package. I must say, I enjoy Metro more that OS X's "linen" and "aqua" designs.

  65. Brian says:

    As I read through these comments I do have to kind of chuckle to myself.  I'm as big a proponent of Microsoft technologies as the next guy, but does anyone else look at all these "ZOMG.  Best.  Thing.  Ever." posts and wonder how many of them are Sinofsky's direct reports assuming the old human centipede position?

  66. For the current Aero (not METRO) it doesn't have to be radical overhaul for desktop UI. Just some improvement like this.. I think this post is better for my suggestion:

    Lighter icons mean more fresh feel on it by the way clean the whole experience that users may have with ribbon UI. About the scrollbar- as I suggested long ago along with the other element like button should be refined as well-it's not a huge makeover just little tweak so user still can feel familiar while newer at the same time. It just make windows better!!!

    Here is the links:

    Comparison of two windows:…/ribboncompareplus.jpg

    Concept alone:…/ribbon003extendedalone.jpg

  67. grahamesd says:

    I agree with the philosophy of retaining the known and widely used interface and making the new, more touch oriented UI also available so the user can make the choise.  

    Can't wait to see and use it.

  68. @Steven

    So glad to know about the Metro UI + Desktop. That's what I expected when you guys were saying "Windows re-imagined". On this regard I have some questions for you.

    1|  Will there be any cross-compatibility issues with applications written for Metro UI to run with Windows Desktop?

    2|  Any chance of having two choices (Metro UI Or Windows Desktop) when installing a fresh copy of Windows 8?

    3|  I know you have said that Desktop will be like an app in Windows 8 Metro UI. From there we have to launch it in order to work in desktop environment right? How long will it take to switch between these two?

    4|  What about tablets? Can we run Desktop app on tablets? Can we experience it the same way as we do on our PC?

    Hope you guys are working so hard and brilliantly to build a re-imagined Windows experience and Windows 8 will be great success for you guys and for us. Thanks.

  69. xpclient says:

    Thanks for recognizing the value and power the traditional desktop PC offers and preserving that experience while giving us the re-imagined style. My only concern is as Microsoft progresses the tablet interfaces, the development and progress desktop features would slow down or get ignored. Please don't let that happen. I look forward to both in Windows 8 as I will be using multiple devices with Windows 8, and use whichever interface suits each device as I see fit. I do not wish to see the simple Metro style in the regular desktop interfaces. Metro looks great when it isn't mixed with Aero. I would also want for Aero to remain as long as the desktop exists.

    My opinion remains unchanged that there is nothing as flexible, powerful and versatile as the conventional Windows PC with the largest ever ecosystem of quality apps. At the same time, I am excited to see progress on smaller screen factors and the new app ecosystem optimized for it.

    This is an assurance to long time Windows users that they need not worry about the familiar Windows experience going away, yet expecting to see innovation on the tablet front.

  70. The problem many people feel afraid of new metro UI because they think Microsoft doesn't know which way they're going to make two UI unified. For example some demo you guys post current Aero some others are with new Aero with square shaped windows and all that. One with new start menu (without orb) and one with black start box… So it make user pretty confused about what windows 8 will look like or the UI designing progress have not done yet!!! So the teams will post demo or we need to wait to see it on BUILD?

  71. itguy08 says:

    Glad to see you're at least, for once not Copying Apple.  

    But DEAR GOD MEN, enough of this nasty Metro UI.  It's FUGLY, nasty and takes up way too much space.

  72. Ryan LM says:


    Wow, this was rather disappointing.  I keep hearing reimagine being thrown around, have you looked up this word?  You are adding window dressing to a tired UI, nothing more.

    >> We knew as we designed the Windows 8 UI that you can’t just flip a bit overnight and turn all of that history into something new.

    We heard this with Vista, we heard this with Windows 7.  It isn’t overnight anymore, its 10+ years now, you have time to get your UI house in order.

    >> Why not just start over from scratch? Why not just remove all of the desktop features and only ship the Metro experience? Why not "convert" everything to Metro?  The arguments for a “clean slate” are well known, both for and against. We chose to take the approach of building a design without compromise.

    This is a false choice.  It is not one extreme or another.  In Windows 2000 to XP did you throw out the whole product because you tried to make it look better? XP to Vista? Vista to Win7?  Of course not.  If I am wrong here, then it is entirely your poor engineering that got you in this hole.

    The Problem:

    Aero is not a visual style.  It is a collection of needlessly flashy UI ideas that even its creator can’t put together well.

    Proof:…/Capture5.JPG  (all of those were made by MS)

    Windows doesn’t know what it wants to be.  As such, it is ugly. App developers HAVE NO CLUE at this point exactly how to make their apps look.  Even your own apps as the image shows.  If they pick one of the many looks, it is a challenge to make it fit in, or even look the same as the ones they are copying – this is terrible.

    If updating the look and feel is a pain in the rump it’s because there are 10 versions of the same thing created by 10 different teams, something as simple as back and forward arrows are not shared across the platform.  

    Instead of acknowledging this, you throw sales figures and usage figures.  Do you think the average office worker has a choice in what computer they sit down in front of ever day? Your logic tells me Pizza Hut makes the best pizza.  Both are false.

    Also, your phrasing of both sides of the argument shows them to be equal.  Based on the comments in the explore post, the vast majority were negative, the ones actually offering detail were mostly negative.

    Copy from Apple:

    I don’t mean their UI style, I mean how they manage it.  Every OSX release has updated the UI system wide, sometimes very broadly, but usually for good.  Magically, every application got a facelift at the same time.  I would bet serious money if Apple wanted OSX to look like Metro in their next release they could do it, and every app would just fall into line.

    I am not just talking about the chrome, the whole thing, toolbars, widgets, dialogs, menus etc.


    You can’t just say “No Compromises”.  You have to mean it, you have to do it.  As I said, you are in a deep hole with your UI choices.   The rest of the product, and the plans I have read about to date are actually the opposite.  The under the hood improvements, the talk of an App store, DirectUI, new logical APIs, etc – All fantastic.

    But if the OS still looks like Vista – will anyone care?  Why is Windows proper the odd ball in the rest of the consumer echo system, the rest are going Metro or are already.…/metrothreescreenwaitami.jpg

    I fail to see how moving the core OS to a Metro look and feel is dumbing it down.  There is no reason a metro app needs to do anything less than a Aero app.  It would certainly make development easier as most developers are design blind.  With Metro, just about anyone can make an app that fits in.

  73. @itguy08

    What's wrong with Metro UI? Do some understandings before putting in your 'FUGLY' comments!

  74. jahxp says:

    I am totally agree but I think (as most of users) Aero should be replaced with a more Metro like theme. Switching between Metro UI and Aero UI offends the eye. You have to work with the classic theme and improve it and change the look for a good final product.

  75. atGO says:

    This is what I love about  Steven Sinofsky's discussion that MicroSoft is engaged in, one of the things I have always loved about Microsoft, is the more user centric view. We are given a platform that we can re-imagine on our own as well.  Apple has done some great work, they should be commended for their success, but I don't own Apple products because they maintain absolute control, where as Microsoft shares that control with its users.  I've been using microsoft products since the very first version of DOS, it takes them a while to get it right, but only a fool would count them out–they are tenacious.  This tablet race is not over by a long shot–I predict that Microsoft will eventually win this race.  Why?  "Work, Play have it Your Way!" this will be the reason they will take the tablet market by storm.  Are they late to the party? Yes!  But what Apple has given them is the right amount of fear and inspiration–ironically, just what Microsoft gave Apple when it was deciding on its comeback.  Looking at what they are doing with Windows 8 and how they are challinging their hardware partners to be more creative and responsive–do you remember Lotus, Wordperfect, Novell, etc.  This is why real competition is so important to our country. I hope Apple continues to push the envelope and I hope Microsoft continues to innovate–NOT SIMPLY COPY APPLE!  Just so you know, I am an unbias Microsoft fanboy!

  76. I can't wait to try it. Thx. for your work.

  77. But please make sure that Win 8 won't still be outdated due to its late coming out. In order to be catchy Win 8 will have to be up-to-date and brilliantly userfriendly. Here are some examples:

    1) The Win 8 virtual keyboard designed for thumbs is good, but Apple's equivalent in iOS 5 seems alreary better: one of your videos has shown that in Win 8 one has to press a button to get to it; but in iOS5 one needs just to execute a nice and simple multitouch gesture (see

    2) Up to now, Bing (Search, Maps, Translator, …) is good, but not good enough to be seriously attractive by comparison with Google. In my region (Quebec) we are still waiting to get out of the Beta phase.

    3) Up to now, Windows 7 Phone is good, but not good enough to get out of iPhone's shadow.

  78. Metro UI is impressive! It's fresh and unique among other platform these days and sooner this will be a standard UI across Microsoft ecosystems. Consistency is what we are longing for.

    We are exciting to see what will be the new look of Windows 8, for now its mainly the Start screen and other immersive apps that fully utilize Metro, the well beloved desktop should be the next.

    Great job Windows Team and Microsoft! 😀

    Btw I just wanted to share my rough mockup of Windows 8 with Metro in Explorer

    (The mockup may not be that beautiful I guess, I just rapidly make something to see what might look like. The last image I tried with AERO+Metro effect)

  79. LCGRZY says:

    Love the dual functionality of Metro and Desktop. You can have the best of both worlds. I am incredibly excited. I do have one concern, I agree with people in other comments, Aero needs to go. It was nice for vista and better in 7, but I do not think that it will fit with the overall styling of Windows 8. Perhaps something that has the feel of Metro, but look of the desktop. But my guess is that this is already in the works. I am finding it hard to wait for the beta!!!!!

  80. Joe says:

    I wouldn't put too much stock in this new Metro UI. I, for example, cannot stand the new Ubuntu Linux Unity UI or the new Gnome Shell UI. I like my current desktop paradigm and will definitely not switch for the W8 UI.

  81. Atul Madhugiri says:

    It would be really cool for people without tablets to use the metroui with an xbox 360 controller. or a keyboard to switch from tile to tile. I really wouldn't like dragging my mouse all over the screen because that would make the metroui a lot less convenient

  82. Very excited about Windows 8. However I'm still getting a "Windows Mobile running TouchFlo" feel though. If you really want to get your hands dirty you've got to drop out of the friendly UX and start poking around at tiny controls in the power user desktop. I hope there are plans to at least unify the graphical style. I understand that for backwards compatibility it's essential to keep things very similar to how they are now in Windows 7, but I implore you, please don't do half a job with updating the look and feel…

    Also I know you guys keep telling us that the immersive metro UI is just as good with keyboard & mouse, but I personally feel that it's a huge step back from the current 'click Start and type' method of launching programs we have now. I am looking forward to being proved wrong 😉

  83. Gary says:

    The Metro interface is fine and looks really interesting, but the Windows 8 Explorer interface is an overly complex mess with just too many choices. The industry, including Metro, is moving towards simplicity, the Ribbon bar is stepping back 10 years and adding a new layer of complication, I just don't get it.

    Compare the complexity of Windows 8 Explorer interface to Apples new Mac OS Lion and you can see why people are upset about it.…/windows-8-vs-mac-os-x-and-ios

    I would suggest leaving Explorer as the way it works and looks in Windows 7and not adding all the toolbar items. In fact, I would put good money on Metro being the future of Windows user experience for both mobile and desktop, and not button laden toolbars, but that's my 2 cents 🙂

  84. Andrew E says:

    What would be enormous would be the link between the desktop and the tablet world that does not exist today. Right now you have a tablet, a phone, a home PC, a work PC, etc… While the "cloud" is the obvious link between those devices for the purpose of sharing data and apps it isn't always the most practical solution.

    If Win8 fully supported Intel's Thunderbolt in a way that would permit win8 tablets to collaborate at a hardware level with an active docking station, then we'd see a true revolution. Gamers can have their high-end gaming docking station on their desk at home, and their high-end AutoCAD environment at work that sit as an active docking station with its own video card, processor, memory, etc…. Dock your tablet via Thunderbolt and expand the hardware capabilities of your tablet where you are.

    Now your tablet is your identity, not just your mobile interface. That is the true definition of no compromise.

  85. Don says:

    How will Metro work with multi-monitor setups?

  86. David says:

    Everything about Windows 8 sounds awesome so I'll give Microsoft an 'A' for the new design from what I have seen so far.

    However, I simply do not understand Microsoft's stubborn refusal to explain the future of Silverlight relative to Windows 8 – so for marketing and loyal developer support I give Microsoft an 'F' (actually it would be lower if I could).

  87. mdsharpe says:

    I am gravely concerned by the lack of a third option, "boot straight into desktop and not load Metro at all".

  88. Nicke says:

    Two interfaces? By trying to please all, you really make nobody really happy. Good thing I finally switched to OSX.

  89. Nicke says:

    Two interfaces? By trying to please all, you really make nobody really happy. Good thing I finally switched to OSX.

  90. domenicoav says:

    The mechanisms that people rely on today (mice, physical keyboards, trackpads) don’t suddenly become less useful or “bad” just because touch is also provided as a first-class option

    Our design goal was clear: no compromises


    5 Star

  91. So it is the right decision to not support 3rd party extension for the Ribbon, because the Metro UI will become User centric.

  92. Windows 8 Enthusiast says:

    @Steven   Great work guys. Just get Bill Gates to unveil Windows 8 in BUILD. It will make great impact. Cannot wait foe beta on september 13th.

  93. When I first saw Windows 8 Metro UI, I immediately thought of Unity Ubuntu and Launchpad Mac OS.

    It is clear that the decision to unite the Windows operating system in a cross-platform OS. For owners of tablet PCs, this news is certainly good. I like it. But why from one OS to another OS, Microsoft innovations copies of previously released operating system from other manufacturers?

    Metro UI – it's cool, Aero UI – it's cool for Windows 7, but for Windows 8, I would like small change for the better (Ribbon in Windows Explorer – not such a good change IMHO)

    I understand that you spent a lot of experimentation, research, even the presence somewhere of people never work in an environment Windows Explorer. It's all very entertaining and sublime sounds here on the blog.

    User Windows – I think more than a billion or so, and they enjoyed INTERFACE, they know what they want and focus on the newcomers to this issue as INTERFACE – strange.

    I really want are smart and talented Microsoft employees were able to combine the two interfaces Metro and Aero in a single INTERFACE without visible seams. Therefore, to rely on a similar commitment to minimalism in the new version of the Windows Aero 8.

    I remember INTERFACE Windows 98, and the impressions that were with the release of Windows XP, then no nebylo Dejavu and comfortable.

    Can now dizaynerts and programmers at Microsoft are too closely look at the competitors' products, and try to adapt innovations to Windows OC without a personal creative participation. And on this basis and not feeling it and it seems that the programmers and designers began to work less.

    I saw a video clip on the Microsoft site where the vision is presented to a new future, and there are very – very cute green interface.

    Why not do so?

    In any case – thank you for your work!

  94. @Steven – So if I choose to stay forever in the Metro UI title things. Are there another way for file management built inside the new Metro environment like copy/move/paste For example: if we want to copy files to a USB or take something out of a disk we have to go back to traditional desktop UI (not metro) to complete the task?

  95. Tom says:

    Seriously!! What happens to you guys? Instead of moving toward metro style you are wasting your time to keep explorer the way it is and even going several years back with your ribbon. Everytime it is the same thing, you are afraid to do big changes. Not surprised that most of people go for other choices. you could have easily adapt explorer to metro style for a start but instead of that you are wasting resources. This is not a compromise, this is a waste of ressources. It is not too late to do the right thing. pepole want to be able to switch between an WP7, a tablet and a desktop without thinking how to use it or wondering how the interface is.

    And what about developer, do you think they will code for metro style or explorer style? We will ended up switching interface for some applications…

    All over the web people are starting using Metro style better than you and it is your own creation!!!

  96. bob says:

    Ive seen enough of the widget board you supposedly call metro.  Its not a UI design its just a widget board.

    I simply cannot take MS seriously in this endeavor and I think the whole notion is nothing but fakery on MS part.

    Please stop posting these inane blog posts which pretend to be technology driven and go actually do something worth doing. This is a joke.

  97. When i hear Metro, I don't imagine just tiles like in new start screen, or windows phone home screen, or new x360 dashboard. I also imagine Zune software (mainly), and Media center. I imagine style, look, feel. That's what i like about Metro. The windows you present is (again) inconsistent and that what bothers me.

    Dont' get me wrong – i like the way aero looks in windows 7 very much. But i want consistency. And since most of Microsoft has decided to go Metro, aero the way it looks now is the last man standing. And you did this kind of change at least twice in past decade. First switching from old "win95" look to Luna in XP and then from Luna to Aero in Vista. And people coped with that pretty well i guess. That's all i want, this kind of redesign, to make it look consistent and modern (and it would'nt even be that much of change as previous ones). Having Zune in win7 just doesn't look good. Why? Because it's inconsistent. Either give Zune aero look (please not), or explorer look metro. Same problem (though much smaller) is with IE9. It' just about the look and feel, nothing else.

