Scaling to different screens


There’s a ton of innovation in the world of displays—from pixel density, to aspect ratio, to core technologies. Windows 8 is designed to grow and improve as the display ecosystem grows and improves. Our goal is to support the broadest range of display technologies so PC makers can build PCs or you can use external displays that provide the best experience for your needs. To do this, we architected the WinRT to provide the platform necessary to support this diversity. This is a complex post that looks at the details and nuances around supporting many permutations of physical screen dimensions, pixel densities, and resolutions. There’s a lot more to this than “my 27” monitor,” as you can see in this post authored by David Washington, a senior program manager on our User Experience team.
–Steven


One of the core promises of the Windows platform has been its support for diverse form factors, allowing Windows to power over a billion PCs in the market today. In Windows 8, we set out to build upon this strength by delivering a great experience regardless of the form factor or screen size. Windows 8 PCs will come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small tablet screens to laptops and large desktop monitors and multi-monitor setups. They will also scale to different pixel densities; from that of the typical tablet to new high-definition tablets. The following principles guided us in our design process:

  1. Offer customers a broad choice of form factors while providing a polished, consistent, and predictable user experience.
  2. Enable developers to easily build apps that look great on all form factors in the Windows ecosystem.

With Windows, you can choose a PC that works for you, with a screen that best meets your needs, preferences, or style. For example, a student might buy a touch-enabled laptop with a big screen because they want to be able to write papers but still have fun watching movies or playing games on a touch-screen. Families might opt for an all-in-one desktop with a huge touch screen to view and organize all of the family photos. An accountant with a long commute might pick up a small tablet that easily fits in her bag to surf the web or catch up on her reading during her train ride to and from work. A professional architect or financial trader might have three screens in a mixed portrait and landscape configuration, with one touch screen in the mix.

Windows 8 will power all these PCs and experiences, and as people transition between different sized screens in their day-to-day lives, they will be greeted with a consistent and familiar experience. This breadth of hardware choice is unique to Windows and is central to how we see Windows evolving.

In Windows 8, apps power the user experience, so providing a development platform that makes it easy for developers to create a beautiful user interface that scales to all screens is paramount. For this primary reason, Windows 8 was engineered from the ground up to be a platform for making great apps that work on a variety of screens.  

Traditional desktop monitors, a laptop, a convertible, and a tablet PC

Device diversity

Looking at the breadth of devices that will run Windows 8, we can classify their screens in several ways.

  • Screen size: There will be PCs with different screen sizes, from the smaller screens on tablets, to medium sized laptops, and large desktops and all-in-ones. These screens will also come in different shapes or aspect ratios.
  • Screen resolution: Screens will have an increasing number of pixels on screen, or screen resolution. In general, the larger the screen, the higher the screen resolution, but this isn’t always the case.
  • Pixel density: Screens will also have different pixel densities, which is the number of pixels within a physical area, or dots per inch (DPI.) The pixel density increases as the screen resolution increases, but the screen size remains constant.

Screen size, resolution, and pixel density were each considered carefully when designing Windows 8 for users and developers. When talking about screens, it is very important to be clear about the variable or dimension being talked about. For example, a 13” screen might be running at any number of resolutions (which means any number of pixel densities) and might have one of several different aspect ratios.

This graphic shows a sample of the diversity of common wide-screen aspect ratios and screen sizes that Windows 8 can run on. Windows will support just about any screen dimension so long as the graphics driver and hardware combination provide the correct information to Windows. In addition, some screens will scale to different aspect ratios via cropping and/or stretching. And although we indicate slate or laptop in the diagram below, please keep in mind that these are “fuzzy” boundaries that are getting more fuzzy all the time.

10.1" 2560x1440, 11.6" 2560x1440, 10.1" 1920x1080, 11.6" 1920x1080, 10.1" 1366x768, 11.6" 1366x768, 14" 1920x1080, 14" 1366x768, 12" 1280x800, 15.6" 1920x1080, 17" 1920x1080, 23" 1920x1080, 27" 2560x1440.

    

Minimum resolution

I’ve seen a few blog comments that ask specifically about minimum resolution, for example on Designing the Start screen in October 2011, @wolf asked:

“A better idea would force all developers to make sure all Metro app[s] [are designed for] a minimal screen size of 800×600. Limiting Metro apps to only 1024×768 will cut out all netbook users as well as hurt the Windows App Store.”

We chose a minimum screen resolution of 1024×768 in order to make it as simple as possible for developers to create great apps that work on all the different screens that are available now and in the future. A minimum resolution provides a necessary starting place for developers, who can use it as a baseline to ensure that all of the navigation, controls, and content fit on screen. As we worked on different design layouts for apps, we found that the higher the minimum resolution, the richer and more tailored the app could be. We wanted developers to be able to tailor and refine their layouts to make use of every available pixel on 1024×768, without having to compromise the layout for a smaller resolution.

Stocks app next to snapped Weather app

Windows 8 has a minimum resolution to allow developers to create rich layouts that make the best use of space at 1024×768

Why choose 1024×768 as a minimum?

We chose 1024×768 as a minimum for Metro style apps for three reasons.

  • It is large enough to support the rich and beautiful layouts that we expect to see with Metro style apps. Lower resolutions, like 800×600 for example, require simpler more basic layouts with less content.
  • Websites are typically designed for 1024×768 as the minimum (or only) resolution, and web developers are used to targeting this resolution.   
  • Looking at the data about devices in the marketplace today, we see that only 1.2% of active Windows 7 users have screens with a resolution of less than 1024×768. When designing a new platform that supports the devices of today and tomorrow (with undoubtedly higher resolutions) we optimized for the majority of today’s screens (i.e. 98.8%) without sacrificing the experience and complicating the developer story for legacy screens. In addition, the runrate of new PCs with screen sizes of 1024×600 and 1280×720 has dramatically fallen and, to the best of our knowledge, almost no new mainstream PCs are being manufactured with this resolution. We are aware of purpose-built machines that run at lower resolutions, which are built for specialized desktop apps as well. While many run virtual machines, VMs can easily support 1024×768 even though many default to lower resolution.

Bar graph showing all Windows 8 apps supported at 1366x768, 1280x800, 1600x900, 1920x1080, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1680x1050, 1024x768, 1360x768, 1920x1200, and 1280x768. Desktop apps only are supported on 1024x600 and 1280x720 (which comprise only about 1% each of screens)

A world without a minimum

Some people have asked why we enforce the minimum resolution instead of just communicating it as a loosely supported recommendation. Enforcing the requirement simplifies the lives of developers as they never have to take these lower screen resolutions into consideration—they can just rule them out. If an app isn’t designed with consideration for lower resolutions, some layouts could truncate, wrap, or break in unpredictable ways. Developers would not be able to confidently build apps to look good on all devices that Windows 8 supports. If we were to have a loose requirement, some developers might build and test for these lower resolutions, while others might not, yielding a fractured ecosystem where developers start targeting specific devices instead of the platform as a whole. Also, developers might target the least common denominator and pick the lowest possible resolution, which in turn would be detrimental to the user experience and quality of the apps.

The 5inarow game app, shown with a red bar over the bottom 5th of screen to indicate where screen would be truncated on 1024x600.

The layout of this game would be truncated at the bottom if allowed to run on 1024×600

Minimum resolution and snap

The resolution that supports all the features of Windows 8, including multitasking with snap, is 1366×768. We chose this resolution as it has enough horizontal pixels to fit the 320px width of a snapped app, next to a main app with a 1024px width. The specs of the Samsung tablet that we unveiled at the //build/ conference are 11.6-inches with a 1366×768 resolution (the Samsung Series 7 tablet in market today). These specs are the minimum screen resolution that supports all the features of Windows 8 on a useful physical size.Snapped app is 320px wide, main app is 1024px wide x 768px high

        

The snap view is always a fixed 320px wide, which allows developers to refine and create a targeted view for this size. A width of 320px is a common and familiar size that developers are already designing for on various phone platforms.

Some people have asked why we don’t allow for the snap view to be arbitrarily sized, or offer a variety of different multitasking sizes. Supporting arbitrary sizes for this small of a layout can significantly increase the complexity of building an app, and would require a lot of additional work and complexity from the developer.

Although the width of a snapped app remains fixed, the vertical space increases to fit the screen, so on larger screens you won’t have to scroll as much. The //build/ talk 8 traits of great Metro style apps provides many great snapped layout examples. We will discuss snap and multitasking more in a future post.

Below are several examples, with the snapped app layout on the left, and the primary app layout on the right.

3 different apps shown with primary layout next to snapped app layout

Is there a maximum resolution?

You may be wondering why there isn’t a maximum resolution. With higher resolutions there is more space, so the layout is really never broken or truncated on higher resolution screens. You can run Metro style apps on a screen as big as 30” with a resolution of 2560×1600! But although apps aren’t broken when they have more space, developers should give some consideration to these larger resolution screens, so that they make use of the space in a way that keeps their apps looking beautiful.

Larger screen sizes

On larger screens like desktop monitors, people generally expect to fit more content on the screens—as the screen size increases, screens have more pixels. The below diagrams demonstrate how, when the screen size and number of pixels increase, the number of objects of the same size on screen also increases. On the small screen below we can fit about 40 orange squares, and on the larger screen we can fit 84 squares of the same size.

11.6" 1366x768 compared with 17" 1920x1080, which shows many more boxes on the screen

  Larger screens generally have more pixels and can therefore show more content 

But just because more content can fit on screen this doesn’t mean every app will make use of this space. If an app is designed with fixed dimensions or a specific form factor in mind, larger monitors may display a large empty region, as in the example below. This is not a good experience, as some have commented.

Regardless of your large screen resolution, today most websites are not particularly well tailored for large screens and tend to leave lots of space (many users prefer to zoom in on the text using the CTRL key and the mouse wheel on large displays, or the keyboard shortcuts CTRL+, CTRL -, CTRL 0). This is the same on the mobile web, when sites are too big to fit on a mobile display. More and more web developers are adapting their content to different form factors by using a combination of form-factor detection and the use of apps.

Headlines app shown in upper left corner of screen with blank space at lower right.

Without consideration for different screen sizes, many apps would have large empty regions when shown on larger screens

The Windows 8 platform makes building one app that scales to different screen sizes straightforward for the developer by providing built-in layout controls and techniques. Apps in Windows 8 fill the available space by bringing in more content where possible. A developer can easily build the same app to show more content as the screen size changes from a tablet, to a laptop with a bigger screen, all the way up to a desktop monitor. For example, this news app shows more articles on bigger screens. It should be noted that the underlying platform and tools have been developed to provide support for asynchronous programming which also enables “filling” larger displays, and making them just as fast and fluid as smaller displays—there’s no need to block the user while fetching and filling large amounts of content.

Headlines app on 11.6" 1366x768 screen has 10 articles, on 13" 1400x1050 screen has 15 articles, and on 20" 1920x1080 screen has 21 articles

Building apps for larger screen sizes

Windows 8 has been designed to work in a predictable and consistent way for screens of different sizes and shapes across tablets, laptops, and desktop monitors. When a user changes to a different sized screen, it’s important that the system and apps make the best use of the screen space that’s available to provide the most immersive experience.

Sample app shown on 3 different sized screens

With adaptive layouts like this sample app created for the Developer Preview
at //build/, users see more content on larger screens

One way that Windows 8 helps app developers to adapt their apps for this variety is through support in the app platform for standards-based adaptive layouts. Building an app layout that looks great on different screens has been a challenge in the past on the web. Rather than inventing a new, proprietary set of layout controls, Windows 8 has built-in support for the familiar adaptive layout techniques from XAML, and for the W3C ratified set of CSS3 features, which were designed specifically to make this easier for web developers.

In HTML, the CSS3 grid, flexible box, and multi-column layouts help developers use screen real estate more effectively across a variety of devices and resolutions.

The CSS3 grid layout allows a developer to specify the rows and columns of their layout; it is similar to using an HTML table but provides much more control and flexibility. A grid is also great for defining a top-level adaptive layout that is similar to the ones that you see in the Windows 8 UI (like the Start screen and the file picker). You define the rows and columns, and then place your content into the cells of the grid. It is simple to define which cells should adapt and reflow to the screen.

Grid of four boxes, containing number pairs: 1,1; 1,2; 1,2; 2,2

CSS3 flexible box layout allows a developer to distribute margins and whitespace equally and predictably. It’s great for laying out individual components and collections like toolbars and image collections.

Finally, CSS3 multi-column layout can be used to arrange content into multiple columns on the page, similar to the layout of a newspaper or magazine. All of the templates provided with Visual Studio 11 use these layout constructs and leverage the ListView and other controls to support different sized screens by default. Developers can use the same standards-based layout techniques and controls that help them accommodate different screen sizes to also help them adapt the layout to different orientations and snapped views. All of the layout constructs available in HTML are available for XAML developers as well.

Some apps, particularly games and game-like rendered UI, do not wish to take advantage of more space with higher screen resolutions. For these apps we provide a way to easily scale an app that was designed for 1366×768 to fit any screen. If the aspect ratio doesn’t match the content, the system provides theme-able letterboxing regions as well. While this isn’t ideal for all UI because it may make things appear quite large on desktop monitors, it does work well for many games and game-like UI that is composed mostly of bitmap graphics. This solution also allows apps to remain immersive on a variety of screens without needing significant work from the developer.

        

Game appears bigger on bigger screen

With fixed layouts like this 5inarow game, users see the game bigger on larger screens

We believe it is important for app developers to be able to choose which layout technique—adaptive or scaled to fit—makes the most sense for them, depending on their content and their workflow. If all apps were adaptive, it would be difficult to build game-like rendered UI that fills a 23” 1920×1080 screen without huge empty margins. On the other hand, if all apps were scaled to fit, users wouldn’t be able to see more email messages on their 23” 1920×1080 screen. We believe that our solution strikes the right balance, and provides developers with the choice and tools to optimize their apps for different screens based on the scenarios that are most important for them.

You might be wondering why we don’t just let apps arbitrarily resize and not worry about any of this. That is a reasonable question given the history of resizable windows in Windows. In fact, the first version of Windows supported “tiled” Windows and it was not until Windows 2.0 that overlapping windows were supported. We focused on tailored full-screen layouts for Metro style apps for all of the reasons you have just read, along with the desire to have reliable experiences at many resolutions.

This may seem counter-intuitive given our experience in Windows every day. But as we look across many apps and the ever expanding screen sizes available to us all, it has become clear that developers are no longer optimizing for the diversity of screens available. Though most software lists minimum requirements, in practice, we see many errors—with UI that is clipped, awkwardly placed, or just poorly rendered when windows are resized or maximized. We also see assets (icons and UI elements) that do not properly scale to a variety of pixel densities. Even in the designs of the ribbon in Office 2007, much effort went into scaling the ribbon, as you can see in this series of screen shots.

four sizes of the "Arrange" chunk: Large, Medium, Small, Popup, Popup Expanded

Image from Scaling up, scaling down on Jensen Harris: An Office User Interface blog

Unfortunately, most applications do not take advantage of controls that are already available (like the Windows ribbon) to successfully scale. As a result, end-users have to learn how big or small to make a window and developers have to deal with bugs and inconsistencies in resolutions that they might not be testing for, since they cannot prepare for all resolutions, aspect ratios, and pixel densities. As developers created their own layouts, controls, and UI metaphors they also built in assumptions about screen resolution and pixel density required for their code, but rarely enforced these (even today, Windows property sheets clip at below 600 pixels as some have seen with early netbooks or on VMs).

In general, while many reading this blog find arbitrary window sizes something they can manage and arrange, data consistently shows two things. First, on laptops (over 75% of PCs purchased by consumers) most applications are run maximized all the time—this makes sense given the real estate available and the design points of most interfaces and web sites. Second, on large screen displays, most windows are sized to a reasonable number of rough dimensions primarily because most programs do not support “infinite” scaling.

We’re going to see new user interface approaches and new ways to organize commands. Windows 8 contains a very rich control library and vastly more flexible tools and languages for coding user interface layouts than any previous release. And of course, the Windows desktop is still there (and is improved), where you can continue to work with the capabilities you are used to for the apps you currently use.

Different pixel densities

Pixel density is a new concept to a lot of people but it is closely tied to our discussion here of screen size and screen resolution. Basically, the pixel density is the number of pixels in a physical area. This is commonly described as dots per inch, or DPI. As the pixel density increases, the physical size of fixed pixels decreases. Some of you may have observed how text can be very small on very high-resolution laptops. Historically many are familiar with “large fonts” or “make text bigger” settings on the desktop to compensate for these physics. Windows 8 takes this to a new level of support for WinRT applications.

135 DPI screen has 4 rows of larger squares

190 DPI screen has 6 rows of smaller squares

On higher pixel density screens, without scaling, physical sizes are smaller.

Most of us are used to fairly low-pixel densities in laptop and desktop monitors; for example, a common laptop with a 13” screen size and a resolution of 1280×800 has 116 DPI. Because of the active ecosystem bringing different displays to market we are seeing incredible advances in the pixel densities of screens on the market. Many Windows 8 tablet PCs will have pixel densities of at least 135 DPI – much higher than many of us are used to. Of course we’ve seen the introduction of HD tablets with Full HD 1920×1080 resolution on an 11.6” screen, with a pixel density of 190 DPI or quad-XGA tablets with 2560×1440 on the same 11.6” screen; that’s a pixel density of 253 DPI. Pixel densities can increase even more on lesser aspect ratios and smaller screens as we see in the new iPad. As the pixel density increases, the physical size of objects on screen gets smaller. If Windows wasn’t built to accommodate different pixel densities, objects on screen would be too small to easily tap or read on these tablets.

Finger shown hovering over a button at 1366x768, and again at 1920x1080. At higher resolution, the touch target is too small for the finger to target effectively.

Without scaling, objects are too small to tap easily on a higher pixel-density screen, like the HD tablet on the right.

For those who buy these higher pixel-density screens, we want to ensure that their apps, text, and images will look both beautiful and usable on these devices. Early on, we explored continuous scaling to the pixel density, which would maintain the size of an object in inches, but we found that most apps use bitmap images, which could look blurry when scaled up or down to an unpredictable size. Instead, Windows 8 uses predictable scale percentages to ensure that Windows will look great on these devices. There are three scale percentages in Windows 8:

  • 100% when no scaling is applied
  • 140% for HD tablets
  • 180% for quad-XGA tablets

A closeup of text on the higher density screen is much crisper than that on the low density screen, while size of touch targets is constant.

With scaling in Windows 8, physical sizes are maintained on high pixel density devices, and text and content on screen is crisper.

The percentages are optimized for real devices in the ecosystem. 140% and 180% may seem like odd scale percentage choices, but they make sense when you think about how this will work on real hardware.

For example, the 140% scale is optimized for 1920×1080 HD tablets, which has 140% of the baseline tablet resolution of 1366×768. These optimized scale factors maintain consistent layouts between the baseline tablet and the HD tablet, because the effective resolution is the same on the two devices. Each scale percentage was chosen to ensure that a layout that was designed for 100% 1366×768 tablets has content that is the same physical size and the same layout on 140% HD tablets or 180% quad-XGA tablets.

Graph shows 3 sweet spots to be 1366x768, 1920x1080, and 2560x1440

The scale percentages in Windows have been designed to maintain touch targets and
layouts, while optimizing for real tablets coming on the market in the near future.

Some might be curious about the new iPad screen. For this screen, Apple has chosen a scale factor of 200%. The new screen has twice the pixel density (132 PPI to 264 PPI)* on the same size screen. Because iOS and developers only need to support the predefined resolutions, they only need to design for this one additional scaling factor. In the case of iPad 2 compared to new iPad the 200% scaling factor means that what you see on 1024×768 is exactly what you see on the new resolution, only sharper because more pixels are used (as in the image of the app above). Additionally, on higher pixel-density screens like the new iPad, developers for games and other performance-critical apps may decide the right balance between letterboxing and running at a lower fidelity to deliver the best experience (frame rate, for example).

Scaling is invisible to the user and Windows implements it automatically based on screen dimensions, without the need for intervention from the user, IT administrator or OEM vendor. Developers just need to make sure images look great on each of the scale percentages. Because these scaling percentages are predictable, developers who provide images for each percentage can easily avoid any blurriness or artifacts due to image stretching.

Pixel density offers another variable where the existing paradigms of toolbars and menus are becoming increasingly burdensome to use. “Hacks” such as large fonts or tricking the system into using a different DPI are just that—hacks. As anyone who has used a high-DPI screen can tell you, existing applications and the UI paradigms simply don’t function, and become unusable. A typical example is when a common toolbar button becomes a diminishingly small square, and menu heights and text become too small to read and navigate. Obviously personal preference plays a role, and the ability to tweak the system can help, but neither of these is a reliable way to make sure Windows is usable on a new generation of hardware.

Windows 8 has been designed to provide developers with the easiest way for to reliably build software that works on the widest variety of hardware, and top provide consumers with the most consistently rich experience using that software. It is important not to look at this in isolation as “no more resizable windows,” but rather as part of a larger effort to provide a wider choice of screen sizes, resolutions, and densities, where developers can know their apps will work and consumers can be sure that their apps are compatible with their hardware. We do this so you don’t have to compromise by using software that isn’t fully functional or only getting to choose among a small set of screen sizes (and price points, power consumption, etc.)

Building apps for higher pixel densities

Windows 8 also makes it simple to develop apps that work across different pixel densities. First of all, no manual work needs to be done in order for the app to scale. Unlike previous releases, you won’t need to do any work to make your apps DPI-aware; there are frameworks in place to scale the app for you. Just by using web-standard CSS pixel units or a XAML layout, app layouts will scale proportionally. When an app is scaled up, images are stretched and could get blurry, but Windows 8 makes it easy for developers to keep these images looking crisp and beautiful.

Stretched bitmap is blurry, while 180% bitmap is crisp

   

Windows 8, the platform natively supports vector graphics. Any images exported as SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) or XAML art will scale without getting blurry. Additionally, Windows 8 introduces automatic resource loading so developers can save three versions of images with a naming convention; images that correspond to each of the current scale percentages (100%, 140%, and 180%) load automatically to keep images crisp on high DPI. Developers can also use the CSS3 resolution media query or the system events to reload images at different scales. Windows 8 scaling to pixel density allows developers to achieve a baseline level of quality with little effort, and then tailor their images to look polished and crisp on high pixel density screens. Bitmap is crisp at 100%, 140%, and 180%

Testing apps on different screens

Even though Windows makes it easy to build beautiful apps that work well on different screens, it is still important to test apps on those different screen sizes. We realize that most people don’t have a plethora of devices at their immediate disposal, so we built support for testing apps on different screens into the tools. Visual Studio 11 offers the Windows Simulator, which allows developers to run their apps on a variety of screen sizes, orientations, and pixel densities. Switching to a different screen size is just as easy as choosing an option from a menu.

