Creating the Windows 8 user experience

This blog often focuses on the bits and features and less on the “philosophy” or “context” of the product. Given the level of brand new innovations in Windows 8, however, we think it is worth putting Windows 8 in the context in which we approached the design. As with any significant change to a broadly used product, Windows 8 has generated quite a bit of discussion. With millions of people using the Consumer Preview for their daily work, we’ve seen just as many points of view expressed. Many people—from David Pogue of the New York Times to Mat Honan from Gizmodo and many more—have been quite positive, and others less so, most notably in the comments on this blog, where we’ve seen the rich dialog we’d hoped for. Some have asked about design choices we’ve made in the product and the evolution of Windows or suitability of the design to different people. Some bloggers believe it is critical to further separate the traditional desktop from Metro style elements. Other people believe passionately that it is important to make the desktop more like the Metro style interface. There are as many opinions as there are folks who have tried out the Consumer Preview. Designing a new release of a product already used by a billion people in a billion different ways is, as we say, like ordering pizza for a billion people. Doing so out in the open encourages this dialog, and we embrace and value it. Jensen Harris, Director of Program Management for our User Experience team, authored this post.

At the D: All Things Digital conference in June 2011, we demonstrated for the first time the new user interface that we developed for Windows 8. This new UI is fast and fluid to use, and optimized for mobile form factors such as laptops, tablets, and convertibles, where people spend the vast majority of their time today. Windows 8 works equally well with mouse, keyboard, or your fingers, and has the best pen support of any OS. It supports multiple displays and the widest array of configurations and form factors of any OS. On top of all that, Windows 8 introduces a new kind of app, which we codenamed “Metro style” following the design language that has evolved going back to Windows Media Center and the new Windows Phone. These apps are immersive, full-screen, beautiful, and optimized for the ways that people commonly use devices today.

I thought it would be useful to take a step back and describe a little bit of the background of how the Windows 8 user interface was designed, and discuss some of the decisions we’ve made and the goals of this new experience in more detail.

A brief history of the Windows user interface

The user interface of Windows has evolved and been transformed over the course of its entire 27-year history. Although we think about certain aspects of the Windows UI as being static or constant, the reality is that the interface is always changing to keep up with the way people use PCs. It is amazing to reflect back on the history of the Windows UI, and to see the level of dramatic change that has transpired over time.

Since Windows 8 marks a significant evolution of the user experience, I will focus on the releases where the user interface of Windows changed most significantly, and some of the initial perception surrounding those shifts. If you are interested, a full history of Windows is available to read on the Microsoft website.

Windows 1

Windows 1 was released in 1985, and it was designed for drastically different scenarios than what people use PCs for today.

3 windows appear in a grid layout. Along bottom of screen are icons for a disk, a calculator, a paint program, and 2 more icons.

The first version of Windows was a rough graphical shell around DOS, intended primarily to be used with the keyboard. A mouse was strictly optional and very few PCs had one.

In fact, the mouse was a bit of a curiosity at the time, perceived by many experienced users as inefficient, cumbersome, un-ergonomic, and hard to learn how to use. The mouse was certainly exotic. Do you roll it on the screen? Do you pick it up and talk into it?

Here are a couple of published expert opinions from early 1980s print publications about whether the mouse would catch on:

  • “Mice are nice ideas, but of dubious value for business users” (George Vinall, PC Week, April 24, 1984)
  • “There is no evidence that people want to use these things.” (John C. Dvorak, San Francisco Examiner, February 19, 1984)
  • “I was having lots of fun, but in the back of my corporate mind, I couldn't help but think about productivity.” (George Vinall, PC Week, April 24, 1984)
  • “Does the mouse make the computer more accessible, more friendly, to certain target audiences such as executives? The answer is no.” (Computerworld, October 31, 1983)
  • “There is no possibility that this device will feel more comfortable to the executive than the keyboard. Because of its ‘rollability,’ the mouse has the aura of a gimmick…” (Computerworld, October 31, 1983)
  • “The mouse and its friends are merely diversions in this process. What sounds revolutionary does not necessarily help anyone with anything, and therein lies the true test of commercial longevity.” (David A. Kay, Datamation, October 1983)

So, as you can see, the mouse was considered gimmicky, unnecessary, and not useful for mainstream use. On the other hand, some people are now asserting that the mouse is dead.

Windows 3 and 3.1

The first commercially successful version of Windows was Windows 3, released in 1990. It featured a totally new interface, centered on a new shell called Program Manager for launching, arranging, and switching programs.

Program Manager and File Manager windows float over a series of icons on the desktop

File Manager was the most important new program in Windows 3, used for managing files and drives. This upgrade bet big for the first time on most users having a mouse, and knowing how to use it to click on the colorful, large (for the time) 32x32 icons. Many reviews were critical of the release because to use it effectively required one of those oft-criticized mice.

It is worth noting in the screenshot above that File Manager is being used to browse the files in the OS itself—something that was commonplace at the time, but now the modern equivalent of looking under the hood to repair an electronic fuel-injected car.
You could not put links to programs or files on the “desktop” in Windows 3. The area behind the floating windows was where programs went when you minimized them. Because getting to these minimized apps often required moving a bunch of windows out of the way first, the Alt+Tab keyboard shortcut became a very popular way to switch between running programs.

Windows 95

Windows 95, released a few years later in August of 1995, included a substantially reinvented user experience. Many of the constructs that are still present in Windows 7 were introduced in this version—the Start menu, taskbar, Explorer, and the desktop—but in very different forms.

Windows Explorer open on the desktop, Start menu shows programs in a flyout menu.

Although we think about these user interface elements as familiar today, at the time, they were radically different from how anyone had used a PC before. The Start button was so undiscoverable that, despite having the word Start right on it, bouncing “<-- Click here to begin” text had to be added to the taskbar after early test releases so that people could figure out how to get started using the programs on their PC.

Download this video to view it in your favorite media player:
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Of course, once people figured out the “trick” of the Start button, it stuck with them, and then they were good to use it forever more. And of course, we were able to remove the “Click here to begin” text from subsequent versions.

At the time, PCs were still rather mysterious and the vast majority of homes were yet to have their first PC. Actions that we take for granted today, such as double-clicking and right-clicking, were to many users unknown—yet used extensively in the Windows 95 user interface. These actions proved problematic for many people to discover and master. Here is an historic video of a person in our usability labs trying an early build of Windows 95 which shows an example of the kind of problems many people had:

Download this video to view it in your favorite media player:
High quality MP4 | Lower quality MP4

The Windows 95 user interface, designed in 1993, was forward-looking, and drastically simplified the common tasks of the time. Yet, a vocal subset of users continued to criticize it for years, preferring instead the comfort of what they were familiar with: Windows 3.1. Ed Bott from ZDNet dug up some humorous posts highlighting the frustration some users were having making the transition to Windows 95.

So, while the building blocks of today’s familiar Windows experience were designed in 1993, the world of 2012 is very different. In 1993, the web was still new to everyone, and most Windows 95 users had not tried it yet. The included media player could only play .wav files. Online connectivity was not commonplace, and if it was present at all, it was usually through a service such as AOL, which used a modem to connect to proprietary content and a closed intra-service messaging system.

Windows 95 prominently featured a fax service and a terminal client/phone dialer. It did not include any support for commonplace devices such as digital cameras or portable mp3 players, since neither even existed as a consumer device in 1993. The first ever mobile phone with PDA capabilities, the IBM Simon, was introduced around this time. It weighed almost 1.5 pounds, ran DOS, and the only app ever designed for it sold only two copies. This was a very, very different world than the one we live in today.

And yet, the Windows 95 UI was designed in and for this world; the Start menu, the taskbar, the desktop, Explorer, and all of the rest of today’s familiar Windows UI was born in this time. A world in which you spent most of your time disconnected… typing in a word processor and manipulating files on your computer. A world in which the idea of not starting Windows by typing “win” at the DOS prompt seemed strange and almost unreal (and even the subject of many debates.)

From this distant time in the past, today’s familiar Windows user interface was born.

Windows XP

Windows XP was released to PC manufacturers on August 24, 2001. It represented another important evolution in the Windows user interface.


My Documents window and Windows Media Player window float over a desktop background image of a green hillside and blue sky. Start button appears at lower left.

By 2001, people were using their PCs more every day. Typing and managing files, which doesn’t require the web, remained a critical percentage of the time people spent using a PC. Yet collecting and consuming information and media—especially music, photos, and videos—was on the verge of becoming mainstream. (Even then, early digital camera sales were still just one quarter of film camera sales, and would not eclipse them for another three years.) People were spending more time on the PC web browsing and doing mail, in addition to the document-focused productivity scenarios around which Windows 95 was developed.

Although you still invoked the Windows XP Start menu by clicking the word Start in the lower-left corner, the Start menu itself changed considerably. The familiar hierarchical programs list from all versions of Windows since 95, rooted in the old Program Manager, was demoted under an “All Programs” link. Mail, web browsing, pictures, and music were brought to the top level.

Start menu shows a list of frequently used programs on left, with All Programs at bottom of that list. On right is list of My Documents, My Pictures, Control Panel, Help and Support, and other frequently needed shortcuts.


Although Windows XP eventually became a major success, some people at the time were frustrated with the changes to the user interface. They found the Windows XP experience to be garish, and users inquired about how to “downgrade” to previous versions.

Windows Vista

In 2006, Windows Vista substantially changed the visual appearance of Windows, introducing the Aero visual style. Aero gave the appearance of highly-rendered glass, light sources, reflections, and other graphically complex textures in the title bars, taskbar, and other system surfaces. These stylistic elements represented the design sensibilities of the time, reflecting the capabilities of the brand-new digital tools used to create and render them. This style of simulating faux-realistic materials (such as glass or aluminum) on the screen looks dated and cheesy now, but at the time, it was very much en vogue.

Image of Analog Clock gadget on desktop, with a window overlaying it with semi-transparent edges.

Aero was designed to help people focus less on the window chrome itself, and more on the content within the window. It draws the eye away from the title bar and window frames, and towards what is valuable and what an app is about.

And of course, the Start menu changed again, most notably by making it possible to press the Windows key (introduced in Windows 95) and then just start typing to search from anywhere in Windows. (This welcome innovation is one we’ve kept in Windows 8, expanding it to search even within apps.)

Of course, as with every change along the way, some people expressed reservations about the changes.