    The article about copy experience gave me much hope, because early prototypes clearly were styled in metro in mind. And i was dissappointed to see that it went back to old aero…can someone explain why?

    Also, i believe it is in your capabilies to make the explorer touch-friendly while keeping it's functionality. That is why i would buy windows 8 tablet. To have touch friendly powerfull OS. For playing around and browsing the web apple gave us ipad.

  98. EqOrbit says:

    I just don't get it.

    MSFT ribbonized the windows explorer, because they want it to be easier to use, and touch-friendly.

    MSFT also designed the Metro UI so that it can be even easier to use, and more touch friendly.

    So, what's the purpose of the ribbon again?    

    Seems like you have two products addressing the very same thing, I find that even more confusing and and more complex.

  99. Rajesh says:

    Hope windows 8 comes with native muti desktop or session support like OSX Lion.

  100. @bob – have a look at the Building Windows 8 vide #1 (…/06-01corporatenews.aspx).  It shows apps as well.  The start screen is one place where things come together.  In the videos we show common "dialogs" (file open), menus, app switching, and more.  Even then there is much more to Metro style than the visuals folks have spent a lot of time on in previous posts.  We can do better discussing what is going on and will continue — there's a lot here and being open now is helpful to everyone and is also not always easy for everyone 🙂  It is easy to drive into static images and analyze them, but when a system is moving and fluid it can be a bit like trying to figure out the plot of a movie from a still.


  101. Right now, I'm not criticizing much about the new UI and the current ribbon thing because there're still early at the development and also room for changes. However, if it get into RC without any improvement (appearance as well as performance, compatibility. or bugs) so this will be the problem. When I looked at Windows 8, the way and the philosophy of Windows team about user experience. I got a sense that they always honor our feedback however with the big "BUT"  after that it seems like rejecting everything from us. When Microsoft developed Vista, it took five years and of course millions of  negative feedback and comments thrown at their desk and asked them for changes but they had the same attitude as they might have know in developing W8 until they realized vista's fault could not be forgiven and began making windows 7 as a "Life Buoy".

    If this kind of attitude truly exists in the teams it needs to go away or the pattern will be:

    Vista-failed –>Seven -success–>Eight-Failed–>Nine- success????

    Nine may be the good candidate as seven however at the time vista failed there were not many competitors out there for Microsoft but right now Mac's gaining market share and all other tablet OS…Microsoft may not have that luck in windows 9 as they did with windows 7.

    So I'm waiting for improvement now.

  102. raymond says:

    First off I think you guys really need to think about the user and the tablet. Specifically how metro start screen will look like vertically (portrait mode) view…because I know as a person that rides subways most people do not hold the tablet horizontally(landscape mode) and I have yet to see a video or any details on what will happen when the tablet is no longer in horizontal landscape mode. The metro interface must look appealing in that situation as well. To be honest you guys need to work on the metro touch interface. It looks nothing like the phone and while that is good it also makes it super boring looking. It just looks like a bunch of boxed icons. To be honest I don't really like the shape of the tiles. It's super sharp and super straight. It looks very boring basically. The tiles should either be round or maybe not even bounded by a box and feel more alive. They look dead at the moment. On the phone this sort of works better because it's a smaller space. But here we have a much bigger screen and it feels like the tiles are just there to be there doesn't seem there is as much consideration for space and layout or grids.

    On to the point of this blog post. I actually don't think there is any problem switching from metro touch ui to desktop ui as long as it is ULTRA FAST. I actually don't mind having the option to switch on a tablet it's a pain though as you can imagine. They aren't as powerful and the constant updates will be a pain. On the desktop with a HP touch-smart I actually don't mind all that much. The problem of the switch on the tablet is all about the security and the speed at switch you can switch at will. If it's slow and you have to constantly update windows 8 desktop people will find it a pain to use even with the benefits.

    The bigger issue though is not about the ability to switch to desktop as I stated earlier this is not a bad idea. In fact for a normal desktop PC this is a pretty good idea as long as it is fast and doesn't require security updates. However it's what you see when you switch that is the part that is jarring. You get a aero-based desktop which is nice but does not go with the metro styled touch UI. It is a difficult task the aero is not bad it's just needs work on but do not try to make it what it is not which is flat. The metro UI is what people want to see in the desktop because it makes it much less awkward when you switch. I do agree with it but then you would have to find a way to make metro less flat. Because the flat metro only really works on the phone. On a computer you have people that like to customize the look of their desktop it has to be legible, also metro lacks in some functionality for desktop, and in the face of being usable it still is far from it. Will it be a change? Definitely but so far with ribbon and aero I haven't seen something that is designed well. Aesthetics, functionality, and usability are all lost in the new aero + ribbon design. With the metro design you will need to work on those as well but at least it will make for a much more seamless transition from touch ui to desktop. Now it's quit awkward and offensive.

    Frankly the pinned icons also need some work from a design perspective it's ugly. Only when you press on the program do you see it selected. When you hover it's barely visible same issue on metro ui. But also what is up with things being left aligned? A good thing is to add what the zune software has full-screen, minimized on default, Re-sizing indication.

    Most importantly you have to work on modernizing the desktop without compromising beauty, functionality and usability or user-friendliness.

  103. Alireza Noori says:

    Great job. I completely agree with your approcach. It's like having boht PC and Tablet in a single device.

    The important thing to notice is that we didn't ask you to turn all of the desktop experience to Metro. What I personally would LOVE to see, is 2 additional Visual Styles (Themes) one light and one dark that take the Windows 7 desktop closer to Metro look. If you look at the, you'll see many of them available. Here's the one I'm using right now:…/visualstyle

    Why you as designers of Metro, shouldn't create a Metro Visual Style?

    The thing with your work is that your ideas are awesome but you don't do it completely:

    1- You notice that file copy experience needs some changes but you don't enable queue in it!!

    2- You add support for ISO and VHD files but you don't support other images and RAR and 7Zips.

    3- You create Metro but you don't apply a Metro Visual Style to it.

    Come on guys. You are awesome, why not doing it perfect?

  104. Ben says:

    When can we expect a beta? At the build or just a developer preview?

  105. Does Metro UI have portrait mode or just landscape?

  106. Robert4WPF says:

    Steve, you should have posted this BEFORE the Explorer article, it would have cut the negative comments down a lot.  The new Explorer makes more sense if it is not intended to be part of the new Metro UI.  I wish you luck in doing it in a way that still feels like an integrated platform.  

    A few suggestions:

    1) I'll add my voice to the other begging for the ability to set the traditional desktop as the default UI; we need this to support legacy software on single-purpose computers (ie HMI/SCADA).

    2) Make good use of multi-monitor systems; I've got four monitors, and #4 is right now mostly showing Gadgets for lack of anything better.  It'd be great to have the Metro UI up on that monitor while I'm using traditional desktop apps on the other three.  This is especially true if I upgrade that monitor to a multitouch display.

    3) Make us developers very happy and support .NET/XAML in the new UI

    4) Make us developers even happier and support as many of the new APIs as possible on Win7, so we can adopt them now instead of 2015 (come on man, give me a reason to tell my management we *have* to drop XP support!)

    You're hitting a home run by having the Tablet OS based on existing Desktop OS; we've been held back from tablets and phones all along by our huge C++ and C# codebase that depends on Win32 and full .NET framework.  The possibility of leveraging that code moves Tablet apps from the expensive experimental R&D category to the "just do it" easy category.

  107. Thanks Mr. Sinofsky and Windows team for opening up this blog, it's much appreciated. I particularly appreciate the tone set in many posts. Some complained, amazingly to me, that you used the word "humble" more than once at the opening of a couple posts, such as:

    <It is definitely humbling to see all the enthusiasm and interest.

    Building the next release of Microsoft Windows is an industry-wide effort that Microsoft approaches with a strong sense of responsibility and humility.>

    Since there has a been, obviously, some major dissatisfaction amongst developers concerning some messages being put out concerning the role, or not, of .NET technologies in the new cool Windows 8 (alongside great enthusiasm for all the rest of it!), I just wanted to say first: Thanks for setting that tone, and for allowing this dialogue. It is very late, but having this up many weeks prior to BUILD is better than nothing.

    I wanted to make this a separate point first.

  108. As long as you have another method of app switching that doesn't involve blindnessly swiping until I find the app I want then I will be extremely happy to use Windows 8 on my next tablet, ribbon explorer on my desktop? Not so much. :p

  109. @Steven Sinofsky

    I don't think anyone would complain at the approach your taking in terms of the 2 UIs and providing Win8 users with a complete and diverse OS instead of a one dimensional OS like an iPad…the problem comes from the VISUAL CONSISTENCY or lack their of by trying to fit Metro together with Aero. Simply put, they do NOT go together. As is, Windows 8 will appear to the vast majority of users as a Metro skin on top of Windows 7.

    I agree with everything talked about so far from the way copying files now works, to ribbon and the functionality it brings…everything except the LOOK of it. You say you don't want to completely change the desktop (even though you have in a way by adding ribbon to explorer), but I see no reason why you couldn't get the team to make a more Metro-like theme to go along with Aero. Even if the Metro theme isn't the default one, it would be a mistake to ship Windows 8 without a better way to blend both UIs.  

    IMO, input methods only determine the the layout and style of a UI, not the design language. It is possible to keep one design language regardless of input method. Metro can work just as good with touch as it does with K&M, gamepad, Kinect etc. Please take some of the principles of Metro and apply it to the desktop…thats all we're saying. I don't want to see a colorful, chromed out, shadowy, glassified desktop next to my very modern, flat, typography centric OS.

  110. @Steven Sinofsky

    To make it similar to windows 8, the next Windows SERVER OS will be called by the number like 8,9,10 not  year like windows sever 2008 anymore?

  111. Mars says:

    Here is my problem. I do not want a phone interface on my computer. I run "apps" on my phone, I use my desktop to run applications and software. There is nothing innovative about this UI. There is nothing new or amazing here. If I am required to boot up my computer and then immediately turn off the Metro style so that I can actually make use of the functionality of my PC then the first thing I will be doing in pulling out my Windows 7 DVD and re-install a new OS. If you are going to be redesigning the UI then start with something fresh and not just a rehash of your existing phone UI.

  112. John says:

    Great to read the shell is finally improving from the Win95 UI, which was revolutionary at the time. Should have happended long ago but better late than never.

    I hope for the same architectural design as with WP7 but much more advanced of course. It takes a different approach and will require people to adjust to a better way of interaction with devices. But that is OK, people will agree it was for the better.

  113. @Mars

    i think Standard applications like Office, Photoshop and so on will get optimized for the new UI.

    So we have not to worry about that. We haven't seen that much.

    Let's see whats coming. 😉

  114. Tina says:

    Your comments are so impressive! I agree with almost every single contribution here.

  115. @Steven Sinofsky

    2 questions:

    Since you're also president of windows live division, so will the next wave (wave 5) of windows live essential be introduced at BUILD with its new features and  integration into Windows 8 explorer and new Metro UI? I love to see picture, mail, blog, and movie editor integrated into new Metro UI as well.

    Will the next MS Office (office 15) be launch the same time with windows 8 like windows vista and office 2007? If so that would be great too!

  116. Matt_London says:

    I never thought I would see such improvements going into the UI – TBH I stayed with XP because Windows 7 (Nice as it was) didn't offer me much – Windows 8 looks amazing, so many more ways to work with my files and that is the most important thing to me.

  117. Asbjørn says:

    Echoing earlier comments, consistency is paramount. Windows has never been good at it and if you truly want to keep Aero around in the classic desktop while having a new Metro-styled experience, you have reached a new low. Besides, a UI refresh is overdue, anyway.

    I fully understand the need to keep the existing UI structure, but *please* don't keep the existing styling. Metro can be applied to the existing UI (isn't that the whole point of the theme system?). Judging from the look of the title bar buttons in recent screenshots, a new look is underway.

    Otherwise, I must say I am impressed with what you have shown of Windows 8 (maybe except the ribbon Explorer, but I'll reserve judgement on that until I have tried it). Rethinking basic things like file copy is exactly what Windows needs. Please do more of that. Lots of UI hasn't been touched in 10-15 years and is in dire need of an overhaul.

  118. @Bastian92

    Photoshop, C.S suite interface and components are heavily built by many different API, platform such as Air applications so it will be extremely difficult and costly for them the remake it for only windows 8 because they still support windows xp, vista and 7 so building the suite including Photoshop that support across platform will be easier and much less expensive. However I will keep eyes on Office 15 and wave 5 of Windows live essential because Microsoft  builds Windows 8 and they're of course the first one know what to do with Office too. Hope Office and Windows division will work together on that.

  119. raymond says:

    with metro you need dimension. It might look nice against a solid color background on the phone but I doubt it can hold up flat with illegible typography unless you guys work on giving it some sort of shading, shadows, gradients to really make the stuff visible to users. A good example of a beautiful design but lacking in usability and user-friendliness is the zune software especially with their transition to a more metro style as of late. Before when there was dimension to the buttons and typography you could actually see it better. But anyway after the dimensions the usability and user-friendliness of zune software shows what you need to work on. It is not easy to use zune-software and a lot of the functions are confusing. In fact you are repeating that mistake. With the ribbon it is only making things much more confusing. I am saying this because I've used office and to be honest all of the functions I knew about took me twice as long to relearn just to do the same thing that previously only took me 1 step. On top of the fact that the ribbon is a form of bad design and bad functionality it doesn't even look beautiful to make up for it. There is a way to make metro the new desktop but that requires designers to have a vision and probably an eye for design. You guys need someone with real vision and real ideas to lead the windows experience team. So far of all the years since 95 the only time where there was actual breakthrough which is windows 7 and that took 10 years. XP was nice but frankly was never ground breaking. Yes it improved on some experiences. But overall mostly just looked like a nicer skin.  On top of the ugly task bar that was windows 95

  120. Chris says:

    The first question that popped into my head was: What is going to happen when you have programs set to autostart?  Especially ones that tend to have dialog boxes on startup (e.g. ActivClient when no smart card reader is present) or ones that open their main window on launch (most messengers).  Are these going to cause a jarringly sudden wrench into the Desktop from the Start Screen?  I hope while this is looked into the behaviour of notifications and pop-ups auto-stealing focus can be squashed as well.  One way to manage this may be to set pop-ups/ notifications to "Always on top" but also keeping the current focus preserved. This way the notification is certain to be seen but doesn't interrupt the users train of thought (especially when typing).

    Do startup items now have two distinct locations in the registry, one for desktop and one for Start Screen, and are only launched upon launch of one interface or the other?

    You mentioned that the processes in the Desktop interface did not use resources until launched: "literally the code will not be loaded"; how is this managed? Are they completely held from launching till the switch, kind of like a second boot-up? When you do switch from one interface to the other, are the programs, apps and processes put into sleep or hibernate mode until you switch back?  

    I like the direction overall that Microsoft has chosen for Windows "8".  From the ribbon to the touch friendly interfaces, the flexibility of being able to use all of the old hardware and software we have invested so much into in the past, while also looking forward to new user paradigms creates a great transition environment.  (Until everything shifts more to 'Natural' user interfaces over the next few years – Win9? =P)

    I hope to see a blog on NUI and what you have done so far in "8", such as more, and better touch gestures, and especially with Kinect!  

    This also brings to mind…will Microsoft be more strict with Windows "8" hardware the way they are with Windows Phone 7?  (i.e. Better touchpads and webcams for laptops; must meet certain use time on battery, boot time, etc.)

  121. Are there touch-focused improvements being made to the "Windows Classic" mode?  Though I image most tablet users, while on the go, will use the metro interface primarily, diving in to classic mode in a pinch can be useful.  Granted, I am not going to want to fire up visual studio for a programming session on a touch screen (that's where dockability is important), though opening and scanning a Visual Studio project using touch could be useful.  No, I don't pretend that is typical WIndows user behavior.

    How usable is the ribbon interface on touch screens (perhaps this reveals my ignorance of Windows 7 slate usability).

    I think the fact that you have a full-power laptop in a dockable tablet format with a proper touch interface (Metro) is powerful, and plays to Microsoft strengths.  A shame I am not in LA during the BUILD conference.

  122. aretzios says:

    I have to say that I am distressed with this change.  It offers little new and takes away valuable visual space in my large monitor.  Why do I need these huge tiles on a 30'' inch monitor?  Why do I need these tiles even of a 15.4'' screen in a laptop?  What do they offer that could not have been obtainable with the current desktop gadgets?  Design beauty?  Pleaaaaseee!!