Windows 8 Start screen in simulator, with controls on right for testing different resolutions

The Windows Simulator lets you test for different screens

Microsoft Expression Blend 5 offers a platform menu that allows you to design your apps on different screen sizes and pixel densities as you go. The Blend canvas can update dynamically depending on the display dimensions you choose on the platform menu.

Menu options include different screen resolutions, show chrome, override scaling, deploy target, views, and display

Microsoft Expression Blend 5 includes options to design for different screens

Recap

A lot of planning, thinking and development are involved in making sure that Windows 8 scales across different screens and form-factors. For users, Windows 8 offers an experience that is predictable and consistent across devices. On larger screens, they can see more content in each app. On higher pixel-density screens, they get a crisp, premium experience that is easy to read and easy to interact with via touch or keyboard and mouse. For developers, Windows 8 makes it easy to support different screen sizes and pixel densities through standards-based and well known layout techniques, and by automatically scaling to pixel density. All while allowing developers to tailor their experiences to be great on each form factor.

We look forward to you trying Windows 8 on different screens!

Thanks,
David

 

*A typo in the second PPI number was corrected on 3/22/2012. Apologies for the error.

Comments (268)

  1. people is gonna compare with ipad ratina display(even though different is not visible without microscope). so  i hope w8 gets proper marketing.

  2. AlexKven says:

    Nice! I'm loving all the work you're putting into this! But I do have a suggestion. Instead of setting a minimum resolution for metro, couldn't you just scale the app images down from a higher resolution if the physical device's resolution is smaller than the minimum?

  3. AlexKven says:

    I also love that you natively support vector images. Will metro directly support wpf? Because wpf is simply perfect for metro.

  4. Win8er says:

    Why is multi-monitor support in Win8 so poorly thought out?  One screen Metro and the remaining screens a crippled Win7 desktop?  In what universe is that a good experience?

    You may believe Metro is the way of the future, but it really sucks on multi-monitor systems.  Please put the Win7 start menu back and let ME choose how I want to work!

  5. mb says:

    I'm excited to think about how this will play into hi-res laptops.

  6. @Steven Sinofsky and @David Washington

    I'm glad to see that you are trying to optimize Windows 8 for many differnet kinds of displays. However, the large buttons of the Metro UI feel out of place on a large screen with a mouse as the main pointing device. I have no trouble clicking small buttons on my screen, so why is everything on the screen so big?

  7. WindowsVista567 I admire your determination to have Microsoft change course, even if I disagree with you.

  8. zaque says:

    any chance its going to be available on windows phone? 😀

  9. Mike Cane says:

    Rumor is that Nokia will be doing a Win 8 tab. If so, they must go Retina or just go home.

  10. Cloud Nine says:

    Great article, but the images should be in PNG, not JPEG. The JPEG artifacts and compression make the otherwise beautiful screenshots blurry. Please replace the screenshots with PNGs or JPEGs with less compression.

  11. It's off-topic, but does anyone else think it's odd that the screen resolution of most modern laptops is 1366 x 768? Until recently, I had a laptop from 1998 that had a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 – shouldn't most resolutions be larger than 1366 x 768 by now?

  12. I love Windows 8, I just think it looks a bit ugly…

    Where are the shader effects???

  13. danielgr says:

    All this is certainly welcome, and I can't wait to get a Win8 slate or similar, but then again, you could also build some flexibility into it.

    Maybe I have missed something, but right now I'm using Win8 on an extended desktop configuration with :

    – one 24" 1920×1200 monitor and

    – one 36" 1920×1080 HD TV display

    And I find it really annoying that whenever I switch my Start screen to the TV I get only 3 or 4 rows vs. 6 or more (can't remember the exact figure right now) on the monitor despite the TV being much larger.

    I can understand some logic like "TV is assumed to be watched from far away", but then again, good defaults are great for the majority, flexibility is a must for some of us with not so common tastes. And yes, flexibility is something one has learned to expect from any Windows product.

  14. As an owner of a Samsung Slate (1366×768) I can say that 16:9 is a VERY BAD aspect ratio for portrait mode on tablets. I also have an Android tablet that is 16:10 (1280×800) and it is noticeably better in portrait mode. The next version of the Asus Transformer will be 1920×1200 — still 16:10. This aspect ratio (16:10) is much more reasonable in portrait mode.

  15. danielgr says:

    @aambro Not only in slates, the 16:10 is also much better for any desktop work. Yet the PC industry decided at some point in agreement with the movie one that we should all compromise on everything we do on a PC in order to perfectly watch DVD/BD content full-screen.

    Have to guess Win8 snap feature is an effort to give back some functionality to screens that are nowadays wasted because they are way too wide.

    Personally I'll be sticking to my 16:10 24" for as long as it works…, but it's annoying one cannot buy anymore 16:10 notebooks/slates

  16. I would be interested to see more multi-monitor stuff. . . for sure.

    Unfortunately it's hard to test the "preview" on multi monitor when you tend to run beta software in VM's.

    Of most interest would be seeing . . how does the desktop "app" run over two monitors, plus how does desktop run side by side with other Metro apps (across multi monitor).

    From the way I currently work, I believe I would like to be able to run the desktop over two monitors, plus have 2 metro apps snapped onto the side of one desktop. (currently I think you can only snap a single metro app to the side).

  17. again? says:

    microcrap catching up again…Apple should just buy microsoft and get it over with.

  18. w3force says:

    @WindowsVista567  even now most of the laptop and ultrabooks sold are of 1366 x 768 resolution… I think the new ipad had reset the default resolution and windows 8 will soon follow…

  19. Sean McDirmid says:

    Here is hoping that with Windows 8 PC vendors will be encouraged to produce/sell displays that finally break 100 PPI. I'm dreaming of a 24" 200 PPI display to code on. Perhaps the big deal about Windows 8 is not really touch, but finally supporting (and requiring from app developers) some real resolution independence.

  20. @danielgr However bad you think 16:9 on a desktop/laptop computer I'm telling you that it is much much worse on a tablet because the screen is way too long and narrow to hold in portrait mode.

    If Microsoft has any desire to get a piece of the e-reader/e-zine tablet market, that goal will be impossible with these narrow aspect ratios. Portrait mode is practically unusable on these Windows tablets.

    16:9 is not good for anything other than watching movies. Websites are not built for 16:9 (in portrait or landscape), books & magazines are not better in 16:9, word processing is not better in 16:9, touch screen games cannot be played in portrait because 16:9 is so unwieldy.

  21. Guilherme says:

    As long as it doesn't scale up on large monitors (42", 40", 32", 27", 24", 22", 20") it's OK. The size of those screens allows for a lot more of pixels, displaying images and applications at 100% will be OK.

    I wish there are more displays options in the simulators, maybe some at the 16:10 ratio at 22" maybe.

    Does this scale up mode affects the desktop/classic mode too? Will the task bar upscale to 140% or 180%?

    We would like a nice and complete post about power users working in multi-monitors scenarios. Developers, architects, graphical artists. In those situations one should be able to open two or more metros apps, one in each monitor if the wants.

    Maybe with 2/3 monitors and a touch slate, one could connects the touch slate to those monitors, with one, and only one, mirroring the touch, and the other(s) as expansion(s) monitor(s); that way you could use the touch of the slate while working with the big screen, and still have the other(s) monitor(s) for expansion.

    Mouse targeting area with multi-monitors is trouble too, it's hard to put the mouse in the corner without jumping to the other screen.

    And oh… gestures on the track-pad please, swipes from the borders of the track-pads, multi-finger swipes to changes apps, and so on. It's a must have.

  22. Todd Garrison says:

    You said "The snap view is always a fixed 320px wide".  Nowhere do you say that this 320px is relative to the overall width or a ratio of the available horizontal pixels or anything like that.  In other diagrams you show all of the super awesome resolutions and corresponding DPIs that will be commonly available.  Including some that are generally in the range of the new iPad.  Let's say I totally believe that Apple has done the right think with their ridiculously amazing retina display (to see is to believe).  But I like the windows ecosystem.  So I'm going to run around and find one of the 11.6" tablets you show in your diagram, with a resolution of 2560×1440 = 253dpi.  Right in the retina sweet spot.

    If "the snap view is always a fixed 320px wide", then when I put the Messaging app into the snap region it is 320px wide? which is a whole 1.26inches when resolved at 253dpi.  Surely this is wrong.  Because from what I have seen on the build tablet, if that snap region were actually 1.26inches wide, the tablet would need to come with a magnifying glass to read it.

    What am I missing?

  23. JF says:

    Insightful post! One question:

    Is scaling based solely on resolution or is the physical screen size (or the screen's dpi) taken into consideration? For example, a computer plugged into an HDTV should have a much higher scaling (bigger content) than a 1080p monitor (more content).

  24. Mike says:

    This post pays lip service to the idea that they're designing for "all resolutions and sizes" but this is kind of disingenuous.

    If I have a 24" or 27" monitor, there aren't a lot of apps that can take advantage of that full screen.

    Right now, I'm running the Win8 DP on a laptop with a 15.6" screen that's 1920×1200.

    Using the desktop (not Metro!) I have a firefox window that I'm typing in right now — I can see my tabs up top and see that I have no new mail in one email inbox, no google voice messages or new items in my RSS feed from the Reader/Voice tabs…

    I've got a Chrome window behind the firefox window but still visible — I can see that I have no new email in my gmail account, as well as who's online with Google Talk, and if someone messages me.

    I've got the taskbar, which shows me the date and time! along with the usual wifi strength, battery remaining, volume level.

    I've got music playing in Winamp; and can see the name of what I'm listening to, also visible…I've got a small notepad window open with a quick todo list…

    So I can use the desktop, and have one main application (what I'm typing now), plus, at a glance without touching anything, almost a dozen other pieces of information.

    Or, I could be in Metro IE, and be using this high res screen to only show me one single thing.  (Oh, and I've currently got 12 tabs open, so I guess if I was in Metro IE, by the time I had this article opened up, it would have automagically closed one of my tabs without telling me, cause hey; who cares how fast my system is or how much RAM I have, let's just arbitrarily and silently junk tabs once there are more than 10!)

    How in the world is this justified as a "step forward"?

    Yeah, it makes it easier for developers to create "pretty apps" but for users, Metro throws away the entire point of having a large, high res screen (or screens, in the case of multi monitor setups) — multi-tasking with lots of windows, sized appropriately, visible at the same time.

  25. Mike says:

    Not to mention drag-and-drop, useful in lots of desktop scenarios; where does that fit into Metro?

    And the start screen search is ridiculous…why in the world would you, by default, restrict the results to Apps, when there's this GIANT screen that could be utilized to show me results in various categories (apps/settings/files).

    You're already doing the search; I can see the number of results at upper right — why not show them to me?  Why force me to select a category, or show only one at a time, when you're already taking over the entire screen?

  26. How the hell did 1366×768 ever come to be a common screen resolution? This screen resolution is really bad and doesn't scale evenly to the higher resolutions at 16:9 or 16:10. These should be the common display resolutions:

    (Aspect Ratio in either 16:9 or 16:10)

    1x = 1280:720 :: 1280:800

    1.5x= 1920:1080 :: 1920:1200

    2x = 2560:1440 :: 2560:1600

    The most common screen resolutions for Windows 8 PCs should be 800p, 1200p, and 1600p in my opinion.

  27. @Todd Garrison

    The snap view is always 320 device independent pixels (DIPs), so it will be the same physical size on an 11.6" screen regardless if the screen has a resolution of 1366×768 (320px), 1920×1080 (448px), or 2560×1440 (576px).

  28. Game-like UI = Windows 8 Metro

  29. Ben says:

    I am liking the new direction of the Windows interface. But my concern is that multi-tasking on a desktop computer is going to suffer. What I mean is that I like the flexability of being able to arrange my windows to the exact size and position that I want. What if I want my Word document to take up 50% of my screen, have a video taking up the top half of the other side of my screen and have my calculator and a copy job below my video window?

    I know that I can still do this in the desktop view but then I can't take advantage of the new Metro interface.

    Plus the new swipe to change programs looks cool but to me it seems time consuming and inaccurate. Why not swipe to show a preview of all running programs and choose the window directly rather than flicking until you get the right one? Again, I understand that this has to do with the changes to the multitasking, that some apps may be suspended and so not running, but maybe it could show say a grid of the 9 most recently viewed apps – you could then swipe to the left to go back in time to older apps.

  30. @JF

    Scaling is based upon the screens pixel density (i.e. DPI), which is calculated from screen size and screen resolution.

  31. Mentis says:

    1920×1440 is is HD resolution for 4:3 screen. Wide screen tablets have no market.

  32. B8Blog says:

    @danielgr The layout is not just based on screen size (diagonal inches) but also pixel density (DPI) which is a combination of diagonal inches (36") and maximum native resolution (1080p).  So your larger screen is a lower pixel density so it will be scaled to keep things in proportion to user interface sizes (you would notice for example the keyboard is still keyboard sized).  At extremely large screen sizes with "low" resolution you are usually just broadcasting for others and not using it as a "monitor" so this is more natural than if you tried to really scale things to be a 36" monitor right in front of you.  

  33. DrPizza says:

    Are my comments and questions being blacklisted?

  34. DrPizza says:

    Well that one went through, how peculiar. One from several hours ago got a message to say that my comment had been received and might be moderated and appears to have disappeared into the void.

  35. (Where'd my comment go)

    Can we prevent scaling, so that when I view Metro apps on a larger screen with high resolution it doesn't must make all the targets big again? Whether mouse only or touch, I wouldn't need large UI targets on a large screen.

  36. sean says:

    "Second, on large screen displays, most windows are sized to a reasonable number of rough dimensions primarily because most programs do not support “infinite” scaling."

    How was this reason determined to be the primary reason?

    In my experience, most people don't run full-screen on large displays because they have room to display multiple windows without overlap – nothing to do with lack of support for scaling.

  37. Xanido says:

    How does the Ease of Access => Make Everything Bigger setting play into the 100% / 140% / 180% configurations? Does it just bump you up a level (doing nothing at 180%), does it add extra scalings for the developer to target, does it just perform a flat increase on the supplied assets, or does it behave in a different way?

  38. DrPizza says:

    Let's try again, then. Two questions.

    1: Given that most Web sites won't have 1.4x and 1.8x assets or designs, how will the scaling cope with all the non-integral sizes that will result? For example, a 16×16 box will scale to 22.4×22.4 or 28.8×28.8. Isn't this going to result in lots of rounding and/or fuzzy aliased lines?

    2: How would e.g. a system with both touch and a mouse be treated–will I be able to force it to be unscaled if I prefer to use the mouse (and hence do not care about maintaining the size of touch targets)?

  39. @aambr

    As we discussed in the post, Windows 8 was designed to scale to different screen sizes and aspect ratios, including 16:10 screens.

    The minimum resolution required to run all the features of Windows 8, including snap, is 1366×768. Even though this is a 16:9 aspect ratio, other higher resolutions displays have been designed to work great with Windows 8; like a 10-inch 1920×1200 tablet for example.

    You can pick the device that best meets your usage and preference, whether it be a 16:9 tablet for watching movies without letterboxing, a large desktop monitor for reading a lot of emails, or a 16:10 tablet if you like it better for reading. This breadth of hardware choice is unique to Windows and is central to how we see Windows evolving.

  40. DrPizza says:

    A third question occurs:

    1366×768 is listed as the minimum for snap. If I have a higher resolution 4:3 screen (e.g. 1600×1200) will I be able to snap, or does snap require 16:9/16:10?

  41. @Xanido

    Yes, the Make Everything Bigger setting bumps you up a level. There are no additional scale factors for developers to support for accessibility.

  42. Does this mean no improvements for high DPI displays on the desktop?

    I'm thinking if I'm on a quad-XGA 11.6" tablet and I flick back to Office on the desktop that if the desktop doesn't scale for the higher DPI display it's going to be too small to see!

  43. B8Blog says:

    @aambro — portrait v. landscape is going to depend on the PC makers primary intent for the PC (or monitor) and the factors that contribute to those intentions.  

    Putting aside the resolution/dpi and just thinking about screen diagonal ratios, the Kindle fire is a 1.7 ratio (1024×600) whereas the iPad is a 1.3 ratio (1024×768, or 2048×1536).  Reviews like mashable.com/…/ipad-2-kindle-fire-media-comparison talk about the different content and what makes sense as well as how each feels.  As you start to use apps on the iPad, even with a 1.3 ratio (close to letter paper in the US or sort of square depending on your perspective) you are seeing many apps hardcoding the landscape orientation as well.  While absent any content, many people like the portrait orientation because of the letter paper feel, it does depend a great deal on the content.

    That said, in all of the studies we did we found a great deal of comfort and natural tendency for people to hold all screen with two hands and a preference for landscape.  This should make intuitive sense because while most books are a 1.5 ratio (see en.wikipedia.org/…/Paperback for example) for a single page, you don't fold over a book (like you might, but not frequently) fold over a magazine.  So in practice books are not 1.5 but a 0.75 ratio which is a landscape orientation.  On the other hand US letter paper is ~1.3 and usually read one sheet at a time and so feels much like 1.3 screens.  Yet, A4 paper, which feels very "skinny" to many in the US, is a 1.4 ratio and so the 1.6 ratio doesn't feel as different.

    So there are content and culture/familiarity as to what sizes feel "right".  I don't think there is any single answer which is why we are so focused on supporting a variety of screen sizes/dpi and allowing for development of apps that can span a wide variety of tuned content and experiences.

  44. w3force says:

    @Dr Pizza Snap is nothing to do with aspect ratio but minimum support snap resolution is 1366. A resolution with 1366 * 1280 also support Snap

  45. @Dr Pizza

    1. Besides ensuring harmony throughout the system and across apps, the typographic design grid has been designed along with the scaling system. The major grid units are 20px and the sub units are 5px. These numbers were carefully chosen to ensure that layouts scale cleanly on our system scale percentages (100%, 140% and 180%). Using pixel values that are a multiple of 5px ensures that the math is always clean on our scale percentages so you don’t get unexpected pixel shifting. The Designing Metro Style talk from //build/ elaborates on the typographic grid further: channel9.msdn.com/…/APP-395T

    2. The scaling system is not only designed to ensure touchability but readability. If unscaled, our research has shown that on high pixel density tablets, (like an 10" 1920×1080  screen),  that text would be unreadable by most people with 20/20 vision.

    3. Yes, screens with a resolution higher than 1366×768 with different aspect ratios can snap

  46. Ryan says:

    I concur completely with others with the notion that 16:9 displays are just way too narrow for tablets. Even 16:10 feels way too long in one direction. For portrait displays, 4:3 is still much more useful, and it's what I have for dual 20" monitors–dual 4:3 20" monitors just offers a much better experience than dual 16:9 or 16:10 20" monitors, which are either way too wide if placed in landscape orientation or way too narrow if placed in portrait.

    Unfortunately (and as someone else pointed out already), for some reason the influence of widescreen movies changed the entire display industry, and now we're stuck with widescreen displays optimized for watching movies for every other purpose–Office, photos, web browsing, coding, reading, music editing, you name it. The display industry was all too happy to oblige, as it is cheaper for them to offer a 20" widescreen display than a 20" 4:3 display.

    I guess this is aimed more at the device manufacturers than at Microsoft, although keeping in mind 4:3 aspect ratios and others needs to continue. But to the extent to which you influence the design decisions that are made, please, please, please help inform the manufacturers that 16:9 and 16:10 aren't ideal for every purpose. Tablets aren't just glorified movie-watching machines.

  47. sean says:

    Hear, hear!  Let's hear it for 1600×1200 displays!

  48. Ryan says:

    I also share the concerns about multi-monitor and large display/desktop work PC setups. The underlying theme here seems to be that the "desktop" is a legacy experience, that WinRT is the way of the future. Yet, from what we're seeing with the WinRT apps, there is accommodation for, at most, two running apps in the foreground at a time, and there is no accommodation for multi-monitor setups with respect to WinRT–you can have multi-monitor arrangements for the traditional desktop apps and you can have WinRT apps on one monitor in a multi-monitor setup, but if you run with WinRT apps *only*, there is NO multi-monitor accommodation. For businesses in particular, this is extremely limiting. No… it's more than that. It's a deal-breaker.

    Am I missing something?

  49. DrPizza says:

    Final question: does IE 10 set window.devicePixelRatio to > 1 when scaling is in effect?

  50. Ryan says:

    One other thing I would like to suggest (though I have nothing more than anecdotal evidence to support this)–the feedback that Microsoft receives from its telemetry mechanisms may be biased heavily towards the consumer, since many businesses deliberately opt out of the program. I can say "many" based on discussions with IT colleagues, though I obviously cannot provide any hard numbers. However, I think it may well be true in a broad sense. And in the case of a product like Windows (and I think something you have pointed out in this blog), even a figure of "only 1%" of users is still at least 10 million users. I'm not sure with a product of the scope of Windows at what point you decide to "ignore" a minority to optimize for a majority, but… I guess the point I'd like to make is that there are "large" groups of users out there that want and need Windows to do their jobs and to be their computing platform, and sometimes it's a bit hard to stomach telemetry data (the old saw about lies and statistics comes to mind) that essentially says your concerns need to be put aside for the good of the whole. And from the many other considered responses here, it seems I'm not the only one with significant concerns about the future path of Windows and how it affects my career and the people I support.

    (To be clear, I'm not advocating for supporting 1024×600 displays! 🙂

  51. David says:

    @Ryan – thanks for reminding us all about the elephant in the room – all my business customers have always disabled telemetry, for every Microsoft product. There's absolutely no appetite to send data back to Microsoft (despite what is supposedly collected, none of the IT security officers I've ever talked to will even THINK about it before saying no).

    I'd go further than you and suggest that many "power users" also disable telemetry, as do those who are significantly privacy-conscious. So that would mean that the majority of the telemetry is from … the non-power-user consumers. Ouch!

    So how do Microsoft balance the tens or hundreds of millions of corporate users, power users and games who don't send telemetry with the millions of average Joes who do? The question was asked during the Win7 beta but I don't recall ever seeing an answer … ISTR that the comment was "we got random people to do usability labs" – which could well be worse than no data at all!