Windows 7

Windows 7 was released in the fall of 2009, and a number of the key aspects of the UI were significantly transformed. While many of these changes centered on an overhaul of the taskbar, significant modifications were also made to the Start menu, windowing, and to the logical organization of files on the PC.

Start button, with IE, Windows Explorer, and Windows Media Player on Taskbar. 3 instances of IE shown above taskbar (activated on hover)

Notably, launching and switching between programs were brought together in the new taskbar. Icons in the taskbar were made bigger and more touchable. The Start menu was changed to focus on launching only the programs you use less frequently, as no program can be pinned to both the taskbar and the Start menu. This marked the start of a transition where we were looking to remove the archaic distinction between starting a program for the first time and returning to a program that was already running. It is interesting to consider how odd it is that we trained ourselves to look one place for a program the first time it is running, and a different place once it is already running.

Windows 7 also was the first mainstream non-phone OS to introduce multitouch support into the base OS. Although tablets on other platforms have followed suit, Windows 7 was the first shipping OS to embrace multitouch in the platform. Along the way, we learned a great deal about the limitations of trying to use touch to navigate Windows when so much of the existing interface, and virtually all of the existing programs, were specifically designed to be used with mouse and keyboard.

Although some people had critical reactions and demanded changes to the user interface, Windows 7 quickly became the most-used OS in the world.

Trends that influenced the design of Windows 8

As we started planning the user experience of Windows 8 in mid-2009, just around the time of Windows 7 RTM, we looked around and took note of some of the trends playing out around us.

This was a pre-iPad world, a world before the recent proliferation of new form factors and device types. And although more than 93% of PCs run some version of Windows today, it was clear even then that the world we lived in and people’s expectations of computing devices were rapidly changing.

Here are a few of the trends we noted that influenced the design of the Windows 8 user experience and features:

1. Connected all the time.

Connectivity is becoming ubiquitous. While today’s file-centric Windows user interface was designed around assumptions of optional, limited, and sporadic connectivity, today, nearly everything people love to do on their PCs assumes they’re connected to the Internet. Wi-Fi is assumed in more and more public locations, and an increasing number of PCs also include the ability to connect to mobile broadband networks as well. Where connectivity was once the exception, it is now the rule.

2. People, not files, are the center of activity.

There has been a marked change in the kinds of activities people spend time doing on the PC. In balance to “traditional” PC activities such as writing and creating, people are increasingly reading and socializing, keeping up with people and their pictures and their thoughts, and communicating with them in short, frequent bursts. Life online is moving faster and faster, and people are progressively using their PCs to keep up with and participate in that. And much of this activity and excitement is happening inside the web browser, in experiences built using HTML and other web technologies.

3. The rise of mobile PCs over desktop PCs.

The kinds of PCs people are buying are rapidly moving towards mobile form factors like laptops and tablets, and away from traditional desktops. While powerful desktops will remain the form factor of choice for people who want to squeeze every ounce of performance out of a highly modular and extensible PC (for example video editors, financial analysts, scientists, gamers, PC enthusiasts…), most people want to have light, portable PCs.

In 2009, desktops were 44% of the worldwide market and laptops were 56%. Just 3 years later, over 61% of the PCs sold are laptops and the trend is accelerating—this is globally, measuring all Windows PCs sold. Among consumers in the United States buying a PC this year, more than 76% will purchase laptops—the absolute number of all US desktops sold will be fewer than the number of tablets in 2012! That is a fairly stunning change in the role of different form factors. Even in businesses, laptops are now purchased more than half the time.

Videos of the recent Windows 8 Consumer Preview event we hosted in Barcelona in February were shot, produced, edited, and controlled using only laptops. Many of these were very powerful laptops with secondary monitors plugged in for extra screen space, but even a few years ago we would have hauled around a truckload of desktop PCs for the event. Just because a PC is portable, light, and thin does not mean that it lacks the power or capability to do heavy-duty professional work.

4. Content is on the PC and in the cloud.

Following from ubiquitous connectivity and the popularity of laptops is the fact that people’s content now spans the PC and cloud services. This includes not just purpose-built storage services like SkyDrive, but also photos in Facebook and Flickr, videos put up for family to watch in Vimeo, music stored in and streamed from cloud services. All of this is augmented by GBs, or in some cases even TBs, of videos, photos, and music on the PCs in the home. People’s content is spreading out everywhere, and as cameras are now high-resolution and always in your pocket (via your phone), the amount of content being generated every day is multiplying rapidly. A service like SkyDrive providing up to 100GB of cloud storage dramatically changes how you think about your PC and the resources you have access to.

These are a few of the key things we took note of in 2009. What all of these trends have in common is that people had started to use their PCs with different expectations and scenarios in mind. Although the PC remains the world’s best tool for writing and typing and creating and making things, people increasingly were doing different kinds of things with the time they spent on their PCs. And they had started to expect PCs to behave more like their phones: connected, mobile, long battery life, centered on people and activities and keeping up with what’s going on.

At the same time, apps have continued to get richer on mobile devices, as developers have had more time and experience developing apps. Along the way, mobile platforms continue to add APIs and functionalities that already exist in Windows.

We realized that to enable Windows to lead with these trends emerging, we needed to reimagine the Windows experience. Like so many other times in our history, we needed to bring the Windows experience forward: not only to better service what people are doing today, but to anticipate and cultivate the ways they will be using PCs in the future; to modernize the experience of using Windows, and to set the stage for the next decade of platform and developer innovation; to make the PC the most desirable, useful, and loved device in the world.

Windows 8 looks forward towards a new world of capabilities, new hardware, new apps, and new scenarios. Windows 8 is about a billion people doing new things, and the next billion people experiencing Windows for the first time.

Goals of the Windows 8 user experience

As we designed this new experience, a few clear goals emerged for the characteristics of what we wanted to create.

1. Fast and fluid.

Those of you who have followed Windows 8 coverage over the last year have undoubtedly read or heard the phrase “fast and fluid.” This is not some "marketing" tagline we have recently created; these words are part of the design language we used to define what we intended as the soul of the new user experience in Windows 8. If Windows 8 were to be embodied in a phrase, this is it, and our goal is for this description to fit the product.

Fast and fluid represents a few core things to us. It means that the UI is responsive, performant, beautiful, and animated. That every piece of UI comes in from somewhere and goes somewhere when it exits the screen. It means that the most essential scenarios are efficient, and can be accomplished without extra questions or prompts. It means that things you don’t need are out of the way.

It also implies to us a certain feeling of fluidity or weightlessness in using Windows. For instance, swiping from the edge of the screen with your finger to bring up controls feels fluid and natural and pleasing. The human finger is designed for that kind of motion! For example, dragging down from the top of the screen to close an app, or dragging a tile to the bottom of the screen to invoke zoom and then moving it to a distant part of the Start screen feels satisfying to do, in addition to being efficient.

2. Long battery life.

Because most Windows PCs are now battery powered (and soon the vast majority will be), great battery life is just a requirement. When the original Windows programming model was created, literally every PC was plugged in all the time. There was no concept of power management or battery drain. As a result, programs were free to do whatever they wanted. Once running, they ran constantly, regardless of whether you were interacting with them or not. Programs could consume all the memory on the system, or all the CPU, or write to disk every second. Basically they could, in a totally unbridled way, chew through your battery.

Traditionally, the design of PC software was centered on using the CPU as much as possible, whenever possible, because “MIPS are cheap.” In contrast, now we heavily scrutinize usage of the CPU, and understand the role it plays in preserving or reducing battery life. In a mobile world, this is a new type of engineering tradeoff. Where Microsoft used to primarily focus on reducing memory consumption, now we are also laser-focused on improving battery life while still delivering a fast and fluid user experience. That means optimizing for memory consumption and CPU and GPU and performance and battery characteristics all at the same time, across a variety of platforms and hardware configurations. Therein lie the real engineering tradeoffs inherent in building a mobile OS, or just a modern OS that happens to be used on a mobile device.

Once we understood how important great battery life was, certain aspects of the new experience became clear. For instance, it became obvious early on in the planning process that to truly reimagine the Windows experience we would need to reimagine apps as well. Thus, WinRT and a new kind of app were born.
To help extend a device’s battery life, WinRT-based apps know how to save their state instantly. Windows can throttle them down to use no CPU or memory on a moment’s notice, but without the user losing anything they’ve been working on in the app. When the app resumes, it resumes in exactly the same place it left off. To the user, it has been running all the time—but technically the program has been suspended or terminated in the background.

There’s a reason phones and tablets generally show only one app on the screen at a time. It is not just because of the traditionally small screens on these devices, or because doing one social update is all people do, or because "toy apps take up the whole screen." It is because "one-at-a-time" lets an OS manage the background activity on the device so that only apps you are actively using can drain the battery.

Even with multitasking in the existing desktop still present (and improved), we did feel like only offering "one-at-a-time" in the Metro style experience was a bit of a constraint, and not totally true to the Windows history of multitasking. So we evolved Snap for Windows 8.This feature lets you run any two WinRT-based apps side-by-side, so that you can watch a video while you browse the web, or video chat while checking mail. And we created facilities for background processing of a wide class of apps, and background notification capabilities that are unique to Windows as well.

In the below picture, you can see the Windows 8 Messaging app snapped next to the Maps app—two apps at once, even on a tablet.

Map of Bellevue, WA, showing location of Microsoft Corp, fills 3/4 of screen, a messaging conversation if on right 1/4 of screen

3. Grace and power: Windows 8 apps.

Windows 8 apps are so much more than just optimizing for battery life though. These apps are beautiful and immersive, using every pixel of the screen to display their content. For years, each release of Windows added more and more chrome around the edges of your screen and windows—buttons and widgets and gadgets. Windows 8 reverses this trend, with Windows itself receding into the background, and putting the content of your apps ahead of the chrome.

Every app has a rich canvas with which to express its soul—when you’re using a news app, you’re fully immersed in news. When you’re checking your social networks, content is presented beautifully and artfully and in ways that draw you in to spend more time enjoying yourself. When you play a game, you’re fully and completely immersed in the game. (Although, some types of games have been doing full-screen for years!)

And over time, as apps evolve, when you’re editing photos, writing a document, managing your finances, or any other professional productivity task, you’ll also be immersed in that. Of course, if you use popular professional tools today, you can see how they are on a path to being full-screen and immersive already. Our unique app constructs such as contracts, pickers, and many other cross-app capabilities (all accessible globally via the charms) are about new ways to connect apps together, and are relevant for anything from intense data transfer between apps to sharing a quick link via email. These cross-app capabilities (and more importantly the APIs) are a unique element of Windows 8.