    I have news for your team.  I do not like Metro much (and I am sure that I am not alone).  It may be fine for small tablets and cell phones, but it is not what I want to do with laptops and large desktops.  I much prefer the simplicity of Win7.  When I get to those machines, I want to do some useful work and I want the interface out of my way.  I do not care about "immersive" or any such nonsense.  I, and many others, do not play with computers. Do not design any interface that cannot be removed or drastically changed.

    The advantage of Windows machines was that we could mold the interface around our needs.  Keep it simple.  If I need a cell phone, I am going to buy one.  I do not need it in my OS

  123. raymond says:

    another thing that is good is if you can completely hid the ribbon mode and revert make to text menu and what it used to be like in windows 7. If I cannot remove it the least I want is to have it not be there at all if I don't want.

  124. Joe says:

    To all of you freaking about the new UI, hold your horses. What weve seen so far is a small glimpse of the final product. Reserve your judgement till Build, when we have a clearer picture

  125. Joe says:

    To all of you freaking about the new UI, hold your horses. What weve seen so far is a small glimpse of the final product. Reserve your judgement till Build, when we have a clearer picture

  126. Neil says:

    You could drink the Microsoft coolaid and believe the article that Microsoft have 'innovated' something new with a seamlessly switchable full Windows/Pad envirnment.

    You could wait for August next year for Windows 8 then pay big bucks to get it.

    Or… you could just download Ubuntu right now for free, which already has had the ability to select either a full desktop or a tablet interface since April.

  127. /*==1==*/

    After reading this newest post (Designing for Metro style and the desktop), as a .NET WPF/C# developer, I can only say that I am more concerned, once again, that .NET/XAML technologies are not going to be first class citizens in what you just called the "new Metro style apps." You also just called it a "platform": "…if you prefer to immerse yourself in only Metro style apps (and platform) …"

    Unfortunately, in the last couple months, the deluge of concern that has been expressed by .NET developers has only been met by deafening silence. But one reason for that may be that you may think we have only over-reacted. It was particularly to confront that possible conclusion that I wrote my "Open Plea by Silverlight / WPF Devs for Full Windows 8 Support in Addition to HTML5" ( That it has been read over 3 million times (which I'm totally humbled by) does say it struck a cord (the comments make it clear that what I wrote expressed many of our sentiments).

    One of my main goals was to lay out the case, *in a respectful manner*,  that we have very good reason to be concerned, cheifly because all of what has been said has strongly intimated that the "new platform" for Metro Windows 8 apps will be "apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript" … EXCLUSIVELY! After reading this new post, it seems like the message hasn't changed. Just like, despite 2+ months of roaring concern expressed by your loyal developers, the BUILD site still says:

    “…the new app model that allows you to create powerful new apps. All while retaining the ability to use your existing [legacy] apps [on the legacy desktop, shut off from Metro coolness?]. Web-connected and web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript [that] have access to the power of the PC.”

    Also, I posted that letter on the Silverlight forum, not because I have done much with Silverlight, but because WPF DOESN'T HAVE any such vibrant online presense. And Windows was of course doing almost nothing with XAML technologies either, so we had good reason to fear that this wonderful framework, which YOU GUYS blessed us all with, the best in the world, was going to pot, never given much love…

  128. Daily windows 8 news…

    Good news.

    Everyday since a couple of days, I read this blog, waiting for news about. Really like what is shown.

    When Windows 7.1 beta release?

  129. Wayne says:

    Really not looking forward to Windows 8. The more I see and the more that Microsoft explains, the more I think that Windows 7 is the last program that I buy from the company. Definitely not looking forward to the costs involved in switching OSes, even to a free OS like Linux, but every blog entry seems to say that Microsoft is not in touch with their customer base and has no idea how to regain marketshare. Every post seems to lose the advances made in Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9 in terms of interface and UI design.

    I'll definitely withhold final judgement until I can actually play with it but right now the prognosis doesn't look good.

  130. Wayne says:

    Really not looking forward to Windows 8. The more I see and the more that Microsoft explains, the more I think that Windows 7 is the last program that I buy from the company. Definitely not looking forward to the costs involved in switching OSes, even to a free OS like Linux, but every blog entry seems to say that Microsoft is not in touch with their customer base and has no idea how to regain marketshare. Every post seems to lose the advances made in Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9 in terms of interface and UI design.

    I'll definitely withhold final judgement until I can actually play with it but right now the prognosis doesn't look good.

  131. @ Alewind

    Before this week, everything posted couple of days after the previous one. I'm exciting to see new post everyday like this. Hope the team will share more demos and experience that they have in building windows 8:)))

    Oh- Alewind: this is Windows 8 not 7.1:))))

  132. /*==2==*/

    "The new app model… built using HTML5 and JavaScript…"

    It really is fantastic to see a XAML team with Windows. But we also have ears and eyes. We see that you guys have over and over described the new Windows 8 touch / Metro side of things (which I love and want to be part of) EXCLUSIVELY as a HTML/JS platform. I wrote this a couple months ago (, "'HTML5 is the future,' more details emerge":

    More depressing details emerge that all seem to say : 'HTML5 is the future' for Windows 8 "modern applications" (yes, they are now what is called 'modern'). And not one, not one mention of .NET, WPF, or Silverlight. The BUILD conference site has an article ([now defunct link]) linking to this June 2 presentation ( by Microsoft Corporate Vice President Mike Angiulo who "demonstrates “Windows 8” at … COMPUTEX 2011, June 2, 2011." …you hear this constant beat of: HTML5/JS, HTML5/JS, HTML5/JS… *exclusively*:

    "all of the sensor access is part of the new development platform. So developers, using HTML and JavaScript, will actually be able to write apps, and take advantage of the sensor hardware…"

    "because hardware accelerated HTML is at the basis of the Windows 8 developer platform. So if I go to launch one of those modern applications…" [Wow. Like I said, we do have ears and eyes. ***HTML*** is "at the basis of the Windows 8 developer platform"?!?!?. *******NOT*******: "one of the important frameworks at the basis of…"]

    So when you now, Mr. Sinofsky, speak of this also as a "platform", I of course am going to connect that with these oft repeated statements that "HTML is at the basis of the Windows 8 developer platform."

    I ended that Open Plea saying: "I am hopeful that our concerns our being heard, and that the future of all this could turn out pretty cool in the end." That sentiment has been vindicated in part by the talk of a XAML team. But to date, all of the information has proclaimed that this "new platform" is purely a HTML5/JS app platform. It seems like something very disfunctional, to be producing something we could all be very excited about (XAML / C# as first class citizens, native and faster stuff integrated with .NET, cool cool), but then to essentially lie to all of us saying that HTML5 is soley it. "The new app model… built using HTML5 and JavaScript…" Why lie if the lie doesn't even help you guys? and only offends your very good friends?

  133. will says:

    I like 3D fully Glassy aero interface look

  134. domenicoav says:

    Awesome tablet with Windows 7 compatible for W8 😀

    Samsung Series 7 700T – Windows Tablet demo VIDEO #Awesome…/samsung-series-7-700t-windows-tablet-demo-video-awesome

  135. @Eclipsoft – I too am worried but I'm taking this approach, if Microsoft were discontinuing support for .NET/WPF/SL they would have said so ages ago, I refuse to believe that they would leave us wondering for 3+ months on the fate of a platform we have spent years mastering. As a company that needs developers in order to succeed that would be suicide and as a result I believe that rather than spoil the surprise they are making us wait like that are all other information regarding Windows 8.

    If it's the opposite however, well then I'd hate to be the person that made that decision.

  136. I was pretty sure about. All you said Mr Sinofsky, I could write 'em alone. Every word. Pretty wise, obviously.

    Some guys mentioning the difference/relation of both designs; Metro and Desktop. We've seen already some images, containing a fully squared Desktop design and flat. Personally, it's all I'd like… Fully squared and flat! Those images are all perfect. IE 9 is arleady "squared" and maybe you did it on purpose… I hope so! Just remove the curves, since the Metro is totally squared! Enough with those curves!  

    A very few things there are that I can say "can't wait". Windows 8 beta is one of these! Battlefield 3 is the other -hehe! Nothing else.

  137. Rick Fleming says:

    Hopefully this is not a complete separation where "Desktop Windows 7" runs in it's own space separated off from the rest of the platform and the new "Metro Windows 8" is the parent on bare metal OS and is locked down having to be rooted in order to gain admin access to the real OS/hardware.  Kind of like palladium coming back to haunt by allowing for compatibility in the "Virtualized Desktop" but bring along all the "Not trusting user" in "Metro".  That would be disappointing.

  138. Hi Steven

    My intention is to show that Windows Explorer can sport a Ribbon, without compromising the design.

    I made a design inspired by a mix between Metro and Aero Glass together, because I think I understand the points in your current post

    I've been working in a concept; please take a look here:…/Windows8ExplorerConcept1.1.jpg

    In the concept, you can see a "personalize" tab, and the explanation of what it means it's below.

    I hope that the design team can see my concept an get inspiration from it.

    You can see the DeviantArt post here:…/Windows-8-Explorer-Ribbon-1-1-256053851


  139. You should make the new Start screen permanent and not optional, that way it's used by everyone on Windows and it can evolve to be even better with tons of new apps to come. If people have it turned off and just use the desktop version of it, the new Metro version of the UI will not have chance to shine. I hope the developers would want to create apps for Metro UI as much as to create for the original desktop version.

    I love the idea of original Windows going towards the concept of an application in the new start screen; however, I am little worried about the load time and boot time of the two different UIs. I hope they are super fast so that you don't have to wait to change between them.

  140. LudoMatico has something really nice to propose. The Windows team should seriously take this into account. It shows that it's possible to refresh the Areo Style in a quite simple manner.

  141. TheTechFan says:

    "And if you don’t want to do any of those “PC” things, then you don’t have to and you’re not paying for them in memory, battery life, or hardware requirements."


    This isn't entirely true.  While it may not use additional RAM or battery when not in use, the desktop does consume valuable storage space.  A clean install of Windows 7 takes up more than 8GB of my hard drive. This isn't a problem for desktop and laptop PCs, but on a tablet with limited flash memory, I really don't want multiple gigabytes to be allocated for the Windows Desktop (which, as you said, I may never use).

    What is being done to reduce the overall footprint of the OS (not just RAM and battery, but also storage requirements)?

  142. Ok, one of the tags to this article is "Aero", so I'll post this comment. All we saw the updated, Metro-style Aero theme in the demos, screenshots right here in the blog, and leaked Win8 builds after all. It looks fresh, but it's Metro. It contains square windows (I mean borders), Metro-style buttons etc. Of course, it's an impact of Metro design to desktop experience. But I know many people who just hate Meto style. I don't mean application and shell approach for touch, but the the basic UI design (the Metro style itself, the icons, the font, squares everywhere etc). So my question (and a desire) is: do you plan to provide the choice to decline the Metro style at all in desktop experience, so the user could use old, Windows 7 Aero theme without any Metro elements in the UI? Of course, it would be available by 3rd party themes, but would Microsoft provide it itself?

    Thank you, Raiker ( editor, author)

  143. I left a comment in the post about the new explorer suggesting to add the ability to split the  explorer into rows and columns, allowing you to have more than one path open in one explorer window. I have now added a metro look to go with the theme!

    original concept:…/colume%20UI%20disigne%20basic.png

    +Metro concept:…/colume%20UI%20disigne%20metro.png

    The active panel takes over the explorer (Address bar, Info fields etc.), while the inactive panels lower their alpha and saturation. The name of the folder is then displayed in the top left corner of the panels.

  144. I left a comment in the post about the new explorer suggesting to add the ability to split the  explorer into rows and columns, allowing you to have more than one path open in one explorer window. I have now added a metro look to go with the theme!

    original concept:…/colume%20UI%20disigne%20basic.png

    +Metro concept:…/colume%20UI%20disigne%20metro.png

    The active panel takes over the explorer (Address bar, Info fields etc.), while the inactive panels lower their alpha and saturation. The name of the folder is then displayed in the top left corner of the panels.

  145. Central Station says:

    What I would hope is that beauty and a crisp interface that emphasizes content is seen in the desktop experience as well, not just in the new metro interface.

    I like the ribbon concept but I would ask of you at Microsoft to make the experience look nice, not bulky and intimidating.

  146. I love the Metro UI and i want to completely immerse myself into Metro. I don't want the classic desktop if possible i want a fully metro desktop and i do like the idea of allowing users have the universal choice of having to choose between the original desktop and improved desktop. You know alot of people cannot accept change so it's good that you keep the Metro UI and original desktop consistent between each other. I can't wait to see the improved desktop. I love the idea of choosing not to see the desktop at all and just the improve because i know alot of people have been wishing and raving for Metro to be expanded to the desktop and i am one of those people so i know many, many, many people are happy with this decision and news. I'm very exciting about this and this news. If the improved desktop will have alot of Metro then i suggest making two hubs that one can switch between "Programs" and "docments" The programs being the main thing that appears during when on the desktop and one will be able to switch between documents you know the document shortcuts that one puts on there word documents, text files or whatever.

  147. Sam says:

    I would like to see a Metro window/taskbar theme included in the OS by default. For the times I want to work in the desktop environment and still have that aero feel.

  148. Senzune says:

    Me with my big mouth, making comments on the previous video while this blog entry has been made.

    Interesting to see how you folks are paying much attention to the design of Windows, instead of just the functionality. I'm very curious how it will turn out to be, but I'm confident you'll be able to make the Tablet mode and Desktop mode not feel any apart from each other at all, maintaining functionality of course.

    (And please fix the ribbon, it's cluttered and,,. well, yeah. I don't see how this would be of any more help to even entry-level users, over the context menu. )

  149. Tj says:

    Smaller boxes for the metro ui maybe?

  150. Tj says:

    Smaller boxes for the metro ui maybe?

  151. Sven K says:

    I hope you have also a setting to boot right to the desktop, without going through the metro start experience. I love metro on my Windows Phone and will love it on a tablet, but I don't want it on my desktop PC where I have to do serious work. My desktop is full of icons, files and folders of current work items, which is not possible in the metro experience. So please: Have an easy setting where I can switch between the metro start screen and the classic desktop as first screen after login. Thank you! Keep up the great work!

  152. bob says:

    LudoMatico, your concept is the best so far. I really like what you did there.

  153. temp says:

    @ludomatico actually we were all waiting to see windows 8 like your concept. Microsoft is pushing out metro style but looks like the windows team is years behind evolution.

  154. jehare says:

    Looking forward to using an OS that's flexible enough to be used in both the tablet and desktop environments!

  155. essensial says:

    Steven you should make #windows8 Metro UI kind of 3D looking and it will resonate with MORE people…because living in the Applesque design era it looks a bit cheap and "flat"…it will still look different but more of an "eye candy" if that makes sense…

  156. Paul says:

    Wayne, I agree – Microsoft has gotten carried away with this tablet fad. Tablets are the fashion toy of the moment and nothing else. They are going to destroy their entire product and marginalise the majority of their customers by appealing to this highly vocal geek minority who will follow whatever geek fashion trend is in at the moment. The tablet fad will end and we will be left with a clunky two-tier UI that is going to confuse the hell out of any new novice computer user.

  157. Love it! Great job!

  158. Paul O says:

    Thanks, Steven. I agree with J45EPR at 31 Aug 2011 8:12 AM. The Aero UI needs to have some slight styling changes to match the new Metro look.

  159. HandNF says:

    This looks pretty exciting. Although you haven't actually told us any specifics, it is good to know that a switch to my power user Photoshop isn't too far away while I can play Fruit Ninja in Metro.

    This is getting me pumped up for BUILD.

  160. Lector says:

    Nice writing. The only "black stain" in this fascinating development process is that monstrosity called "ribbon as improvement in Windows Explorer".

  161. cauleyflower says:

    I plead with you Microsoft not to destroy what is currently an excellent product by bodging what is essentially a mobile phone UI onto a desktop OS – this is the wrong approach IMO. Windows Aero has a timeless beauty and I do not wish to see "metro" at all. I do not want to have to "swipe" across the screen with my mouse, nor do I want large tiles or a full screen start menu – this simply is not an efficient way of using a mouse.

    This idea of having multiple user interfaces is also going to be outright confusing to new novice users. IMO you actually had the correct approach to addressing touch input needs with Windows 7, only it was executed poorly. It makes more sense to have the same recognisable and universal UI, but make that UI more DYNAMIC to the type of input that is being received. e.g. have the standard windows UI, but when a touch input is detected UI controls should scale up in a "morph" animation to a size and form that is suited to touch input – when mouse input is detected again, then the UI controls should morph and scale back down to their normal size and form.

  162. Marcus says:

    isn't a balancing act and a compromise the same thing???