    I think it'd be wise to remember that it's not called Microsoft App-On-A-Slab 8, it's Microsoft Windows 8. It's called Windows because it runs apps in windows. Looking at my desktop right now: 10 apps in windows (including RDP windows inside RDP windows!) on the high res screen, 7 full screen on the low-res screen (1366×768 in this day and age is pathetically low). Critically, though, when I move a full screen app from the low res screen to the high res screen …. it doesn't stay full-screen because it no longer needs to. I'm desperately hoping that this is recognised, along with users who have rotated screens (1080 x 1920 is great for full page editing).

  52. ZipZapRap says:

    Great post thank you.

    And I'm adding my voice to the dissatisfaction with the current industry standard of 16:9!!

    It's an annoying aspect ratio on a monitor and a highly annoying one on a tablet.

  53. Martin says:

    I got an interesting question: since Windows 8 won't support Metro apps on most of current netbooks (millions of devices) with 1024×600, what's the plan of Metro UI on such netbooks then? It won't serve much purpose – user will be able to launch only classic desktop apps form there and use it for search, it's like having second but limited desktop. I got here Asus EEE 1000H netbook with Windows8 CP installed and frankly, it's quite strange to use it.

  54. Darren says:

    Just another ridiculous Microsoft post.

    It was over when I ran over the marketing terms "rich and beautiful" and "fast and fluid".

    @Ryan

    I full agree with you. Companies do opt out from sending telemetry data, power user opt out, privacy concerned users opt out. Nobody I know sends data back to Microsoft. So what is left? As you said: Users who don´t care or don´t understand their system.

    I assume Microsoft aggregates their telemetry data with the data they receive from their internet services like "Live" but what business uses "Live"? I believe the data Microsoft relied on are heavily flawed.

    I once tried 1366 on my desktop and after while switched back to 1280×800 as this feels natual. The other is too much stretched in an unnatural way. And no I am not sending data to Microsoft from my 3 machines I use.

    So it is interesting to see how many bad decision Micosoft makes based on their data they rely on. On top of that they make bad decision like the start screen, which is based on any data at all.

    Maybe Apple should buy this company finally.

    @David Washington

    You are trying to make a point on the screen resolution by basing your facts on a gaming app, a stock watching app and a piano app. How low is this? Has Windows come so low that it is for no better use? Is this your plan? A device for gaming, watching stock options and playing piano? Yeah it would be really hard if you would support more screen resolution because the gaming app would not work then. Oh yeah not to forget it is more simple for the developes. (DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS). So the computer users have to adapt to worse resolutions because the developers can´t code it right? Again, this is soooo low.

    And the most ridicolous points are your references to the iPad. But it clearly shows what is f*cking your minds at Microsoft. It is only Apple, Apple, Apple. Ever realised why Apple has chosen this self referencing name "App" for their little programs?

    And now even Microsoft is using it and referencing to Apple any time they say it. Naming them "Widgets" would be suiting Windows much better but seeing this ridicolous Metro way, there is now way calling this software Windows anymore. When this company started it had MS-DOS, because it was a disk operating system. Then it had Windows because guess what, it had several Windows that could be used.

    Now with Metro maybe this thing should be called "Snappy 8", "Full Screen 8" or maybe "Fast and fluid and rich and beautiful 8". Personally I prefer "Windows Fail" or "Fail 8" or "Vista 8".

    It will be fun to watch you guys trying to revert back all this sh*t in Windows 9.

  55. Still hoping that the minimum resolution for snap will be 1024 x 768, a lot of netbooks has this. I don't know why it was not implemented in the WCP whereas the snap feature on low resolution are working fine in WDP.

  56. @Darren says:

    Keep waiting for day and leave us in peace.

  57. domenicoav says:

    Mr. Steven PLS save my Netbook Cedar Trail . Windows 8 WROK AWESOME in this netbook but 1024×600  no metrò app 🙁

    I understand that Windows 8 is projected for the future, but without support for 1024×600 Netbooks are all cut off

  58. Nicofr83 says:

    Will win8 support wide gamut display ?

    Will the metro AND desktop be color aware ?

    In fact I would like to have an update from the info given by M Bourgoin(2nd post):

    answers.microsoft.com/…/e59e4056-c328-45b3-9a2f-263b5ae698d8

    Thanks

    Nicolas

  59. I am not convinced that one user interface for all screen sizes and all kinds of input devices is the correct decision. Microsoft should have developed Windows and Windows Metro in parallel, it is precisely this that Microsoft does not understand, this is where the UX team has failed completely to understand how the desktop interface was more productive and more advanced and that is why Metro does not suit larger screens or non-touch input devices. By adopting a minimalistic approach, Microsoft is failing to serve the demands and needs of power users. Microsoft tries to pitch Metro as the replacement for desktop apps when it could have co-existed in a separate Windows product, so the desktop ecosystem remained unharmed. Now the damage is done to desktop apps which are now "legacy" and I am not sure Windows enthusiasts will ever accept Windows 8 as a PC replacement or forgive Microsoft for effectively freezing any advancement of Win32 and desktop apps. The Metro user experience is a less advanced UX compared to the "legacy" UX concepts of overlapping, resizable, movable, minimizable, maximizable windows with fast and efficient launching, closing, searching, notifications, switching, and multitasking. Even if Metro scales to larger screens (it does scale well), but so does WPF. Everything in Metro is dumbed down and simpler than desktop concepts, and this makes it unacceptable for power users for any screen size in fact. I am not sure I even want Windows 8 on a tablet because of its less developed, less advanced state and near-zero customizability. If some competing platform offers me superior, more advanced, more productive, and more customizable form of launching, switching and multitasking, I will get that for my tablet. Just because Apple made everything simple and non-customizable doesn't mean you have to copy that too.

    Is Expression Blend 5 going to be shipped in two different editions – one for Silverlight 5+WPF and another for Windows Metro+Phone development?

  60. Quppa says:

    "We also see assets (icons and UI elements) that do not properly scale to a variety of pixel densities."

    This is surely because it's so hard to properly scale bitmap graphics in the extant desktop application frameworks. Even in WPF, which uses device independent units instead of pixels for measurements, it's damn hard to get pixel-perfect images at multiple DPIs (or even at one DPI setting – RenderOptions.BitmapScalingMode and UseLayoutRounding aren't necessarily obvious attributes to set for beginners). I think the support you're adding to WinRT for multiple resource loading is great, but please add something similar to your existing frameworks which people will be using for years to come. The Windows Ribbon has similar functionality, but that's about it, as far as I can tell. (And the Windows Ribbon is so visually unappealing that I can't blame developers for using other implementations.)

    Regarding the three scaling percentages (100%, 140% and 180%) – are these applied automatically and can the user change the setting manually (e.g. force 100% scaling on a 1920×1080 tablet)? Do they have any relationship to the desktop? The desktop DPI settings page still has the standard 100%, 125%, 150% and 200% as in previous versions, so I presume I won't need to include 140% and 180% size image resources in my desktop applications.

    I agree with Cloud Nine regarding PNG screenshots in these blog posts. In fact, I don't think it's due to JPEG compression artefacts, but the 'Crisp 180%' image is anything but.

    Now that I think of it, the icons on the Start Screen in the Windows Consumer Preview are stretched. This is particularly noticeable for the Video app (see bottom of the icon doesn't snap to pixel boundaries), the Messenger app (the corners especially are blurry), the Camera app (the bottom and the top), the Finance app (all blurry), and even the icons for desktop applications (despite the icon size being 32x32px) – what's going on here? http://i.imgur.com/Nl7zy.png

    Also, I thought there might be some mention of ClearType in this post. One reason posited for the absence of ClearType in the Metro environment is the preponderance of high-DPI tablets that we're likely to see by the time Windows 8 is released. http://www.istartedsomething.com/…/cleartype-takes-a-back-seat-for-windows-8-metro

  61. My Windows 8 laptop says:

    Screen resolution does not work well on my Windows 8 laptop: img2.imagesbn.com/…/110973571.jpg

  62. Quppa says:

    "It is large enough to support the rich and beautiful layouts that we expect to see with Metro style apps. Lower resolutions, like 800×600 for example, require simpler more basic layouts with less content."

    I couldn't help but chuckle at this. Certainly, some Metro-style apps have beautiful layouts, but I'm not sure 'rich' is the right term. If there were any less content, there'd be almost nothing left on the screen. The information density is very low, which I think it needs to be to work across multiple device types.

  63. LeoStorm85 says:

    Stats about most common screen resolution really sounds strange to me. The vast majority of people I know (included me) who buyed a laptop only 2 years ago, have a resolution of 1280×800 and they won't do snap. So Metro loses a big selling point for them. It is not a so unusual resolution (especially for 13.3 inches screen) so why are you threating it this way? I understand your point about simplicity in writing apps but this is not exactly what I mean for "flexibility".

  64. McZ says:

    @xpclient

    "Microsoft tries to pitch Metro as the replacement for desktop apps when it could have co-existed in a separate Windows product, so the desktop ecosystem remained unharmed."

    Metro as it is yet is clearly no desktop, but a Start Menu replacement. This may change somewhere in the future, if MSFT chooses to add arbritrary screen schemata possible.

    In the meantime, the Desktop is still there, completely unharmed apart from the missing Start Menu, which btw was always a crappy compromise.

    I wonder why you keep on seeding FUD.

  65. Gavin Greig says:

    Just a small thought, and not related to layout at all, but it would be cool to be able to rely on an easily accessible way of turning touch functionality on and off – so that you can clean the screen without stuff going crazy. I can see this would be tricky for touch-only devices, as it would require a hardware solution, but I think it's worthy of some consideration.

  66. One of the most annoying things in the consumer preview was running it on a 1600×1200 and being confronted by enormous Metro buttons. I can understand in a touch device that the goal is probably to have the buttons be approximately some physical size regardless of dpi, resolution or whatever.  

    But on a PC with a mouse and a large display the goal should be to get in as many tiles as possible, preferably under user control. If the buttons are just scaled up then that is no good at all. Navigating a landscape of enormous icons with a mouse is tiring on my arm and my eyes. I want as much information packed into my screen as possible. In Windows 7 I've set my start menu to show me small icons and I can read them just fine with the standard system font. I would expect the same level of compactness if confronted with the equivalent set of icons presented through Metro.

  67. McZ, you couldn't be more wrong because you think at the superficial level, you don't think from a platform perspective. WinRT is the replacement for Win32, WinRT is the backend powering Metro. Desktop apps are beginning to be called "legacy" and MS is trashing them on their own app developer blog and calling WinRT apps as modern superior replacements which is very subjective given Metro apps have other limitations, while Win32 apps have their own limitations. If every Windows developer embraces Metro, there won't be any desktop developers left. That day is still far away, but that's the general idea of Microsoft. And watch your tone, accusing me of spreading FUD? Everyone is free to state his opinion here, if you don't agree, kindly shut up, don't attack other users.

  68. Quppa says:

    @McZ

    > In the meantime, the Desktop is still there, completely unharmed apart from the missing Start Menu, which btw was always a crappy compromise.

    I think it's possible to stage a convincing argument that replacing the Start menu with an interface that takes over the entire screen is significantly detrimental to the desktop experience, though clearly some people don't mind, or even prefer, the new approach. The desktop experience has been modified/'harmed' in other ways, as well – note how some Metro elements encroach on the desktop interface, such as the notification area network interface and new 'Open with' dialog. I can live with these changes, even if they bring even more inconsistency to the Windows experience, but the networking overlay in particular is annoying as it covers up part of the taskbar 🙁 xpclient has a nice post illustrating these changes: social.technet.microsoft.com/…/94c49e3f-1ad8-42da-a84a-ca06fe497760

  69. One nice feature would be the ability to have 2 full-sized apps on the screen at the same time. App widths between 320 and 1024 pixels would be disallowed (just as now), but otherwise apps could be resized freely while in their full-sized mode. This would require a screen width of at least 2070 pixels and a minimum physical size of approximately 17" (so UI elements are their normal dimensions). A handful of monitors are already available which meet these specs, and the options will only become more numerous in the future. Whether in a conference room or on a desktop, it's easy to see the benefits of being able to run 2 full-sized apps simultaneously. It would require no additional effort by app developers, and only small tweaks to Win8 to add the functionality.

  70. Luis Camino says:

    i assume that the same ideas for pixel density that you have for tablets should be applied to ALL kinds of displays.

    you have to take into account that if people are increasingly using HD TV's as main display for computers, and are using them from the couch, it is not ideal to have more content on the screen to use all those dpi, we need bigger content. like you said, for websites, zooming is crucial. it's not just about target sizes, it's about the size of the text to be read.

    target sizes and text sizes are important in EVERY display (from tablet to big TV).

    target sizes and text sizeds are important for EVERY input (from mouse cursor, finger, kinect, or the eye (for reading)).

    you need an additional 220% scale percentage MINIMUM.

  71. Paul says:

    Why not Windows 8 treat the start screen as an app and allow it to be docked slit-screen with the desktop?

  72. You can see Now why MS is masking Office 15 a desktop app. Excel and Word side-by-side, or two or three  word docs open side by side on larger screens. this wouldn't be possible if Office 15 were a Metro app.Rest assured, most business work will still be done on the desktop app.

  73. Meghna says:

    Hey steven,

    check this out. I belive you would like it.

    http://youtu.be/E-vJDDBsYQQ

    Microsoft's new Metro-style interface that is designed for touchscreen, mouse, keyboard, and pen input.

    Take a look as TechDoll gives a hands on preview of the new Windows 8.

    Regards,

    Meghna

  74. disappointed dude says:

    Hello OS Developers,

    I was pretty impressed when i heard windows 8 consumer preview going to release, i removed my windows 7 and formatted my hard drive, installed windows 8 and run driver software through windows  vista compatibility mode, yeah everything worked fine i got a resolution of 1366×768 ,actually windows automatically adjusted screen in that recommended mode, But unfortunately when ever i click metro application it just opening , i can see that preview screen but no applications are running, tried reinstalling windows 8, refreshing and everything still not working. I have a question you guys told it will support all windows 7 hardware/software, i am really disappointed by this attitude of Microsoft, please fix this issue some time am getting a message call is cancelled or something…. I like to use windows 8 and i spoiled my genuine windows 7 , Metro ever going to work ………………. one  disappointed dude

  75. Man I miss my ole Tech Job – awesome post. I'm really looking forward to Win 8 across all my devices.

  76. Metro is a fantastic user interface for the Phone and Slates, but on my 30'' 2560×1600 screen it's just incredibly annoying. There is no other way than to mouse a lot and the distance the mouse needs to travel is way to big. And, running a Metro app that takes up my entire screen estate just looks ridiculous, wast of space for sure. With that sad, I do love my WP7 device and I will most probably love to use a Win8 slate, but for the love of whom ever you put your faith in, I will require the "old" Win7 desktop to be able to do any serious work on my "real" PC's.

  77. this post is fascinating and finally makes a lot of sense for me regarding the ui decisions of win8 – I still think there has to be a more elegant way of moving between the desktop and metro environments but this issue of scaling seems like it might be the crux for why the two have been so walled off from one another. The desktop doesn't handle scaling and Metro does, so the two just don't play nice together visually. Something like that?

    "Mike" posts above about his power-user scenario, how his desktop has multiple open, windowed programs and the ability to glance at them all makes his desktop extremely productive for him. You can't do this in Metro. The terse reply is to tell him to keep using the desktop. But would it be possible to do something similar in Metro? Can a Metro program be created that, snapped, offers a similar glance at multiple open Metro apps? That clicking in that snapped Metro app could make the larger snapped program replace out with another one of those programs? That would go a *long* way toward making the metro environment a productive and flexible one.

  78. Denis says:

    What's new for multiple screen systems ?

  79. @David Washington [MSFT], In saying that there are no additional scale factors beyond 180% you are limiting those with visual handicaps to never use a high-ppi screen. On a high-ppi screen the scale factor will already be at 180%, so if I let my grandma use my nice new high-ppi tablet she won't be able to enable any scaling so she can see the screen. Of course you could ague that they can't see the high-ppi screen anyway, so just have them use a lower-ppi screen instead and save money. However, if there are some in the house that can see well and they all want to share a display, they literally can't because of this limitation.

    What is more, I noticed that at iPhone resolution (ppi) levels 180% scaling will result in a screen with touch targets that are smaller than the optimal touch target size. So it seems that at least 1 if not 2 more scaling percentages are required to enable iPhone-like screens and also to have a screen of that density work with those that are visually impaired (or using a 4k screen from across the room, since we know TVs like that are coming).

  80. disappointed dude says:

    My second question?

    Why this metro UI looks like so flat, no change since Dev. preview. To be frank if Microsoft think their phone UI is the best then they are absolutely wrong , the phone OS can't even support more than 8 megapixel cam also,it is just a basic functionality phone OS,if you are going to put this to everyone's PC, i assure all developers this is going to be a huge flop, no support for previous hard wares, ugly unfinished UI, (see what i pad got), lot of junk features , (is it necessary to put windows activation status in the Action center ?) I feel like developers are funny! 😀 😀 😀  My request is please let me run some good UI, metro is confusing , not easy to get back, somewhere i want, even i have good screen resolution it does n't  work, i think developers are drinking and sleeping all time.(give us some polished & working UI not flat junk, i fear Microsoft going to loss it's status after windows 8 RTM release )……… disappointed dude

  81. To all those commenting about not sending telemetry data back to Microsoft or not sending bug reports, now you see why that was a foolish decision. I am a power user, a developer, and have set up infrastructure for small companies on several occasions. I always recommended that people always send that data in reminding them that if they don't, Microsoft can't improve products for their specific needs and uses. If you choose not to send data to Microsoft you have no right to complain that their data doesn't take you into account. If I want someone to make something better, I'll tell them about it, as would any forward-thinking person. In the case of Microsoft software that means sending feedback and bug reports.

  82. Paul Irwin says:

    I was hoping to hear something in this post about multi-monitor support. How will this work with metro apps? How will the desktop work with multi-monitors? What about the start screen? What about multi-monitors that are different resolutions/sizes (i.e. a main 23" LCD and a side 10" LCD like the Mimo)? What happens with the charms bar when you have more than one monitor — does the user have to mouse all the way over to the far right (or use a silly key command) to show it? I love Windows 8 so far and it seems like it will be great for tablets, and I'm excited to develop apps for Windows 8, but I'm worried that power users will be frustrated and left behind. It seems like the desktop PC (including multi-monitor) experience should be different than the tablet experience in a way that it makes it easier for keyboard/mouse users and multi-monitor users.

  83. I had the same question as DrPizza, later commented on by locka. I'll ask again

    Currently, even though minimum for touch targets are only 9mm, current design in Metro apps have HUGE targets that fit very little on screen. If we'd like to fit more, it would make sense to me to buy either a device with higher resolution or a larger screen. There's no point to this if you automatically scale to make it all HUGE again. Can we control/disable scaling?

  84. Sergio says:

    So, what about 16:10 resolution monitors? How will this affect them?

  85. JesperN says:

    @David and @Steven

    I've just installed the CP on my new PC with a 24" 1080p LED monitor, and just like the other systems I've previewed it on, I do not feel the sharpness from Metro that should come with being all vector-based. Basically;

    – Fonts look very aliased, not smooth and crisp

    – Icons and logos, like the back button and Live Tile icons, look stretched and "off" – hard to explain, but it's like if you scale an rasterized image in Photoshop with a bad percentage

    Combined, it actually looks like the Metro environment is using scaled images, not vectors, and that font rendering has some smoothness setting turned off (yes, I use ClearType).

    It might be this, it might be something else, but running Windows 8 on big screens actually also makes me a bit nausious! Can't explain why, but I hope you have tested for this effect when displaying W8 on large monitors!

    I hope you can give me some insight into why it looks like this. I can try to capture the effect in images if possible.

    And then a few pleads:

    — When positioning tiles on the Start Screen, please allow us to place them wherever in a column. In large monitors, a 2-column group can often have a extremely tall left column, and a very small right column, since it's stacking the elements in a sort-of combined column – and this does not look very good.

    — Also, enable the user to turn off the fact that every installed program, especially desktop apps, is pinned to Start by default.

    — Make vertical mouse-wheel scrolling + click'n'drag for scrolling a built-in control element that is used in apps etc. as standard, to be overriden by the developer. This would improve the mouse experience ten-fold.

  86. That's cool.  Maybe you can support multiple monitors too without requiring developers to use the "obsolete" desktop API on the secondary monitors?

  87. MetroVirus says:

    Interesting work as far as the tablets are concerned, now for the desktop and big monitors with high resolution, none of the app examples are applicable.

    What makes you think that anybody will buy a 30” monitor with a 2560×1600 resolution just to look at one application each time in full screen?

    And of course the stock ticker/graph example is so childish, nobody in the trade floor is using this silly UIs to do their job.

    The Metro virus has taken over your thought process. Bring the desktop back as it was and stop messing with our work environment.

  88. JGodo says:

    Hi,

    Even after reading this I still don´t buy the all full screen IF metro is supposed to replace desktop in the future for productivity. IF this is the case you will need to think about and support a way to configure serious work environmets where users really NEED ( "sometimes" is not for fun ) to have a lot of information coming from differents source programs ( not 2 or 3, many times a lot of them ) fully visible at the same time ( not scaled, restricted or tuned down ). If in the future you remove desktop and force this all full screen/320 snap you will see a lot of migration to other OSs, being me the first one and not alone I guess.

    I still don´t like the horizontal scroll, but I think a lot of developers are going to "force" vertical in their apps anyway.

    Related to this I have 2 questions:

    Why metro control panel does not follow your own metro horizontal design?

    And really, why I need to scroll down in metro control pannel to reach all the information when I have a 1920×1280 24" screen when it could wonderfully show me all that information at once and still have a lot of empty space like it does in the desktop control panel?

  89. Valkyrie-MT says:

    This is great.  But with all the attention paid to large screens here, I don't see anything for screens smaller than 10.6" here.  I used to have a Dell Mini 9 and loved that screen size.  I would really like to see some e-reader sizes like 7" and even 5" and 6" displays perhaps to be built into cars.  I realize there are implications for the touch targets, and scaling, but that needs to be addressed.  A 10.6" tablet with bezel is not small and not everyone will want something that large.  

  90. Mark says:

    @JGodo and @MetroVirus

    You don't seem to understand – David Washington made it clear in his post, "laptops (over 75% of PCs purchased by consumers)" – your desktop setup is not their primary focus any longer. Laptops and Pads are where the action (money) is and the OS is being redesigned around that.

    I think the scaling/tiling thing looks good for developers. A standard UI set of calls so that the app developer doesn't have to worry about anything. I just wish there were more options. Why can't I scale the tiles down on my large monitor so I can have more on the screen? or at least have the option to do so.