Windows 8 apps are purpose-built and tailored for the specific set of scenarios they are great at. This is different than traditional desktop programs, which often contain hundreds of loosely-related, powerful, but hard-to-find features. Windows 8 apps focus on being great at something, or a few things, and really delivering a great experience for those targeted scenarios.

The history of development tools and system management tools shows that this approach of “little languages” (or "tiny tools") vs. monolithic apps maps better to a world in which obtaining and using apps is easier. The rich capabilities of the Windows Store, contracts, and the searchable Start screen all were designed so that it is easy for people to have, find, and use many apps in Windows 8.

Even though apps express their individual personality and brand and content, they still do so within the harmony of the overall "Metro style" design experience. Great Windows 8 apps align to a common typographic grid so that the PC feels fluid and harmonious as you switch between apps. We created standardized ways of doing common tasks: with touch, you swipe in from the edges to reveal commands. With a mouse, you move to the corners. The lower-left corner of the screen takes you to Start, no matter where you are. Right-click always reveals off-screen commands for the app you’re using. Within apps, Settings and Search and Share are always in the same location (the charms), no matter what app you are using. There is real value to having the consistent aspects of apps always work the same way. Yes, you do have to learn a few simple things up front, but once you know them, you know how to use the entire system.

WinRT apps scale gracefully from small 7” screens to large desktop monitors, to even larger wall-sized TV screens. Check out the Maps app in Windows 8 being used on an 82” touchscreen during the Consumer Preview launch event in Barcelona! (Or, watch the video, starting approximately at 1:13:00.)

Michael Angiulo and Steven Sinofsky demonstrate using a map on an 82-inch touchscreen running Windows 8

These apps were designed from the beginning to allow developers to target devices with extremely high-density displays. They are designed to work well no matter what input method you choose to use them with—mouse, keyboard, touch, or pen. WinRT apps are designed for the future, and for all of the ways that hardware devices and people’s expectations are evolving.

Because all WinRT apps come from the Windows Store, you can find and install them with confidence. The apps run in a local sandbox called AppContainer, so they can’t mess with or corrupt your PC. And they always uninstall cleanly, without a trace left behind.

4. Live tiles make it personal.

The heart of a new Windows 8 app is its tile. We know that people are increasingly snacking on snippets of live information. Who wrote on my timeline? Did I get any new email? Did anyone post pictures of yesterday’s party? Did anything big happen in the news? Who’s winning the game? Is my expense report approved? Did someone beat my high score? Is it my turn? When is my next meeting? Is a new book by my favorite author available for preorder? Is our inventory running low? What’s the traffic like?

Today, this is increasingly how we see many people use their devices, obsessively switching between different websites and programs on their PC and apps on their phone, checking to see if there’s anything new to see or do.

Tiles are designed so that you can see all of this information together in one place, with a single click, tap, or keypress from anywhere in Windows, without even opening your apps. It takes a bit of imagination right now in the Consumer Preview to fully visualize how this might work, because only a very small number of apps are currently available, and for many of these, developers are still working on building great tiles.

This is also an area where we are bringing together a set of disparate concepts and more strongly connecting them to the apps you actually use. Today, we are all familiar with a row of icons in the Notification Area near the clock, beckoning for our attention (each one using different interfaces, with different methods of control to silence them). These are separate processes running silently (and perhaps secretly) in the background, waiting to update us at inopportune times, and otherwise using system resources like battery power. Gadgets, introduced in Windows Vista, held the promise of providing a more connected UI surface, but failed to relate to the apps and services we care the most about.

But as we move closer to general availability of Windows 8 and beyond, to a time when all of your favorite apps are available and represented by tiles, suddenly your Start screen will become a personalized dashboard of everything you care about. Your whole computing experience has the potential to be encapsulated in one view. A view that you organize and control.

Start screen with 16 live tiles

Even content from within apps can be pinned to Start: people, mail folders, accounts, websites, books, albums, singers, movies, clients, sports teams, cities, etc. Everything you care about is efficiently available and up-to-date at all times. Tiles are the future and fit the way people look for fresh content in apps and websites. Just as yesterday's static highway signs telling you what you already know are being replaced by active and customizable message boards with road conditions, traffic alerts, and flexible lane usage, your PC should convey information that is current and up-to-date. Icons are yesterday’s way of representing apps.

5. Apps work together to save you time.

I mentioned before that we have observed that people are increasingly spreading their time and content across an ever-wider cross-section of websites, cloud services, and apps. The result of this is that your stuff is strewn everywhere! Some stuff is stored on your primary PC. Other things are trapped inside apps or cloud services that you can only get to from within those apps or websites.

This leads to many common tasks being more complicated to complete than when, in the past, everything would be saved locally to your PC.

For instance, let’s say that you are in a Skype call and you want to send a picture from a show you were at last weekend. Assume you took the picture with your phone and posted it to Yammer.

To do this today, typically, you would open your web browser, log in to Yammer, go to your main page, click on Images, find the photo and click it to select it, right-click it and choose Save As, put it somewhere on the hard drive, then switch back to Skype, choose “Attach”, navigate to wherever you put the photo on your hard drive (hope you remember!) and then click it again to attach it. That task took at least eight steps to complete. And now you have two copies of the photo: one on Yammer, and a duplicate somewhere on your PC. It takes expertise and time to find that duplicate file, move it around, or ultimately delete it. What was once a simple photo sharing scenario has become laden with “file management” tasks.

There is a better way, and it is part of what makes Windows 8 apps so powerful. Windows enables any Windows 8 app on the PC to share data with any other Windows 8 app, even if those apps know nothing about one another.

Think about the scenario above again, except this time using Windows 8 apps for Skype and Yammer. From Skype, you click “Attach” and a picker with all of your local photos appears. But because you’ve installed a Yammer app, you can also instantly switch to pick between photos on Yammer. You click the photo that you want, and it is now attached in Skype. Done! That’s only three steps—five fewer than the way it works today.

Although other OSs have attempted to streamline such tasks by hard-coding one or two currently popular services, Windows 8 is more useful, flexible, and future-proof. Our way is not limited to only a small set of specific, known services that are “baked into” the OS.

Any new Windows 8 app can pick from, share with, or save to any other installed app (and of course to the set of services that the app knows how to connect to.) It is a reinvention of how apps work in an OS, with Windows providing the “glue” that binds apps together. Getting to your stuff, in any service, anywhere in the cloud, is just as easy as getting to that data on your local PC or home network—as long as the service builds a Windows 8 app. And with a reach of over a billion Windows users worldwide, we expect most services will see the value in creating an app for Windows 8.

6. Roam your experience between PCs.

Just like the experience of using most websites, you can sign in to your Windows 8 PC using an online account. The account used to sign in to Windows is called a Microsoft account. It can be an existing Windows Live ID (the email address you use for Xbox Live, Hotmail, and most other Microsoft services), or one can be created using any email address you own.

Once you are signed in, something magical happens—as you personalize and customize your Windows experience, the changes roam to any other PC.

Have a lock screen picture or desktop wallpaper you love? It’s there on every Windows 8 PC you sign in to. Configure your settings, colors, and pinned websites just the way you like them? They move with you. Play the first ten levels of a game? You don’t have to replay them again on your other PCs. Your saved passwords and favorites and language settings are all just there, whenever you sign in.

After you invest deeply in personalizing Windows, we don’t want to you to have to redo those steps on every PC you use. Just like if you changed a setting on your favorite website while signed in, you would expect that setting to persist no matter what device you signed in from. We want that same experience in Windows 8. And because roaming is part of the WinRT platform, any app developer can roam the settings for their app just as easily as Windows roams system settings. Roaming is not just for a single app or browser, but part of a platform that every app can easily use and everyone benefits from.

7. Make your PC work like a device, not a computer.

Today most people love their PCs, but it is clear that people’s attitudes and expectations are changing for just about any device they carry around with them. People really want a product that just works. They want to sit on the couch and enjoy their favorite apps and games and websites and not worry about the vagaries of the registry or a million control panels or power profiles. They want to pick it up, enjoy using it, and then set it down.

In contrast, today’s Windows is almost absurdly configurable. Even the most obscure features are often tweakable through a sometimes impenetrable labyrinth of control panels, group policies, special command-line utilities, undocumented registry keys, etc. Most of these settings are changeable not only by the user, but by any program that happens to be running on the PC that decides to “tweak” something. Much of what has been pejoratively called winrot over the years is due to overzealous downloaded programs overstepping their bounds and installing system services and updaters and background tasks and all sorts of things that slow down the system.

We recognize that in the proper hands, or in the hands of someone who is willing to tolerate the downsides, these are not features to be critical of, but assets of Windows. Our intention is not to lock down Windows, but to provide a platform that meets consumer expectations for how a device should work. These assets are far too easily abused or accidently misused—there is a better way.

Our goal in Windows 8 is to redefine people’s expectations of their PC. The most commonly used settings (those similar to the ones exposed on most phones or tablets today) are available within the new UI. New Windows 8 apps cannot alter system settings for the most part (with the exception of a few specifically architected capabilities, such as enabling location services or using the webcam, which require user consent.)

Windows updates are applied silently in the background and in the middle-of-the-night “maintenance window” whenever possible. Because Windows 8 apps know how to preserve their state, this is totally seamless to you.

On SoC-based devices, you touch the power button to turn the screen off, and behind the scenes, your PC is immediately moved into a low-power mode. Press it again, and the device instantly wakes up. Windows 8 turns the PC into a device that delivers the kind of experience people expect out of a modern mobile device.

Now if you are an expert who really craves all of the traditional flexibility and customizability of all of the knobs and levers in the system, you can still access them just as easily as you could in Windows 7. These settings are still there, and they still work. The Control Panel and gpedit.msc and PowerShell and all of the other places you do expert customization of your PC are still there for you. People who don’t have the knowledge to use these advanced settings effectively can just enjoy their devices. And for those who do want that power, it is there for them.

Although these seven goals were certainly not the only aspirations we had when designing what became the Windows 8 user interface, they give you some idea of the relationship between the trends we observed and anticipated, and how these observations directly mapped to the goals of the new UI.

Touch as a first-class input method (but not the only one!)

Windows has continually innovated to adapt to and enable new ways of working with the PC.