  163. Marcus says:

    Are you at least going to give the two interfaces a consistent style??? Having the two interfaces are fair enough but are they going to clash graphically with each other as much as they do now? Will the explorer have the same flat icons and design? I don't see why we still need to be using manilla folders in the 21st century. I would say most people using Windows have never even seen a manilla folder. I always found Aero ugly. Too much transparency and ugly, dull colours. Not beautiful at all. Metro looks much more exciting, clean and modern.

  164. Elijah says:

    Please just let a desktop OS be a great desktop OS. Trying to be all things to all devices will only lead to confusion and more problems later. Do one thing and do it well.

    Dont you think that during daily use most of us won't have to switch back and forth between your fancy new icon grid and an "app" that was the old OS? That is not a cohesive experience, or even a cohesive solution that is an OS.

    Explain it to mom. Oh, for that particular function or app, you'll need to go to the desktop. And then find the app. And then launch it. And then close it and close out of the desktop. Son, whats a desktop? Aren't I already sitting at it?

    People have enough trouble understanding PCs as it is. Having two wholly separate modes of operation… yeah. This talk of the desktop as an app feels like XP mode to me. Speaking of, will that still be around? Kidding.

    Please… please just focus on making the desktop work better and make more sense without having to feel like you need to reinvent the entire desktop OS (or half of it anyway) because of the iPad. Your improvements to Explorer and the like are the things that will actually help people use their PCs more effectively IMO.

    If you like the pretty look of Metro and want to use it to spruce up the OS enough to get people excited about buying another new version, by all means, go for it. Just don't split the OS down the middle to do so.

  165. Rex says:

    I think consistency is very important. While you guys should definitely preserve the overall layout and feel of the traditional windows desktop, it would be great to see the UI's look re-imagined with nothing but metro. I think that most problems with stylistic consistency would be solved just by making explorer icons simpler and monochromatic.

  166. No Compromise is like music to my ears. I Love Windows 7 and I love my Windows Phone 7 but each for very different reasons and uses. Having both in one device would be tremendous!

    broccauley brings up a good point that having two interfaces can be confusing for Novices. I can already see the numerous phone calls coming my way from in-laws, grandparents and friends:

    "I used to go to my email by pressing this big square rectangle that said mail but now I have to press a little e just like with my old Dell and type into the address bar. Why is it changing on me and broken??? HELP!!!"

    The process of switching between UI's needs to be clean and OBVIOUS.

    Love the work the team is doing though!

  167. @nowuniverse

    I mean that photoshop could run in the Metro UI ecosystem, but still have their own UI, but runs in fullscreen mode and would fit. No explorer, that is would i think.

    I know you cannot optimize photoshop for touch only, because you cannot mange to get a higher dpi with fingers, we will still need a mouse.

  168. Good job , Mr.Steven how about games and how about to see programs we installed from the new startmenu , if can pls enable the old start menu in like in WIndows 7 , so 2 start menu the new metro Ui and traditional startmenu

    pls , reply mr.steven pls

  169. Yaume says:

    Okay, this is a classic desktop with aero vs a apps desktop with métro.

    Si, what ajout Windows 8 vs Windows phone 8 ?


  170. Adrianimapc says:

    I have three words: I LOVE IT!

    This new Metro look makes Mac OS X Lion look like ***!!!

    I wanna thank you for your hard work and wish you only the best!

    Also I made a concept in photoshop:

  171. The8Guy says:

    Now, Mac OS X Lion look like s**t!!!

  172. elroka says:

    I think you are doing a great job, i understand the need for the 2 UIs but why not also create a flat Metro style theme for Aero? Flat colours, alpha channels, Aero but Metro? This could help the "jarring" transition effect some people have mentioned for those that want it… Has this idea been toyed with?

    Anyway great job, look forward to playing with the developer preview build! Please don't make us wait til the beta to get involved!

  173. elroka says:

    I think you are doing a great job, i understand the need for the 2 UIs but why not also create a flat Metro style theme for Aero? Flat colours, alpha channels, Aero but Metro? This could help the "jarring" transition effect some people have mentioned for those that want it… Has this idea been toyed with?

    Anyway great job, look forward to playing with the developer preview build! Please don't make us wait til the beta to get involved!

  174. I have one question: Will C# remain a programming language only for desktop, or there will be an API for the Metro UI?

  175. @elroka — yes of course.  we have never done "styling" in the early builds or dialogs.  I should have said something along these lines.

  176. Good job , Mr.Steven how about games and how about to see programs we installed from the new startmenu , if can pls enable the WIndows 7 startmenu style , so 2 start menu the new metro Ui and traditional startmenu

    very pls , reply mr.steven pls

  177. Good job , Mr.Steven how about games and how about to see programs we installed from the new startmenu , if can pls enable the WIndows 7 startmenu style , so 2 start menu the new metro Ui and traditional startmenu

    very pls , reply mr.steven pls

  178. Good job , Mr.Steven how about games and how about to see programs we installed from the new startmenu , if can pls enable the old start menu in like in WIndows 7 , so 2 start menu the new metro Ui and traditional startmenu , also wht is the system requirements for Windows 8

    pls , reply mr.steven pls , i need your help thanx 4 the reply

  179. Good job , Mr.Steven how about games and how about to see programs we installed from the new startmenu , if can pls enable the old start menu in like in WIndows 7 , so 2 start menu the new metro Ui and traditional startmenu , also wht is the system requirements for Windows 8

    pls , reply mr.steven pls , i need your help thanx 4 the reply

  180. Marcus says:

    when are you guys going to leave behind legacy support and build windows either from scratch, with no considerations about compatibility, building it the way it should be. or removing all the legacy support, keeping the newer components, and replacing the old components, with no compatibility in mind?

    The platform is utter ***. no offence Steven Sinofsky, but we ALL know this has to happen. it's just when.

  181. superpc says:

    i see that a lot of people say the aero themed desktop should look more similar to metro. but how about making metro carry some aero element? i mean look at the metro it looked sparse. some of us still like desktop wallpaper and the metro theme would still look good with wallpaper. how about sharing the same wallpaper in metro and desktop ui while at the same time making the metro have transparency element that aero was famous for. that would make the whole thing look better i think.

  182. Michael H says:

    In earnest, then, will it be possible to load the legacy desktop code but not run it until I choose to? To run two shells side-by-side? To turn Metro on for tablet use, launch the legacy desktop when I dock the tablet on my desk and shut down Metro?

  183. Hadi Mulyadi says:

    I thought i go to this blog to get Windows 8 Metro UI guidelines

  184. Kosiek says:

    Steven, you're wrong. I mean: you wrote "no compromise design", and made a COMPROMISED design. At the moment, Windows 8 is stuck between Aero Glass and Metro. It's bad, really bad. How do you imagine working with two completely different UIs? The relation Aero-Immersive really, really sucks.

    Have you even had thought about joining Aero Glass and Metro together and creating something a la Metro Glass? Come on, how hard can it be? Combining the wallpapers, glass effects, desktop gadgets with Live Tiles, new tab-font design, Metro font, and redesigning the Start Menu to something like GNOME 3 would be the best IMO…

    Guys… you've been trough that. You've already made Vista. Don't make another one. You don't have to let the new ribbon, Immersive and dialogs go, just connect it all together using Metro…

  185. Narglix says:

    It's time for Microsoft to make a new generation OS and the UI follows with him. If poeple want to have the old desktop, let them use the good windows 7 OS. Nothing prevents to have a viritualised desktop, "Windows 7 mode", if we need the old stuff.

    Microsoft have the possibility to build an interface on a table or anything else we can do everything. Don't let the this chance go away. Instead you probably loose the battle against Google and Apple.

  186. Cedric says:

    I like the way a "tablet-like" device could be merged with a full desktop experience. I'm already dreaming a my tablet being able to transform to a desktop (when arriving at the office) but just plugging in my tablet in a cradle, for instance.

    But, as a developer, I'm spending hours on a real desktop. And you know what is one of my favorite feature in Win7 (well, in Vista, too): it's the start menu search box. Well, how I use it? I just hit the win key of my keyboard and enter the name of my app, the file i want to search or even a path on the network using an UNC.

    Is this still possible in Win8?

  187. riezebosch says:

    When touching the API's, please fix the max path length limit!

  188. DanglingPointer says:

    WinTeam, please — for the love of mankind — provide us with the native spellchecker service in WindOS8… so the apps like IE10, Notepad, yada yada — also the thrid party apps — can take advantage !!

  189. Oliver says:

    I like the metro-style. I like it on my Windows Phone and I would like it on my PC. But I just watched the video # 1 (Jensen Harris gives an overview of Windows 8). I will not spend the most time with "apps", photos or tweets. I primarily use "real" applications such as Word. The video shows that the surface will change to a normal Windows 7, when Word is launched. And how J45EPR (Aug. 31, 2011 8:12 am) already said, it feels a bit out of place. Are there any ideas to fill this gap? This reminds me slightly of the time when Windows 3 was screwed on MSDOS. All in all, you are on the right track! Keep it up!

  190. 6205 says:

    WIndows 7 explorer was much prietier. It was clean, simple, nice. You could add option to modify blue command bar to add/remove commands and it would be enough. This mess is terrible. From clean, simple and polished UI you are going back to overcomplicated mess…

  191. uhmmm says:

    Let me tell you what users want. We want unlocked OS for 3rd party visual styles. No more uxtheme patching.

    Be more friendly to our community, show us that you care and unlock the system. Oh… you can't? Why? Because you are evil Microsoft and you does not give a damn what users want…

  192. Flo says:

    The wow starts now! 😀 Exciting stuff!

  193. Now the only thing whats missing to reimagine Windows is a Startup tone, which sounds so cool like the one from Win95. Than i will say WOW.

  194. sxrosesx says:

    Hello there can you plz increase font size of this blog its too small to read eyes r hurting 🙁

  195. 6205 says:

    LudoMatico@ Very nice concept…. some suggestions..

    – try to use aero buttons on that top glass frame, maybe with more blocky, metro styled design

    – try to change icons in explorer sidebar to simplier, monochrome ones

    – for selected Documents library in side pane try to use simple blue selection hilight in metro style, try same color like blue address bar background

    Microsoft@ Learn something already !

  196. babis says:

    i would like to ask whether there will be support for multitouch trackpads. i know that even win7 do that but i would like the whole experience to be more fluid like on smartphones and tablets. having used many multitouch trackpads i have come to the conclusion that the problem is the software not the hardware. i hate having to plug a usb mouse to all my notebooks. also if you could make the desktop more metro it would be nice. thanks in advance for your reply and your hard work.

  197. peter says:

    thank god, it stopped using windows years ago!

  198. Alireza Noori says:

    I think the problem with the MSFT people is that they all create all these feedback programs but they never listen to it. I have posted numerous posts in MSFT Connect regarding IE9 but I've seen none in action. Nobody even answers what they think. It seems that they completely ignore you!!

    I really hope the feedbacks provided in this blog dont share the same fate. So I respectfully ask you guys, please, PLEASE take a few days and discuss things that people are saying here. I agree with more than 80% of the feedback. Lots of people share the same requests. That's what you should pay attention to.

    Best regards.

  199. @Ryan LM and @LudoMatico:…/Windows8ExplorerConcept1.1.jpg

    I would be proud to have that as my UI. It exposes the actions without overwhelming the user in needless excess. This is an example of true 'balance' and not simply having two extremes in two different places… which is simply an 'act'.

    Of course it can be refined further and further, blending better with the final style of the metro parts of Win 8, as well as tweaking the context depending what the user is current doing, but for something that was created in what… a day or two?… just look at how much more coherent and elegant it is than the ribbon UI that has been shown so far.

    Hmm… in fact, let's see…




    Wow. Well done. Surely a big corporation full of geniuses and artists could create something equally as elegant and coherent to the rest of their own UI as what one designer can do in a day or two… right?

    @Steve Sinofsky

    I’m truly glad to hear that the immersive UI was built to be robust enough to never have to leave it. And I hope that turns out to be true. It’s one thing to state your goal is to be “no compromise” and another to actually achieve it.

    From the examples shown in this blog and much of the ‘logic’ used to explain the reasoning behind your choices, I can’t say I have much confidence that you are achieving that goal, but given other parts of Microsoft have shown what they can do lately, I’m at least willing to give the benefit of the doubt.

    That being said, there are still large glaring holes that are being ignored and a bit of ‘hand waving’ doesn’t make those issues disappear.

    For starters while the ‘best of both worlds’ – ‘no compromise’ of having two separate UI sounds great in typed in a blog, they don’t necessarily fix everything and, by having two UI, actually create new problems; you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Simply taking the examples of the ribbon UI and comparing them to Metro immersive UI shows that they are absolutely not analogous to each other and don’t even come close to being stylistically similar. While the latter can be remedied fairly easily (and I sincerely hope the examples shown so far are not final styling choice) the former is due to divergent design decisions, and are not nearly as easy or quick to remedy.

    A quick survey of family members and friends between these two UI’s coexisting and moving between them was met with repulsion and confusion. As they are presented so far in this blog these UI’s do not complement each other; they are separate; you have to choose to be in one or the other. Choice is great, except for when it comes with compromise. And even non-technical people can instantly [see my post on subconscious processing] pick up that there is a strong compromise in these two UI’s.

    These are ‘the’ average Windows user I’m talking about here; people who use it at work, who come home to do their daily tasks, and those who pass through their free with a Windows computer in front of them. They don’t ‘care’ about Metro or its benefits, or that the ribbon UI is capable of ‘exposing’ 200+ commands, or about the most effective method of exploring a file structure. Frankly if it wasn’t for me they’d never know these things even existed, let alone have names to describe them. All they care about is getting to whatever they were hoping to do as effortlessly as possible.

    So after getting their initial reactions between the two UIs and then going into further detail to explain the purpose of each; that the metro UI would be immersive like the videos I’d showed them of it being demoed and like my phone which ‘I never shut up about’; that it’s designed with a touch first UI so if you had a tablet you could interact with it with your finger easily – “Oh, like the iPad??” they’d ask, perking up. “…yes, like the iPad” I’d sullenly reply, “but, better.” – And then I would go on to explain that it was also designed to be used with a mouse and keyboard so you could use even on a computer that didn’t have a touch screen.

    After showing off more examples and videos – and of course showing off my phone some more – I went on to show them the ribbon UI for the new explorer in Windows 8, that: “this is what it will look like when you open your documents folder” and I opened the current Windows document folder so they could be refreshed on what it looks like now. I explained that it’s the same UI they’ve seen in Microsoft Office, like Word, and proceeded to explain the benefits as described in these blog posts. I explained the reasoning that was provided and even showed them the data of user actions.

    (Interestingly enough before talking to people about any of this, I did a quick test with each of them to see what they would do when they went to perform some of these top actions as well as ask them what they do the most when they are using the explorer window. Not surprisingly they mostly used the right click context menu to perform their actions, with a few people using keyboard short cuts, like the famous ‘ctrl + c’ ‘ctrl + v’, but the older and generally less tech savvy folks choose to open two windows and ‘drag’ and ‘drop’ files when trying to copy/paste or move items. I attribute this to them growing up and being used to the more ‘physical’ nature of files, moving them from folder to folder rather than the invisible concept of a clipboard which, as I can attest, they have been shown… repeatedly. When asked why they did each action the way they did, the responses were: “uh, it’s right there?” “it’s easy” “it’s quick and easy” “it’s simple” “it’s faster” “um I don’t know, I guess because my mouse is right there” and so on coming to my unceremoniously favorite: “because I wanted to move my file…?” Then when asked why they didn’t use the menu/command bar at the top instead I was met with, “why would I want to do that?” or “why would I want to move [sic: my mouse] all the way up there?” But what I found most interesting is the answer to ‘what did they do the most’ when they were in the explorer bar; it was unanimously: “searching/finding a file.” So there you have it, the most common thing average windows users do when in the explorer window is not a user action at all, it staring and searching for a particular file. Where was staring in that data of user actions? Oh right.)

    After an in-depth primer into the ribbon bar, I asked them what they thought about it and then about the ribbon UI and the explorer window in comparison to the immersive metro UI and finally about moving between the two. The responses were varied and mixed but clearly there was a lot of confusion. One thing stood out though, not a single person thought the Ribbon UI with the explorer looked particularly ‘good’, especially not in comparison to the beautiful and sleek metro UI. The reaction to comparing the two was an overwhelmingly reaction of shaking heads with a, what I would describe as, scrunched face of disgust; not unlike if you offered someone something rotten to eat. More than anything I got questions from their confusion between the two UI’s: “Why does [the legacy desktop] look like the old windows instead of this new [immersive UI]?” “Can you make the [ribbon UI] more like the colorful touch UI […metro ui, sigh]?” “How do I move files between the two UI’s? Like if I have a folder open on the desktop and I want to put it into something I’m doing in the other UI?” –uh, I don’t know actually. “If I’m using a touch screen device like an iPad [seriously again with the iPad??] and I want to use the tools from the [ribbon] one do I have to try to touch these small icons?” – hopefully not. “Because that would be tough.” – agreed.