  91. In the matter of supporting a variety of screens, I would like to make one more suggestion. I love eink screens (especially in the 6" form factor for reading on the train). They are clear, power friendly, and can be used outside. The only problem is they have a low refresh rate. It would be nice if there was an option in Win8 for supporting low refresh rate screens. Perhaps some system call saying 'I've finish all my flipping and animating and the screen is going to stay this way for a while, you can refresh yourself now' would be just what is needed for an eink screen or whatever 'persistent display' technology comes out next. It would even help with combo LCD/eink screens for multiple use scenarios.

    Additionally, if Metro could be adapted to allow for 1366×768 segments of a larger screen that would certainly address many concerns over higher resolution screen with larger displays and the overly-large targets for mouse-based users. For example, why can I have a screen that is 1708×768 and get two side docked Metro applications? The current UI supports that (drag from the top in to the position wanted) or if I have 1708×1558 I should be able to have 4 narrow Metro applications and 2 full size Metro applications and still not break any design rules that have been (intelligently) established. This could then easily be scaled to multiple monitors and I could drag my applications around to whichever pane of the 'window' I wanted (thereby preserving the Windows metaphor). The only problem this creates is with the corner hotspots, which I still think are a huge no-no in desktop mode.

  92. JGoso says:

    @Mark

    Yes, I understand it very well and that 25% are still MILLIONS of users. I don´t think 25% to be a small number, is not like they say it is a 1%, not even a 10%. It´s the 1/4 users. I also have a laptop and even in that thing I almost never run maximized apps but movies.

    I´m only saying what I think is going to happen if they force that move for pros, and I´m sure they know it anyway. But hey, if they want to atack the consumers market loosing the IT and pros, good for them and betther for apple and linux. For me is clear that I´m not going to buy that fullscreen way for my work. It´s not that I don´t like it, it´s that it simply is far away to fill my working basic needs. No more, no less.  So it´s not even an option. An many many millions of users are in that same situation. So in the future they will need to offer a winRT desktop mode for pros and pro apps, or loose that market.

  93. MetroVirus says:

    @Mark, seriously you believe that this is the future of Windows? Sorry my friend, this is just a Marketing Release to force developers into writing software for tablets and phones because Microsoft ignored that market for too long.

    The stats reported do not mean anything in the business environment and this is not how people work with their PCs even with one small monitor.

  94. Bravo Microsoft for actually doing this the right way.  On this topic Paul Thurrot is just dead wrong.

    If MS made Win8 work like Apple:

    – Screen resolutions could only increase in multiples of the base resolution

    – This would not be conducive to the many different sizes of screens that will be available in Windows devices

    – This would be a problem for all existing displays where the native resolution does not match one of the multiples of the base resolution

    – Having larger screens with higher resolution providing more on-screen space is useful when using a PC for work

    With a HUGE ecosystem of devices both past & present to support, MS took the much more logical and flexible approach.

  95. Asbjørn says:

    So, given that you have admitted that Metro is unsuitable for any real work (Office 15, anyone?), how does this fit in with the desktop? I hope you have finally implemented proper DPI scaling in the Windows desktop. At least Microsoft applications (and WIndows itself!) should scale properly without blurry bitmaps, bad layout or other artifacts. Then, maybe, other developers would follow. And design support for High DPI into frameworks like WPF. Make it simple to specify different bitmaps for different DPIs – like Android has now. I find it interesting that the desktop side of things is not mentioned once here, given that your prime applications ALL run in the desktop and will for the foreseeable future. ARM tablets come with Office 15 – how is that going to work on a 250 DPI screen?

  96. SC says:

    > We look forward to you trying Windows 8 on different screens!

    I really wish I could – but Windows 8 flat out doesn't work on multi monitor machines. The "charms" are on a one-pixel border between monitors, and its next to impossible to reach on a multimon machine. On top of that, I can't put metro apps side by side, full screen.

    It's insane. I want, say, Visual Studio on one screen and the Metro PDF Reader on the other. Or a PDF open and a browser open, both full screen. Why restrict it? I feel like I'm going back to the dark ages with Windows 8 – there are still legitimate reasons for using multi monitor machines and I can't figure out why the OS would flat out block it. Frustrating.

  97. @ AlexV

    That is amusing. I don't think things will turn out quite like that however.  : )

  98. comments says:

    I think Microsoft do't perform these comments or offers.

    we must create new Operating system for All users.

    without Microsoft.

  99. Dear Steven,

    Seriously guys where do you get your study from? 27" LCD screens does not come with higher resolution than 1920*1080.

  100. @With Windows, you can choose a PC that works for you, with a screen that best meets your needs, preferences, or style. For example, a student might buy a touch-enabled laptop with a big screen because they want to be able to write papers but still have fun watching movies or playing games on a touch-screen…

    This is funny statement. Why is everything touch screen? Does MS knows that there are barely any PC out there with touch screen?

    I choose PC with Windows which has no Metro. I mean my Desktop PC with 27" LCD is not a giant phone 🙂

    Who is going to touch 27" LCD and make one dirty screen…not me.

    Just saying…

  101. fred says:

    @red77star

    I guess this monitor doesn't exist: Doublesight Displays DS-275W Widescreen LCD Monitor – 27" – 1920 X 1200 – 16:10

  102. Can I put in a vote for multiple Snapped Metro Apps for monitors large enough to handle it? Only 2 Apps up at a time feels crushingly limited 🙁

  103. Oops, also forgot to mention.

    Why is it that so many document controls in WinRT prevent you from pinch zoom scaling when reading text? This is a highly overlooked shortfall especially on small screens. Many Apps in the app store of guilty of this right now, even the MAIL app.

  104. LD says:

    If you don't let me control the size of the application in a window different screen sizes don't mean a damn thing.  You're wasting space that can be used for other applications to "fit" the screen.  I'm not trying to kill communication but this really doesn't touch the issues your users are most concerned about – Metro and how to disable it?

  105. @WindowsVista567 It might seem odd that 1366*768 has been the 'default' resolution for so long, till you consider the alternatives. Either you make the screen physically larger (not so great for a laptop that needs to be portable) or you increase the dpi of the display. As the article indicates (and in my experience too), a lot of existing Windows applications just become unusable on higher dpi displays and the various mechanisms introduced over the years to try and get round that either work ineffectively or plain break applications assumptions causing things to go wrong.

    Personally I'm very much looking forward to the prospect of very high-dpi displays, with the nice crisp and clear text and images it will allow.

  106. commongenius says:

    I love how David and Steven responded to some people, but completely skipped over Mike's excellent points. In fact, this entire post manages to gloss over EVERY SINGLE objection that has been raised to the Metro resolution and lack of windowing decisions, without answering a single one.

    No application ever takes good advantage of a large screen. As a user I need the flexibility to arrange the windows on my screen so that they are most efficient for ME; because there is NO WAY for an app to be able to predict what I will be doing when I am using it or how much much space I want it to take up. The idea that I will ALWAYS want whatever app is in the foreground to take up the entire screen is absurd, and I find it astonishingly (and yet not surprisingly) arrogant of Microsoft to decide that I don't ever need to be in control of how application windows are laid out on my screen.

    "Enforcing the requirement simplifies the lives of developers as they never have to take these lower screen resolutions into consideration"

    What if they WANT to take those sizes into consideration? You don't even give the developers the option of saying, "Hey Microsoft, I am not a kiddie developer, I am a professional who designed my app to scale effectively to extremely small and extremely large sizes; so LET IT." You just take away the choice entirely, like taking scissors away from a child because you are afraid he might cut himself.

    "Some people have asked why we don’t allow for the snap view to be arbitrarily sized, or offer a variety of different multitasking sizes. Supporting arbitrary sizes for this small of a layout can significantly increase the complexity of building an app, and would require a lot of additional work and complexity from the developer."

    Why is it going to take so much extra work to support other sizes when you spend the entire rest of the post talking about how easily Metro apps scale to different sizes? Do you understand how ridiculous that sounds?

    But let's say it really is much more complicated. What if the developer believes that the additional work to support arbitrary sizes is worth it? What if the user is willing to pay for that extra effort? You don't even give them a choice. "Oh, you could really use a 50/50 split while you move data between these two applications? And the app developer is perfectly willing to provide that for you (most likely with very little effort)? Well too bad, developers aren't in control of their apps and users aren't in control of their desktops. We are in control, and you will take what we give you and like it."

    Just typing this out is raising my blood pressure. I have been programming in Windows for 17 years, but now Microsoft has decided that I am incompetent. I am so sick of being treated like a child by daddy Microsoft. "Poor little developer, you think you are a 'power user', you think you know what you want, and what your users want, but you really don't. Trust our biased sampling data and complete lack of consideration for your usage patterns, put all of your own knowledge and experience in developing and supporting applications aside, and follow us into a brand new era of inflexible operating systems, cookie cutter application, and complete lack of user choice."

    TL/DR: this entire post is a joke.

  107. Manuel says:

    I understand the minimum resolution but not the snap.  I have a secondary machine with 1280 x 1024 and I would love to put two apps snapped on the screen, like the messaging and e-mail for example, so I could have my primary machine all to my application. I don't care if the size is not optimal I just want to be able to have the apps open at all times. Surely most people would understand that some apps might not display optimally, but that should be my choice.

  108. @c_barth

    Your point on telemetry is well taken. The problem with that is "1984" syndrome. Big brother is watching, and we don't like it.   (lol)    Actually, the problem with enabling telemetry is not far from that. Most of us (that don't enable telemetry) believe that Microsoft has no right to see how we use the computers that we have. Up until now most of the changes that MS makes to the OS has been very good. Win7 is a wonderful OS and Vista was headed in the right direction (it just wasn't ready for "prime time"). I personally don't like Metro for the desktop. I believe that it is a phone & tablet os. I have no problem with Metro in a general sense. But I don't like being force fed. Our patrons won't be able to shift easily. Or staff, for the most part are very iPhone/smartphone savvy so they probably would not have a problem until they try to use our circulation and cataloging software. I can't see this Library Techie using Win8. Come on Win9 (Mint Linux would work as well).

    Dan

  109. Great! Well, when displays  with resolutions higher than HD are more common, when Windows 8 release, so why are the Wallpapers still 1920×1200? OK, that's not the big deal of an OS, but when i buy a 10.6inch tablet with 2560×1440, the wallpapers have to be scaled and that's so nice.

    2. Why doesn't snap offer in the Metro environment 50%/50% snapping, like on the desktop? In some cases, when i open for example a document in the Reader app and haveMetroIE opend, i want that each window got 50, but that's not possible. Nevertheless that doesn't mean that i don't like the new snap, especially on a tablet, that feature is great.

  110. Mike says:

    That's nice.. but nobody's gonna use metro on anything bigger than a postcard. So you wasted your time.

  111. TS says:

    I  have to tell you this. It's a non-topic. But its a more important one.

    Its not to get you down. I love Microsoft. But i have to say this.

    Windows 8 is really bad. I mean really bad, for Desktop. I dont have a tablet. I believe it might be great on tablets, i dont know.

    I have Windows 8 CP since the day it get out. My initial reaction was, wtf, this is alien. Then as time passed by, i was thinking well the Desktop as some nice new things. Task Manager, File Explorer ribbon, etc… But the Metro dont feel right. Even when i was at home using it. The annoying charms on Desktop and the lack of start button. I was thinking and saying here on forums: Well if they iron out this Charms thing and a couple of other things maybe i can use Windows 8. Time keep passing by and the truth was that it just wont get better. Charms were annoying as always, the start button was still missing, the metro transitions were schizophrenic. I felt that i dont need Metro. I had tried Metro apps and games on begining. Its was new, but i dont feel any urge to go to Metro after a couple of days. Besides Metro keyboard/mouse experience is just… bad. Closing apps, the corners, the left corners are one the most ugly things i ever seen. Also the search concept is interesing, but is broken now. Try to search for instance on Vimeo. There it is, a green column disrupting the 'immersive' Vimeo experience. The whole Windows 8 experience is broken. The dual settings experience. It's just a beta. I know.  

    Then i get back to my dual boot Windows 7. I use it for a entire week. I never felt the need to go back to Windows 8. None. Today i tought, well lets visit Windows 8 again.

    Now all of a sudden Windows 8 didn't make any sense at all. I mean ANY sense. Before i was trying to like Windows 8, i was trying to adapt, but the truth is Windows 8 is really a failed experience. Metro dont fit at all on Desktop. I know you want to use your userbase. But hey, it just dont work. For me at least. And it seems i belong to the majority.

    Before i was saying, if there is a way to fix charms, and get back the start button maybe i can use Windows 8. But now i say: To use Windows 8 there must be a way do disable completely Metro. That's it. Nothing less. I dont want to go to Metro. Sorry, but i wont. Maybe you dont care, well i dont care either. The new task manager and ribbon, and boot time, they just dont worth the hassle. I just dont care. I am sticking with Windows 7. It's a great OS. If Windows 9 is more of the same i will use Windows 7 until i feel comfortable to switch to Mac or Linux. The problem is i dont like Mac. Maybe Google decides to leave the Chrome OS joke and create a nice OS. I just hope Google realise they have a golden chance here. Or maybe just make Android suitable to use with keyboard and mouse. And create some sort of taskbar a la win7 or OSX dock bar. Then its just hoping that popular desktop apps get to Android also. Or merge Android with Ubuntu without the unity ugliness.

    BTW, this Metro crazyness made my windows phone experience less enjoyable. Now i feel my next phone should be an Android. I really like my Windows phone, but this ultra-metro crazyness is just destroying my windows phone experience.

    Sorry for the words you might not want to hear, but that's how i feel. I could say Windows 8 is great. But i would be lying. And a big lie.

    Sent from my Windows 7

  112. @c_barth

    "To all those commenting about not sending telemetry data back to Microsoft or not sending bug reports, now you see why that was a foolish decision. I am a power user, a developer, and have set up infrastructure for small companies on several occasions. I always recommended that people always send that data in reminding them that if they don't, Microsoft can't improve products for their specific needs and uses. If you choose not to send data to Microsoft you have no right to complain that their data doesn't take you into account. If I want someone to make something better, I'll tell them about it, as would any forward-thinking person. In the case of Microsoft software that means sending feedback and bug reports."

    +1

    I do the same as you. I am a developer and power user, and I always activate the automatic feedback features and I even send feedback manually as much as I can.

    It's the same issue as with the otherwise intelligent people that do not vote just because they are disappointed by all politicians, and refuse to vote for the "lesser evil".

    If they don't vote, then the politicians have no incentive to implement measures that will suit their particular needs. Politicians are mainly motivated by votes. The best way to motivate them to do something is to vote.

    When the politicians will see, for example, that 90% of the IT professionals don't vote, but 90% of the farmers vote, what do you think the politicians will do when they have to raise taxes? Tax the farmers more, or the IT guys more? Of course they will tax the IT guys, since they don't vote anyway, and making them angry will not affect the election results.

    Voting for politicians is equivalent to providing feedback. Please don't opt-out of that either. It's for your own good.

    @Asbjørn

    "So, given that you have admitted that Metro is unsuitable for any real work (Office 15, anyone?), how does this fit in with the desktop? I hope you have finally implemented proper DPI scaling in the Windows desktop. At least Microsoft applications (and WIndows itself!) should scale properly without blurry bitmaps, bad layout or other artifacts. "

    Unfortunately not. Most annoyingly, the Wi-Fi signal indicator icon doesn't look good when using higher DPI settings (some signal bars are wider, some narrower).

    After I installed CP on my laptop the DPI on the desktop was 125% by default.

    I liked it, since my laptop display is 1920×1080@18.4" (120 PPI), but I couldn't live with that horrible Wi-Fi signal icon, and other similar annoyances, so I changed it to 100%.

    And talking about DPI, I prefer to use my browser at 150% zoom on the same laptop, and I'm using IE 10 desktop as I type this message.

    I don't know if it is because of that, but when I click outside the comment text area, the typed text is reformatted/re-flowed wider than the containing text area, and overflows on the right site, very long paragraphs are not even displayed completely. I have to click in the text area and press "backspace" or "enter" once to make the text fit inside the text area again. Extremely annoying.

  113. TS says:

    Just to say,

    I think that in a convertible/touch/transformer tablet this dual OS might work really great. But i am talking my previous post about Desktop experience. Metro should be able to be disabled. Or a way to be to never see Metro ever if the user desire.

  114. Joao M Correia says:

    None of this has ever been a problem on the desktop. -Please- make Metro optional on the desktop, -as in completely off- if so desired, no start screen crap, no wasted screen space, give me back regular windows. This would in no way harm whoever wants metro, and would, in fact, keep up with the traditional Windows policy of allowing "Classic Desktop" (in this case, Windows 7 desktop), without any metro traces.

    Metro on the desktop is an abomination, and whoever approved it should be thrown into the darkest corners of oblivion, right next to whoever suggested it was good on regular PCs.

  115. Daniel says:

    It would be nice to try encouraging people to make more 16:10 displays as well.  That is a more-ideal resolution for a computer and I'm bothered that everyone has just been producing the same 16:9 panels that are used for TV's instead basically loosing vertical pixels in the process.  1920×1200 is a more-ideal resolution and I wish it existed at around 20" and not ONLY in 23"+ screens.  I currently run two 17" 1600×1024 monitors and have a hard time moving away from those screens since anything larger presently would not even give me an increase in resolution and would just waste more desk space!

  116. "For example, a student might buy a [B][U]touch-enabled [/U][/B] laptop with a big screen because they want to be able to write papers but still have fun watching movies or playing games on a [B][U]touch-screen[/U][/B]. Families might opt for an all-in-one desktop with a huge [B][U]touch screen[/U][/B] to view and organize all of the family photos. An accountant with a long commute might pick up a small [B][U]tablet[/U][/B] that easily fits in her bag to surf the web or catch up on her reading during her train ride to and from work. A professional architect or financial trader might have three screens in a mixed portrait and landscape configuration, with one [B][U]touch screen[/U][/B] in the mix.

    So than more comments????

    4 examples only for touch interfaces?

    Clarly said by Microsoft, Windows 8 will be only exclusively for it, but i do not intend to buy it, neither will 1600 employees company where i work…..

    Where is the fantastic microsoft world?

    yeah, i forgot that average family is so rich to buy a huge touch screen?????

    No comment at all, ban me but at least write something that makes sense……..

  117. Darren says:

    @TS

    Great posting. I am felling exactly the same: The Metro craziness alienated me from my Windows Phone. Really. When I looked at it I thought "Duh, Wtf is this?". Before that I was so fond of it. So basically Microsoft is driving the people away from Metro with all this sh"t.

    I also feel the same way: When I had Windows 8 installed I felt some urge to try it out and to like it. After some time and huge disappointment I deleted it and I do not miss it at all. Clearly Windows 8 is something you don´t need. Or as Sinofsky put it: "Anything you can do with Windows 7 you can do with Windows 8". So why update? I won´t.

  118. Somebody says:

    @Vlad NC:

    So if you don´t send telemtry data to Microsoft you cannot complain? Lol. If Microsoft chooses to rely on flawed telemtry data it is only their fault. They will learn when their products will not sell.

  119. Alex says:

    Since this is the first area I found where I can leave a comment let me just say:

    I own and use both, a Zune HD and a Windows Phone.

    I do not like Windows 8. I will not upgrade. Forcing this Metro desktop is a BAD idea.

    You could have gotten the same effect with live apps via a live desktop and

    a slightly tweaked interface – with a start menu. I hate the metro desktop.

    I don't want it. I'll buy a mac first.

    on a side note:

    The idea that you would take the OS/look of a ZUNE HD

    (a product microsoft considers to be a failure and no longer makes) hack it up,

    and vomit it everywhere (a phone, a computer, a tablet)

    is irritating – I hope you support your new OS better than your actual products, and I hope

    it is more compete than the first OS you touted for Windows Phone, otherwise

    this too will be here and gone just like my ZUNE HD.

    as for my phone: when my contract is up, im out. I hate not having any apps i can use

    with my friends.

  120. Andrew F. says:

    It'd be awesome if we could run multiple "Metro shells" on one computer — so if I have two monitors, I should be able to run 2 full-screen Metro apps. Or if I have a really big monitor, I should be able to tile more than 2 apps. I mean, terminal windows are, in some sense, "full-screen" apps. There's no windowing in a terminal. But I can have more than one terminal open, allowing me to view multiple terminals on one screen.

  121. Uchb says:

    If you care about Metro please fix the currently hard-coded 80%-20% split ratio in Metro. It is unusable for any real scenario involving consuming information from one Metro app while authoring something in a second app. This is probably one of the biggest problems I  think W8 has (on non-tablet devices). The next major one being the lack of discoverability and usability for mouse users (too many clicks, not enough UI clues, not enough active controls such as close/dock-left/dock-right/switch-to-a-particular-app for mouse, having to discover hidden UI, waiting for hidden UI to appear, searching for proper control in previously hidden UI).

    Fix this and you might have an amazing OS. Leave it as is, and chances are this will be the next version of Vista.

  122. Chris Fraley says:

    Allowing Metro apps to run within a window on the Desktop address many of the objections raised where.  It would largely address the "Metro is broken on multi-monitor" and the "Why can't I view more than 1 1/2 apps when I have a huge monitory", etc.  

    Just put the Aero chrome around the app, perhaps with some Aero GUI (and keyboard shortcuts) to access stuff that'd normally be corner or side swipes, since these no longer work well windowed.

    Then I could have Metro Weather + Metro Stocks + Metro Twitter + Metro IM + Metro Email + Desktop Word + Explorer + Whatever all running at the same time in an environment well suited to taking advantage of desktop PCs with decent sized and/or multiple monitors.  This would actually make many of the Metro apps worth using from a desktop machine.

  123. "Telemetry data", OMG.  I'll bet that's how Mac OS X and iOS got so good and became so popular.  They have more telemetry data!

  124. Bryan says:

    fixingwindows8.blogspot.com

    This post is not meant to criticize – it offers a genuine suggestion that would truly improve the experience of Windows 8 for desktop users. In the past few weeks, we've heard a lot of criticism regarding desktop users and Metro – this criticism is 100% warranted… but it isn't too late to fix it Microsoft. Please give this article a chance.

  125. @Somebody

    "So if you don´t send telemtry data to Microsoft you cannot complain? Lol. If Microsoft chooses to rely on flawed telemtry data it is only their fault. They will learn when their products will not sell."

    Of course you can and should complain, even if you don't send telemetry. Complaining is also useful feedback, that will probably influence the design of Windows 9. But, even better, if you use Windows 7/Vista/XP, you should enable telemetry. And, if you feel strongly about it, do not buy Windows 8, as voting with your wallet is the most important type of feedback.