The earliest versions of Windows were designed to be used with a keyboard. Windows helped transition mainstream users to the mouse by bundling a mouse with the first version of Microsoft Word, over 25 years ago! This transition took quite a while, as many users were initially very skeptical of the mouse. “Real users only use the keyboard!” (Some might still say this. The good news is, we have you covered.) Of course now, all these years later, it is hard to imagine using a PC without a pointing device.

In 2001, Microsoft announced Tablet PC, an “experiment” with a new kind of PC form factor, powered by the pen. We developed the best handwriting recognition in the market for certain languages. We pioneered ways to integrate natural “ink” and drawing into traditional programs like Microsoft Office. We experimented for the first time with slate PCs that had no keyboard. While the technology was not ready ten years ago to build light enough and quiet enough PCs with enough battery life to make this form factor widely compelling, clearly Tablet PC got a lot right in terms of predicting aspects of future computing.

So Windows originally had keyboard support, then added an assumption of mouse, then added the ability to use a pen. At each step of the way, these input devices were integrated into the core Windows UI without forgetting about or degrading the experience of the existing input methods.

Of course, some things had to change about how the user interface worked as each new input method was added (like, once you bet on a 2D grid of icons such as Program Manager did in Windows 3, keyboarding around with the arrows to launch an app becomes more cumbersome vs. traversing a simple list.) But it is fair to say that as of Windows Vista, mouse and keyboard were first-class input methods, with pen as a well-supported but secondary way of interacting with the PC.

Which brings us to the current day. In Windows 7, we introduced multitouch support into the base OS. Touch is an incredibly important long-term bet for us. For an increasingly large number of people over time, it will be the primary way they interact with Windows. And for the vast majority of users, it will eventually be used alongside mouse and keyboard to complete their experience.

In 2009 when we started planning Windows 8, touch was often ridiculed on phones—the rumors of an iPhone with a keyboard were prevalent and often hopeful. It is almost quaint to look back at the speculation from many wishing and hoping for an iPhone with a slide-out keyboard.

Today, you would be hard pressed to find many people who still dream of a phone with a physical keyboard, though in a diverse world with diverse needs, even a small percentage of people represents a large absolute number.

Tablets, of course, don’t come with physical keyboards. But something is different about tablets—people still do desire a physical keyboard. We've all seen countless peripherals spring up that provide a keyboard for a tablet as a case or other accessory. Why is that? We see time and time again that it is because people want to use a tablet in place of their PC, and adding a keyboard is the best way to get more work done.

Even in the absence of software like Microsoft Office, the reality is that when you need to write more than a few quick lines of text, you yearn for something better than on-screen typing. Touch typing rates on glass are at best half that of a physical keyboard (and frequently much less), and so the extra time, energy, and thought needed to get the work done is a real issue.

Just as there were always people who could type large amounts of text with T9, there are people who swear by multitouch typing as more than good enough for their work. Looking broadly, however, people benefit from the highly accurate, reliable, and fast user input enabled by a physical keyboard, and we think an OS and its apps should not compromise when one is available.

Beyond phones, touch has become the single most pervasive user model for a vast array of interactions—many of those powered under the hood by Windows PCs! From cash registers, to ATMs, movie rental kiosks, airline check-in, and grocery checkout, touch is literally everywhere. How would you explain to a 5-year-old that when she touches a laptop screen, nothing is supposed to happen?

To think that your PC would remain the single computing device you do not touch seems illogical. It is reminiscent of historic debates over the use of color back when PC displays were generally monochromatic; despite color being everywhere around us, many people believed color would be a distraction to work and should be reserved for play. (The Office team actually had a significant debate about the use of color icons in the first version that introduced toolbars.)

In a decade (or probably less,) we will look back at this transition period and say to each another “Hey, do you remember how PC screens didn’t used to be touchable? Wow, isn’t that weird to think about now?”

Designing for a successful touch experience

Some bloggers have written about how Microsoft invested in developing touch in Windows 7, but ultimately had a poor approach, as evidenced by the touch experience of both phones and tablets surpassing that of Windows-based devices. Going back to even the first public demonstrations of Windows 7, we worked hard on touch, but our approach to implementing touch as just an adjunct to existing Windows desktop software didn’t work very well. Adding touch on top of UI paradigms designed for mouse and keyboard held the experience back.

We took a step back and substantially changed both our approach and our implementation of touch for Windows 8.

Our approach to embracing touch in Windows 8 involved two parts:

1. Improving touch on the desktop.

We knew we needed to improve touch in the existing desktop using the feedback we received from touch users in Windows 7. We created larger touch targets, spread out controls a bit more, and added fuzzy targeting logic to make it easy to grab common controls such as resizable window borders.

We resisted the temptation to make people choose between using mouse + keyboard OR touch. So many elements of desktop apps just assume people are using both a mouse and a keyboard, and no number of improvements we make to the touch experience on the desktop can fix what has been assumed and designed into these existing app interfaces. (After all, these programs have already been released to the market, in many cases a decade or more ago!)

However, we do believe that touch is a useful adjunct to mouse and keyboard on the desktop. Historically, a new input method is seamlessly integrated as people learn the best use for it. Context menus, keyboard shortcuts, toolbars, and menus are all different ways of doing the same thing, yet everyone makes their own choice about what works best for them.

Touch will evolve the same way. Having used a touch-enabled laptop every day for the last year (a Lenovo x220 tablet), I have a hard time imagining not being able to touch the screen for scrolling, or to tap the OK or Cancel buttons in a dialog box. Whenever I use a non-touch laptop, it is as if I’ve forgotten how to use the PC. Of course touch is not the primary way I use this laptop, but it is a crucial piece of how I interact with it. Even on the large-screen monitor I use at work, I just instinctively touch it—I don’t think “because this screen is attached to a desktop PC, I must not be able to touch it.”  

2. Creating an environment exclusively or primarily suited for touch input.

Within the new UI and WinRT apps, touch is promoted to an equal citizen alongside mouse and keyboard. Just like you can use a PC with mouse and keyboard only (or just keyboard,) you can also have a great experience using the UI with just touch. In other words, we aspired to design a user experience that is new, worked for touch-only devices as a first and only input method, and when a mouse and keyboard are added, these can be used exclusively or with touch. Keyboard shortcuts are there alongside gestures—you pick based on your preference and the capabilities of your PC.

Many have opined that touch can have no role in certain form factors—we’re all familiar with those quick to make comments about gorilla arms, fingerprints, poking at a screen, and so on. Many comments with this same tone were at the foundation of initial negative reaction to the mouse—“it makes me move my hand from the home row on the keyboard,” “I get sore wrists,” “it takes my focus off of my work while looking up at the screen,” etc.

While the ergonomics of a tablet placed in a dock with a keyboard is similar to that of a touch laptop, there is no doubt that touch is new and different in a laptop and desktop. But when you consider that we do not think it has to be used exclusively, it starts to look only like a benefit when it is there. (And our design does not assume it is always there—although we think you will learn to miss it when it is not.)

We designed Windows 8 to take into account the desire to have a PC that works the way you do—whether you want a laptop with a permanent keyboard, a tablet with a keyboard you can attach (wired or wireless), or something in the middle. Touch works across all of these form factors, and you choose which input method to use when. This is what we mean when we say Windows 8 provides a no-compromise experience.

Metro style and the desktop: working together

Most of this post thus far has discussed some of the ways we designed Windows 8 in response to the trends we observed: the popularity of laptops and tablets, and the corollary expectation of excellent battery life; a focus on people and activity as the center of attention more than just files and documents; the ubiquity of cloud services; and the upcoming universal prevalence of touch on every PC.

So what is the role of the desktop in Windows 8?

It is pretty straightforward. The desktop is there to run the millions of existing, powerful, familiar Windows programs that are designed for mouse and keyboard. Office. Visual Studio. Adobe Photoshop. AutoCAD. Lightroom. This software is widely-used, feature-rich, and powers the bulk of the work people do on the PC today. Bringing it forward (along with the metaphors such as manual discrete window sizing and overlapping placement) is a huge benefit when compared to tablets without these features or programs. It is an explicit design goal of Windows 8 to bring this software forward, run it better than in any previous version of Windows, and to provide the best environment possible for these products as they evolve into the future as well.

We see our approach validated time and time again. On one hand, the makers of tablets and phones are in a race to add “PC capabilities” to their devices: support for peripherals like printing, remote access, high-resolution screens, or classes of new APIs for developers that already exist in Windows. At the same time, we also see consumers demanding features in these platforms that have existed for years in Windows—from things as mundane as full support for the keyboard and mouse, to things as complex as support for multiple monitors, background processing, or third-party accessibility tools.

On other tablet platforms, there has been significant customer interest in apps to bring the Windows desktop, running software like Office, to touch devices. These solutions use over-the-network remoting technologies to send pictures of the screen and touch input back and forth between the tablet and a real Windows PC. Of course, because these tablet devices don’t natively support Windows software or a mouse, and because they require uninterrupted network connectivity, the experience is suboptimal—subject to frustrating lag, pixilation, and disconnections from the host PC.

We do not view the desktop as a mode, legacy or otherwise—it is simply a paradigm for working that suits some people and specific apps. This is very much like the person who uses a mobile “phone” but really uses it for the mobile browser and mail client and rarely uses apps or the phone. It is like the person who has a brand new tablet but only uses the web browser.

The desktop is a great way to work with mouse/keyboard and a large monitor or several monitors. It is a powerful and flexible paradigm, allowing for pervasive control over the size and layout of windows on the screen.

If you only want to “live in the desktop,” if you never plan on using a PC with touch or using any apps from the Windows Store whatsoever, Windows 8 still has a lot to offer. The Windows 7 desktop experience has been brought forward and significantly improved, with additions such as the new Task Manager, new Explorer and file copy UI, Hyper-V on the client, multi-monitor taskbar and wallpaper, etc. And all in a package that uses fewer system resources than Windows 7. The new Start screen is simply a continuation of the Windows 7 trend of unifying disparate elements of the user interface—starting, launching, switching, and notifications.

It is really your choice. You can use only desktop apps if you want. You can use only new apps and never leave them if you want (in which case all of the desktop code is not even loaded.) Or, you can choose to mix and match apps that run in both environments. We think in a short time everyone will mix and match, simply because there is so much creative development energy being put into the new scenarios made possible by new Windows 8 apps.

Two devices, not three

Imagine a tablet. Light and thin. Amazing battery life. Gorgeous screen. You can lounge on the couch enjoying a beautiful, fluid experience, doing the things you love to do on a tablet: playing games, socializing, browsing the web, reading, touching up photos, watching TV. You are just immersed in your experience, doing the things you love to do. You hand it to your daughter and she knows exactly how to use it.