    In the end from all the questions they asked and the way they reacted to all the examples I could find it’s clear to them that these two UI’s, as shown now, don’t really “work” together. And to say that it is “no compromise” isn’t really true, as while between the two you might add up to all the possible actions as user might want, when using either one you have to ‘compromise’ in some form. People felt that the ribbon didn’t look as friendly and easy as the immersive stuff looked (not to mention as attractive), and that if you wanted use an iPad like [sigh] tablet but wanted to use the desktop that the controls would be too small to touch, prompting the question “like, would I have to go get a mouse?” “Oh, or like a pen or stylus? Could you use that?” – That one, I’m proud to say and I’m sure a certain former founder of Microsoft would be proud to hear, came from a special maternal figure of mine 😉

    As for now; since the replies to the comments have been mostly “that’s nice, thanks for posting, we’re reading everything, but here’s why we’re going to continue regardless by overly generalizing what is being said and ignoring the valid points that have been made.”; all that is left is to wait until BUILD when people actually get see the whole thing and get to try it out for themselves. It will very quick and easy for people to get a real feel on how the “no compromise” the experience really is. And if the public response is still as negative and concerned as it is now, I wonder if Microsoft will remain as blasé to those concerns as they are now.

  200. Paul from Italy says:

    @Everyone who's thinking ribbon bars are too cumbersome

    This might shock you… prepare yourself:

    Magic, isn't it?

  201. When will be beta version of Windows 8?

  202. @Paul from Italy says:

    Is that an illusion or a real magic?

    +1 for spellchecker service/deamon in windows 8..

  203. Ian McLean says:

    Very eager to see what's going to be done with the artwork for the desktop UI. Really hoping you take a few cues from the Zune software UI, as it looks fantastic and just feels incredibly nice to use. Aero is okay but has served its time I think, and more importantly it looks very out of place next to the Metro styling used on the Start screen.

    The rest is looking really swell, explorer using a ribbon is a good decision in my opinion and I really can't fault what I've seen from a usability standpoint. Just some polish would be nice, such as cleaning up the styling of context menus and such to add consistency (from what I can see, there are at least 3 different styles of context menu — almost like there are three totally different frameworks in place that serve to do the exact same thing).

    Great work so far, like what I'm seeing.

  204. Mike says:

    what will happen with Windows Fax and Scan?

    do you improve that application?

    Either maybe a ribbon ui or metro ui?

    Because the old blue bar since Windows Vista, doesn't look that pretty and clean.

  205. @Paul from Italy

    Saying that you can always "remove it" does not support that it is, in fact, a good UI. Actually if removing the UI is a suggestion for improvement, than that supports the notion that there is work needed to be done on said UI.

  206. Online Market Research says:

    Very Cool collection!

    Thanks for this blog.

    For more info visit :

  207. John says:

    Windows 8 would be amazing with this concept:…/Windows-8-Explorer-Ribbon-1-1-256053851

    Function and design go together.

  208. Kazi says:

    This post explains why I want a W8 tablet/laptop combo instead of an iPad/Galaxy tab. Great work 🙂

  209. Shanya Almafeta says:

    Ubuntu is already making this mistake, with Unity.  I wonder why you're not learning from them…

  210. Jamie says:

    Isn't it about time the Aero interface had an overhaul too?  From the sounds of it Windows 8 in desktop mode will still be using Aero, which will be about 8 years old by the time Windows 8 ships, in computing terms decades old.  Get rid of the useless 2mm border around each window and the huge hulking 1cm section of wasted seethrough space at the top of each window for starters.

  211. Very good job. Can't wait for the BUILD event!!!

  212. hi Steven , i am not sure that you will consider my observation . we do like have application icon or tile with back ground pictures . now Metro screen is very simple not attactive . For basic tablet user we dont want to keep all application in desktop . we will group them in folder to decoratedour desktop . Please dont release the windows 8 wth plain colors .

        Surly Windows 8 will more full feature OS but we need attactive desktop as like as Windows 7 Aero.

  213. Stijn says:

    Is it about time to give this blog a Metro design as well?

  214. TheGameHHH says:


    That concept looks amazing. Microsoft should take a look. It retains some aero stuff yet adds metro elements making it look fresh and modern. The challenge for Microsoft is to make both styles work together. From a design point of view I believe having the new modern tile metro interface and then switching to good old aero for the traditional desktop would not be a consistent experience and would in fact feel like using two different operating systems.

  215. Barcaz says:

    Hi can you add a benchmark tool in windows 8 (for example in the task manager)? I'd like to see it with a system temperatures control, where we can set a temperature alarm that shut down windows…..thanks 😉

  216. Barcaz says:

    Yes, I know that windows vista & 7 have an integrated evalutation of the system, but it doesn't give much specific details about the processor speed, fsb, cache, speed of the video card etc.. etc. …… sorry for the double post

  217. First of all congratulations for the courage to open up to the public opinion.

    Great idea to have two types of interface in one operating system and the Windows Explorer looks excellent with the versatile ribbon.

    One question regarding the metro desing: Is it possible to have a 3D aspect: subtle round corners, with aero/liquid look, to give it a warmer feeling? Sometimes I think the pointy sharp corners or arrows are a bit too rough.

  218. Congratulations …Keep working hard on it…

    Windows 8 will be the best for ever…

  219. ThinkAboutThis says:

    @ Steven Sinofsky

    Overall, the ambition and direction seems on track, but here are a few things to think about:

    1. Part of what caused the negative reaction to the dual UIs when you demoed it, was the way in which it was shown. You and Julie showcased the Metro UI and got everyone excited and then the traditional UI showed up and it seemed like an old and tired UI. Starting off with the traditional desktop and then moving on to the Metro interface would have been a better way to showcase this. The point I am making is that you need to think better about how you position and 'market' the concept you are trying to build. The more people who think this is confusing, the less the message pick-up will be.

    2. There are lots of user scenarios and apps that fall in between the touch-first and traditional UI experiences. Everything cannot be so cleanly bucketed in 2 seperate silos. What about these in-between scenarios?

    3. How intuitive is it to transition from one to the other in terms of how users use devices? Will people intuitively switch from touching their screens to typing on the physical keyboard? Or will they unsuccessfully try to jab the small icons on the traditional desktop with their fingers. At first look, it doesnt seem 'seamless', which will again work against user acceptance.

    4. Are you looking at interesting form factors behind which you will put most of your weight? Given the direction you are taking, will you bet big on a laptop form factor with an easily detachable screen that acts like a slate. Will you limit the installation options based on the form factors, so that you dont have people runnign the traditional desktop on a slate and then complaning about it.

    Just some things to think about 🙂

  220. @MICROSOFT says:


  221. What about us developers? If there are two interfaces, and people have the option of using either one, will we all have to develop two interfaces for our applications? Or will you provide a library that will automatically convert some common elements between the two interfaces? Or will we have to code logic to capture a touch and a click? Or will there be tools to mask that complexity and just register when a control received either like an 'actuate' event? I know the MVVM will play an important roll in all of this, but truthfully, I spend the vast majority of my development time on interfaces because the tools for core application development are so good. I can't stand the thought of having to write two user interfaces, and I'm even more put off by the idea of have to do so in two different languages (WPF and HTML/CSS). If there were some way you could make UI development as fast and powerful as application core development you'd have a lot of happy developers and much better looking applications. I have some ideas, but I'm interested in hearing what ideas you have.

  222. Paul from Italy says:

    Please stop spamming the UI you've proposed. One link is enough, don't keep reposting your UI to get more visibility.

  223. iamravg says:

    There is no Metro UI. Seriously there is not. It's just that the start menu has been converted from a traditional look to a  metro based one. It houses both traditional and immersive apps. If you launch an immersive app from there, you are taken to a full-screen experience. On the other hand, if you launch a traditional application like Excel, it opens in the classic Windows desktop mode. The only bit of Metro UI you will be seeing is the file pickers for Immersive applications, and the mechanisms used to run two immersive apps side-by-side, and to switch between them.

  224. Hello Steven,

    Been trying to post this since yesterday, but I get some error… Anyway, what has me worried about Windows 8 is hardware requirements. If you are going towards a device similar to the Asus Transformer, which is a tablet that when docked to a keyboard becomes a netbook, then CPU, GPU, memory, etc is going to be a premium, that, plus the bloatware hardware manufacturers love to install, is going to produce a non optimal user experience… any comment about that?


  225. Matthew says:

    I want my computer to boot up in desktop.  I'm assuming we will still have access to running services?  If so, the first service I will be shutting down is the blasted "metro" UI.  Why?  Because I prefer a clean experience.  Not fumbling through sliding boxes back and forth trying to find an app I can't see because it's buried behind some sliding metro tiles…  the thought of it makes me cringe.

    At least allow a way to disable metro on a desktop.  No excuses.

  226. Keith Hill says:

    I was just going to mention that I wanted to see more of the Metro style and aesthetics in the desktop UI such as the Windows Explorer when I saw @Microsoft's post.  This concept is exactly the kind of UI aesthetic I'd like to see –…/Windows8ExplorerConcept1.1.jpg   This is much less garish and more modern looking than the proposed set of Windows Explorer ribbon icons.

  227. Mahesh says:

    I personally loved Microsofts approach to any problem. MS have the most intuitive UI – the Metro. again a very well thought. Many others like .NET platform, WPF, Silverlight, the IDEs like VS & Expression Studio & of course,  Windows & Office are all the products of Microsofts consciousness of Tech, UI experience. I feel bad when reading reviews that say WPs are not up to the mark. But I am sure MS will do great in Mobile market also. Win 8 is no doubt the future.  

  228. hdw says:

    Hello Steven, look at your own telementry

    1.~90% people access Explorer's commands via the Context menu or  Hotkeys

    2. People Rarely have the need for the 'Command bar' or the 'Menu bar'

    3. Since the ribbon is like the 'Command bar' or the 'Menu bar' Only about 10% people will actually use it

    4. We are moving towards simple content focused user experiences.

    Even though I like the Ribbon

    I strongly recommend you guys to keep it MINIMIZED BY DEFAULT . Since first impressions last.

    and keeping the ribbon expanded doesn't help with that .Honestly it "Looks" cluttered and that matters

    (As evident by the angry and blownup reaction to your earlier post)

    So please do the right thing ;Keep it Minimized

  229. Bas says:

    I'm definitely going to test the beta!

  230. Hi it looks like September to me, I'm wondering where the BETA is.

  231. Hi it looks like September to me, I'm wondering where the BETA is.

  232. mvadu says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    1.  "Essentially, you can think of the Windows desktop as just another app."

    2.  "we won’t even load it (literally the code will not be loaded) unless you explicitly choose to go there"

    First of all Nice work.. Does that means Explorer shell and all regular windows we know so fat (Windows 1.0 to Windows 7) is kind of virtualized in Windows 8? i.e. Windows 8 is really Metro core with virtualized Windows-7 SP2 (because you are doing a lot to improve regular windows experience too).

    If that is true then

    1. can we have any other virtualized images? like how Windows-Xp was provided for Windows-7?

    2. can we launch multiple instances of  Windows desktop? not just windows explorer, but whole new instances of regular windows? So can I have one windows version with all my regular tested apps installed, and one sandbag version where I can try new stuff, beta, install all sort of crazy things, even if it crashes, i can just delete that instance and create a new one?

  233. Mike Edward Moras (e-sushi™) says:

    Dear Microsoft,

    whatever you do with Windows 8 – please do not forget that a desktop computer isn't a mobile phone!


    Mike Edward Moras (e-sushi™)

  234. jahxp says:

    wow this theme for the classic Aero UI impressed me so much.…/Windows8ExplorerConcept1.1.jpg

  235. Bernie says:

    Thank you for this great blog. I presently use a 3 year old HP Pavilion desktop running Vista. I will purchase a new PC when Windows 8 officially launches. Thank you again.

  236. steven says:

    agree with the rest, this…/Windows8ExplorerConcept1.1.jpg looks spectacular. Hire this guy and/or buy the rights to this 🙂

    Aero as it is does look a bit dated, this is so much better/cleaner.

  237. DevPlus says:

    Yeah Great, I'm waiting the beta Version

    Thanks MS and GO MS 😀

  238. humza says:

    give me the BETA

  239. John Pratt says:

    Better window management.  In the first ever demo on this blog, you were pulling windows out from the side of the screen, with nothing showing they were nor the ability to choose a window to select

  240. Thomas Lee says:


    First, thanks for the continuing blog posts. While the real meat is clearly being kept for Build. it's nice to see some elements, such as the USB 3 stuff, are emerging.

    Second, what an amazing number of comment – it must be a nice problem to have. even it it does mean your replies sort of getting lost in the comment stream.

    One point I'd like to make though – you say the UI shoudl be no compromise – yet you are forcing me to do just that. Let me explain.

    I don't  like the ribbon. I did not like it in Office 2007, I do not like it in Office 2010 and I am pretty certain that I do not want it in WIndows 8. So it's me that will have to compromise – either I take Win 8 and get the ribbon I don't want, or I dont get all the truly great new features such as the new USB3 support. I have to compromise and that's sub optimal. I can see from the comments here that I am not alone in being anti-ribbon.

    I make a living partly our of writing – and use Word and PowerPoint quite extensively. The ribbon literally has done nothing for me- it has not improved my productivity in terms of writing – if anhything it's slowed me down a little. It takes up valuable real estate and I still find some things hard to find since the ribbon does not expose everything. It's also not possible to customse it simply by a drag/drop.

    So if there's to be no compromise, how about not forcing ME to have to compromise? How about retaining the ability for ME to take Windows 8 and get all the wonderful and for me useful new features without taking somethning I regard as otherwise unacceptable?

    Two other things, while writing.  First, can we  please have a 'open PowerShell here' context menu item in Explorer? For those of us doing PowerSHell, it would be a great help and would be simple forr you to add into Windows (and yes, I can work out how to DIY it – i feel it would be useful. ANd second, can you please put an end to the debate over the whole siverlight vs HTML 5 etc debate? Way too much time is being spent here and we all know that you can't just chuck out silverlight – your teams have done too miuch with it to get rid of it now.

    Thanks again for all the great blog articles – see you in Anaheim (btw: when will you post an agenda – it is arrogant to take millions of dollars in conference fees and hot have an agenda less than 2 weeks before the conference).

  241. Signed up today just to say that Windows 8 is shaping up very nicely and I cannot wait for it to be released. The improvements to the file collision dialogues and Explorer are all welcome and having the Up arrow making a comeback is awesome. Also, glad to see the icon making a comeback in the upper right-hand corner of the Explorer window. Not sure why the icon disappeared to begin with considering the menu still functioned in Win7. Looking forward to installing Windows 8 on all of my PCs and getting a Windows 8 slate.

  242. Dear Steven Sinofsky,

    I want to ask you a very important question. Since the tablet PC won't have a DVD-R, Windows 8 will be shipped on a USB STICK or on DVD? (An example is ASUS Eee Slate EP121 which has Windows 7 preinstalled)

    Thank you!


  243. Dear Steven Sinofsky,

    I want to ask you a very important question. Since the tablet PC won't have a DVD-R, Windows 8 will be shipped on a USB STICK or on DVD? (An example is ASUS Eee Slate EP121 which has Windows 7 preinstalled)

    Thank you!


  244. bob smithy says:

    So I don't see my comments….is there a time delay and/or do they get moderated before posting?

    From my other comment:

    I really like that concept from earlier. If you use it, please make the file selection flat and square, not as 3d. Mockup here:

    Mr. Sinofsky, if it's too late to get that type of UI out, could you perhaps release the UI as an update later? I feel like giving consumers the choice of a traditional desktop and a metro desktop would be the best choice. Less compromise. I know that you are working hard to merge the two, but perhaps letting customers choose for themselves is best. IDK just a thought.

    I have to say, I like what I've seen. I'm not sure if I like the idea of merging Aero and Metro into one theme, but I'll wait to judge until I've seen the UI for myself.

  245. Rene says:

    Dear Steven,

    Metro and Desktop mode are as far apart in terms of design as fire and ice are!

    This is so incoherent and that makes it a painful transition. I believe this makes Metro look like an overlay after all, which is undermining all your hard work and effort to communicate otherwise, no?

    As many posters here point out, keep the overall desktop layout but make it blend with metro better.

    Also sorry to say, but Ribbon looks like such a cluttered mess, it's just not 2012..

    Thank you for this blog! its awesome to keep the community up to date like this.