    I said that complaining will probably influence the design of Windows 9, not 8, because by the time the developer preview was out, most of the design decisions were already taken. Now that the consumer preview is out, it is surely too late to change anything important about the design.

    That's why telemetry is so important. It can affect the design at a very early stage. In contrast, you can only complain after the first preview is out, and by then it may already be too late. In other words, it is easier to prevent than to heal.

    Continuing my analogy with politics, those that don't vote should be able to complain as much as they want. But, similarly, by the time they have something to complain about, it may already be too late, and reversing it could prove difficult. Much difficult than spending a few hours once every few years to make your opinion count by voting.

    @Microsoft

    Can you please fix the forum software? If other people post comments while I compose my comment, when I submit my comment the forum system doesn't accept it, but displays a RED message: "Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It may take a few minutes for your comment to appear.". That message is FAKE. The comment will NEVER be posted. In fact, the URL shows that, because it ends with: "?CommentPosted=false#commentmessage". At that point the comment is lost.

    At least in the past, after submitting the comment unsuccessfully, the comment was still in the input box, so I could just press "Post" again to workaround the bug. No it just completely loses the message, so I have to save it to notepad before posting in order to be sure that I don't lose it.

    If nobody posts messages while I compose my message, the system displays a GREEN message, and my message is accepted.

    The bug is probably caused by some form of optimistic locking.

    That's why so many people complain about censorship, when the problem is this annoying bug. I reported it several times, and you still didn't fix it.

    @Somebody

    As you can see, my complaining didn't solve very much. And unfortunately it seems such bugs are not caught by telemetry.

  126. Rick Schummer says:

    I installed Win 8 on a spare netbook that runs 1024×600. Not a great form factor, but it worked well as a Windows 7 machine for my wife and a second one for a teenager before she got a real laptop for college. The process of upgrading from Win 7 Ultimate to the Win 8 Consumer preview was a little slow, but a painless experience. I blame the slowness on the Atom processor and low memory config, not the update process.

    The first thing I did was click on a metro tile and get presented with the message of not being able to run in this resolution. In fact every tile specific to Windows 8 gives me the same message. During the install it warned about not being able to run the Windows Store, but I figured I could live without the experience on this box for this pass at testing the OS.

    Just to let you know, the OS is working fine on the netbook. It runs Office on the desktop just peachy. IE10 works too in classic mode. I can read all the tiles on the Start screen. I can work with the OS through the charms and settings. So the Metro UI partially works. But when I click on things like Weather and People and just about everything else on the Start screen I get the message that the resolution is just too small to run the app.

    Metro not working at less than 1024×768 wipes out the netbook form factor or platform for Windows 8. Maybe Microsoft thinks it is dead, and this might be true. I am not sure this is the case, but it definitely wipes out any potential upgrade revenue, and if people install it and get the experience I am getting they are going to be support trouble for PSS.

    But it got me thinking. We still develop apps for 800×600 for some of our customers because of visually handicapped people. I know one person who has a family member that has macular degeneration and runs to a 24” or 30” monitor at 800×600 to see the screen. It is ugly, ugly for you and me. He literally will not be able to run Windows 8 Metro UI and see it. That seems bizarre to me considering the UI works on something as small as a Windows 7 Phone.

    I don’t see the point where Microsoft cannot make the tiles scroll or adjust to the 800×600 screen. Windows 7 Phone scrolls. Scrolling is not hard and for visually impaired people, it is an acceptable tradeoff to run the latest and greatest. I am sure the engineers have considered this, but I am just not grasping why this would be a design decision and limitation.

    Another question I have is the tablet market. Obviously Apple upped the ante with the Retina display, but there is still room for 7” tablet platform. If my netbook is a 10” what is the 7” platform going to run at resolution wise.

    One other question I have is the colors of the tiles. I have not spent a lot of time poking around, but can the tile colors be customized? I saw the theme selection, but I thought that was just the background color. Again, I played with the OS for about an hour on Sunday so I am not sure. Red tiles are going to be a problem for 10% of the male population with red/green color blindness.

  127. James White says:

    @Darren, well your experience might be f'd up. In my experience, windOS8 is something people would love most. One should be able to disable Metro. But I explored it beyond metro part. There are number of desktop improvements as well; including its performance for low end devices where windOS7 was epic fail!

    Difference b/w you and me:

    I can *tolerate* metro for the improvements in desktop but all you count is negativity.. Try again!

  128. 090 says:

    Another useless post by Micrometro.

  129. JGodo says:

    @Bryan

    I have just readed your post and proposed solution, but I don´t see how that can fix the mess. You accept that metro don´t suit desktop, but your solution is launch full metro apps in the desktop at the same time you say that all should be moved to winRT. So at the end you will have all desktop winRT apps working full screen anyway… just like in metro. How is that better than launch that apps full screened in metro? The full screen problem is still there.

  130. JGodo says:

    @Bryan

    I have just readed your post and proposed solution, but I don´t see how that can fix the mess. You accept that metro don´t suit desktop, but your solution is launch full metro apps in the desktop at the same time you say that all should be moved to winRT. So at the end you will have all desktop winRT apps working full screen anyway… just like in metro. How is that better than launch that apps full screened in metro? The full screen problem is still there.

  131. B8Blog says:

    RE: Telemetry

    I wanted to offer a couple of thoughts on telemetry since this seems to be a topic that we come back to in the comments.  Everything regarding telemetry is in the Customer Experience Improvement Program which has a very strict opt-in approach and also anonymous and private.  All of this is discussed in the policy (updated for beta and Windows 8 CP here windows.microsoft.com/…/consumer-preview-privacy-statement).  

    First, telemetry is not used to decide on features or dictate our choices.  To generalize, in the comments when folks appear not to like a choice or have a different view of a design element, there seems to be a natural conclusion that we simply look to telemetry to guide our choice and discount some points of view because of that.  In practice nothing could be further from the truth.  We have a multitude of ways we decide on top level goals, features, and the details of features.  As we design features there are always choices to be made, since obviously we can't implement everything in every way.  There are times when choices we make could benefit from being informed by how people do something today—this is not every choice or every feature as many features are based moving things forward or in a new direction and so there is no telemetry.  But if we are either improving something or doing something a new way, it can only help to know how that task is accomplished or how that hardware is used today.  And it really helps to know this with some reliability.  This seems like common sense.  

    We can see this play out in the comments.  Several of the comments on this post say something along the lines of "everyone I know…" or "I don't know anyone who…" (again to generalize).  Windows has the unique characteristic that with so many customers you can always defend any statement about usage—in other words you can always find a person to prove or disprove a usage pattern.  In fact, the diversity of our own development team (both in how we use the product and in how we see our close contacts use the product) means we often have divergent views of "what everyone is doing".  So to level-set and inform our own views when these topics come up we look to real world usage of features and hardware and so on.  

    Second, a number of folks raise the issue that the telemetry should be invalidated because some sets of the population turn off the CEIP—often this is viewed through the lens of business customers in managed deployments or enthusiasts who are hardcore about controlling aspects of their PC.  Both of those are reasonable approaches.  However, from a telemetry point of view it does not impact the outcome of the data.

    Telemetry is millions and millions (and millions) of data points.  It is a very large sampling—much larger than one we really need to be statistically reliable.  Many of you are familiar with the surveys that appear during elections in the US and know that a sample size can be determined and represent the whole electorate, even when people say things like "no one under 25 has a land line" or "no one answers their phone during dinner".  With telemetry, unlike these surveys, we are seeing millions of points (not 2500) and so the data starts to get closer to a census.  For any specific subgroup to numerically impact the data they would have to opt out at astonishingly high rates.  And since we triangulate this data in many many ways (for example, we look at what hardware is sold and produced) we know this is just not the case.  Because we use this data we also spend energy making sure it is reliable.  We can use totally anonymous indicators such as the Windows SKU/edition to filter or pivot data.  When we report on something like the use of screen resolution, if there was something material we would see if we pivoted or filtered the data we would certainly both use this to inform our choices and share it in the post.  

    We think it is fairly unique that in building Windows we talk about the design and development process while it is actually happening.  It is hard to find other products used so widely that maintain this direct connection and communication during development and the pre-release process.  Part of that is sharing data that informs the process.  Our hope is by doing so it helps to see some of the elements behind choices—not a justification of choices and certainly not the reason behind choices.  It is simply some of what factors in.  

    –Steven

  132. Trouble "Just Typing" at Startup, and Pinch Zooming Metro Apps is epic FAIL says:

    As everybody knows and continualy posts about no matter the topic here – the Metro implemenation on a desktop system is currently worse than a joke and is painful to even contemplate.

    But I'm OK with that, because the obvious target is tablets.  So I'm expecting it to really shine on tablets. So I got a Samsung tablet from //Build/ with Win8 CP on it from a disallusioned developer I work with.

    Issue #1

    The first problem was my decision to not use the keyboard. My reasoning was that I have a touch screen, I shouldn't need a keyboard. Also, if I wanted to drag around a tablet and a keyboard, it would be simpler to just drag around a laptop, no? The funny thing is that – quote –  "The new full screen start screen is so cool, all you have to do is start typing" -end quote. WTF? I can't start typing because my TAKSBAR IS COVERED – AND THAT MEANS THAT THE ICON THERE THAT LAUNCHES THE VIRTUAL KEYBOARD IS INACCESSABLE! FAIL!

    Also, all the information packed into my system tray that is valuable is covered too. Having to continually pop back and forth from the desktop to whatever Metro app I'm using in order to check on battery life, the time, my network connection status, and all the other things I glance at all day long in my system tray is maximally disruptive to my work flow. FAIL!

    I get it that a big target market here is ARM processor tablets because of the battery life improvements over Intell systems, and that only METRO apps will run on ARM – no desktop, real Windows programs, or a taskbar possible. Why does that mean my experience should be ruined when I do have a real Windows/Intell system running that does have a desktop and taskbar?

    Has the skill of developers at Microsoft eroded to such an extent that it is problematic to make the new Start Screen and Metro apps maximized instead of full screen, like any well behaved Windows application now does? They don't cover my taskbar unless I have it set to auto-hide.

    I suspect it is more of a case of some well meaning, but clueless upper management hotshot who got an idea to do it this way, and AGAINST THE VAST MAJORITY OF NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE FEEDBACK is "sticking to his guns". And it appears EVERYBODY at Redmond is terrified to even explain the reasoning for this debacle, because after reading several thousand comments and replies on this blog and others, NOT A SINGLE ONE ADDRESSES WHY. So the culprit must indeed be very highly placed and feared.

    Issue #2

    What I found incomprehensible when using Win 8 on my tablet was that pinch zooming so I could actually read something doesn't work in Metro apps. WTF? FAIL!

    If the whole point is to be a tablet ready operating system, why doesn't the system simply manage this pinch zooming necessity without making developers program it in? This is a fundamental need when using a device smaller than a desktop monitor. The most perplexing and mind boggling omission of pinch zooming is the email app. The blog reader comes in a close 2nd. Not a single Metro app I tried has pinch zooming working, except the "Reader" app kind of, sort of, works. But that thing is so badly done, and nearly useless as a PDF reader to be a waste of time to even complain about it.  Conversely, it works great in Chrome on the desktop, and IE 10  on the desktop too. And even in desktop Foxit – a free pdf reader that unlike the Metro P.O.S. works great. WTF? Did grade school kids and script kiddies build this fiasco? FAIL!

    Amazingly, my wife's comment when she saw one of the cookbook apps that shows the recipe in normal font, then has MASSIVE HORIZONTAL SCROLLING FOREVER – IN A GIANT NOT RESISABLE FONT, which is also not pinch zoomable (is that a word?) was "hey, these guys are smart! they figured out a way for me to at least read the recipe". I'm surprised I didn't break into tears. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? FAIL!

    I feel like I'm in an episode of Candid Camera, and I keep looking around for the hidden camera and the bald guy. I've just taped over both cameras now, because it just occurred to me that if I was perpetuating such a giant hamfisted hoax the capper would be to have the hidden camera built into the devices I gave away. Brilliant!

  133. Win 8 Communication Lover says:

    I'm loving the openness of this blog/forum, and the work Mr. Sinofsky and others are putting into it! WOW!!

    <quote time="~8pm" author="steven sinofsky">

    It is hard to find other products used so widely that maintain this direct connection and communication during development and the pre-release process.  Part of that is sharing data that informs the process.  Our hope is by doing so it helps to see some of the elements behind choices—not a justification of choices and certainly not the reason behind choices.

    </quote>

    That said, can somebody at Microsoft explain why the decision was made to not run Metro Apps in a window.

    …strongly resisting oxymoron jokes… 🙂

    Perhaps knowing why we are stuck with all these usability and productivity issues as a result of that decision would make it a bit more palatable, and get the incessant ranting about it behind us so we can focus on the more positive improvements in forthcoming blog post discussions.

    Thanks – And kudos for your obvious 100% giving to this process and the community.

  134. hamakaze says:

    I want is us over the iPad. And I think I want refund in good balance, without abandoning the traditional PC assets also Windows 8. Yet dissatisfaction and criticism also many Metro relationship, please show to eliminate it always in retail. Foundation we believe absolutely that you're close to 40 years the world's largest software company Microsoft. Anything is a challenge! Cheer from Japan!!

  135. CptnSqueaky says:

    Hey could you guys bring the options on the app bar(the menu bar that pops up from below when you right click) closer to the mouse when we right click an object?

    On high resolution screens, if we right click on something at the upper half of the screen, it is quite a distance to travel all the way down to access the options which can be quite tiresome.

    I know it is accessible by keyboard but it isn't really convenient for the mouse.

  136. alex says:

    @ steven sinofsky

    again we say , tow configuration for installing , one config for Desktop users , one for tablet or Metro users.

    metro designing and desktop are not integrate or proper for mouse and …

    Enter for one world (metro) , and again exit to another world (desktop) and again …

    its dizzy …

  137. PaulOst says:

    Thanks for this post @Steven Sinofsky and @David Washington

    The decision to not have the Metro UI across multiple monitors has greatly disappointed me.

  138. AH says:

    Suggestions:

    – Alt-click a tile launches an app in snapped mode.

    – Alt-click-drag a tile launches an app, snapping it according to the drag’s direction.

    – Windows-click anywhere on an opened app brings up the tiles group which the current app belongs to. The tiles group will not cover other visible apps.

    – Windows-A-click anywhere on an opened app brings up metro’s Apps listing, showing current app’s category on top.

  139. Henson Sturgill says:

    There's ways to enable a higher resolution on a netbook.

    viletile.wordpress.com/…/metro-with-1024×600-resolution

    Just need to enable Display1_DownScalingSupported in the registry.

  140. @Metro Haters says:

    Stay on W7 or W8 desktop. Nobody is forcing you to use metro. Disable it using registry if you want.

    @Steven Just wanted to tell you that those of us who are not metro haters, do not usually bother to post in here. Because we believe you are going in the right direction and will not listen to a few minor (but vocal) haters who can not adopt to any change (but wants the latest version anyways). So do not be worried about only seeing negative coments in here.

  141. Matthias Jauernig says:

    @Steven: The post targets the importance of pixel density vs. screen resolution. With this aspect in mind, I don't understand why the snap view is always 320px wide. While I know that this is comfortable for developers, it's adverse for consumers. When I have a 1366x768px 10" screen it's ok and nice, but it's very tiny if I have a 10" screen with a high resolution display. Then in this case we get the initial problem of resolution vs. pixel density: the content view doesn't fit for the high density.

    Cheers, Matthias

  142. B8Blog says:

    @Matthias Jauernig

    @David Washington [MS] previously said this in a comment:

    The snap view is always 320 device independent pixels (DIPs), so it will be the same physical size on an 11.6" screen regardless if the screen has a resolution of 1366×768 (320px), 1920×1080 (448px), or 2560×1440 (576px).

  143. Bob Harvey says:

    "architected"?

    shudder.

    Did you mean "Designed"?

  144. Darren says:

    @ James White

    For me the improvements on the "legacy" parts are not worth the hassle with the Metro parts. When I am working with mouse and keyboard on my pc I don´t want to be forced constantly to get around Metro and its touch device features which are useless on desktop.

    Still there are chances for improvement. It seems that there will be more colour options in the future: http://www.neowin.net/…/new-windows-8-screenshots-show-more-color-options

    I am not a Metro hater. But if Microsoft wants me upgrade, then I need a better user experience than Windows 8 ist offering today. Mircosoft has been working on a solution for the touchpad market for years and if this is the best concept they came up with, then the people who make the decisions there are not worth their money.

    @Vlad NC

    You are right. This blog and this commenting system is crap. It does not work the way it should. Probably another Microsoft product.

  145. Bob Harvey says:

    What is going on in this industry?  Screen resolutions are going backwards.  In 2000 I had a crt at 2400-odd x 1600-odd.  In 2004 I had a similar dell laptop.  Now 1200 vertical pixels are the best anyone can do?  It's wierd.

    Why, given these ghastly screens, is the big fat UI ribbon along the top?  Why not down the side making use of this wasted wide-screen space?

  146. Windows 8 should be called Windows 98 2.0

  147. Lisandro says:

    One more thing: 1280×720 = 921,600 pixels. 1024×768 = 786,432 pixels. 720p on Metro. Come on, 48 pixels.

  148. Mike In Paradise says:

    I would settle for being able to use the ACER T231H touchscreen that I bought for Windows 8 and which will not properly recognize edge swipes.   The problem with this and many other touch screens is that they have a raised bezel and you cannot get your fingers to the edge.   It seems that Micrsoft has a 1 pixel frame around the screen.   I saw no mention of this when buying a screen.  There are lots of touch screens that have this issue.  There needs to be some way of expanding the edge sense area or you are abandoning a awful lot of existing all in one's and touch screens.  I have posted this on microsoft forum and have not heard of any way of fixing this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch

  149. EdP says:

    I was glad to read Steven Sinofsky's  comment that 'telemetry is not used to decide on features or dictate our choices',

    I trust that when Microsoft reviews all the various comments it has received on Desktop Metro it factors in that a fairly

    significant portion appear to be coming from those who either make Corporate purchase decisions or strongly influence them.

    I must confess I still view upscaling the Metro screen to wastefully fill my 24 inch screen with large degrees of horror. I don't have a large screen because I cannot read the letters or see the buttons, or that I have five foot long arms.

    I have a large screen because I fill it with multiple WINDOWS that are all visible and  to which I can easily switch the point of focus. Swopping WINDOWS for a Metro SCREEN is a major step back to DOS days.

    While slightly off-topic, I am also concerned that the touch-centric nature of Metro is being forced onto the desktop paradigm without any enablers. I would have been much happier if Microsoft had accompanied the Metro announcement with the revelation (say) that a new Microsoft keyboard would be available in which the numeric pad was being replaced by a 'multi-touch pad'. If anything I see this as a general fault of Windows 8  —  a great pad/phone environment let down by a lack of enablers for the desktop. The Microsoft pad architecture has many advantages over Apple's App->file walled garden.

    Please don't blow it because Corporate decision makers and tech magazine authors have been alienated by an apparent unwillingness to hear any criticism.

    btw, thank you Vlad for your comment on the forum bug now I better understand why a significant portion of my fairly innocuous comments are 'censored'!

  150. Joao M Correia says:

    @Steven

    You can not have the cake and eat it at the same time. You can not say telemetry isn't the driving force behind your choices and at the same time defend said choices with telemetry data – say, for example, on the post regarding Start Screen vs Start Menu, where there is nothing but telemetry data being thrown around as the holy grail behind the start screen. First, because if telemetry does indeed say that, it most certainly is: a) wrong, b) not accurate, c) not representative, d) biased or e) all of the above. I most certainly agree with you that the million of data points are more than what you need to be statistically relevant – but – and this is one of the great things of windows on previous years – it has always been about choice, and even if you went against the norm (ie, the dumb facebook users), you could still use Windows as the main OS, either at home or the enterprise. Forcing something that is not in any way shape or form appropriate to the device you want to put it in should, as has been available before, be optional.

    We, at our institution, are receiving our country's Microsoft's suit-in-charge next monday.

    It will be a very entertaining meeting.

  151. Steven Sinofsky wrote:

    """ We can see this play out in the comments.  Several of the comments on this post say something along the lines of "everyone I know…" or "I don't know anyone who…" (again to generalize).  Windows has the unique characteristic that with so many customers you can always defend any statement about usage—in other words you can always find a person to prove or disprove a usage pattern. """

    First thing I did when I saw the 1366×768 at 42% on the image of this blog post was open Steam Hardware Survey:

    store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey

    1920×1080 – 26,43%

    1680×1050 – 17,70%

    1280×1024 – 10,58%

    1440×900 – 8,36%

    1920×1200 – 8,19%

    1366×768 – 6,57%

    1600×900 – 4,83%

    Very different percentages from the ones in this blog post image. Sure, they are from desktop and laptop machines.

    The 1366×768 is mainly a laptop resolution, not a desktop resolution. Current commom desktops resolutions are the 1920×1080 (by far) or 1920×1200 or 1600×900. Just check online hardware stores.

    The desktop will suffer under Metro because of the inflexible Microsoft "One OS to fit all" vision.

    On larger screens and using KB+M, the fullscreen apps and the fullscreen Start Screen only hinders productivity and distracts users.

    Start Menu, or even a smaller/resizable Start Screen, is a much better solution for desktop PCs. Same thing for resizable Metro apps.

  152. On the topic of screen resolution, could you guys bring the menu bar(the bar from the bottom when you right click or swipe up from the bottom) options closer to the mouse? On high resolution screens, the mouse travel down to access those options seem completely uneccessary and tiring the larger the screen is. Especially when I want options to something I right click on the upper half of the screen.

    I know theres a way to access those options by keyboard, but I still need to use my mouse to right click on the object for options related to the item I click, and it seems silly to switch to keyboard to click on the menu bar options.

    Anyway, love the consumer preview so far! Keep up the awesome work!

  153. Windows7 says:

    One good thing about telemetric data is that M$ will soon realise how few people will use Windows 8/Metro 1 compared to Windows 7. That might just give them the kick they so desperately need in order to make Windows 9 a real Windows OS.

  154. Wirk says:

    During the Windows 8 lifetime there should appear 4K monitors and Intel Ivy Bridge chips will support 4K natively. Thus  hopefully no problems with 4K.

  155. Intim online porn defender says:

    Do you really want I only can see porn full screened?? No way to hide it really quick under a window?? OMG, my mom is going to catch me!!