But then, if you want to have a bit more control and efficiency, you can set this same tablet in a stand and attach a keyboard, or just flip a keyboard around, and suddenly you have a complete Windows desktop experience, with full Microsoft Office, multiple monitors, peripherals, and a mouse.

Or, imagine a featherweight laptop with a beautiful large screen and a great keyboard. But in addition to doing everything you use your laptop for today, you can also use your favorite new apps built for today’s tablets.

Windows 8 imagines the convergence of two kinds of devices: a laptop and a tablet. Instead of carrying around three devices (a phone, a tablet, and a laptop) you carry around just a phone and a Windows PC. A PC that is the best tablet or laptop you have ever used, but with the capabilities of the familiar Windows desktop if you need it. You may choose to carry a tablet, or you may choose a laptop/convertible, but you do not need to carry around both along with your phone. You never think about a choice, or fret over your choice of what to carry. Things just work without compromise.

Great hardware like this doesn’t quite exist yet, but it will be commonly available later this year. This is the promise of the Windows 8 experience. With a little imagination, you can start to see why this kind of device will change the way you think of a PC.

Updating the visual appearance of the desktop

Several bloggers have wondered about how much we would be changing the visual appearance of the desktop in Windows 8.

We have appreciated seeing people on various sites post screenshots of their proposed designs for “Metro-izing” the visual appearance of the desktop. It is exciting to see the interest and passion that goes into designing them!

We spent a lot of energy carefully considering how substantially to update the appearance of the desktop in Windows 8. We looked at many, many pictures, and considered hundreds of designs. Our primary goal was to bring visual harmony to Windows, while still preserving much of the familiar feel of the Windows 7 desktop and not sacrificing the compatibility of existing apps.

In the end, we decided to bring the desktop closer to the Metro aesthetic, while preserving the compatibility afforded by not changing the size of window chrome, controls, or system UI. We have moved beyond Aero Glass—flattening surfaces, removing reflections, and scaling back distracting gradients.

A couple of the considerations we thought through:

  • While much of the Metro style UI uses white text on a colorful saturated background, the desktop in Windows 8 will continue to use black text on light-colored chrome, as in Windows 7. This choice was made to help preserve maximum compatibility with existing programs.

    Since the release of Windows Vista (which introduced Aero Glass), many desktop programs have integrated with glass, making assumptions that they should custom draw dark text with a cloudy “blur” texture behind it to make their text readable.

    Some of you may remember the substantial compatibility problems that arose when the system colors changed from light on dark (Windows XP) to dark on light (Windows Vista.) It took many years for these to be fully sorted out. We would prefer not to reintroduce these compatibility issues again in the other direction. So, “color matching” the new design on the desktop is not entirely feasible. 

  • But at the same time, we want desktop windows to continue to feel light and airy, and we want a chrome style that doesn’t distract from the content of the app. We talk about Metro style apps as being “chromeless,” (that is, no title bar, borders, or Windows UI surrounding them.) Desktop apps, on the other hand, have a lot of chrome. When you add up the cacophony of a bunch of these windows floating on the screen, suddenly you have a lot of chrome pleading for your attention. Aero was designed to help the app’s content to be the center of attention, and for the Windows system UI to recede into the background. This is still relevant today, and while we are moving beyond Aero, we don’t want to lose sight of these goals.
  • Visual compatibility with Windows 7. Windows 7 is the most popular and widely-used version of Windows so far. We made a conscious effort to relate the visual appearance of the Windows 8 desktop to the visual appearance of the familiar Windows 7 desktop. This helps people who want to predominantly use the desktop feel comfortable and immediately at home in the new environment.

We have made a number of improvements to the desktop visual appearance in Windows 8. Although we wanted the desktop to feel familiar, we also wanted to take some ideas from our new design language and apply them where we could.

We applied the principles of “clean and crisp” when updating window and taskbar chrome. Gone are the glass and reflections. We squared off the edges of windows and the taskbar. We removed all the glows and gradients found on buttons within the chrome. We made the appearance of windows crisper by removing unnecessary shadows and transparency. The default window chrome is white, creating an airy and premium look. The taskbar continues to blend into the desktop wallpaper, but appears less complicated overall.

To complete the story, we updated the appearance of most common controls, such as buttons, check boxes, sliders, and the Ribbon. We squared off the rounded edges, cleaned away gradients, and flattened the control backgrounds to align with our chrome changes. We also tweaked the colors to make them feel more modern and neutral.

Two overlapping windows shown open on the Windows 8 desktop.

While a few of these visual changes are hinted at in the upcoming Release Preview, most of them will not yet be publicly available. You’ll see them all in the final release of Windows 8!

How will people learn to use Windows 8?

As people have tried the Consumer Preview, some folks have publicly asked questions about “learnability.” The new UI introduces a few new concepts to the PC: in particular, swipe from the edge (for touch) and move to the corner (for the mouse.)

Neither gesture works perfectly in the Consumer Preview—it should be expected that some things will not be perfect when we effectively design and test the product in the open like we do. The corners are too fragile to target reliably with the mouse right now, and it is too easy to frustratingly “fall away” from them. We have already significantly improved this in internal builds. And today’s touch hardware, which was designed for Windows 7, doesn’t always do a great job of interpreting swipes from the edge. The good news is that hardware designed for Windows 8 will have excellent edge detection, and our device manufacturer partners have been working on this for a long time.

So, the gestures themselves will work more consistently, and will be better-tuned than what is in the Consumer Preview. But how will people learn to use them?

We will post more about learnability soon: about how people discover and understand new concepts, and the specific steps we will be taking to make sure that people don’t feel lost the first time they sit down with a Windows 8 PC.

But fundamentally, we believe in people and their ability to adapt and move forward. Throughout the history of computing, people have again and again adapted to new paradigms and interaction methods—even just when switching between different websites and apps and phones. We will help people get off on the right foot, and we have confidence that people will quickly find the new paradigms to be second-nature.

Looking forward

The Windows 8 user experience is forward-looking, yet respectful of the past. It reimagines what a PC is capable of, the scenarios for which it is optimized, and how you interact with it. It enables tablets and laptops that are incredibly light and thin, with excellent battery life, which you can use with touch and keyboard and mouse in any combination you prefer. It is also the most capable, lean, and usable OS ever to power desktop PCs and gaming rigs.

The new Windows 8 user experience is no less than a bet on the future of computing, and stakes a claim to Windows’ role in that future. We tried to break new ground in imagining how using a PC might become a fluid and enjoyable experience, how apps might work together to simplify the tasks you do every day, and how a single screen could bring together everything you love and care about into one always up-to-date place.

We believe in convergence—this has happened again and again in technology, and it will continue. We believe that you will want to carry around fewer, more capable devices. In addition to your phone, you want only one device that is equally at home on the couch and on the desk. You want a device that is light enough to hold for hours, but powerful enough to do real work with familiar and full-featured software—and which also allows a mouse or physical keyboard if you want. A device that is deeply personal, that natively understands the cloud, that roams your settings and content wherever you go.

Yes, there are parts of the Windows 8 UI that have generated discussions and even debate, and aspects of the change that will take some people a little time to understand and digest. Any change, particularly a change that doesn’t just follow in the footsteps of what everyone else is doing, can be hard to fully grasp at first and will bring forward its share of both deep believers and naysayers.

The full picture of the Windows 8 experience will only emerge when new hardware from our partners becomes available, and when the Store opens up for all developers to start submitting their new apps. At the same time, there's no doubt that all the features of Windows 8 are compelling on today's hardware designed for Windows 7—with or without touch. Since we designed Windows 8 to work great for laptops and desktops, it will work naturally for your Windows 7 hardware. Think of past versions of Windows that worked on existing hardware but were even better with new hardware. That's our approach with Windows 8.

In 1993, when today’s familiar Windows 95 user experience was first designed, PCs were beige, heavy, disconnected, and sitting under an office desk plugged in all the time. An average PC cost $3450 in today’s money!

Today, PCs are in the kitchen, in the living room, at the coffee shop, in your purse, on the train, in the passenger seat of your car. Increasingly they are mobile, always connected, affordable, and beautiful. And Windows PCs are in the workplace, no matter where that is or moves to. What would have seemed unrecognizable and “post-PC” 20 years ago is now the very definition of a PC.

The world changes and moves forward. Windows will continue to change too, as it has throughout its 27-year history.

Our vision for Windows 8 was to create a modern, fast and fluid user experience that defines the platform for the next decade of computing. One which upends the way conventional people think about tablets and laptops and the role of the devices they carry.

We wanted to create an experience that works however you want to work, powering a new class of PCs that you are proud to own and love having in your life.

Jensen Harris

Comments (784)

  1. shahin says:

    wow, than you.

    now , lets read.

  2. notmyrealname says:

    Woah, is this a blog post or a novel?

  3. James Manes says:

    The new desktop UI looks great! Glad to see you flattened things out and made it more Metro. Really unifies the experience better.

  4. Helmer says:

    Hmm…this is a long blog post 😉 let's start reading…

  5. Wade says:

    The new look's great. Thanks for putting so much thought into it!

  6. HelloThereNowCouldYouKeepThePostsALittleShorterPlease says:

    Good information but I wonder if you can do away with 20% of the words and convey the same message.

  7. GregH says:

    Oh, now then – you have given us something good for the weekend 🙂

  8. Nick says:

    I have a feeling all that white is going to kill my eyesight. Will that be changeable?

  9. FremyCompany says:

    Thank you for believing in us. I wish your faith will get rewarded; I now share at least one dream with you…

  10. james says:

    these windows are so bright God. My eyes!

  11. says:

    The desktop now looks 1 million percent better, thank you Microsoft. I can now see Windows 8 shaping nicely, your new OS may become successful after all!

  12. RonV says:

    @Nick, @James

    Most modern computers have many options for adjusting the screen brightness, contrast, and colors, to suit just about any users preferences.


  13. Fred Effingfeck says:

    Is it compatable with OSX ?

  14. Ham says:

    You should create an explanation-experience for your shareholders, which you're going to need when your stock goes diving after the inevitable flop called Windows 8 has been released.

  15. Michael says:

    The new desktop looks amazing, but the old Aero icons sort of ruin it. Hopefully you guys have a new icon set hidden up your sleeves. I bet you do, as I imagine you want to rid yourself of the last vestiges of Windows Vista.