    I'm looking forward to Build in a few weeks. Maybe we'll see these changes then and you're just keeping it under wraps? (wishful thinking perhaps).

    Thank you for reading!


  246. Dataman says:

    Dual natured windows?  Kind of like the Media Center interface, which loaded on top of windows, rather than the other way around.  Wasn't very useful for navigating a PC, minimally useful otherwise.

  247. Willem says:

    Now I know for sure I'll be switching to Mac OS X soon.

  248. Theodore Slasinky says:

    The 'live tiles' in Windows Phone 7 / Windows 8 are just a Wii homescreen rip-off.

  249. @Steven:

    I think Win7 will be the next XP.

    I remember when I saw this video and I had Vista.

    I was an envy windows user. It's an Ubuntu FOUR! years before. That's how a desktop computer should work and look like. That's a UI. Not just looking cool, but it's pretty usefull.

    Steven, You guys should improve the current Win7 a bit[like as You doing now, without ribbons] and make it as usefull and stunning just as the old Ubuntu, but in a more profession "microsoft" way.

    Make it fast, seamless, spectacular, stunning, ect. Use the "live tiles" as the gadgets, and make them good looking.

    Make windows[this is the name of the product] fully customizable. Like OPACITY or multi-folder view in the explorer window. Make that windows live! Burn them[like ubuntu], freeze them, explode, bend, custom color, etc-etc.

    Leave that "Metro UI" to the phones, tablets, etc. If I once in the "explorer view" than why would I go back to Metro UI?!

    Sorry for my bad english!

    Best Regards!

  250. TsarNikky says:

    Show us the "improved desktop"!  All the hype has been for the "touchy-feely" crowd–nothing being shown for the rest of us.  Why not?

  251. @Steven

    I also want to express my concern for Start Screen wallpapers. Yes, I know the desktop can still be customized with a wallpaper, but I have yet to see the start screen have such a privilege, and I think it should. WP7 doesn't have it because it would be too confusing for the eye once you consider that the tiles take up so much of the space on its home screen. However Windows 8 will no have such an issue. Here are some examples of wallpapers working just fine with Windows 8 start screen.…/win8_start_print%202.jpg…/win8_start_print%205.jpg…/win8_start_print%2010.jpg

  252. Sean Crowley says:

    I have some recommendations and a mock-up of some improvements to the UI layout.


    <a target='_blank' title='ImageShack – Image And Video Hosting' href='…/& src='…/windowplorerv3.png& border='0'/></a>


    My Recommendations:

    1.) Like FireFox maximised, the file button should be across the top bar. The URL bar should also be across the top, as all the commands only apply to the folder that you are in. This would move the search box up as well, where the search tools button could be right next to the search bar. In the current setup, you have to go up to the top tab to change the properties of something that is in the lower right hand side of the UI.

    2.) Seeing as the tabs being used in this situation are children to the parent URL bar, (not the other way around, as in FireFox) the home, share, view, and manage tabs should be just under there, with the search bar on the same line. (the search bar is also dependant on the URL bar, and therefore should be lower) Home, share, view, search and manage should all be just below that, seeing as they are the primary interface action. The text for documents or pictures is redundant to the URL bar, and doesn't  provide any information of its own, therefore it can be eliminated. Its function is a quick indication of location at the top of the window, and a top URL bar does that, and eliminates redundancy.

    3.) The details pane is awesome, but should have a tab for it as well, I often utilize the ability to snap to the side of my screen, and the details pane would take up too much room. Perhaps have it only appear when the window is wider than it is tall?

    4.)The text for Clipboard, organize, new, etc, is unnecessary, and takes up space that could be used for another file.

    5.)When hovering mouse over any command, the shortcut should be listed.

    6.)I rarely see the favorites on the side bar used. Perhaps move that to the bottom, below network? At the very least, reduce the space between it and libraries, and add a small line to indicate the division between each group. (favorites, libraries, computer, network)

    I created a mock-up which added 4 more files, and Undo/Redo. all without reducing usability. (I removed the move to and copy to commands, as dragging and dropping to another window is faster, and more intuitive, though there would still be room if you made them just a bit smaller)

  253. Cavalary says:

    "And if you want to stay permanently immersed in that Metro world, you will never see the desktop—we won’t even load it (literally the code will not be loaded) unless you explicitly choose to go there!"

    ^^ I'd like to work just the same in reverse as well. Even more, want to be able to not even install the "Metro style interface", to spare myself the bloat, so just have the desktop, thanks. Will that be possible? If not, have no interest whatsoever in Win 8.

    Same goes for the App Store. Don't want to ever have anything to do with anything of the sort. Both are potentially great for people who want them and certainly should be an option, but those who don't want them should be able not just to make it so they'll never bump into them once the OS is running but to not even install the code in the first place.

  254. Micurs says:

    What about multiple screens?

    Can Windows 8 have the Metro UI span more than one display ?

    Can it shows the Metro in one screen and the desktop in another one?

    I think supporting two different UI experiences will make multiple screens management even more important than it is today. I am curious to know if Win 8 is adding something on this front.

  255. My suggestion is to add an option — "Classic Desktop" — on the logon screen.

    Of course, Metro is modern, is nice, but what about the productivity and usability?

    When i test an operating system, the first thing i test is the usability and productivity (they are friends).

    – Browsing Internet, moving files around, reading e-mails, opening "heavy" programs…

    I would really love to see an option that allows me to disable Metro, and use only the classic interface with all those new features, new aero style, the end of the classic theme (the theme that is there since Windows 95).

    Sincerely, the new Windows Explorer will be 100x better and easier to use than the old one.

    Good luck, Microsoft.

    And, can´t wait for the BUILD Conference.

  256. LOL says:

    i love the new UI i wish the beta will have immersive

  257. nnsun says:

    @Johannes, there will be no beta I believe…

  258. Congratulations to Microsoft for sharing some of their design thinking and design philosophy behind Windows 8.

    But, yet again, you’ve done this much too late to tap into, and be influenced by, the tens of thousands of forward facing, design-driven developers and consumers.

    Yes – consumers.   You don’t have to be a software developer to intuitively understand how best to interface with a computing or communications device, no more than you need to be a chef  to turn on an oven.   So, if you asked us early enough in the design cycle you might be pleasantly surprised by what you hear.

    Now all we can now do is post our opinions and commentary as a reaction to something which is already set in concrete;  and to then have our input picked up crowd-surfing fashion and sent direct to marketing and PR, rather than architecture and design.

    As far as I’m concerned Microsoft has overlooked a game changing golden opportunity to re-invent the UI – and I don’t mean just the look, but the feel.   Yes – stop focusing on the cosmetics of the UI and start focusing on how you engage with it.

    With so much attention being given to touch-based interfaces, why is that the predominant paradigm is still that you have to touch the screen to drive a gesture-based UI?

    So – where is the mouse equivalent/replacement for a traditional PC running Windows 8 which allows the UI to be driven by gestures.   No where in sight as far as I can tell –  which yet again shows that Microsoft  have failed to innovate, and failed to capitalise even when they do.

    But it’s not just about the hardware and software working well together which makes for a brilliant UI … it’s also about the language.   In particular, it’s about the language being a natural extension of the actions it commands – which means gestures need to a natural and obvious.   And they need to make sense rather than being an arcane code (as are the vast majority of  keyboard shortcuts).

    And that means gestures need to be easy to learn and easy to remember, but above all they need to be common across devices because, quite frankly, device specific gestures make about as much sense as changing the location of the steering wheel and control pedals with each new model of automobile.

    For a gesture driven UI this is what I call gesture-franca, and Windows 8 was Microsoft’s golden opportunity to change the language of the UI by making gestures as powerful as they are in other forms of communication.

    BTW – You’ll know gesture driven UIs have truly made their mark when the involuntary hand gestures we use in everyday conversation start to incorporate the symbolic gestures which we use to interface with touch-centric devices like phones, slates, and pads.

    Yet it seems as if the operating system of choice (or necessity) for the vast majority of tradition PC and laptops is destined to be excluded from this conversation.

    Shame on you Microsoft for failing to listen, which is a mistake I’m sure your competitors will not repeat.

    Gotta go now as I have Steve on the line and he’s giving me the two thumbs up.

  259. I know you haven't discussed the touch interface yet but I wanted to voice my main desire as it relates to this in Windows 8.  I have used touch versions of XP and 7.  In both versions, the cursor moves to wherever you touch.  I personally dislike this behavior.  I would like for touch to be decoupled from the cursor in Windows 8. I think a cursor still has a place in Windows 8 but that it should only be related to the mouse/trackpad.  

  260. Rowan says:

    IRemeberFloppies: you have a good point there… Touch based OS, but the mouse pointer is separate… Could be useful. Unfortunately as they're modifying an existing OS with much legacy baggage, it's probably not possible as all software will be wanting mouse on click events and so on.

    I'd love this to do well, but I fear once again….

    Windows 8: Jack of all trades, master of none.

  261. Mateus says:

    why not put multiple desktops in windows ?

  262. Bryan S. says:

    I'm still secretly hoping for the option to have rounded corners on the metro tiles.

    I love that you're supporting both the Win 7 desktop, and Win 8 Metro. Reminds me of Windows 3.1 supporting both DOS and Windows equally, which was a good idea then, and it's a good idea now.

  263. Vineet says:

    while the metro style is great, Why cant we have a slider at the bottom of the pane that will show you all the applicaitons.

    I cdould move the slider to lok at all the icons at the bottom to get to apps rather while still having the the metro in the main UI.

    That ways i will get a complete look at the icons of the apps without having to browse.

    Metra does offer a lot more real estate to the Apps to display the infromation in them but I would like to see all the apps at one glance as well which could be a slider at the bottom.

  264. jason24589 says:

    Metro for home

    Desktop for business!

  265. Taym says:

    Fantastic concept and excellent job so far, I think! And please, yes, listen to ArchTech and look at his good mockups of a renewed Explorer look. It is geat and harmonious with Metro UI. Indeed, the classic UI must be renewed as well, and Win8 will loook super.

    Please remember, even though they will often not admit it, most customers will usually buy what is beautiful over what is feature rich. Make a feature reach, customizable, versatile OS as you're doing (you already have one!), but make it BEAUTIFUL, too. 😉

  266. Hopeful says:

    I have to say the new Xbox UI is far nicer than the current Windows 8 concept.

    Could you not use that template as your starting point?

    It seems more dynamic and aesthetically pleasing than the solid colour background and that block of shadowless, randomly coloured tiles in W8.

    Feels like it's not finished yet,  Hopefully it's not.  MAKE IT BEAUTIFUL.

  267. MetroSuxx says:

    I will sooner switch to Linux than use Metro

  268. Mark says:

    When you show me how a complex application such as Photoshop fits into this new UI paradigm of big fat buttons which take half the screen real-estate and blindingly contrasty images, I will be convinced that it is the way to move forward.

  269. Mark says:

    Oh and that wasn't a sarcastic jab, It's a genuine concern that I really don't see how such applications will fit into this new UI, for what I currently know it's uses for, I actually like it. Is old explorer going to be with us for a long time? Even when you go 100% Metro and you've had time to work with a developer like Adobe, I don't see how this will work.

  270. Andrew Waite says:

    MetroSuxx :

    I switched to Ubuntu for my home machine 4 years ago, and am very pleased with it.

  271. MarkX says:

    Metro might be a big success in home computing. Will you adapt metro for real world business users, so that there will no need to turn it off by group policies? I guess it will be turned on by default even in the professional release as this is the "Microsoft way".

  272. First of all, sorry for my English.

    I have searched in vain for the word "pen" in this article and its comments. You say: "As We Showed, you get an amazing experience touch, And Also That one works with a mouse, trackpad, and keyboard."

    Ok, but there would be no more to say?

    The pen.

    Simply declare that there is not another OS that is able to use the pen better than Windows.

    The most accurate means of control is not the mouse.

    The Wacom pen or N-Trig Pen or other electromagnetic technology is the most accurate means of pointing. And not only. Write freehand, draw, take notes as on paper.

    Fingers-touch and gestures are fashionable, PC and its applications are substantial, but the real revolution, never sufficiently promoted (in the last ten years) is the real Tablet PC that lets you write and recognize the handwriting (a great software that has no equal) and note-taking and drawing.

    The magic word for me is still: pen.

    The electromagnetic pen is not fashionable because it is unknown to most people. It has never been sufficiently promoted.

    Yet today even the fashion-conscious users of only "touch" tablet are discovering for themselves the usefulness of the pen on their capacitive digitizers. They seek out and buy expensive pens (expensive considering that the technology would be sufficient even a piece of foam cut out and stuck into a straw…), inaccurate and not sensitive to pressure. Because they want to write or doodle. They, too!

    Today an active digitizer with electromagnetic pen is not as expensive as in the past. But I fear that the original concept of Microsoft Tablet, still unknown to the people (the one on which writing and drawing and making notes) slides into oblivion once again of a specialized niche for doctors, engineers and military only.

    Please, do not give up your creation for this new gestures or for attachment to the tradition of pairing the mouse and keyboard.

    I therefore propose that full support for Windows 8 to electromagnetic pen, improving it and creating some special software in order to promote and encourage this extraordinary instrument.

  273. nice work says:

    check out post by: bob smithy 1 Sep 2011 11:54 AM

  274. Can you remove the border of windows. I know It is called Windows but why do we need a extra useless frame around every app?!? It would be much cleaner!

  275. christophep says:


    we could not stand anymore for WPF or Silverlight slow experience.

    ships are powerfull and extraordinary. we need speed and marvelous user experince.

    C++ only.

    IE engine if you want. Powered by Direct2D it you want. But,

    responsivity should be the factor.

    The user made an action, the response is immediate.

    C++ GDI and Windows (CreateWindowsEx) is really the way to continue.

    .NET framework on gui lands hav not found a land to explore.

    It has been tried but the fact is that, the OS is build ont registry and COM so…

    let's expand the C++ and Win32/Win64 toolbox.

    IE10 as a rendering windows explorer, why not.

    See you later guys.

    A++ (french).

  276. Yep, I fully understand the necessity of "metro" ui. Building in full html5 and less technical requirements makes it running rapidly and fluidly, and I really like WP7 style.

    But the UI of PC is also important, AS WELL, 'cause there are still many people use traditional laptops, desktops, even "ultrabooks", especially in China, my country, with poor WLAN coverage and ?-pads are so useless. So building a great computer UI is also important.

    Here are some expectations. They are not hard to get it.

    a) Use more transparency. Title bars, Ribbon bars, frames and even contents in windows! Transparency with blur is really awesome!

    b) Windows Media Player 12 sucks!!! The loss of what what editor for editing lyrics, covers and so on, as with the tedious playing window makes it awful! WMP11 is prettier and more useful than 12. I don't know what Zune will be, but the metro style is somehow old-fashioned. So perhaps WMP will disappear, but make Zune brilliant in traditonal windows mode!

    Thanks for your brilliant work!!!!!

  277. Octagon says:

    MS has negative experience with tablets. MS had relatively better experience with phones. Were any theories made? How did they influence the Metro design?

    I do not understand the problem MS is solving with Metro. If it is possible to have happy classical Windows desktop experience on a tablet, why do we need (or, better, have to wait for) Windows 8? Where are the lots of Windows 7 tablet sales? If no, what are the changes to the classical desktop that will allow such happy experience? As explained above, the classical will be present on a tablet anyway.

    Imagine that touching the screen creates a cursor near the finger. If the cursor gravitates to the screen edges moving around the finger, it will always be seen and the exact desktop/mouse experience possible and easy. Why not to take that route?

    A tablet is a desktop, only smaller and touch pad only. Even with a smart cursor a pixel perfect pointig with a finger may be hard, so Metro? But the monitor real estate is also valuable and pixel perfect mouse movements are also hard! Solve these problems for the classic desktop and desktop Windows will be both better and tablet ready! Why Metro?

    As far as I understood the Metro demo, there are good ideas in it, like better indication of the program state, better application side by side positioning, most likely many more. However, they all are equally good ideas for the classical desktop. Are any implemented?

    However, I guess Metro is a good idea. It provides simple apps with their own simple OS, this alone is very good. However, just looking at the picture in this blog, I see a fault: with a classical desktop I can see what is going on instantly and Win+Tab is also there. With Metro I have to scroll just to have a glance of the desktop.

    And offtopic – I still have problems posting from Opera.

  278. Sergey says:

    I'm dissapointed. You showed us cool UI screenshots of Metro replacement of Aero. And it look SUPER!!!

    I mean that:…/6758.Figure_2D00_6_2D002D002D00_First_2D00_two_2D00_tier_5F00_24F34B45.png

    Why you gave up this idea? Please, bring it back!!