  156. WindowsTelemetryDriven8 says:

    So when the first iPhone came out, Apple had used all the telemetry data in their design, that they collected from…let’s see, which other OS on a phone device was using a fluid UI…none. They created a UI based on good design, not statistics.

    It doesn’t matter what the telemetry data says when you have a bad design to start with, stats can be used to “prove” anything you like. Personally I trust my personal experience with Windows 8 on the desktop, more than all your telemetry data, I don’t need to solve an equation to realize that Metro UI sucks.

  157. Wow says:

    Looking good… I see MS has been busy.

  158. CLEAR TYPE says:

    @steven sinofsky

    windows 8 notepad or other word processing environments are not compatible with windows clear type.

    http://www.microsoft.com/…/ClearTypeInfo.mspx

    I will become blind finally .through MICROSOFT WINDOWS 🙁

  159. I-am-NOT-a-Windows-8-fanboy says:

    Steven Sinofsky:"We think it is fairly unique that in building Windows we talk about the design……"

    .

    Design ? What design ? Windows 8 has no design. It is ugly….

  160. Ray Yagubyan says:

    Windows 8 will kill IPAD.. we just need better marketing and hype then they create… Why we have see Apple laptop in every movie or TV show, eventhou 95 of computers are PC? Because they know how to advertise. Because they take ownership of the product. Microsoft doesn't own a product. I hop they work on that.

  161. Power users not liking WIndows 8 says:

    http://www.techbroil.com/…/windows-power-users-not-liking-windows.html

    This is just not going over well.

  162. McZ says:

    "That said, can somebody at Microsoft explain why the decision was made to not run Metro Apps in a window."

    Maybe because there is no message queue-support in Metro?

    Maybe,because there is no hardware-acceleration in Desktop?

    Who knows….

  163. AMX says:

    Just because I noticed it again:

    1024 + 320 = 1344

    So with metro snap on a 1366 screen, there are 22 pixels left over that are not used by either app.

    Do we really need 22 pixels of divider?

    Shaving that down to 16 would allow making 1360×768 the minimum resolution.

  164. Grateful for Peek says:

    To the Microsoft team,

    first off I wanted to thank you for giving us a peek into the design process. I find it very interesting and can feel some of the hard choices you made during this process. i think it is really fascinating that you are being candid.

    With the givens you selected (1024×768 minimum) the 1366×768 minimum makes sense now and although I am not a developer I suspect you have easily-usable system calls that enable a WinRT app to know when it is full-screen or snapped to the snap view. That should allow developers to create reasonable-looking snap-view versions of their apps. I think the WinRT model is cool and I suspect the design tools make it easy for people to create all sorts of interesting things.

    I do share many of the large-monitor frustrations as other commentors, but I think that the developer community will quickly resolve those issues: frustrated that the battery-life, network and clock icons are not always visible? I bet an app will quickly appear that will give you dozens of options for system status in snap-view. Want side-by-side file copies? I bet a full-screen app will quickly appear that allows 50% windowed views of different folders (and probably different views such as "details") so you don't have to always drop into desktop.

    On an unrelated note, as a suggestion for future blogs, I hope you can discuss information security. I don't know if the app store will have some type of verification to prevent bad apps from being made available, I don't know if the apps have limitations on what they can access, I don't even know if the OS "forces" an app not to share information when I select the option, or if it "asks" the app not to share and hopes it obeys.

  165. Sheila says:

    Will Windows 8 work on a 7" WOA tablet with screen resolution of 1280 x 800 or 1366 X 768?  I really want a 7.7" WOA tablet made by Samsung with LTE connection thru Verizon!!!!!!!!

  166. Need Email Printing Instructions says:

    I very badly need to print one of my emails, but there is no print icon.

    I did a Google search and several technical articles explained using something called Charms. What is the Leprechaun magic needed to make said Charm appear so I can print my email?

    I do have a printer installed and can print from desktop Notepad no problem.

  167. Tropi says:

    Sorry if this is discussed above, couldn't find it: First off, I'm bummed, because I just ordered a 1024×600 netbook. I love the Win8 beta and was hoping to put it on there.

    Question is: so if netbooks won't run Metro, they'll have no Start Menu at all? Apps will only be launchable from Explorer/shortcuts/taskbar? But otherwise obviously Win8 will run on a netbook, since netbooks aren't going to stop shipping after Win8 comes out…

  168. Perry says:

    @Tropi

    I believe I had read that the Start screen itself will scale down to those lower resolutions, but the other Metro style apps will not. So you will still have the common Start screen as your app launcher.

  169. Mitigating the Need to Type is a Must for Touch says:

    I'm using a tablet, so typing is very painful. Literally painful. One of the worst ergonomic things you can do when typing is the shock from the sudden stop at the bottom of a keystroke. That is why the better ergo keyboards have a long stroke yet register the keypress as soon as you've pressed a key just a little bit. It avoids the bottoming out shock. The difficulty of touch typing with any precision on a flat surface in the virtual keyboard needs no explanation, and is mentally and emotionally frustratingly painful.

    These issue indicate that alternatives to typing when using a touch interface are paramount. Unfortunately, speach recognition just isn't quite up to the task, leaving us with very few alternatives. One of those alernatives is Drag Drop. Another is having the virtual keyboard have a predictive words feature.

    Questions:

    1. When I have 2 Metro apps snapped open why can't I drag/drop from one of them to the other?

      Losing this in Metro apps seems like a 20 year step backwards in computing.

    2. Where is the predictive text on the Metro virtual keyboard?

     I'm simply astounded this is missing! The predictive text work is obviously already done because the legacy Windows On Screen Keyboard you can launch by going to a command window and typing "OSK" has it. It fits into the header left of the kbd title bar so it won't take any addtional vertical space, and there is even a Control Panel setting to enable / disable predictive text.  Too bad the Metro kbd ignores this setting.

    Note: The OSK is obviously designed for mouse interaction, and clashes terribly with the Metro virtual kbd when open, so it's really not an alternative to the Metro kbd. Shame.

  170. Another Essential Keyboard Feature That is Missing says:

    The OSK also has the ability to fade so you can see through it. The Metro keyboard is badly in need of this feature.

  171. John says:

    Offer this retina-display-like resolution is one thing from Microsoft but making it into the product (tablets,ultrabook…) with affordable price is a different story. Not to say we need at least 10 hours battery life and a touch screen for Metro as well. Overall, how much all these things will at up and cost consumers? Price will be important role for success of Windows 8!

  172. Tropi says:

    @Perry

    Thx.

    @MS

    Off-topic, but moving the cursor to the bottom should pull up the address bar in Metro browsers; moving it near the top should show the open pages and new-page stuff. Should not have to right-click or ctrl-Z for these things.

  173. thehanu says:

    Supporting 1.6 and above aspect ratio is a fail. Seriously!

  174. Ugur Dogan says:

    Please Translate

    *başlat tuşunu kaldırdıysan bari taskbar ikonlarını manyetik olarak ortada topla

    *Tablet sürümünde sadece metro olsun

    *Desktop sürümünde sadece desktop olsun.

    -Metro sürümünde ikonun rengini değiştirebilelim

    -Metroda kendisi önerilen sıralama ve gruplama yapsın.

    -Metroya kurulan programların sonradan eklenen kısayollar çok basit duruyor png olarak biraz büyük ve kaliteli ikonları eklense çok daha görsel olur.

    -Metronun sağ altında her zaman görünen saat, tarih, wifi, pil gibi bildirimler gözüksün.

    – Eski başlat menüsündeki "kapat" menüsü direk olarak metro arayüzüne eklensin

    – ie10 metro arayüzündeki geri ve ileri tuşları bazen web sitesinde tıklanmak istenen yere denk geliyor. Gecikmeli veya tam aşağıya yada tam yukarıya alınsın.

  175. Alex says:

    sounds like a lot of thought and planning went into this auto-scaling feature, and these one-line hate messages should be deleted. Face is, Microsoft doesn't have to do this blog. They can be ultra-secretive like Apple and just announce a new product when it's 100% done, but they choose to provide this forum for feedback. Most of you are so ungrateful for that, that is sickens me. You are a cancer on society.

  176. CoyCoy says:

    @Vlad NC, @Darren,

    This blog system is the product of Telligent corp. not Microsoft. Secondly, if you are signed-in using Windows Live ID, you won't get the session-timeout "restriction" for spam/traffic-control. You have 15 minutes to submit the comment before the session is expired. Once expired, you can refresh the page and post your comment.

  177. Paul Paul says:

    Paul Thurrott wrote: "The ability to boot directly to the desktop and skip the Start screen". Is this possible? Read the Final thoughts:

    http://www.winsupersite.com/…/windows-8-feature-focus-windows-desktop-142642

  178. Future says:

    Likely metro in desktop is going to be like Jar Jar Binks. They share too much things.

  179. @Tropi

    I have to agree about IE. I keep finding myself moving my mouse to the top of the screen and waiting hoping for tabs to appear and then having a duh moment and realizing that I need to right-click.

  180. Are you kidding? says:

    I find it terrifying that any sane person, let alone the above average people designing Windows 8, wouldn't realize that there is something fatally flawed with a design approach that ends with learning crazy shortcuts involving a mouse and keyboard used in tandem to accomplish normal tasks.

    The ridiculousness rises to astronomical levels when you stop to think that these shortcut requirements are because of a UI designed for touch, yet they are all not touchable!  

    What's next? Will I need a foot pedal, joy stick, kbd, and mouse to get a real context menu in a metro app? Real means "not some flat strip 9 miles from where I'm working at the moment".

    Suggestions:

    – Alt-click a tile launches an app in snapped mode.

    – Alt-click-drag a tile launches an app, snapping it according to the drag’s direction.

    – Windows-click anywhere on an opened app brings up the tiles group which the current app belongs to. The tiles group will not cover other visible apps.

    – Windows-A-click anywhere on an opened app brings up metro’s Apps listing, showing current app’s category on top.

  181. Stephen Kellett says:

    I've spent this evening reading all the posts on this interesting blog about screen resolution choices.

    While reading the posts an interesting fact occured to me. I thought I should share it with you as the conclusion is interesting.

    I've been writing software since 1983 (games in the 1980s and business software since 1988). My latest venture is nearly ten years

    old. So we've seen the transition from Windows 2000 -> Windows XP, XP -> Vista and Vista to Windows 7. Each time this happens some of our customers get ahold of prerelease versions of Windows and also (if available) prerelease versions of Visual Studio.

    We *ALWAYS* get email from some of them asking us one or both of the following questions:

    1) Does you software support the new version of Windows? If not, when will it?

    1) Does you software support the new version of Visual Studio? If not, when will it?

    This has happened for all of the above mentioned OS transitions and for all of the Visual Studio transitions from 6 -> 7 (2002) thru

    7.1 (2003), 8.0 (2005), 9.0 (2008), 10.0 (2010).

    You know what, we're a long way into the Windows 8 transition (dev preview, and now consumer preview) and also into the Visual Studio 11 preview (which is also going down like a lead balloon – all grey because colours are confusing – tell that to the Windows 8 design team – contradictory views from the same company).

    And despite being a long way into this process for both Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11 we have not received one customer query asking "Can your software run on Windows 8?" or "Does your software support Visual Studio 11?". We should have received quite a few by now.

    That tells me a lot. This is an epic fail. We should have had quite a few queries by now. Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11 have no

    developer buy in. They are being shunned by the developer community. These are people for whom the Desktop is important and Metro is irrelevant. Same for their customers.

    All I see on twitter and the web is people that (like me) are very concerned that business users are being sidelined with Windows 8.

    Metro has zero value to us on a desktop PC. I want to be able to use my PC and never see Metro. I'm more than happy to see Metro on my Windows tablet or Windows phone. But I absolutely do not want to see it (at all, for any reason, even to login) on my PC.

    And now to respond to somethign Steven Sinofsky wrote. He said 'telemetry is not used to decide on features or dictate our choices'.

    That is bull. Several of the earlier WIndows 8 blog articles went into great length justifying the choices made based on Telemetry.

    Its in your own words – why you removed the useful Start Menu and replaced it with a time wasting less useful Start Screen.

  182. Stefan says:

    @Stephen Kellett:

    I agree 100% with You. I have been running businesses since many years back and Windows has always been a trustworthy companion. With Windows 8 i have to move to something else, because it is useless with the Metro BS. Today i found the replacement, Linux Zorin 5.2. It looks like Windows XP, Vista or 7 – depending on what You choose as the UI. It is very fast booting as well, faster than Windows 8 to. Running Microsoft Office XP or 2003 is quite easy in Wine. No problem there. I can't find any reason to stay with Windows. Steven Sinofsky's treatment of us who are negative to Windows 8 has opened my eyes. With that care about customers Microsoft can *bleep* off – to be honest !

  183. old .net frameworks ? says:

    ???????/

    130.0.img98.net/…/i258236_capture.png

    my programs do't work !!!!!!!

  184. WindowMan says:

    Hello Mr: Steven Sinofsky,I like Windows 8 ,much appreciated for  all new features including metro.But when ever i open metro application it is closing automatically.Please tell me a solution, any tweak to fix this issue.My current resolution is  1366X768 .I also like to change metro background like some wallpapers or customization.Thank you

  185. Darren says:

    @Stephen Kellett

    You are abolutely right. There might be a lot of curiosity about Windows 8. But that´s only personal. The future path and its success is so uncertain, that nobody will invest any money in it. Would you buy it only to revert back to Windows 7 or hope for Windows 9 when everything gets changed all over again? Probably not. You would simply wait. So would any controller with a common sense.

    The uncertainity of the future path will be one of the major problems Windows 8 will face. Despite the facts that Metro is at least controversial and that as you put it, Windows 8 offer ZERO real value for desktop users. This is the recipy for a disaster:

    1. A great Windows 7, people are happy with and have no need to change

    2. A new Windows 8 which offers zero value for desktop users

    3. A new Windows 8 that has to compete in a touchscreen market with strong competitors

    4. A controversial interface which is likely to be changed soon.

    5. Changing workflows, which are likely to be changed soon.

    6. Uncertain success

    7. Uncertain future

    8. An ecosystem which is simply a copy from its competitor Apple and does not offer any new value despite the fact that it is new.

    Would you buy a device which is crucial for your daily work based on these thoughts? Certainly not. Anybody with even the tiniest marketing and economic or entrepreneural knowledge will agree.

    Microsoft tries to convince us to switch from a proven and strong foundation to something new. And it is heart breaking to see that all they can offer are silly stock graph apps or silly games to convince people how great Metro is. But the truth is simple: They have failed to tell users what they can do with Metro what they cannot do with their desktop already. I don´t even know if there is an answer to this question. I can dumb down my desktop already, I can maximise applications, I already have a full screen feature in Explorer. Nothing new with Metro here. I even can use a tile skin on my Desktop. But can Metro Aero? Can Metro windows? I see the only superior feature of Metro that it is great for touch devices. Do I need touch features on my desktop computer without a touch device connected? Let´s think about it….. No. And users are not waiting for a Microsoft touch device as they can already buy an Ipad. (And most of them have).

    Microsoft is heading for a disaster because Bill Gates had predicted the future of slate back in 2001 but they miserably failed to build their os on this vision. They had 11 years to make it right. And all they come up with is this Windows 8 hybrid *** os that looks like a Fisher price toy for babies. I think Microsoft cannot understand what lifestyle means. This is why Kin failed, this is why Zune failed, this is why Windows Phone is a fail and this is why Windows 8, although great for tablets, will never be a huge success like Ipad. (Not to mention the fact, that WOA will be another recipy for a disaster when people find out that they cannot run legacy applications).

    So lets see what we have so far: Zero value and uncertainity for desktop users and a tablet os that is as sexy as a fisher price baby toy. with an option for a marketing disaster on Arm devices. Sounds like Windows 8 will be a GREAT success.

    Instead of taking the best from the Windows world and using this for the new Metro world, it seems like they took the worst from DOS built Metro on top of it and are trying to tell us now how great it feels to work in one maximised window. And how great it is that we can type on our keyboard to find an app. And how innovative it is, that we can snap an app next to another. Is this 1980? I am not gonna applaud for that kind of bullsh*t.

    Windows 8 on its way down. Seeing this path and reading this marketing blather on here from Steven Sinfosky telling us how great Windows 8 is while there is not a single thing that has been done right making it outstanding from Windows 7 or from its competitors is sad. It is whistling in the dark.

    Windows 8 is new. Yes. But that´s it. The new Apple os will be new this summer too. This gonna be an interesting battle. And soon Microsoft will realise that new is not enough if there are no valid reasons or no real benefit. Windows 8 doesn´t offer the former or the latter.

  186. Mark says:

    for everithing you can do on pc except watching movies is 16:10 optimal aspect ratio, so please consider it?!!! …or in my opinion even less wide, for example 4:3 like a ipad, this is not marketing or fashion, it is about productivity

  187. mrbill says:

    Yeah, but where is the Start menu…..

  188. anonymous says:

    I know, how about like not wasting my desktop realestate on stupid gimmicks and useless, 'pretty' guis that make etch-a-sketch seem complex. I'm not going to buy a 2560×1600 monitor so that I can see more eye candy (unless I'm gaming or something). I'm buying it for more desktop realestate.. you know, more windows open at once?

    what is this obsession with tablet interfaces on desktop hardware?  apple's doing it, gnome is doing it, and now ms is doing it.

  189. Ridiculous says:

    This is just total bullshit and absolutely ridiculous.

    Instead of having a bunch of idiotic fixed magic numbers, how about using VECTOR GRAPHICS and MILLIMITER UNITS INSTEAD OF PIXEL UNITS and supporting arbitrary DPI and arbitrary screen sizes?

    As for photographic images, they should simply provided in the highest resolution possible, and scaled with high quality gamma-correct bicubic/lanczos scaling, not at a finite number of dumb small resolutions.

    Text fonts should be automatically selected to fit the space available for text, possibly automatically in a global fashion, so that the font size in various labels controls is consistent.

    With your dumb 100/140/180% scaling, how the heck would you support the iPad 3 screen for instance, which needs 275% scaling?!?

    What about future 500 dpi screens?!?

    This is the most idiotic idea I have ever seen in UI design, except for Metro applications being forced to be fullscreen, which is even more idiotic, since running them in a window is trivial and requires no changes in the applications.

  190. METRO METRO METRO says:

    Blah blah blah bleh bleh bleh blih blih blih bloh bloh bloh bluh bluh bluh

    HEY SINOFSKY you know what time it is?

    YEAH!!!!!!!!!! TIMEEEEEEEEE TO MEEEETROOORGASMM..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch

  191. Evergreen says:

    Most of netbook uses 1024×600 if you can't run any metro style app on that screen resolution the start menu is absolutely unuseful

  192. Tania says:

    "esc" button NEEDs to do something in metro apps. Its a must that button closes the metro app or at least sends you to start screen. esc is the "I don´t know what to do button" for everybody. It´s the final solution and it MUST do something.

  193. Stefan says:

    Even if i am a Windows user since NT4 i now can say that Linux works far better than Windows. Should install drivers for my Brother printer in Windows 7. It F up really good. Took almost 30 minutes before Windows 7 came to its senses and really installed the drivers. In Linux Zorin 5.2 Core it took less than 30 seconds for Linux Zorin 5.2 Core to recognize it and install the drivers. Much have happened in the Linux world the last few years. I am really amazed. When it comes to Windows it most often F up real good, especially in Vista, Windows 7 – and now in Windows 8 (as i have read online). Why can't Windows be as smart as Linux ? I have really not had any problems at all in Linux since i started to use it.

  194. Tropi says:

    @ Tania – ya it's really uncomfortable when you try to "get out" of something with esc and nothing happens.

    There are so many functional troubles with this that it really is worrying to see guys talk nonsense about how great it is in this blog. Because makes you think they may actually leave some of these things the way they are. Which would be…. oh boy. Surreal.

  195. Metro-sechsual says:

    @anonymous 24 Mar 2012 12:01 PM

    Throughout Steve Ballmer's reign at Microsoft, his corporate focus can be succinctly summarized as 'Whatever Apple/Google have done, we can do it too". In other words, a 'Me too' mentality that is more on maintaining the corporate status quo rather than for the consumers' best interest.

    Examples are not very hard to find. For example, Microsoft got Bing in an attempt to compete with Google search. Zune for mp3 players (especially iPods). The UI/aesthetic revamp of Windows in Vista/7 in response to OSX. KIN to penetrate the mobile market (now comes Windows Phones). Skydrive for cloud. Windows 8 tablets as a response to iPads and Kindles.

    It is precisely this 'be all things to all people' mentality that created the mess Microsoft is in right now. Why not focus on your strengths and pick the battles which you have a good chance of winning? Microsoft is good in enterprise, productivity, games, home entertainment, why not focus on those? Why not let Android and iPads slug it out on tablets?

    Learn from Sega. Once upon a time it also made game consoles. When it became clear that the market would be dominated by Sony, Nintendo (and later Microsoft), Sega wisely got out of the hardware side of business and instead focused on making great games.

    Good luck with Windows 8. It will have an identity crisis (desktop vs tablet, ARM vs x86). And between now and the first Windows tablets on the market, iPads would have garnered a near insurmountable mindshare. Half a year is eons in the tech industry.

  196. Mukalele Rogers says:

    Windows 8 is GREAT! However, I have a suggestion. Please include dot net frame work 3.5. I was installing some program which required .NETFRAMEWORK 3.5 yet it was not installed in the Consumer preview. When I connected to Internet, and downloaded dotnetfx35.exe, but It couldnt install because It asks for it to be preinstalled. I FAILED!.

  197. Prayaas says:

    Now that's a blog post already made at the WDP time, I feel. 😀 Anyway, a great post.

    I appreciate your work!

    Good Luck!

  198. David says:

    Hi,

    It's very good. I love windows 8. It is very attractive.

  199. fan says:

    windows 8 don't support other languages in chm or exe files.

    130.0.img98.net/…/i260452_capture.png

  200. Joe says:

    Fixed my PC leaving black border around screen when at native 1080p with Radeon 5850. HP 2511X 16X9 monitor.

    Went to AMD site to download full 8 driver with CCC. Underscan slider was to the left…underscan…slid to right for zero underscan.

    Problem fixed. Happy 8 user now.