  16. Mike B says:

    Will it be available on the App Store ? I would love to see it on my 27" iMac Quad .

  17. John says:

    I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit.  Marketing has officially taken over.

  18. One of the best "Building Windows 8" posts yet! Thank You and can't W8 for W8. It would be great to have the ability to put a custom image behind the Start Screen and have back some of the Win7 ability's to tweak desktop font types/sizes/colors etc… I won't push my luck and ask for skinnable tiles but it's obvious the W8 team understands how important customizing the environment is. Windows 8 is new and it's bold – let it's customizations be as well!

  19. Campista says:

    All this cool metro look to the windows, buttons, but… What about the icons? Please, don't miss the icons, all of them, and please, if you are remaking them, do not make the same mistake that Visual Studio team did in the beta, colors are important.

  20. Marty Kyle says:

    @TheRichman – have you not heard of Stardocks' Windowblinds Desktop Modding site ?

  21. Multitasker says:

    Nice post, but you still haven't addressed how people in a Metro world are supposed to actually use more than two applications at the same time.  Metro multitasking is abhorrent.  The people you are centering this around; are they living in a magical fairly land where they don’t actually have to get work done?  Where they don’t have to reference multiple materials and respond to multiple communications channels simultainiously?

    Make whatever you want the center of the user experience.  Just don’t let your UI design get in the way of getting actual work done.  Real work needs more than an iOS-inspired interface.  Real work requires "information at a glance;" and that means a screen with more than two sources of information on it at a time.

    "Evolving snap so that you can run two WinRT apps side by side" is not a solution.  The only acceptable solution is giving people the option of "popping out" WinRT apps into something that allows multiple applications to be present at the same time on the screen.  Maybe we could call them "Windows."  Then we could allow people an easy, graphical way to switch between all these various applications they have open.  For example a "taskbar."  

    Maybe we can pay more for new multitasking “feature” functionality in Windows 9?

    Awesome.  Consider me inspired by the astounding vision of the future of productivity I see on display here.  I can’t wait to pay more for the ability to do less with my next computer!

    Thanks, Steve!  You sure know how to listen to your customers.

  22. pemi says:

    what about the taskbar ?!!!

    change it !!!

    we need METRO TASKBAR !!

  23. jader3rd says:

    Great read, I loved it.

    Like most things that I'm seeing in Windows 8. I will miss the glass and color of the chrome on the desktop. I understand people were complaining about the "jarring" difference between the desktop and Metro, but I didn't mind.

    The one thing I really don't like about Win 8 is the adding of the "up" arrow in Explorer. It's not needed and it gets in the way. The ribbon for Explorer is great!

  24. @Marty Kyle – I have heard of it but not really interested in replacing the native desktop UI. I'm also not sure how it's relevant since it has nothing to do with putting a custom image behind the Start Screen of Windows 8.

  25. jakes says:

    nice job guys!

  26. A couple of points.  First the piece on the mouse, which I happen to prefer to use (even on my MacBook Pro), was great.  You handed it right back to the "media experts".  Six points for that one.

    Second, "2. People, not files, are the center of activity."  Big problem with this one.  I can't be the only user around who works with lots of files and doesn't participate in social networking. Not only do I not have a tablet but other than for yet another toy I really don't want one.  My next laptop will be a 17in one instead of 15in so I need a way of bypassing all the Metro stuff and people stuff.

    Certainly there are those for whom a computer is a way to Facebook all day and find out who all their friends made it with last Saturday night.  I understand that easy-to-use tables and light-weight laptops have a purpose.

    Third, The W8 desktop needs some visual help.  It's too flat, too pastel, too bright and too blue.  Windows 7, which I use dark with transparent borders is a little too busy. The borders are too fat.  If you want an example of a sophisticated, business-like desktop try Mac, especially Snow Leopard. I'm writing this on XP Pro which despite the hideous colors is still Windows' most comfortable desktop to use.  Of course no one would accuse the underlying XP OS to be near as good as W7 or W8.

    Fourth, I'm impressed with the improvements in Windows 8.  Allow me to shut off the Metro/tablet/touch stuff and I've got money ready to go even though I'm having very few problems with my Windows 7 computers.

    BTW, we passed around an iPad (3) at coffee last week.  The blobs of fingerprints on the screen were disgusting.  I'll take an attached keyboard and touchpad any day. . . plus that mouse!

  27. Bob says:

    Great post, good work – keep doing it and ship a great product. Don't get bogged down in the feedback, I've been running since September and it's looking great and we just need the hardware to catch up.

  28. Marty Kyle says:

    If I wanted to play with multicoloured blocks on my computer I would download Lego Starwars , for sure … No thanks MS ,  Apple gets my vote …

  29. jakes says:

    the longest post yet…

  30. Martin says:

    The desktop looks awesome. Great work guys!

  31. Kazzan says:

    I really love Windows Phone Metro user interface. I can not imagine using my mobile without it. In mobile is Metro non breakable.

    In testing tablet I really enjoy Metro user interface and working with lots of simple and nic user interface. It's fast and clean.

    But when it comes to day to day using of classic personal (desktop) computer I like returning to classic Windows 7 Aero user interface.

  32. raymond says:

    Sorry but the visual changes are horrendous. I don't know who is in charge of the design or who came up with this visual look. It's a bad idea. I get you guys are using the metro philosophy. However, it just doesn't work on metro notice even at this late stage in the game you have both FLAT and CHROME. It just doesn't work. The ribbon would not work flat. The desktop just cannot be FLAT as you have it. Look at how ugly the tabs look in that explorer window. There is dimension, no depth at all. Ribbon should just not even exist but if you are going to include it at least make it better. It's hard to see that the windows explorer has so much stacked windows. It's only more obvious that the blue icon program thing is open. I mean it's a flat mess. The blue hover on explorer sidebar is ugly(it has been since windows 7/vista). Look at the question mark help icon. Chrome. And frankly the things being as FLAT as they are make it even harder to spot the differences in hover, pressed, active and button state. Basically it's hard to look at with everything being so light colored and flat. Look at the icons and the undo, redo buttons, the folder icons none of that is flat so why make the visual look SO flat. You definitely could tone it down with the effects but to have it SO flat is a bad idea. There is no visual appeal at all. Visually the windows in the operating system look like a flat user-interface containing chrome icons. Look at the buttons to close minimize maximize and so forth the windows…there is no visual appeal. It's flat there is no separation between the minimize and maximize button. Metro just cannot be so flat especially on a desktop. None of the icons are as flat as the rest of the desktop so visually it's just jarring.

    Minimalism is great to a certain point. The flat boxes with words inside with a border, or in this case the buttons that are colored boxes with symbols that are also as flat as the box containing it just make it look like bad design. It's like we are going backwards but not in the good sense. Look at how ugly the bar is that contains all those extra buttons that same bar that displays the undo redo and exit buttons. Looks like a mess. At least add a little shading an depth to it. You can make it 2.5 D or something but how it is now is just plain ugly.

  33. Marty Kyle says:

    @TheRichman … Check out Wincustomise , you might be pleasantly surprised ….

  34. martindta says:

    I am glad to see that the Desktop is being brought in line more with the Metro UI.  It will make the switch between the two less jarring.

    I am hoping that the desktop colour scheme can be set between Light and Dark, as well as adopting your choice of colour for icon highlights, default buttons etc etc.  A colour choice in Metro has a huge influence on the UI, not having the desktop adapt to it, would be a mistake in my opinion.

    Whilst Windows Phone is not your pervue, but with the rumours that WinRT is also the basis for "Apollo" app development, and roaming settings.  I hope that some of the UI interaction differences are not removed, such as charms and swiping from the edges.  Windows Phone's interaction works perfectly and with the smaller screen sizes, work better than the Windows 8 interactions would.

  35. ReMark says:

    Awesome post. AWESOME.

    I agree with TheRichman "Win7 ability's to tweak desktop font types/sizes/colors", in W8 where is the "Advanced appearance settings" dialogs? Remember that customization is a strong point because users want to fine tuning their experience.

    Please add some internal tool for these simply tasks:

    – file types editing (icons, description, context menu of that file type)

    – temps/fans sensor reading (consultable with powershell, but normal users don't know)

    – customizing Aero preview (taskbar, alt+tab) with dimension etc… (ok, we can do it via registry but… normal users nope)

  36. Paul O says:

    Another awesome post, Steven! Thanks, Jensen!

  37. @Steven Sinofsky and @Jensen Harris

    I have been waiting for this post for a long, long time. In fact, I had begun to think that you were never going to post it.

    As you know, I have complained about the new Metro UI in Windows 8 many times (sorry for getting carried away). While I understand why you made some of the decisions you did, I ultimately still disagree with the decisions you made while designing Windows 8. To address this post would take a very long time and probably require a response that is almost as long as this blog post, so I'll keep my response brief.

    The question I am still curious about is: why did you design a new UI for Windows 8 on non-touch-capable computers? Why is it not possible to run Metro-style apps on the desktop and navigate Windows with a Start Menu? For those of us who rely on the Start Menu to access all of our programs, why are we forced to use the Metro UI?

    Please read this post:…/de3fc5ee-d160-4467-abf1-ae0bde725118

  38. NM says:

    Terrific effort guys, Just keep up the good work & ship a truly marvellous & elegant OS.

  39. cicak says:

    well this looks a joke for me. They just changed color on top, it was blue now it's white? Desktop icons and other are the same from windows 3.11 and still now it's something like new? I don't see it.

  40. ReMark says:

    @Everybody on "use this program to change aspect of the desktop"

    Changing fonts, their dimension etc… is absurd that with W8 you can't do that out-of-the-box.

    I'm a bit worried about the disappearance of THIS in W8:

    (Yeah, minimum borders and full transparency 😎  … customization out of the box is important!!)

  41. ReMark says:

    …and sorry, I'm annoying…  

    What about gadgets?

  42. martindta says:

    @WindowsVista567  There is a fundermental difference between the Metro Apps and Desktop Apps.  Desktop is not a secure and rich environment that is optimised for ARM and low power etc etc etc.  

    Metro is also a much more secure and sandboxed environment, with simplified interaction.  Having them as windowed applications on the desktop breaks all of this.  The desktop, and dekstop apps still exist, and you will still find yourself using it.  Metro UI will essentially just replace the Start Menu for you which is only displayed when needed.

    You do not have to use a Live ID to sign into your PC, nor do you ever have to go to the store to get metro apps, or even open those metro apps that come with the OS.