  279. Faisal says:

    Good work. I appreciate that you aren't killing what people have been relying on for years.

    I really hope you guys allow some power features in Metro UI, like exploring files, resizing windows, switching between apps. Make it so efficient that the people who choose to immerse in Metro UI will impress the folks who aren't completely sold on Metro UI yet.

  280. Hunter says:

    We need a better Automated System Backup, more control in this process

  281. frijolazul says:

    Grat idea, love the using windows as an app approach, even do, maybe you could make it a little more like the metro style, it felt kind of weird in the video where they change to windows becouse its so different, maybe you could change the windows explorer to make it more like the metro style (color & organization wise)

  282. Jon Austenaa says:

    1. How about connecting a touch display to the PC and have email, im and maybe even gfw achievements real-time updated while you play a game, watch a movie or use other apps on the primary monitor?

    2. I see these new "3d ready" monitors get a lot of praise in reviews as windows movements looks very smooth and solid and the the cursor precision 120hz brings. Will Metro on the PC be able to render at 120hz? It should look even more spectacular then, and easier to identify moving items, especially with fast movements like flicking through images.

  283. Logan del Sol says:

    I think that what might not be translating is that many of the people who dislike the continued use of Aero don't dislike the desktop concept itself, but the Aero shell.

    Microsoft can certainly re-chrome Windows with a Metro interface without losing much, if any desktop functionality. The ribbon and the chrome should be designed with Metro in mind.

    Old form applications will run as misplaced as they might be in a new interface, but isn't that what already happens in Windows 7 with XP/95-style programs?

    A Metro start button has shown up on video, and it's promising. Please pursue an aesthetic redesign of the desktop "application".

  284. Windowsfan says:


    That was just a "sketch" design, a mock-up. Never once did they consider that as the replacement for aero. Those images were only used to illustrate the way file name collisions would be handled. If you want to see where Microsoft design is headed, look at this (windows 8 build 7989):

    What you see here isn't finished. There was still much to be done at that point, and there's still a lot of work to be done to the UI. It's looking good so far, though. The "flat" look of the minimize/close buttons is present here, only with the classic red and blue colors included.

  285. frijolazul says:

    I have a simple recomendation, not to windows 8 but to office, i saw the demostration video #1 and the office apps icons looked preety bad, just like they do now, meybe you should change the to be more like the Mac version ones

  286. MS4thewin says:

    Here is an idea of maybe how explorer would look cleaner.…/MyWindows.jpg

  287. Please, please, don't use such cartoonish/paperish layouts for the metro UI. Consider adding a more eye catching 3d effect and perhaps making the edges of the tiles curved 😐

  288. @MrElectrifyer says:

    I feel like that would defeat the purpose (curved tiles, I mean…).

    Besides, have you actually used the new Windows Phones?

    They have a lot of 3D effects. For example, when you click a live tile to open the application, the screen rotates as if you were opening a door… er, it's hard to explain, but it looks great.

  289. test says:

    just testing whether these comments are moderated

  290. Adding more revenue and beating competition using windows side bar and/or bing

    With the new windows 8 coming why don’t you add an advertisement gadget into the operating system (phone, PC or table) not just an add but local and global business (yahoo business directory), nonprofit organisation, government and individual (like linkin) directory on subscription integrated with maps, news streams, announcements, call for help (non profit organization etc). Each directory information leads to the entities already function website or blog etc. creating networks locally an globally to find what u want around you, allowing reviews, certification, comparison etc to help choose the best organisation to buy from, theoretically this will push for a perfect market locally and globally and windows platform has the potential of this including apple.

  291. Pratik says:

    Few questions

    Are developers expected to go ahead and develop for both UI.

    What about our fav Office..when is office going to be touch friendly?

    If i open IE in desktop mode will the  metro IE open up or our friendly looking ie10?

    and i agree with a lot of ppl that there need to be a metro look and feel for the desktop


  292. Windows 8 is going to be amazing! I think that the Windows team can pull off both the metro UI and the normal Windows desktop perfectly. I don't think that any other tablet operating software is productive enough for work use and no desktop operating software is simple enough for tablet use. Windows 8 will be the perfect blend!

  293. Windows 8 is going to be amazing! I think that the Windows team can pull off both the metro UI and the normal Windows desktop perfectly. I don't think that any other tablet operating software is productive enough for work use and no desktop operating software is simple enough for tablet use. Windows 8 will be the perfect blend!

  294. Just an idea for app switch in Metro – although swipe from left is really nice solution, I don't think it's comfortable with numerous apps running. I would be really happy to see something like in WP7.5. You can just add a button for it in the "windows 8 thing" on the right side (as it was called in presentation in All things digital:) ). Also, i didn't see any way of closing an app. That should be easy too.

  295. Asaf Meir says:

    It is very nice – but  i think that you missed the point – windows msut move to the cloud, now, not tomorrow! not in windows 9!

    I want to have my windows whereever & whenever i need it, and  i want it to be my one and only one windows – and this can be achieved by clouding windows – can you do it for me?

  296. Ok i want to test this out and be able to develop apps for it. Where can i sign in?

  297. iniside says:

    No compromises ?

    What's about removing Registry.

    What's about about removing physical data repsentation, ( you know C: drive B: drive) and replacing it with root file system (/ /users/iniside /system).

    When I see this happen, I wil believe in no compomises in windows..

  298. NiCa60 says:

    Many thanks for this post, I really like the idea to have two UI for two different use context. I like the idea of not throwing all good things in the name of a new UX paradigm. As an example, can someone explain me why I can't write to an iPod-like device with a pen when I need to write down some notes and I still need to take a paper block to do it? Oh yes, I know that touch is great to do many things, without requiring a stylo, but if I want to why not let me doing it ? So if I already can do it in Win 7 with a wacom tablet, I'd like to do it in a meeting right into my device. So many contexts, a single UI can't possibly fit them all.

    Neverless, I agree with many others that windows desktop can be more Metro stylish as, for example, in…/Windows8ExplorerConcept1.1.jpg

  299. Koysor says:

    WoW Nicolò Carandini that is exactly the way I would like Windows Explorer to look like!! Brilliant!! Thats what I like, the defined edges to the tabs, icons everything. But the forward and back button should have a square outline and the UP and back buttons should be slightly larger.

  300. Patrick Klug says:

    "How can installing (and removing) apps be as quick and painless as changing the channel on the TV?"

    I hope you came up with a good answer for this because the installation/setup experience on Windows is simply a disaster and has in my opinion already done major damage to the Windows application eco system.

  301. Aranate says:

    I think that Metro is best suited for Tablets and traditional is best suited for PC and Notebook. At the end of the day, that is how it will be used and at the end of the day general public will have two usage methods but extra code which is kinda silly to carry around. Hope that instead Microsoft have made two versions one for Tablets (which could also be installed on PC/Notebook) and one with less code and streamlined towards tablets and touch devices. That would have been a sensible idea….

  302. Ramesh says:

    Great Work Sinofsky & Team. Keep the good work going.

    It is good we have a choice of GUI so that we can select it based on the need/scenario.

  303. Davey says:

    I can't wait for the Ubuntu 12.04 release!

  304. More-words-Confused! says:

    Laugh out loud! It is just Mega shortcuts on the desktop.

    But, it is the new big thing……….

    There just big- Big shortcuts


  305. Chris says:

    have to agree, with #1, love the design, but honestly hope that Aero is getting a face lift as right now the stock start menu/taskbar/and menubars look very out of place

  306. Jonathan says:

    Metor should have been based on aero, and an extension for it, not this childish primary colour POS.

  307. Jonathan says:

    On the other hand, if you do this…/Windows8ExplorerConcept1.1.jpg to the Aero UI, I may forgive you for messing ther rest of it up.

  308. I think it would be great if Microsoft could get a laptop touch pad to perform the same kinds of swiping and gestures  in Windows 8 as on a touch screen. That would be kinda smooth.

  309. George says:

    The careful reimaging Windows is going through right now has brought about improvements to the traditional aspect which are evolutionary and welcomed because they help to provide an increasing sense of refinement and cohesiveness to Windows.

    The careful reimaging of Windows has also brought about an entirely new aspect, one that is revolutionary, the Metro aspect.  The Metro aspect is an example of some really creative and brilliant work.  Even though I have never used the interface before, I am incredibly anxious to try it out because I can see how useful it can potentially be in my daily life for my general computing needs.

    The part I am concerned about with the Metro aspect, however, is how useful the interface can be in my daily life for my precise computing needs.  I am having difficulty in seeing how this can ever happen because the Metro aspect is based on a very simple, clean, uncluttered, easy-to-use interface; one which would not be particularly well-suited to an application that needs to present a great deal of controls due to the precision of work it represents and the complexity required to perform that precise work.

    However, because the Metro aspect and the computing paradigm it represents through its interface is new, I feel compelled to wait and see how the Metro aspect evolves.  Perhaps it may come to include a way to compellingly represent those precise computing needs through its interface.  Every so often, I think to myself about how applications satisfying sometimes incredibly precise needs such as Visual Studio and NetBeans for developing applications, Photoshop for creating digital art, and Office for authoring documents would look like in the Metro interface, with none or very few of their current features omitted.  I also wonder if porting these kinds of applications from the traditional interface to the Metro interface would even be practical.

    As the precise needs for which these applications satisfy will never go away, I am wondering how or if the Metro aspect will evolve to handle those precise needs, if the Metro aspect is where Windows is indeed headed.  I would not like to see Windows forever stuck with two user interfaces to satisfy both types of general and precise computing needs, ones which may be switched to and from on a daily basis.  I would like to see them converge into one at some point not too far off in the future to bring about the ultimate kind of Windows experience, one which does not have to be switched when a different computing need arises.

  310. Dawid says:

    In my opinion the new Metro layout combined with the slightly modified "traditional" Win7 layout seems to be very strange for the user. It doesn't look like the complete operating system but like the system with installed add-on for tablets and other mobile devices.

  311. Steve says:

    Uninspiring and booooring crap this Metro.

  312. vinyl stickers says:

    I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

  313. Mark Wolf says:

    Everything stated in this article shows that Windows 8 is NOT designed for the work environment. Touch screen is NOT useful in the work environment and not ergonomically correct and this Metro style is pretty much that… meant for a touch screen interface.

    Touchscreen is a nice novelty, or for short term use only, that's it. A person that's sitting at their desk writing reports, making presentations, setting appointments and multitasks between 4 – 5 different applications, the Metro interface is useless.

    Again, Microsoft thinking INSIDE the box… their own ego box.

  314. Abhi S says:

    I'm a windows phone 7 user … and iphone was too much money in my opinion, and so I had gone to buy an android but instead bought the wp7 because it "made more sense" — android still has more apps, and some better ones, but I take delight in the sense of organization and the "thought behind design" feeling my wp7 gives me.

    I was now itching to buy a tablet and had zeroed in on the transformer, but again, i don't think they  thought out the software aspect completely .. Honeycomb 3.2 tablets are usually awesome hardware running software that's basically a bunch of apps thrown together .. there seems to be no unifying thought behind it .. in making the UI highly customizable, user experience seems to have taken a backseat.

    Thus, it was with great pleasure that I read your post. I have no qualms about purchasing your product if it came out tomorrow, but my only fear is that your release date is very far away.

    Still I'll wait and watch … thank you.

  315. VJ says:

    Looks like the 'Start' is back as text. Why not use the Windows button? That text looks ugly on the UI that is otherwise dominate by images and icons.

  316. Robert Paulsen says:

    are we getting tabbed explorer windows in win8?

  317. KO, I'm late to the party, and I stil don't mind 2 interfaces for Windows 8.

    Now, Metro is super cool, but I'm dissappointed with the Ribbon UI, agreed that Ribbon UI is very efficient and functional, but its not very intuitive in design, simple as if designed by a shool with an average talent in design….the Windows 8 design team could have atleast changed the min/max/close and back/forward buttons and placed them somewhere else than the bottom….it seems cluttered, and even if its hide-able, the design should have been atleast attractive…its utterly boring/ugly/same as windows 7…


  318. ronin7752 says:

    The ultimate arrogance of Microsoft, in plain words. Translated: "We know that many of you will hate the new UI in Windows 8. And we don't care…"

  319. Theo says:

    The first must put up a hand in preference to anything else if you do not compromise the design is the font rendering.

    Should improve the font rendering to the level of OS X, Windows and to improve the design will continue to provide much fed up with ugly experience.

    Another sloppy, becomes disagreeable to see the fonts in Windows, sick, 投Ge捨Tetaku windows made ​​for Windows.

    Why not order a print fonts major companies like Apple Why? Meiryo Japanese font is very ugly.

    Everyone would say more beautiful Hiragino 100 out of 100 fonts.

    Font rendering of Windows fonts are stupid and can not display some beautiful beautiful.

    This is Microsoft Corp., Microsoft and Japan have in mind or what?

    Japanese can understand the Japanese language or Japanese is not Microsoft? I do not want to work with or?

    Again, the surprise was especially impressed in my first look at the Aqua interface is the beauty of the fonts.

    Windows is a beautiful font should first Windows Phone 7 font rendering is beautiful I'll.

    Japanese font is very ugly:-b

  320. Theo says:

    The first must put up a hand in preference to anything else if you do not compromise the design is the font rendering.

    Should improve the font rendering to the level of OS X, Windows and to improve the design will continue to provide much fed up with ugly experience.

    Another sloppy, becomes disagreeable to see the fonts in Windows, sick, throw it out the window to discard Windows.

    Why not order a print fonts major companies like Apple Why? Meiryo Japanese font is very ugly.

    Everyone would say more beautiful Hiragino 100 out of 100 fonts.

    Font rendering of Windows fonts are stupid and can not display some beautiful beautiful.

    This is Microsoft Corp., Microsoft and Japan have in mind or what?

    Japanese can understand the Japanese language or Japanese is not Microsoft? I do not want to work with or?

    Again, the surprise was especially impressed in my first look at the Aqua interface is the beauty of the fonts.

    Windows is a beautiful font should first Windows Phone 7 font rendering is beautiful I'll.

    Japanese font is very ugly:-b

  321. spoutnik says:



    As always, 1 bad version between good ones.

    I'll wait for Win9

  322. Madhu D says:

    What would be cool for a transition between Metro and traditional desktop UI is to use multi touch gestures. If you have seen OS X Lion transition to the widgets using a 4 finger swipe on the trackpad, it would be great to have that kind of a transition between the 2 UIs!

  323. I agree


    Wed, Aug 31 2011 4:12 PM


    I would personally want to see a more Metro themed taskbar and explorer for the traditional style windows too, still keeping the desktop layout that made Windows 7 nice to use but with the new more modern visual style of Metro, Areo in my opinion feels out of place with the new look. I know I'll be getting a Windows 8 Tablet now as well as upgrading all my computers to have it, so having the same look and feel is what I want in my Ecosystem, as I have a Windows Phone 7 and a couple of Xbox 360s.

  324. Agree with few other commentors above.  Would love to see a redesigned taskbar that will have metro themed ui.

  325. Mareinsula says:

    Just one important question? The metro apps from live tiles will be fully WPF or will be strict like WP7?

  326. JH says:

    Metro UI on the desktop? Totally out of question for me! I will NEVER want to use it. The Windows 2000 UI is perfectly fine for desktop usage! I am currently using Vista with the Windows Classic theme and am very happy with it.

  327. Anonymous says:

    I hate Metro UI and I hope there will be an option to complitely remove it from my computer.

  328. Metro goes great with my XBOX and Windows Phone 7.  

    I can't wait to start using Metro on a tablet.  

    However, it's hard for me to even start thinking how Microsoft will/should incorporate the Metro UI throughout the entire OS and not just the start-menu.  I'm all for the least number of clicks/touches – I hope they don't screw it up…


  329. Theo says:

    Metro UI is gonna I've been inspired by the colors and designs from the Tokyo Metro. 🙂

    So that downplay Japan. !

    Japanese fonts in Windows is too cruel workmanship can also render the font. ! !

    Windows is not I'll just English speaking ones. ! !

    In Japan, too cruel to display the Windows print, including Japanese manga have been made ​​in almost any Mac. ! !

  330. Felix Boehm says:

    The classical desktop should have the possibility to group icons and give the groups names. That would bring much more overview. Something like the program "fences" (…/fences).

  331. Michael says:

    I just hope you can always boot to the traditional UI. If the final release always boots to that Metro UI I will stay far, far away from this product. I love Microsoft, but I just hope they honor people like me that want only the traditional desktop UI.

  332. pranav says:

    please make a tablet version of office suite or else its gonna be a problem….

    for example think how you'll change the font..??

  333. teoh.hanhui says:

    Just chiming in to say that I, too, love LudoMatico's design concept. I'll be happy if Windows 8 were to look as clean and sleek.