  201. windowman says:

    Hello Mr:Steven sinofsky please fix this issue metro applications are not working,closing automatically .Try to fix this as early as possible.I want RC with working Metro.Goodluck &Wishes

    Details

    ID:

    10010                                            

    Source:

    Microsoft-Windows-DistributedCOM                                            

  202. windowman says:

    Hello Mr:Steven sinofsky please fix this issue metro applications are not working,closing automatically .Try to fix this as early as possible.I want RC with working Metro.Goodluck &Wishes

    Details

    ID:

    10010                                            

    Source:

    Microsoft-Windows-DistributedCOM                                            

  203. @AndyCadley

    I have used Windows laptops with a higher-than-typical pixel density with smaller onscreen objects, and I was highly impressed with the results – it's much, much better than a typical 1366×768 laptop (which feels small and restricted). Personally, I believe that laptops should standardize on a resolution of 1376×860, which would allow for slightly more screen real estate while providing all of the benefits of current 1366×768 displays without increasing the pixel density to insanely high levels.

  204. Kaplan says:

    Windows 8 is good, god says that, if god says Windows 8 is good, I believe that, chuck norris is the devil, chuck norris use Ubuntu, is the DEVIL, please use windows 8, is our real savior.

  205. John B says:

    Why make an OS so polarizing?

    http://www.pcworld.com/…/windows_8_survey_half_who_have_tried_the_os_wouldnt_recommend_it.html

    Leave the start menu and let people choose if they want to use metro. There is no reason to force this on users.

  206. B8Blog says:

    @WindowsVista567 What laptop make/model did you use with a "higher than typical pixel density"?

    I'm not sure there has ever been a screen like you describe (1367×860) so standardizing might pose a challenge.  en.wikipedia.org/…/Graphic_display_resolutions

  207. Maquiavelo says:

    The best .. Kernet nt 6.2 !!!… bye ntfs server files. WELCOME WINDOWS 8, WELCOME TO MY "LIVE"

  208. Angry bird says:

    Let people choose, restore classic menus in Office as well. Do it. Restore the classic menus in Office 2013 and it will sell a billion copies, sure. Don't be stupid and arrogant. Restore the Start Button in Windows 8 as well. Don't be bastards uselessly.

  209. Robert Keys says:

    .NET Framework version in Windows 8? Some programs require version 3.5, I'm trying the beta Consumer Preview and they require version 3.5…

    If you'll only use 4.5 or later many programs won't work anymore in Windows 8, that's the absurd of things like .NET Framework, conceptual bugs and not conceptual bugs, design bugs, as usual in Microsoft style.

  210. lainiwaku says:

    i have a 720p HD TV

    metro apps need 768p to work . . .

    What i need to do ?

    change my TV  just for windows 8 !?

  211. Pax says:

    @Robert Keys (and others missong .NET 3.5)

    You can install it by opening "Turn Windows Features On or Off".

    Theres a checkmark, right at the top, where you can enable or disable it.

  212. Windows 8 Enthusiast says:

    Hey too much waiting Steven dude. Atleast now announce Kinect gesture control for Metro and it will silence everyone !!!!!!!! People will throw their iMacs and iPads into the garbage and line up for Windows 8 and Kinect :)))

  213. Pax says:

    Exactly. Everyone knows, that Kinect is the only proper way to control your pc when working with Office applications and Visual Studio.

    Ah, the dreams I've had about programming, by just flapping my arms around like a deranged monkey…

    Get real, will you?

    Granted, Kinect would be very cool, but not for business use, so most of the criticism would go on just the same.

  214. Ryan says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    I think the comparison of telemetry data to surveys for US elections is not accurate. The folks that opt out of sending back telemetry data for Windows are not random. In a US election, you don't have a large constituency that “opts out” of the surveys. To follow the analogy, business customers (which make up a large part of the Windows user base) that opt out would be like most Republicans opting out of election surveys. One might then think that only 1% of Americans are going to vote Republican.

    I don’t think anyone believes that telemetry data is the only thing that guides product decisions, but it is quite clear from this blog itself that telemetry data plays a major part. Either that, or the blog posts themselves are overstating how much telemetry data matters, because the data is frequently shown to support the design decisions.

  215. B8Blog says:

    @Ryan — we can use the edition of Windows to distinguish business customers.  The comment I posted talked about that.  It is straight forward to make sure we are not biased and for what it is worth, the notion that all business customers opt out is about as likely as all republicans opting out of an election survey 🙂

  216. Ryan says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    I do hope that attention is being paid to the dissatisfaction expressed in the comments and in reviews throughout the web, at least in a general sense. To me, it’s clear this is not just anti-Microsoft trolling (well, most of it)—the comments in *some* blog posts are overwhelmingly positive. Something is definitely not striking a chord with customers of all stripes. I would imagine it’s hard not to take the negative comments personally, but it may help to think of the negative feedback as coming from people that genuinely care about the final outcome of Windows 8 (regardless of the level of vitriol in the comment itself).

    One comment about the Metro UI—perhaps one reason folks seem to end up a bit confused is because task switching is not obvious, and to the majority of us that have only traditional non-tablet machines (or tablets that aren’t conducive to the edge-of-screen gestures because of an interfering bezel), a bit cumbersome to operate with a mouse and keyboard. When compared with the Task Bar, it feels like a step backwards, even if it is true that most apps are run in full-screen mode most of the time. The inability to use a Metro-only UI in dual-screen mode is particularly distressing for me personally, if this indeed is the way forward for Windows. For casual applications, the existing full-screen and split-screen modes may be fine, but for cutting and pasting  and cross-referencing data for business applications, writing papers, etc., it looks very awkward.

    The most common complaint is see in reviews is that the Metro UI and the traditional desktop just don’t gel together well. Several reviewers said something along of the lines that it feels like two operating systems tacked together, with a jarring transition between the two. I wish I had a suggestion about making the transition between the two interfaces smoother and just making the two co-exist more elegantly. I don’t (though I’m not sure it would matter). But please… don’t take those comments lightly. They are not being harshly critical. For Windows 8 to be a success, it needs to be addressed. It may even be a simple tweak over the top, and one that would satisfy business customers as well.

    As it is now, we’re not seeing any compelling reason to live in the Metro side of Windows 8, and for most current Windows customers, perhaps only reasons to live in the traditional Desktop. If the Metro side is the way forward, it seems like change management is MIA at the moment, as though the thought behind the Metro side is just “build it and they will come.” Why are we going to come? There’s a great technology foundation in WinRT, but that’s all we can see at this point. Customers aren’t going to buy Windows 8 for a new API.

  217. ;| On... says:

    @ Steven Sinofsky

    Simply; was received ?, ( 14 MB ) you know.

    Please, answer me.

  218. Ryan says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    Sorry–I didn't make the connection between the comment about pivoting on SKU data and business customers. I suppose that's a fair generalization, especially in the case of SA-only SKUs. Thank you for pointing that out.

    For what it's worth, our business does not opt out of the CEIP, but it seems commonplace among my IT colleagues at other organizations. Also, just to be clear, I wasn't attempting to make a pro-Republican or pro-Democrat statement… just using that for sake of argument, which you've helped me realize is not an accurate characterization of how the CEIP is interpreted.

  219. In the Consumer Preview says:

    The Recycle Bin not update the icon ( Empty-full ), when is pin in Start.

    And Update the icon of Registry ! Mother of life.

  220. Nicholas Terry says:

    Telemetry is wrong, you should listen to people. Or at least give choices, they are free, do you care if I use the classic menus instead of the ribbon because I like the classic menus? Does it matter to you? No. So why don't you give a CHOICE? That's what people want. Not to be FORCED to use your stupid things derived from telemetry results or whatever who knows where or because they are more TOUCH oriented and you think that they prepare for the "future". This is not the future, this is the end.

    Office 2007 was the beginning of the end… many bad moves (the ribbon) that now we understand they were made only to arrive and transform them into the TOUCH screens optimizations of nowadays and of Windows 8… bad bad…

    I don't like your way of operating.

  221. Fredy Vega says:

    Make possible the snap feature for metro apps for resolution of 1280×800 or even less. There is a lot of laptops that use that resolution and this is a bad new for the users. The difference between 1280 and 1366 is MINIMAL!! and you can rescale with the pixels from top to bottom. If it possible to run a full screen metro app in that dimension, is possible to create a good look snap feature. Don't let that a lot of users lose this feature. Like always, make the things right! 😉

  222. Stephen Kellett says:

    @Steven Sinofsky " — we can use the edition of Windows to distinguish business customers. "

    No you can't. A secretary does not need Windows 7 Ultimate. Neither does a stock trader. And arguably neither does a developer.

    You cannot possiblly map the version/edition of Windows to "business customer usage". If you think you can you are deluded or ignorant and arrogant beyond belief.

    The majority of business customers are SMEs – the type of businesses that don't licence directly with Microsoft, but who purchase from Dell, HP etc. YOu have no idea which of these are business or consumer or gaming. You can't even get the last one from the graphics card – CAD shops will have the best gaming/CAD card available. Despite their small size they'll still have a "no feedback" policy.

    I just wish you would start listening to the negative feedback from people (like me) that want (and need) Windows 8 to do well, so that you can correct course while you still have the opportunity to avoid a Vista.

    I haven't seen you acknowledge one negative post about Windows 8 on any topic. Unbelievable blinkeredness. Even if you are taking note (and I hope acting) why aren't you telling us about it? Talk about poor customer relations (I've been an MS customer since 1994).

  223. Stefan says:

    @Stephen Kellet:

    Over and over You are saying much of what i want to say….

  224. Nice post.

    "…data consistently shows two things. First, on laptops (over 75% of PCs purchased by consumers) most applications are run maximized all the time—this makes sense given the real estate available and the design points of most interfaces and web sites. Second, on large screen displays, most windows are sized to a reasonable number of rough dimensions primarily because most programs do not support “infinite” scaling."

    I guess that other than for 'power users', the idea of arbitrarily controllable windowing has never really become common in use. Perhaps part of the problem is, it is too arbitrary. Instead of tiled windows and fixed-set relative dimensions like half-screen and quarter-screen, there is overlapping windows with pixel level control over position and size. Too much user freedom and too few hardwired constraints? Please consider that you might be making the same general mistake with the Start screen. People work and behave best under moderate constaints. Total freedom and total control are both counter-productive. Start is very laissez-faire, probably excessively so.

    "You might be wondering why we don't just let apps arbitrarily resize and not worry about any of this." "Though most software lists minimum requirements, in practice, we see many errors—with UI that is clipped, awkwardly placed, or just poorly rendered when windows are resized or maximized. We also see assets (icons and UI elements) that do not properly scale to a variety of pixel densities."

    The counter-argument is that the Store will not stock apps with these design faults.

    "Without consideration for different screen sizes, many apps would have large empty regions when shown on larger screens"

    Which might described as an 'AC point of view'. The 'DC point of view' might be refered to as 'the principle of least pixels' – only turn on pixels that are absolutely required by the app to provide a good user experience.

    "The scale percentages in Windows have been designed to maintain touch targets and layouts, while optimizing for real tablets coming on the market in the near future."

    Good work here. 2560×1440 with 180% scaling on 11.6" will surely be critical for the success of Windows 8 in the portable market. The quality of screen reading is very important to me, so i'm going to appreciate the crisper screens when they come along.

    I accept the minimum resolutions, and the 'long phone' 320px snapped view is a good idea, although the desire for greater flexibility with snapped view will surely not subside anytime soon, in particular a side-by-side 50:50 view. If every member of the UI design team was asked to come up with 1 ideal application for 50:50 snapped view, you might end up with a strong case, and sure, this layout option would mean more work for developers, but as you say…

    "Windows 8 contains a very rich control library and vastly more flexible tools and languages for coding user interface layouts than any previous release."

    I would like to know if any sort of 'mirrored touch' has been investigated. That is, touching one side of the screen results in activation on the other side – touch is offset by half the screen width. The idea is to eliminate the problem of obscuring the object the user's finger is trying to touch. @Guilherme refers to mirrored touch in a somewhat different sense (across screens).

    The 'Pixel density sweet spots' contains a fascinating bit of info: Ideal touch target size = ~9mm

    • How was this figure (of 9mm) determined?

    • What padding around touch targets is required for this to work?

    • Why hasn't the ITTS been mentioned prior to now, particularly in the blogs on the Start Menu and Start screen?

    • What Metro UI elements have been designed with the ITTS in mind?

    • Are the Start screen tiles designed according to A) Mouse optimization following Fitts Law B) Touch optimization and the ideal touch target size, or C) Whatever best suits live data display? The posts in this blog tell me the answer is A, "touch first" tells me it should be B, but my eyes tell me C.

  225. T_T says:

    Apple has the consumer market and Linux the technical…

    Microsoft wont be able to sustain itself in the technical market because of pricing (and also, all *nixes are superior for that kind of job), Microsoft's only hope is to make a breach into the consumer market (which is going to be extremely hard btw)…  

    But as a geek, I think I'm switching to Linux & Android…

    Good luck…

    Farewell Sayonara Adios.

  226. karl says:

    Stephen Kellett: why the heck do you N E E D windows 8? N O B O D Y needs this degraded windows7 . Nobody needs this explorer

    just because it has ribbons, and some cosmetic addons? Who needs this this degraded start-lego-childish-somewhat?

    Just because of taskmgr and iso support? On behalf of iso support there is software which reads and creates isos.

    So what? ms plays a game with w8: those who ignored win7 either buy win8 or seeing this crippled ui buy win7. Do not act like a beggar. WE have to force ms getting a beggar

  227. Ryan wrote:

    """ I do hope that attention is being paid to the dissatisfaction expressed in the comments and in reviews throughout the web, at least in a general sense. To me, it’s clear this is not just anti-Microsoft trolling (well, most of it)—the comments in *some* blog posts are overwhelmingly positive. Something is definitely not striking a chord with customers of all stripes. I would imagine it’s hard not to take the negative comments personally, but it may help to think of the negative feedback as coming from people that genuinely care about the final outcome of Windows 8 (regardless of the level of vitriol in the comment itself).  """

    The negative comments are for Metro being inadequate for traditional machines (larger screens and KB+ M) and Start Screen being forced into users.

    If you remove those two "features", Windows 8 shines as an extraordinary OS in those comments and reviews.

    Microsoft would just need to make Start Screen and Metro optional to make Windows 8 have an amazing positive welcome from users and reviewers.

    Microsoft, being stubborn, arrogant and intransigent, just increases the resistance to those features.

  228. Windows7 says:

    I completely agree with Impar.

    Windows 8 has a lot of nice new features which I would love to get to use, but the Metro UI/Start Screen has just killed it for me. Unless Microsoft start listening to the genuine concerns about the Metro UI/Start Screen and make it optional on real computers, then I have no choice but to stay with Windows 7 and keep my fingers crossed for Windows 9.

  229. Hi Mr. Sinofsky I would just like to say that so far I am blown away by the new Windows 8 Consumer Preview. I still have the Developer Preview on my main work laptop and the Consumer Preview on my desktop. I think Microsoft has a hit, but with one small user interface caveat. It is that I think that there should be a customization option in windows 8 for where the date and time popup window would appear upon pressing winkey and c. I really liked how the popup window appeared on the bottom right corner of the screen in Developer Preview apposed to the bottom left corner in Consumer Preview. I speaking on behalf of my peers would appreciate it if the os development team would integrate an option to allow custom positioning of the popup windows.

    Thanks,

    Long Time Supporter of Microsoft

    Jerry Li

  230. I have a question, and PLEASE respond.

    How is it possible that Mac OS X Lion takes up 7GB of disk space for both the x86 AND x64 versions,  and just x64 versions of Windwos 7 take up 20GB???? How is this remotely possible?

  231. And if you're going to point out about Lion having removed Rosetta, here's Snow Leopards Disk Requirements: 5GB Disk Space.

  232. Stefan says:

    I wonder how many of the positive comments are made by people from Microsoft ? Everyone i know and have tested Windows 8 say it is a big joke. They do, as i do, think it is dead on arrival for dekstop users (we don't count pre-installed version for free will install). Why don't the see any feedback from Steven Sinofsky and co. on the negative comments ? Are they blind ?

  233. GoodLuck says:

    Actually the argument boils down to the fact that the two paradigms tablet and desktop do not match and they require a different operating system (or at least front end with the same kernel). Microsoft seems to be claiming the opposite is true and they have found the middle ground to satisfy both worlds. Unfortunately even if there was such thing as the perfect mix of desktop and tablets the Metro UI is not it, actually is far from it. It is an inadequate desktop solution that requires memorizing keystrokes and searching for everything that was obvious and accessible for all these years. As a tablet OS it has to offer what over the rest of the tablet OSs? I fail to see why I would buy a Windows tablet over an iPad or Android device.

    I have tried both the dev build and CP and yes I could live with Windows 8 on a tablet, but above that the Metro UI has no value. It is not a matter of learning new things, I love doing that, but I refuse to go back in time and start learning shortcuts to compensate for missing functionality. The main problem with the Metro UI is that it subtracts functionality from the desktop.

    The ribbon changes are something that a lot of people compare it with and they don’t like that much either. But personally that is where I can see the evolution of the menu bar and the telemetry data applied correctly to prove some points. You can easily argue based on facts that the ribbon can improve productivity; if not anything else it makes the product features more obvious.

    Going back to the Metro, what can I say, it simply has negative value to the desktop and from a work perspective I wouldn’t install it on any machine in a company setting. Of course neither on any of my desktops/laptops at home. I still haven’t found a single person that likes the new Metro UI on the desktop even after talking to a number of developers.

    And what about this obsession with touch screens on the desktop and laptops. Seriously, you really think I am going to replace all my monitors with touch screens so I can look at my fingerprints all day long. Why would I like to keep touching my monitor when I have a mouse with pixel accuracy is beyond my comprehension.

    Oh well, good luck convincing anybody that the new desktop mix paradigm can be used for any sort of productivity oriented applications.

  234. Anana says:

    People…

    Don´t worry too much. Think about this: In one or two generatios nobody will remember that complicated thing called desktop with windows and real multitasking. Then microsoft will start to limit the metro screen colors to 256 and tell future people that is trending and better for them. In 4 generations nobody will remember 24 bits color and they could start selling green monocrome screens because is the trend or something like this… baah, who cares. Wait!  Is not metro background already 256 colors? Evolution coming too fast!

  235. Jonathan says:

    Just a thought (no fanboyism here)

    Everybody talk about the Metro disadvantages, but few talk about the advantages, here are just a few I think of:

    For developers:

    – Develop once run on every Windows 8 device whatever the input type is.

    – Minimum size: No need to worry how the app looks as long as it looks good in it.

    — + virtually unlimited maximum size (+ semantic zoom to help navigation)

    – Charms (mostly search and share) add great functionalities without much effort from dev.

    – Easy to implements synchronization

    — one could work using a software on a tablet and continue to work with the same software filled with the same information on a PC. E.g.: I see that being pretty useful for salesmen and waitresses.

    It is primarily for casual user:

    Keep in mind that in its current iteration (let’s call it 1.0) Metro is mostly focused on casual user.

    They like simple interface, are used to phone-like experience, do the Facebook/twitter/weather things as their primary computing tasks. They already run most of their apps fullscreen, etc.

    For the others, mostly those who work with a computer instead of just consuming media through it, the desktop is there and is there mostly for them. The only Metro interaction they’ll have to live with is the start screen which, when you get used to it, is really just the logical evolution of the start menu.

    Also, dual interface will be pretty useful to user of “dockable” tablets. Use what you need when you need it in the way you want it. I think this is the very essence of their "no compromise" slogan.

    The only big problem in Windows 8 as of Consumer Preview, a problem that will probably be resolved by the RTM, is mouse hot corners/edges management on multi-monitor setups. (a problem that can already and easily be overcome as soon as you learn the appropriate keyboard shortcuts… which the kind of people that use multi-monitor setups will probably memorize on day one)

    P.s.: For those who are saying that Metro is ugly, keep in mind that at its core WinRT/Metro apps are made to be fluid and responsive. To achieve that they are hardware accelerated (they make use of the graphic cards). All apps we saws as of now are only “previews”, but put teams of talented people to work on metro apps for more than a few weeks and I’m pretty sure they’ll come up with beautiful and usable ones.

  236. JGodo says:

    @Jonathan

    – "Develop once run on every Windows 8 device whatever the input type is"

    False, as many people is going to remain full desktop users you will need to code your app for metro and desktop if you want to reach all people. This is only because Microsoft don´t want to let metro apps run in a windows if desired. If they do so, then yes, you will only need to code one app.

    -"Minimum size: No need to worry how the app looks as long as it looks good in it."

    Is not the same even if proportions are, a very small screen and a large screen. And not all looks good regardless of its size ( start screen  is the proof ). They are removing devs the choice to make that app look optimal and addapt to each screen size as convenient.

    -"virtually unlimited maximum size (+ semantic zoom to help navigation)"

    No much apps really need this and even today apps that need it already do it (like photoshop)`

    -"Charms (mostly search and share) add great functionalities without much effort from dev."

    Using charms is far from optimal for mouse users. In the desktop charms are really annoying for a lot of people and in the desktop share is not working. Not even can be implementd in new win 32 apps!.

    -Easy to implements synchronization

    This like the others are benefits for developers but not for users. In fact developers would be very happy if you only let them to show a completely black screen that is generated with a only function like ShowBlackScreen( now ); and nothing more. That would be very easy to code. But for users… I don´t know.

    -"one could work using a software on a tablet and continue to work with the same software filled with the same information on a PC. E.g.: I see that being pretty useful for salesmen and waitresses."

    If we are talking about serious work then we are talking about desktop and mouse where metro is.. well, all we know what is metro there.

    That salesman could use an app to show portfolio, but it will need to go desktop to really build that portfolio in a confortable and practical way.

    I mostly agree with your other statments. Metro is for basic ( I even would say very basic ) consumers. And because of that power users should have the option to disable it if they want. But what bothers me the most is that desktop is "legacy". I don´t know what they are thinking for windows9 or metro2.0 iteration… but a lot of people is going to be very angry if they remove desktop without replacing it for something with at least equal functionality. The fact that you can´t code winRT apps for desktop and the name "legacy" is talking about a future desktop removal. Microsoft should talk about plans on this to calm down people or let them migrate to other OSes as soon as posible.

  237. JGodo says:

    @Jonathan

    – "Develop once run on every Windows 8 device whatever the input type is"

    False, as many people is going to remain full desktop users you will need to code your app for metro and desktop if you want to reach all people. This is only because Microsoft don´t want to let metro apps run in a windows if desired. If they do so, then yes, you will only need to code one app.

    -"Minimum size: No need to worry how the app looks as long as it looks good in it."

    Is not the same even if proportions are, a very small screen and a large screen. And not all looks good regardless of its size ( start screen  is the proof ). They are removing devs the choice to make that app look optimal and addapt to each screen size as convenient.

    -"virtually unlimited maximum size (+ semantic zoom to help navigation)"

    No much apps really need this and even today apps that need it already do it (like photoshop)`

    -"Charms (mostly search and share) add great functionalities without much effort from dev."