  43. @mdtadesign

    Allowing users to access the desktop does not break this? Jensen's post says "We think in a short time everyone will mix and match, simply because there is so much creative development energy being put into the new scenarios made possible by new Windows 8 apps." Doesn't this break the Metro security model? What happens in the desktop can affect the functionality of Metro and Metro apps.

  44. Panda X says:

    Nice article but I'm 123% sure that "fast and fluid" is being overused when it comes to discussing Win8.

  45. Muhammad Anas Ben Othman says:

    As a softwares developer, I start feeling bored of the "Windows Forms" mode and the old x mode of Windows operating system, So the Metro is a revolutionary user interface but I think that making some changes to the desktop user interface gonna be more amazing! I hope you take care about what I said

  46. martindta says:


    Mix and match means allowing you to run both Metro and Desktop apps.  But Metro apps are designed to be isolated, and as such can not interact with the Desktop UI or with other apps (except for the share and search contracts which are managed by the Metro interface).

    Desktop is treated as another running app in which you can run classic exe apps.  And Windows RT locks out access to Desktop apps altogether which offers Metro Apps only, along with classic IE10, 4 Office apps, and Windows Explorer.

    Metro apps are designed to an entirely different API and uses a different method for designing and drawing its UI.  Basically Windows 8 runs two types of applications and two interaction UIs.

  47. multitasker says:


    It is recognised that WinRT/Metro apps are separate from the desktop and cannot be run in any form of windowed mode.  What you are missing is that this is utter pants.  The ability to properly multitask is not optional.

    It is a basic and fundemental requirement of any productivity-oriented operating system.  Thus the conclusion must be that Windows 8 is not a productivity-oriented operating system.  It is a play for consumers, while holding up a giant middle finger to content creators, the business world and enthusiasts.


  48. Hamakaze japan says:

    the history of the conventional OS — I was allowed to turn round

    As it is, I regard each as for the moment Windows 7 having been the highest most too, although it was good.

    Although it seems that Windows 8 is set to OS re-created based on 7, it is pleasure.

    Since it will become easy to buy it if I have you provide somewhat comparatively cheap, it is [ pleasing ] very well.

  49. Now i made my decision,

    Windows 7 will be my best OS i keep, until i choose Mac or Linux.

    "Not Windows" 8 will be skipped from a big market share

    Well done Microsoft, when 8 will be rtmed, you'll discover that Swiss design may be beautiful for a short time….

    Then remove all colors, keep black background and white text and icons…

    WinDOS 9 fashinating!!!

  50. temp says:

    great job! Desktop is better. Now it is time to metronize the icons especially the old yellow folder icon 🙂

  51. Vladan says:

    Dear Steven,

    Since icons are still "glassy" (Aero-style), will you adjust them to match the Metro look a little bit more?

    Keep up the good work!

  52. martindta says:


    Metro apps have a left side area for multitasking, and on the PC you still have Alt+F4.  And if you are in the desktop mode, or the desktop is snapped, you can multi-task the desktop applications.

    For version 1.0  Metro does seem to be orientated to consumption and basic creation apps.  For professional productivity you still have the desktop!

  53. martindta says:

    I also hope we will get much more simplified Icon designs for the OS and system Icons at least.  Removing the gloss, and faux materials from the desktop UI, will make the existing Windows Vista/7 icons much more out of place.

  54. RonV says:


    Multitasking in W8 has not slowed me down at all. I mainly use the keyboard instead of the mouse and have always preferred Alt+Tab to switch between running programs, since it shows a thumbnail of the actual screen. In W8, this capability works exactly the same as it did in W7.

    You also have the WinKey+Tab, Mouse to the App Switcher bar, or the Taskbar if you are using switching between Desktop apps.

    I don't see where productivity is being effected?


  55. MsFan says:

    I can't suggest more to the Windows 8 UI team to make or at least have the option to make the metro background screen

    transparent so as to show through the desktop screen behind it in order to subdue/lessen the disjointed feeling one gets

    when switching between metro and desktop. When the desktop will be showing through it would give a sense of being in one,

    unified environment for the user.  

  56. I don't doubt the new paradigm is awesome and futuristic, but its is flat and ugly. Just look at android, they also use the Swiss style but they also use glows and other effects, that makes it look modernistic.

    Metro has just two or three colors on the screen at any given time, and that looks like if you where using windows 3.1.

    Metro looks ugly, it was actually "beautiful" I'd would be excited about Windows 8.

  57. Luke says:

    No Areo? well I lost my respect for you Steven Sinofsky.

    Why the hell not give the user the choice to choose Areo or Solid??

  58. Fred Zanford says:

    I can summarize this article if you don’t have time to read it:

    Hi, I’m with Microsoft, here’s a brief history of our UI:

    Windows 1: We copied the Mac

    Windows 3: We copied the Mac better

    Windows 95: We almost copied the Mac perfectly

    Windows XP: This worked really well, which is why you are still using it 11 years later

    Windows Vista: We suck

    Windows 7: We made XP a little bit better because Vista was such a piece of junk

    Windows 8: Metro is very nice. We hope you like it better than an iPad.

  59. Still no tabs in Explorer, hope QTTaBBar will work in Win 8..  

  60. NO AERO????

    NO AERO????

    That is it for me, I will install a KDE based Linux distro and start coding Android applications.

    I can't work on a platform I don't enjoy using.

    It was painful knowing you Mr Sinofsky.

  61. JellyMan says:

    "In contrast, today’s Windows is almost absurdly configurable. Even the most obscure features are often tweakable through a sometimes impenetrable labyrinth of control panels, group policies, special command-line utilities, undocumented registry keys, etc. Most of these settings are changeable not only by the user, but by any program that happens to be running on the PC that decides to “tweak” something. Much of what has been pejoratively called winrot over the years is due to overzealous downloaded programs overstepping their bounds and installing system services and updaters and background tasks and all sorts of things that slow down the system."

    Who created this situation? Weren't you, Microsoft?

    I hope the final desktop appearance will be gorgeous, at least like the Aero Glass appearance, not too flat and ugly as it looks now.

    Squared edges can be OK, but don't make it too ugly.

  62. pmbAustin says:

    Things I hope to see in the final Windows 8 Release that I have not yet seen, in terms of UI customization:

    1) Ability to specify the color of individual tiles (from a set pallet even) so I can customize things, such as "all media apps blue, all games orange", etc.

    2) Ability to specify an image to go behind the start screen tiles (and/or specify a solid color from a pallet)

    3) Ability to multi-select tiles on the start screen to move a bunch of them at once

    4) Some EASIER way of moving tiles around than the current weird whack-a-mole method of unintuitively shifting tiles.

    5) An easy way to flip back and forth ("Most Recently Used Order") between apps in Metro, rather than always "cycling through all open apps"

    A /GREAT/ post, by the way.  I can't wait to see the post on "Discoverability"… I've been really concerned about this issue, and really want to see what solutions you're going to be offering to help out with this.

  63. FremyCompany says:

    What's the second open app in the taskbar? I don't see any other open window… Is it a Metro app???

  64. Saad says:

    Fantastic!!!! Thank you!

  65. John L. says:


    come baaaaaack aero glass! 🙁

  66. Alireza Noori says:

    Finally! This looks great. However I would like to ask you to please, if possible, add a dark version of themes for both Desktop and Metro environments. I wanted to switch to Windows 8 and just because it would hurt my eyes, I didn't do it. I have to wait for custom VS support for Windows 8 to create a dark Visual Style and use Windows 8. Why won't you do it?

    This is the only reason holding me back to completely switch to Windows 8 and start developing a few MetroStyle apps. (I've got some great ideas).

    PLEAAAAAAAASE create dark version of your Visual Styles. I (+ many others) would appreciate it. You can't imagine how much.

  67. Cinegrafista says:

    The taskbar is SO clean and beautiful. I love it!

    BUT the windows without aero glass… no way!

  68. martindta says:


    1- The developers choose the theme and tile colours on a per app basis, not the user.

    2- The way the parallax scrolling works on the start screen, implementing custom images here is very difficult, so I think you will only have the in built choices

    3- This is a neat idea.  Also it would be cool to be able to multi-select tiles and choose to group them in a new group

    4- Actually its simple as is, you drag and move a tile, the others shift to fill the space.

    5- The flicking from the left does this, but having a recently used, perhaps as a search option is doable I think

  69. Will says:

    Thank god!  You lost me to OS X with Vista, but I think you're winning me back.  Now please just simplify more of the icons, like:  the forward and back buttons; the Desktop and other Favorites; and that goofy, stylized "X" for delete?  Candy is nice sometimes, but you can't live on it!

  70. JoopNL says:

    Great post. Liking Windows 8 so far and the upcoming visual changes to the desktop look great too!

    One question; Windows Vista/7 promised to remove the distractions of icons and notifications in the System Tray. Great for the most part, but one popup keeps annoying me almost every time I login: "Could not reconnect all network drives". I don't want to ever see this again, but hiding the icon and notification doesn't work. I know the drives aren't available, it's my HTPC which is turned off at the time. No need to keep bugging me about it! Windows 8 currently still has the same issue, can this be fixed?

  71. random user says:

    I just hope somebody gets the dll's from windows vista/7 and the theme files to make a windows 8 mod to re enable Aero…  That plus a start menu mod, and we are all set.

  72. With only full screen metro applications you are lowering potential sales of these apps, because majority of desktop users will not use it, because it doesn't fit to their way of desktop multitasking. Solution may be simple – allow windowed metro apps. There is a minimal screen resolution for displaying metro application – enforce it by minimal window size – at full hd screen it is still nice to use. Such a metro app should be also present in classical taskbar with pin ability (Tell me which system has TWO lists of running application? Too schizophrenic for me at this moment). Security model? Keep the metro app isolated, just allow clipboard shared with desktop, that’s all.

    Start screen? Don't force people to use it in this way, please offer non-fullscreen alternative for desktop users. You mentioned, that business users at desktop PCs should use Aero, then don't force them to switch between full screen start and their running desktop environment every time they just search for an app, they don’t have pinned, it is seriously disturbing. For non-touch devices, please integrate metro to desktop not desktop to metro.

    Is it all really about connected people? Not true for professionals, true for tablet devices. How I can benefit from this philosophy when metro apps are not for me because I’m a desktop user?

    Windows 8 will be the best tablet OS, no doubt, but think about business/professional/enterprise users please or be ready to accept the consequences of your decisions to put touch at the first place.