  334. billm says:

    Metro Style will be the new "Bob".    Let me be the first to say, "what ever happened to Metro Style?"

  335. Gytis says:

    They should really change dekstop old aero to metro style.. Aero is too old….

  336. MM says:

    I downloaded it and I gave it a fair test run.   What a huge disappointment.  There is nothing intuitive about it.  I launched Internet Explorer, and there was no clear way to exit.  After a lot of frustration, I finally tried Ctrl-Escape and that worked.  I don;'t see how to turn off Metro.  The Start button becomes metro and there is no obvious way on how to change this.  A well designed GUI makes it obvious to the operator how to navigate it.  This does not.

  337. Lloyd says:

    What I want from Windows 8 is great performance, and I want to choose how my desktop looks, I want to choose Windows classic, Windows Xp or Windows Vista look, not just the defult desktop, I want the Windows Xp defult background back in Windows 8.  I have to say I am not to sure about the Start Screen at the moment, I may get used to it, but there needs to be a disable option.

  338. Vineet says:

    I am concerend that Google is doing a better job at making the Metro UI umm..can i use the word…

    I mean have a look..

    Its itsi…Metro-sexual. (pardan the pun but i couldnt help my self)

    But being serious I am concerned that the looks of thier Metro UI is more appealing. Its jazzy. I like it even though they copied us… (MS 1- G 0) !!!

  339. Andrew says:

    I agree with a lot of the comments above.

    Having had a quick play with the Developer's Preview, I must admit that I have a concern about the way that menus seem to now work – having the menu ONLY in metro-style means that it becomes very difficuly to find the less used apps that you might have – I have around 400 shortcuts in my all programs start menu which I use occasionally together with the 15 pinned to the start menu/taskbar and the 45 on the desktop (some of which are duplkicates). At home, I have even more than this. Navigating this without the equivalent of the, albeit "old-hat" all programs menu will be really slow an awkward – and the search option (which I use for some of these apps, where it works really well on the menu) is equally awkward.

    Looking to business users (and the departments managing their desktops), I think the loss of this way into applications will be a complete non-starter. At this point, this has stopped me playing much further with the Developer Preview from an IT Pro perspective.

    Please provide some way to continue with the old style Start Menu as well as Metro approach – maybe there needs to be a "Metro-centric" mode (as per the preview), where the desktop is effectively the legacy support plsu a "Windows 7 Experience" mode where the desktop is the "way in" to the system and the Metro side of things is there when you start Metro apps, for those desktop and power users.

    Without having downloaded the Server version (which I'll try and do later), I'm sure that the "Windows 7" style experience takes primacy with the server products, as I can't see server engineers wanting to have to navigate Metro to manage their servers, so it would not mean significant addition development effort.

  340. Pratyush Nalam says:

    How about having 2 buttons? A start menu and a start screen. Windows' main selling point is the start screen and I don't want it to go away

  341. Jan says:

    I like metro very much and for touch devices it will be probably fantastic. But on desktop pcs with very big screens it not optimal. Metro is no made for mouse and keyboard. But it will be a good compromiss when you will let the option to choose between Metro and Desktop

  342. winking says:

    Completely disappointed. Metro is not usable for keyboard and mouse on a big screen. I would better think Microsoft should make two versions of windows 8 – a tablet version and a desktop version.

  343. mt325000 says:

    The big thing that I am worried about is that if touch is provided as a "first-class option," will the mouse, keyboard and touch pad become second-class options? I have asked about this in the forum, and have only gottten a generic "Thanks for your input," response. I have tried to use Metro on the desktop, and, while I can technically adjust, it feels awkward and unnatural, not at all like the much-needed Ribbon interface in Office 2007. I hope the final version will be designed better for desktops, and made to feel natural, not tedious. It is still jarring, even after a few days, to switch between the desktop and the Start screen, and to have to dig down into several menus just to see what programs are on my computer.

  344. mt325000 says:

    I would still recommend designing Windows 8 on the desktop and Windows 8 on tablets differently, rather than moving a single menu, or adding scrollbars to the tablet UI. Interfaces like iOS and Metro were simply not designed to be used on the desktop. Metro on the desktop does have its good points, but it feels like trying to use two computers at once that have nothing to do with each other. A clearer drag and drop interface, as well as way to access the file system properly in Metro-style apps, would work better. Yes, it is possible to access the file system in Metro, but it feels strange, folders mysteriously don't show up, and I can't always go where I need to.

  345. mt325000 says:

    I would still recommend designing Windows 8 on the desktop and Windows 8 on tablets differently, rather than moving a single menu, or adding scrollbars to the tablet UI. Interfaces like iOS and Metro were simply not designed to be used on the desktop. Metro on the desktop does have its good points, but it feels like trying to use two computers at once that have nothing to do with each other. A clearer drag and drop interface, as well as way to access the file system properly in Metro-style apps, would work better. Yes, it is possible to access the file system in Metro, but it feels strange, folders mysteriously don't show up, and I can't always go where I need to.

  346. METRO & AERO

    Both UI are really good. There’s no discussion about it. Metro is modern and minimal than Aero, that’s something that almost everyone knows.

    If you use a Windows Phone, you will see how simple and great can be Metro UI in front of your eyes and fingers. It’s just awesome.

    Aero haves something great and unique: Aero Glass. It does a great and innovative invent from Microsoft, and I’m glad to see it every day when I use my PC.

    But, till I’ve test W8P, I’ve release that something could be wrong, let me explain why.

    I use my laptop with an external monitor connected (it’s more comfortable for working), a Samsung monitor with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, with a matte screen.

    My first reaction with Metro screen was “wow”, I like the movements and transitions, and the excitement of having a new “toy” like the apps, but later, when I start using the whole OS, I release that is not very funny using it as is (at least).

    I feel the W8 Preview is very oriented to touch screen devices with medium & small screens with a glossy surface. In a bigger screen, Metro UI lacks style and bright; it looks flat and empty, and the full screen apps with a mouse don’t feel good at all. It have not sense viewing a weather app in full screen. It has no sense viewing a group of apps that fill the screen in a desktop PC. It’s only to play around the first time… but… what will be happen when you saw this start screen every day? In a desktop PC could be really annoying.

    All the bigger fonts used in Control Panel, Settings and more, as well as the whole Metro UI feels like a too simple and flat design for an HD monitor. Just imagine Metro UI in your 24” monitor, without touching it! Only with a mouse and keyboard… Don’t get me wrong, I love Metro UI but I think it’s more suitable for smaller devices with touch screens.

    By using a Desktop PC, just make yourself these questions:

    – It’s really necessary to go fullscreen, and switch between 2 stages to see the weather report app?

    – It’s really necessary to go fullscreen to open Control Panel?

    – What will happen when you use IE app, and try to watch some YouTube video, or Flash website, and you release that plug-ins don’t work on IE10 app?

    – How many “clicks” you’ll have to do for only view an app and do a fast action?

  347. Here are some suggestions of necessary improvements for the new interface:

    1. A possibility to pin files and folders on the start screen.

    2. An easy way to close unwanted apps manually.

    3. A mouse strategy to move through tile groups (like in Zune, that is, by reaching the end of the screen).

    4. Integration of the horizontal scrolling on the Metro start page.

    5. A Start menu equivalent on the desktop, maybe as a toolbar, in order to quickly access an exhaustive and personalizable list of installed programs (which one doesn’t want to reproduce on the Metro start page). Without such a list, it is really complicated, for example, to create a pin for Microsoft Word on the taskbar.

    6. An easy way to shut the computer down or to put it into sleep.

    7. Smoother handling of tiles when there is more than 2 or 3 columns in the same group.

    8. A better way to reopen a webpage in the classical IE from within the html5 IE (for example when we are facing flash content).

    9. An automatic filtering of .exe files which are to be pinned after installation of a program (uninstall exe, update exe, …).


  348. I think I found a solution to something that represents a big concern to a lot of Windows users: the disappearance of the traditional start button. Please consider this metro-stylish suggestion.

    The main problem with the new metro start page is that, although it offers an awesome replacement to the desktop taskbar, it doesn’t fully replace the traditional start button. We don’t want to fill our metro start page with all our installed apps, so we need an easy access to an exhaustive list of installed apps independent of the metro start page.

    In the current version of Windows 8, the access to the exhaustive list of apps isn’t user-friendly at all. And because the list of apps appears full screen, it is really complicated to make this list interact with the desktop in order, for example, to pin up an app on the taskbar. In comparison, the WP7 gives us not only a metro-stylish start screen, but also a user-friendly access to an exhaustive list of apps.

    Now I think that a good metro-stylish alternative to the traditional start button would be to let appear a list of all apps alphabetically ordered over the active windows. This window would conform in all manner to the style and size of any other metro-stylish window (ex. the settings window or the search window). It is crucial that it does not appear full screen, since only in the size of a snapped window could one easily interact with other windows. This apps list would show nothing but metro-stylish icons of apps (filtered so that uninstallation and update .exe programs wouldn’t appear there), without any folder or submenu.

    This solution would need to have not only a catchy shortcut, but also some kind of button directly on the screen, ideally a charm. In addition to an App charm, one could use such combinations:

    Keyboard: Ctrl + Win button (or Win button + A)

    Mouse: swipe up on Win icon (as with taskbar icons)

    Touch: swipe up on Win icon

    And please add the power icon in the charms bar (it requires too much clicks to get to the setting window).


  349. Libin says:

    Metro Dynamis let you develop the new Metro Style Applications very easily. Take a look at


    Metro Dynamis is a new framework that will let you program modern the new Metro Style Applications, take a look at

  351. George says:

    I just discovered Metro Dynamis, it let you develop these new Metro Style Applications, check it out at

  352. santhi says:

    Metro Dynamis let you develop the new Metro Style Applications very easily. Take a look at

  353. nidhi says:

    Now you can develop the new Metro Style Applications with easy using Metro Dynamis. Check it out at

  354. mt325000 says:

    You said the following in the blog post above.

    "And if you want to stay permanently immersed in that Metro world, you will never see the desktop—we won’t even load it (literally the code will not be loaded) unless you explicitly choose to go there!  This is Windows reimagined."

    This makes no sense on desktops. On desktops, this should say:

    "And if you want to stay permanently immersed in the desktop world, you will never see Metro—we won’t even load it (literally the code will not be loaded) unless you explicitly choose to go there!  This is Windows, made to work the way you want."

    Even though I can spend a long time in the desktop world if I want to, part of the problem is that Windows will eventually force me to reopen the Start Screen, either to open a program or shut down the PC. You probably have many arguments in favor of Metro that you will think of when you read this post, and I have responses for all of them. Windows on the desktop should be designed with the question, "How would we design this if tablets didn't exist?" Designing it with the question "How can we make this touch paradigm work on the desktop?" will not help Windows on the desktop. It is always better to design software from the ground up for the hardware it will be run on. This means that Windows 8 for desktops should be designed from the ground up for desktops.

  355. Chris Boss says:

    The Windows API is alive and well in Windows 8!

    In testing a complex GUI framework, which can run on Windows 95 to Windows 7, on the Windows 8 Preview build, I first encountered problems because the build only uses generic video drivers. Once I installed a Windows 7 video driver (for my GMA 950 chipset) on Windows 8 and finally got full resolution of my monitor (1680 x 1050) and full graphic capabilities. I ran a test application which tested a number of complex API tasks and Windows 8 ran it perfectly. I mean 100% !

    This simple test program tests the following:

    Dialogs (Forms)

    Windows Timers

    MDI (Multiple Document Interface)

    Rebar child forms

    Pager child forms

    Tiled bitmaps drawn in WM_PAINT (background draw)

    Stretched bitmaps drawn in WM_PAINT  (background draw)

    Complex regions generated from a Bitmap (non-rectangular windows)

    OwnerDraw 3D Buttons

    Drawing into Memory DC’s (part of ownerdraw)

    Ownerdraw ComboBox, Listbox and Listview controls

    Custom Draw (via WM_NOTIFY)

    Common Dialogs (displayed from property listbox control)

    Proprietary Drag and Drop engine (ie. Visual Designer stuff)

    Displays all the Standard Windows controls

    Displays the majority of Windows Common controls

    API Drag and Drop (ie. drag listbox, drag icons, Explorer drag and drop files

    MCI (video and midi)

    GDI Drawing via proprietary Turtle Graphics engine

    GDI Drawing via proprietary Canvas control

    Proprietary 2D Sprite engine (pushes Windows DIB API’s to the max)

    Precision Timers (Game loop used in sprite section)

    Proprietary OpenGL 3D engine

    Windows message processing



    Custom Window Class creation

    Code Pointers

    Direct memory data access

    You can download the test program from here:…/

  356. Please make the snap feature more customizable. On my screen (1680×1050) the small window is simply too narrow. On the desktop I can exploit an application like WinSplit Revolution to automatically split the screen to a ratio of 60%/40%. But that wouldn't work with a combination of metro and desktop windows. It seems quite inevitable then to use the snap feature on Windows 8. So please give us at least multiple choices of displays (50/50, 67/33, 60/40, but also left/right or up/down).

  357. Please make the snap feature more customizable. On my screen (1680×1050) the small window is simply too narrow. On the desktop I can exploit an application like WinSplit Revolution to automatically split the screen to a ratio of 60%/40%. But that wouldn't work with a combination of metro and desktop windows. It seems quite inevitable then to use the snap feature on Windows 8. So please give us at least multiple choices of displays (50/50, 67/33, 60/40, but also left/right or up/down).

  358. NEHEMIAH says:

    I AGREE WITH Jason M

    'I concur with J45EPR, definitely need to keep the desktop and windowing system intact but Aero just isn't 'modern' anymore when coupled with Metro.  It would be fantastic to have one seamless transition between the 2 interfaces so that each seems to share a common heritage.''


  359. Mark says:

    Please add notepad to the "Send To" context menu in Explorer. Everyone I know does this. It makes sense to have it there out-of-box.

  360. mt327000 says:

    @Steven Sinofsky:

    You asked me to make a list of suggestions for Windows 8 on a post that would be more appropritae, and this is the closest I could find. Here is the link to my post:…/b822c546-bf05-4cf9-b0a5-9cca3c1b404d

  361. I think a lot of UI issues would be solved if Windows would have:

    1) A common “tab bar” for all windows in both UIs (not a taskbar, but an “alt-tab like” bar). This way, one could get, with only one click on this tab bar, from any app to any other app (no matter what UI).

    At present, the alt-tab function gives us access to every open windows (flaw: the metro start page should also be listed there by default). But this kind of easy access to open apps is missing in the mouse experience, since the taskbar is only for the desktop. That means that with a mouse one cannot efficiently (in one click) access (a) to a metro app from desktop app, (b) to a desktop app from a metro app, and (c) to a metro app from another metro app. A universal tab bar would solve these problems.

    I think the best place for such a bar would be at the left side of screen (swipe may be cute, but it’s really inefficient). Another advantage of this tab bar would be that Windows could entirely get rid of the desktop taskbar (given that it will eventually be possible de pin up documents in the metro start page).

    2) A more customizable handling of windows. I already talked about that. On big screens one should be capable of freely managing his windows (including closing them).

    3) An easier access to basic things. Please add a Power charm and also an Apps charm for an easier mouse access to the alphabetical list of apps.

    This is probably just a matter of time, but one would expect the metro app bar (Win + z) to appear when the mouse cursor is moved to the bottom or top of the screen.

  362. I have installed the Win8 developer Preview build in my laptop. I don't think the new METRO style start menu is user friendly for laptops/desktops without touch screen interface. Though its feel and look is really good on a touch-screen desktop/laptop or a tablet device.

  363. I have a few suggestions for integration of Metro applications with the desktop:

    – It should be possible to adjust the slider when displayin both Metro and Desktop anywhere between 20% and 80%. It would be nice to also allow Metro application to float inside a windows.

    – Metro application should have less effect on the performance of desktop applications (and vice-versa). For example, audio and video is not as smooth when both are used as it was with the desktop alone (on Vista).

  364. It has been shown that, while the top and bottom edges of the screen are kept for metro apps, the left side and the right side of the screen are used by Windows (Swipe and Charms bar).

    This would explain why, in metro apps, there is no task bar.

    But when we consider things carefully, we notice that all metro apps only put icons at the bottom of the screen, icons which could easily be put, say, on the left side of the screen. All metro apps except one: the metro Internet Explorer, which has its address bar at the bottom of the screen.

    I hope there are things I don’t see, because the address bar is far from being a good reason for getting rid of the task bar. I mean, would it really matter if the IE address bar would be put at the top of the screen instead? Surely not!

    My suggestion: give the top edge and the left edge of the screen to metro apps, but keep the right edge and the bottom edge for Windows, and make a metro task bar that is universal and as exhaustive as the alt-tab function.

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