    Using charms is far from optimal for mouse users. In the desktop charms are really annoying for a lot of people and in the desktop share is not working. Not even can be implementd in new win 32 apps!.

    -Easy to implements synchronization

    This like the others are benefits for developers but not for users. In fact developers would be very happy if you only let them to show a completely black screen that is generated with a only function like ShowBlackScreen( now ); and nothing more. That would be very easy to code. But for users… I don´t know.

    -"one could work using a software on a tablet and continue to work with the same software filled with the same information on a PC. E.g.: I see that being pretty useful for salesmen and waitresses."

    If we are talking about serious work then we are talking about desktop and mouse where metro is.. well, all we know what is metro there.

    That salesman could use an app to show portfolio, but it will need to go desktop to really build that portfolio in a confortable and practical way.

    I mostly agree with your other statments. Metro is for basic ( I even would say very basic ) consumers. And because of that power users should have the option to disable it if they want. But what bothers me the most is that desktop is "legacy". I don´t know what they are thinking for windows9 or metro2.0 iteration… but a lot of people is going to be very angry if they remove desktop without replacing it for something with at least equal functionality. The fact that you can´t code winRT apps for desktop and the name "legacy" is talking about a future desktop removal. Microsoft should talk about plans on this to calm down people or let them migrate to other OSes as soon as posible.

  238. the worse thing is that Ms Sinofsky does not respond to negative feedbacks?????

    It's crystal all around the web, that Windows 8 is the biggest flop until mixes two "operating systems" and forces the final user to use metro crap?????

    WE ARE GOING TO PAY FOR THAT?????

    WIndows 8 is perfect with "windows as Bill Gates created", all new fast and memory improvements, and new features

    Metro 1 may be a new OS  "Metro apps and switching as Sinofsky created(blah)" for tablets and phones

    In beta staging, few rumors that Mozzila is developing a Metro version of Nigtly…..

    ….seems that not only customers are not believing in Metro crap, neither are believing all big software producers….

  239. Change says:

    Of nutcases, put Key Windows + Spacebar for the language, instead of Key Windows + Key ( , ) that recalls to write.

    But who uses that, one time, two time in one year ?

    Key Windows + Spacebar = ( Peek at Desktop ) as in Windows 7

    Key Windows + Key ( , ) = Language

    That is the logical and correct.

  240. Jonathan says:

    @JGodo

    – "Develop once run on every Windows 8 device whatever the input type is"

    I didn’t make it clear enough, but I meant that those advantages are also some of the goals of metro, once programmer will start using the new API(WinRT) and windows 8 user base will be big enough this will be the case.

    -"Minimum size: No need to worry how the app looks as long as it looks good in it."

    1024×768 is the minimum of “real” pixels needed for metro apps the rest is just a matter of dpi and pdi as stated in the blog post. That, mixed with the "virtually unlimited maximum size (+ semantic zoom to help navigation)", lets the developers know the users will always have a window… or a viewport if you prefer, of that minimum size, so as long as vital information from an app can fit in that size, it can be used by anybody. The dev. don’t have to take care of the infinitely resizable nature of desktop’s windows anymore.

    -"virtually unlimited maximum size (+ semantic zoom to help navigation)"

    A problem most people have with Metro, is that they keep comparing it to desktop… to what they know about. It’s natural in a way, but they should keep in mind that it’s a completely different animal. Apps won’t be developed as they are now, they won’t look as they are now… Current Win32 app don’t “need” that because there are workaround that have been build up years after years of creating apps in the desktop… things like tabs components, multiple or floating windows apps to name a few. If applied to the new paradigms most of these things don’t make sense anymore.

    -Easy to implements synchronization

    Easier for developer to implement, that’s right and also tons of new possibilities for users. But if we focus on the “Easier for developer” part, you can’t denied that if some functionalities are easier to put in place a developer will thus be able to ship his app sooner with its core functionality or to make it of even greater quality with more functionality and more polish.

    -"one could work using a software on a tablet and continue to work with the same software filled with the same information on a PC. E.g.: I see that being pretty useful for salesmen and waitresses."

    Imagine a car salesman, he help you with a tablet, show some car that are not in the showroom with different colors and options maybe, then you state what you would really want, the salesman listen to you and “takes note” of everything you say (probably by checking options on his app) then he says he can have exactly that during the next week, so he invites you at his desk to get some intimacy, he puts the tablet on the desk and start using his keyboard, on his screen (linked to a PC) there is the same app, all pre-filled with the information gathered while talking with you, just missing a few ones the salesman found easier to input with his brand new keyboard, and the contracts is ready to print. You are at that point and the salesman didn’t have time to offer you a coffee yet.

    “If we are talking about serious work then we are talking about desktop and mouse where metro is… well, all we know what is metro there.”

    As I stated in the other post “real” work will continue to be done in the desktop I don’t see most of productivity softwares being adapt to metro anytime soon, so the desktop will be there for a while.

    “And because of that power users should have the option to disable it if they want.”

    The more I use the CP and read blogs here and there, the more I see where MS come from and where they’re heading and the more I see the ways things goes be it with tablets, Apple, or Google… the more I think what they are doing is probably the most logical way to go for them, Windows 8 won’t be that big of a deals, at least not in the way most haters want others to believe. If you work with productivity apps, you will nearly never see anything related to metro except the start screen and as I stated in the other post, once you start getting used to it (which is not that difficult in the end, I noticed that if some actions do look different, they mostly all work in the same way as before) it’s really just the logical evolution of the start menu.

    “But what bothers me the most is that desktop is "legacy".”

    Well don’t see it as legacy then, it’s more that Win32 is not the primary API anymore, but it’s not legacy, legacy stuff don’t get updated and Win32/Desktop got updated in Windows 8 so that say a thing.

    I’m not defending MS or anything, I’m just trying to look over all the “fud” people are making here and see if things will be as catastrophic as some seem to say.

    After playing with the thing for a while (looking at Windows 8 changes, trying to figure out scenarios where they could be taken advantage of instead of crying over scenarios that might get impacted by them), I must say that so far the future doesn’t seem that dark.

  241. Please says:

    @ Quppa

    There are things that do not fit, Documentos, Calculadora, etc…

    Therefore:

    imageshack.us/…/nl7zy.png

    Thanks.

  242. Pol says:

    People still talking about Windows 8, that's so 5 minutes ago. Aghh…

    Windows 8 is a crap.

  243. Stefan says:

    If i was the developer of Windows 8 i would add the Metro apps as ordinary icons for desktop users. I would also restore the start button and the classic and Windows 7 taskbar and let the user choose which one they want to use. I still don't understand why the desktops should have something as useless as the MetroUI….it is ridicilous !

    .

    Once more i think the dev team should pay us who are negative some F attention and answer our questions and feedback. It is VERY DISRESPECTFUL not to do so !!! I am a long time Windows user and i am about to leave Windows because of that. I have no reason to support Microsoft when i am being treated as i don't exist…

  244. mdm7923 says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    The Metro UI issues really have to be resolved and not ignored.  Please do a USEFUL post on what you are going to do to meet the needs of desktop users and whether or not METRO will be able to be turned off in the RC/RTM.  After using windows 8 as the primary OS on my laptop for nearly a month, I cannot say I have gotten used to it and absolutely HATE METRO UI in my face all the time!!!

    My Main problems are (in no particular order):

    1. You Cannot bypass the START Screen when logging in — This one really makes me angry because that option is available in GPO but clearly states it is for servers only.  Please make this an option for client versions of Windows as well.

    2. There is no START Button and no way to revert to a windows 7 style start menu — The start menu has been an option in EVERY version of Windows for the past 17 years.  That is a LONG time! Just getting rid of it is going to confuse a LOT of users and alienate your enterprise user base.  Additionally, XP and Vista both had options for a classic start menu.

    3. File Extensions in Windows Explorer open with metro apps — This one is VERY annoying.  When I click an mp3 file or JPEG in Windows Explorer I expect it to open in Windows Media Player or Photo Viewer.  I do not expect, or like the fact that the default behavior is to open the file with a METRO application. This absolutely KILLS workflow.

    4. I Despise the hot corner behavior — It is an interesting idea, but in practice it works horribly.  I don't know how many times I've accidentally opened the charms menu or start screen by trying to close a window or hit the first icon in my taskbar.  Also there are no visual cues whatsoever and a non-technical user will be incredibly lost with this new OS (there are NUMEROUS YouTube videos demonstrating this).  Additionally, the hot corners are useless on multi-monitor setups

    5.  Metro is a Single-Tasking UI — You can say it is multitasking all you want, but the simple fact is that it is a single-tasking mobile UI that has no place on traditional PCs unless a drastic overhaul  in development is made from now to the RTM.  The useless 80-20 screen split does not help at all.  WINRT apps need to have the ability to open in re-sizable WINDOWS period.  I don't care WHAT your telemetry says, everyone I know in my workplace has DOZENS of apps open on their screen. These windows also need a MINIMIZE MAXIMIZE and CLOSE button for MOUSE users in addition to the touch mechanisms for closing the app.

  245. So i've just read this blog again, and now i'm a bit worried. 🙂

    While both the 140% and 180% scalings are important, it's the 180% scale that most interests me, because it provides crisper text and is closest to the 200% scaling of the leading tablet – iPad. Now what happens to the Desktop experience for the user of a tablet or notebook running quad-XGA (2560×1440) @180% scaling?

    "Historically many are familiar with “large fonts” or “make text bigger” settings on the desktop to compensate for these physics. Windows 8 takes this to a new level of support for WinRT applications."

    So the scaling is a WinRT function, and not a system-wide function as it might have been if the scaling were done at the display driver level, for example. So no Desktop scaling, which is going to be a serious problem on high pixel density systems, as the post implicitly admits…

    "As the pixel density increases, the physical size of objects on screen gets smaller. If Windows wasn’t built to accommodate different pixel densities, objects on screen would be too small to easily tap or read on these tablets."

    Windows, in this context, meaning Windows Runtime, and "on these tablets" gives us the intended market. In the comments @David Washington [MSFT] makes the same point…

    "The scaling system is not only designed to ensure touchability but readability. If unscaled, our research has shown that on high pixel density tablets, (like an 10" 1920×1080  screen), that text would be unreadable by most people with 20/20 vision."

    This is tantamount to saying that on high pixel density tablets, THE DESKTOP WILL BE UNUSABLE. Text will appear so small that even those with normal vision will find the text unreadable. So what about "hacks" like increasing font and other UI element sizes? The post denies this as being a reasonable or workable solution…

    "Pixel density offers another variable where the existing paradigms of toolbars and menus are becoming increasingly burdensome to use. "Hacks" such as large fonts or tricking the system into using a different DPI are just that—hacks. As anyone who has used a high-DPI screen can tell you, existing applications and the UI paradigms simply don't function, and become unusable. A typical example is when a common toolbar button becomes a diminishingly small square, and menu heights and text become too small to read and navigate. Obviously personal preference plays a role, and the ability to tweak the system can help, but neither of these is a reliable way to make sure Windows is usable on a new generation of hardware."

    The implications of all this are serious enough from a usability perspective, but what about from a competitive perspective? Even on WOA (Windows on ARM) systems, the desktop is still there in a limited sense, so using this platform does not eliminate the fundamental problem. How simple and usable and consistent does the new iPad with 264 PPI @200 scaling look now?

    Again looking at the 'Pixel density sweet spots' image, 2560×1440 on 11.6" results in a touch target size of ~8.5mm, or about half a millimeter below the ITTS (ideal touch target size). A 200% scaling at this pixel density would give a touch target size of (200%/180%)*8.5 = 9.44mm. This would be just within the colored band of the graph, which presumably indicates 'acceptable values'. (Note that while 1920×1080 is close enough to 140% of the baseline resolution of 1366×768, as stated in the post, 2560×1440 is actually 187% of the baseline, so a 200% scale would not be significantly less ideal than a 180% scale.) A 200% scaling means that what would otherwise be displayed by 1 pixel, is instead displayed by 4 pixels (1 -> 2×2 grid, in effect). This scaling would presumably be relatively easy to implement system-wide, because this is just a simple upscaling function. In practice things are not that simple, because for example, WinRT supports adaptive layouts. So the simple pixel level scaling employed by the iPad is not possible, at least for WinRT apps. However, this does not mean that 200% system-wide scaling is not preferable to 180% WinRT-only scaling. It only leaves the scaling of non-vector graphics as a problem (see the 'Stretched bitmap' image in the post). Classic apps and the Desktop have this issue – WinRT apps do not…

    "Just by using web-standard CSS pixel units or a XAML layout, app layouts will scale proportionally. When an app is scaled up, images are stretched and could get blurry, but Windows 8 makes it easy for developers to keep these images looking crisp and beautiful. Windows 8, the platform natively supports vector graphics. Any images exported as SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) or XAML art will scale without getting blurry. Additionally, Windows 8 introduces automatic resource loading so developers can save three versions of images with a naming convention; images that correspond to each of the current scale percentages (100%, 140%, and 180%) load automatically to keep images crisp on high DPI."

    Again i'm reading 'Windows 8' as being a proxy term for 'Windows Runtime'. So the bottom line seems to be that Microsoft would prefer OEMs to market tablets with pixel densities high enough to cause unreadable classic app text, rather than with Desktop environments with readable text but jagged images. Seriously?

  246. Windows7 says:

    Just look back at the "Engineering Windows 7" blogs. There was hardly any resistance or negativity being posted then. Surely that must tell you something about how unwelcome this Metro nonsense is?

  247. CHAR says:

    @mdm7923 .  your right 🙂

    @Steven Sinofsky.  please enumerate Metro Style good features for Desktop Users (old start menu or … ) or in comparison with old Stat menu.

    Start Menu was optimum in many years for Desktop Users but now … ?????????????

  248. Mark says:

    @mdm7923. I'm not sure why you are having trouble with number 1. I do not have a password on my account in CP and it comes up to the start screen without any interaction on my part, just like Win7 does. Re: #3, my guess is that the default behaviour is there for a reason, since WinRT is the"default" and desktop is "legacy" Microsoft will set all defaults to Metro apps. Fortunately they can be changed.

    @Drewfus – the desktop still has the "scale text and other items on the desktop" option in the display settings.

    I am not that unhappy with the Metro interface, quick-switching between full-screen apps is not the optimum way to run a desktop but it is usable. My biggest problem is that the Metro stuff doesn't seem to scale down far enough, and its all designed to horizontally scroll instead of providing the info on one screen. For example, the new "Slacker Radio" app on my 27" monitor running at 1920×1080 shows just 2 rows of buttons (wasting 80% of the screen with white blankness). it could have easily displayed them all on the screen at once, but now I have to find the small light-gray-on-white scroll bar that only appears sometimes and scroll to see the rest of it.  Some of that is programming decisions but most of it seems to be the way Metro is forcing programmers to work with their tools. If the full-screen Metro apps were more useful for desktop users it might go a long way to mitigating some of the unhappiness.

  249. pmbAustin says:

    One of the biggest issues I have with Metro at the moment is the multi-monitor support… or lack thereof.

    Everyone has already complained about how the "hot corners" don't work well in a multi-monitor setup.  That needs a solution.

    But beyond that, it would be nice to have a lot more control about how Metro and the Desktop use multiple monitors.  Not only would I like to designate one monitor as the "start screen" monitor, and another as the "primary Desktop" monitor (the one with the task bar… i.e. I'd like to have desktop on left and have start screen come up on the one on the right)… but I'd like to be able to launch metro apps to the screen that I want, and have multiple metro apps, one per screen, running at the same time.  And even docking them (so a total of four visible at a time with two monitors).  Being able to flip a Metro app from one screen to another quickly (via keypress) would be very useful too.  I think if you manage to get full multi-Monitor support and flexibility, a lot of the complaints about Metro would go down, and desktop productivity would definitely go up.

  250. Dave says:

    Why does everyone think a higher res tablet is a must have. a tablet is a mobile device and higher res equals less battery life. I would take longer battery over higher resolution anyday when it comes to a mobile device. Apple has now fallen into the muck that PC was in years back where they now only offer hardware upgraded same ol stuff in their new releases instead of new products.

  251. Dan F says:

    For me, good support for multi-monitor and 1920 X 1200 resolution is going to be one of the key deciding factors.

  252. KolRn says:

    OMG so tired of reading Metro-Haters’ comments..

    From my point of view, on a desktop PC we only have to care about the “Desktop” part of the OS, there’s no need to use Metro apps at all. People calling desktop “legacy” are plain wrong, there will never be metro apps for productivity, content creation software, etc. Maybe some light versions for tablet use, but not full featured products. The beta of Visual Studio 11 is a clear example, and I bet Office 15 and the Adobe CS 6 won’t be different. And don’t forget hardcore games.

    We really should think of this new Windows as an ecosystem, not just a desktop OS: use Metro apps on a tablet/phone, use Desktop app on a desktop. As for the Start Screen.. yes, it’s different and it takes time to get along with, but in the end it’s only a different way for doing the same things and it brings unification to all devices which will be a really good thing in a long run

    Some suggestions:

    • Implement recently used programs / documents feature in the Start Sreen (or is it there? Couse I can’t find it)

    • Separate settings management: we should be able to control ALL Metro settings from within the Metro Settings app, without opening Control Panel. Same for the other way around.

    • It would be nice to have an option during an install for PC and tablet pre-configuration. Choosing PC, for example, would logon directly into the Desktop app , associate file extensions with desktop programs rather than with metro apps,

    • Consolidate both interfaces: Why when I click to change the language in Desktop mode the list with languages is Metro style, while the Time&Date, Sound, etc. is the good old Aero?

    • The Start Screen tiles for the current desktop icons are ok, but you should allow developers (and users who want to personalize them) to make full picture tiles for new programs

    • Tune keyboard shortcuts: having different key combinations for changing language in Desktop and in Metro doesn’t make much sense.

    • Remove opened Metro Apps form the Alt-Tab screen.

    • Consider putting Recycle Bin icon into the taskbar

    • If you really want us to use Metro apps on a Desktop (why, is beyond my understanding) make an easier way to permanently close them (Esc key, X button maybe?)

    • When we have only one app open and snap it the remaining area is empty. Wouldn’t it be better to show the Start Screen there instead?

    • Put the power button to the charm bar. We should be able reach it in one click, and powering off and restarting a PC is not a “setting”

    • Make a good tutorial explaining the new workflow and important keyboard shortcuts to the average user

    As for the rest, I think that Windows 8 is a great OS: fast, reliable and innovative, and it will success. Eventually

    I know that I’m going off topic here, and that some of the things I’m saying are posted already, but I needed to let it out 😉

  253. sarai v says:

    thanks . I like it and the kids,enterprize will too.

  254. mdm7923 says:

    @Mark

    You just summed up the main problem with Windows 8. WinRT is the"default" and desktop is "legacy". This should not be.  I have no intention of giving up my powerful desktop machine to be dragged, kicking and screaming to a tablet/touchscreen.  These devices should be separate and run a separate OS.

    PCs are like trucks, they carry heavy loads (Games, CAD Applications, serious productivity…etc) even though they consume more fuel

    Tablets are like cars, they do most everything a normal user needs (web browsing, email etc.) and consume less power.  For me, a tablet is an appliance device. My main device is the PC because I NEED it to do tasks that require POWERFUL components.

    In my mind, apple got it right. They are bringing iOS features into OS X, but at heart, OS X is still OS X.  Windows 8/Metro is NOT still Windows.

  255. Stefan says:

    @KolRn:

    OMG so tired of reading Metro-Lovers’ comments..

  256. Mark says:

    @KolRn – "Remove metro Apps from the Alt-Tab screen" – I don't think they could. The alt-tab (and the metro version – mouse in U.L. corner) apps switcher switches between all open apps, whether they are using Win32 or WinRT (desktop or Metro). Per your comment "think of this new Windows as an ecosystem" The apps all run, just using different UI's.

    re: Start Screen tiles. Microsoft artists obviously went for a minimilstic view for their apps. I really don't understand that one. Live tiles are already built in to Metro. The pictures tile for example will automatically switch between pictures, and 3rd party apps have nice-looking tiles.

    Why didn't Microsoft at least use the large-size nicely shaded icons built into the apps! I guess it is to differentiate 8 from the look of Aero which was "Aero aims to establish a design that is both professional and beautiful. The Aero aesthetic creates a high quality and elegant experience that facilitates user productivity and even drives an emotional response." (link: msdn.microsoft.com/…/aa511280.aspx) – Metro visuals seem to be all about simplicity and not professionalism…sigh, casual not professional.

  257. chilli1327 says:

    I am upset that the mimimum horizontal resolution was not set to be 600DPI.  There are literally 100's of thousands of 10" netbooks out there, and yes, they do not have touch screens, but there are literally millions of PC's that do not.

    Blow my mind…

  258. Daniel says:

    So when does it come out,i hope it will be soon,im still stuck on xp

  259. @Mark – "the desktop still has the "scale text and other items on the desktop" option in the display settings."

    Yes, that setting is still there in the Consumer Preview, but this post states…

    ""Hacks" such as large fonts or tricking the system into using a different DPI are just that—hacks."

    So are you advocating a Desktop-wide hack, or do you fundamentally disagree with Sinofsky and David Washington, the author of this post?

    Note: The DPI scaling setting 'Larger – 150%' displays this warning: "Some items may not fit on the screen if you choose this setting while your display is set to this resolution." This problem would be far worse using the available custom scaling of 200%, which is obviously closer to the 180% WinRT scale than 150%.

    My understanding is that many classic apps are simply not designed to handle these scalings – hence the warning in Control Panel and the reference to hacks in this post. There are at least 4 other major points here:

    • Will WinRT scaling and Win32 scaling actually work side-by-side? Do these features operate at the same level of the display stack, for example, or could a lower-level scaling conceivably interfere with a higher level implementation?

    • The 'Medium – 125%' and 'Larger – 150%' Control Panel settings do not match the 140% and 180% scalings that WinRT will automatically apply at its resolution thresholds. At the very least, this would mean Desktop text always being a bit on the small side. Too bad if you do a lot of onscreen reading, and/or don't have 20/20 vision.

    • Who will set the Desktop scaling, the OEM or the end user? This appears to be a per-user setting, so pity the end user that has never heard of the DPI scaling options.

    • Who takes responsibility for the incompatibilites that desktop scaling might introduce (see Note above)? Or does the end user simply have to accept this as a reasonable workaround for legacy software?

    Really, if i was just wrong about all this, or was simply missing an important point, don't you think someone from MSFT could correct me in the comments? This hasn't occured yet – what does that say?