  73. Arthur says:

    >Aero…style of simulating faux-realistic materials (such as glass or aluminum) on the screen looks dated and cheesy now

    >Aero…looks dated and cheesy

    You have to be kidding me, Aero looks a 100 times better than the Swiss style.

    Windows 8 will truly be a flop.

  74. Jon says:

    Love the new design. Aero can take a hike. It belongs in the noughties.

  75. @Jon says:

    You have to be kidding.

  76. Raymond says:

    Nothing wrong with applying the Swiss style but should only be done with their philosophy the thing is it works when everything is simple and you don't have much going on but we are talking about the desktop here. People multitask and do plenty of things and there are many windows open. The flatness does not help the situation, it just makes things more cluttered and confusing visually and experience of the user.

  77. Thank you… couple of questions:

    1- How about touchpad? You talk about mouse, keyboard and touch input but what happens to touchpad? Most of my problems are with using touchpad… There is no scroll bar on touchpad and that makes life difficult.

    2- Are you going to force app developers to develop apps for all input types… for example, I downloaded an Xbox live game from store(forgot the name) it is designed for tablets(you control the speed with right thumb and change the direction with left thumb) how can I play this game with mouse? You can only touch one point with a mouse? If you don't force developers to consider all input types it will cause major disappointment for users? Are you going to seperate touch only apps/games somehow so people know before downloading them?

  78. Malukow says:

    W8 is going so good. Until now…

  79. Alireza Noori says:

    Please add an option (visual style) for DARK version of desktop and metro. I can live with a few apps having problems with light text on dark background but I can't live with the bright windows. I use my PC at least 10 hours a day. My eyes would literally go blind 😀

  80. MadDoggyca says:

    Quote: "They want to sit on the couch and enjoy their favorite apps and games and websites and not worry about the vagaries of the registry or a million control panels or power profiles"

    Am I the only one that disagrees with this, I sit down at my pc, Tablet & windows server just to do the opposite. I'm like to administrate devices not the other way around. I tell it what to do and how to do it, not it telling me how to do what.

    my best friend is the Control panels, Computer Management, Services, and registry tool

  81. Chaotic says:

    Please please please leave the option of aero  theme like in CP. Othewise i'm pretty sure the new metro desktop is gonna be great too once complete.

  82. Try to add more customization options for Metro. I don't like to use an operating system that I can't customize myself. I like the idea of Windows 8 and Metro if it were WAY more customizable (like adding the wallpaper "feature" that should've been there in the first place) and allowing me to tweak Metro to my likings, not Microsoft's. This is the reason why I use Windows (and because it's awesome) I can make it what I want it to be.

  83. Eduardo says:

    Are you at least going to include the aero theme like you include the classic?

    The flat/monotone look of the new style makes me depressed, Aero feels more alive.  

    This style looks like WWI-WWII propaganda.…/nutrition_propaganda_poster.jpg

  84. Slot says:

    Amazing taskbar (the clock and notifications icons could be moved a little bit), horrible windows.

  85. deiruch says:

    Hope you can get rid of the inner grey 1px border of the window border. There's no need for that. Keep it clean.

    Thanks for the update. Would've hoped though to see the changes in the next preview.

  86. Josh says:

    I like the metro design, but just put back Aero for the desktop UI, and please put the Start Menu orb back.  Thats all

  87. martindta says:


    Would you really sit on your sofa, while watching the TV, and go through your Group Policy settings?

  88. martindta says:


    Classic has been removed I believe.

  89. Is it just me or has the "new desktop look" picture disappeared from the entry? I can find it on news sites, but not here…

    I like the changes. While not a fan of Metro, it is only reasonable to make the two "faces" of the UI look more like a consistent whole. Whether this will be enough to please the users who are skeptical about Windows 8's new direction, I guess only time will tell. I still have many doubts, to be honest.

  90. martindta says:


    Would it really matter to have the Start Orb back if it just brings up the Start Screen?

  91. Never mind, the picture magically appeared just now. That was odd.

  92. multitasker says:


    I go through my GPOs while sitting on the sofa.  Three browsers with a dozen tabs open (reserach), an RDP session into 5 or six servers I'm managing, and VLC playing the episode I'm watching.  probably an accounting app, a few Writer instances, a couple coupies of Calc…sure!  Probably some IRC in the background, e-mail, IMs and other stuff going on.  

    Every night.  That's why my desktop has 47" screen and a pair of 24" wing screens.  

    Let me guess, you only ever do one thing at a time on a computer?  Maybe 2, if the second is something exceptionally simple, like an IM conversation?  And the whole world should work like that.  Becuase it works for you.  Right?

  93. thecoderer says:

    This is terrible.  Yet another reason I won't be getting Windows 8.

  94. martindta says:


    Actually I often have Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, 3ds max, zune, couple of browser windows with about 30 tabs, skype, windows live messenger, windows live mail open at the same time.  But if I was away from my machine, on my phone or using a tablet, I would only want to dip in and out of apps.

    I am a heavy multi-tasker who puts their machine on sleep so windows stay open.  But Metro apps are for casual use, for light computer users, or for single focused machines, like data entry users, kiosks, financial data apps etc.

  95. Alex says:

    Wow, just wow. With each new post that gets published on this blog, my resent for Windows 8 grows. It's not only Metro that looks to be completely useless to me (as the people before me point out so well!), but now you're applying the same uglyness to the classic desktop.

    The new desktop looks HORRIBLE. Has someone spilled a bottle of bleach over your design printouts or something?

    Windows 8 is going to be such a big failure… why hasn't anyone pulled the emergency brakes before ever letting this design monstrocity hit the public?

  96. Anon says:

    >removing aero


  97. multitasker says:

    @mdtadesign Metro apps are certainly not "just for casual use."  They are being pushed as replacements for desktop apps.  Thou shalt make new apps WinRT and WinRT only.  Otherwise you aren't a full citizen.

    That's a huge problem.  Tomorrow, will WinRT's multitasking limitations be a problem?  No.  A year from now?  Yes!  Applications are going to come out that we need to use and reference hundreds of times a day, and we won't be able to play with them in a multitasking context.

    So frankly, you are talking out of your rump, sir.  WinRT's restrictions are a massive detriment.

  98. Alireza Noori says:

    @multitasker Now you're just showing off :)) Just kidding.

    Well, I think MSFT's approach is good. They've improved what YOU need too. But I really doubt that you're going to do all the things you said, in a slate. As you mentioned you're doing this in a 3-monitor desktop environment. Am I wrong? In a slate/tablet you're at most are going to use 2 programs at a time. (which could be done in Metro).

    All the features you require are implemented and even improved in the desktop environment of Windows 8. I don't think you've got a problem here.

  99. Kirui says:

    I am a fun of the transparency in the aero theme such that the first time I saw this, I starred at it wondering…Then again I like change. I think I will live without transparency. But to make it worthwhile(more metro), why not strip out the several millimeters around the edge. I have always been a fun of tabs such that you don't have to open several explorer windows but one with several tabs thus saving working space!

    I believe in windows and my expectations are high…

  100. @Anon says:

    >Implying you can green text here.

  101. multitasker says:

    @Alireza Noori


    NONE of the features I need are "improved" in Windows 8.  I need the ability to layer windows.  I need the ability to view multiple windows ON THE SAME SCREEN side by side.  I need the ability to switch my tasks easily.  Not with keyboard shortcuts, but with a mouse.  I need a traditional desktop, becuase "66/33 split on one screen" is simply inadequate.

    Please don't try to sell me the marketingspeak voodoo that "Windows 8 will make what I do better."  Because that's simply not true.  The consumer preview was absolutely PAINFUL to use.  It drove me to Apple; LION was actually better to use than Windows 8, and Lion is TERRIBLE.  

    But Lion allowed me to multitask.  Microsoft's vision of the future makes what I do harder and more cumbersome.

    And for the record, I do indeed do more than one thing at a time on a tablet/slate.  I use an ASUS transformer with a custom ROM that includes software from Wind River allowing me to run multiple applications at the same time, on the same screen.  It has served my needs far better than Windows 8 has, without question.

  102. martindta says:


    Removing the border around the window would not only cause problems for existing apps with potential compatibility issues, but would make it next to impossible to actually manipulate the window sizes on touch based screens/systems.

  103. mark says:

    "dated and cheesy?" where tf did that come from? I like the transparency and all that flat ugly just increases time required to find stuff on-screen. admit it – you went flat and non-transparent to improve performance on arm

  104. MadDoogyca says:

    @ mdtadesign

    Hate to brake it to u, I don't watch tv on a server, my gaming right, or my tablet witch is used as front end to my self since my server is headless system. My tablet is used for mobile operations and administrating my sever. BTW my W500 running windows 8 and 99.8% present of the time my tablet is at the desktop, with a Remote Desktop Clint opened in a *window* floating above my desktop. I don't use any metro apps including IE 10 (winrt) or Remote Desktop (winrt)

    btw my sever is also at the desktop 99.9% of the time.

    I like hardware to be systems not devices. Witch is why I don't own a cellphone or other simplistic peace of hardware that has no administrating features…

  105. aa says:

    I have a phone, I have a laptop, I may have a tablet some day, all of which Windows Metro may be good for. But I also have a desktop, you know, with a separate screen, keyboard, mouse and a case on the floor. Can you please tell me in what way, or in any way, Metro provides something that benefits me, on this computer? I'm using consumer preview on it as I write this and it has been a pain in the *** from day one. It is not about learing something new, it's about discovering that it actually makes me less productive than the older alternative (W7). If it just existed in the background or was possible to disable then fine. But no, you mesh them together like a mad man, not understanding that different screen sizes and usage scenarios requires different UI's.

    Anand Lal Shimpi expressed it very clever: "It is ironic/funny/depressing that with Windows 8 Microsoft is simply making the same mistake it made for years with tablets, in reverse."

    And I would extend that to say that you are doing exactly what you did with Windows Mobile and Windows for tablets (forcing a desktop UI onto a touch device) in reverse by forcing a touch based UI onto a desktop computer.

  106. karina says:

    As John McEnroe would say: "YOU CAN NOT BE SERIOUS".

    Aero was about the coolest thing about Windows you could possibly have, it didn't look cheesy, this looks cheesy. I really don't like where W8 is going, seems more like I'm downgrading instead of upgrading.

  107. MadDoggyca says:

    BTW  when install Programs. I always use.. Expert or Custom Installtions.. Right from the start of any peace of software I like to take control. After I customized the installation the next step I do is check and configure the options/setting of all my Programs I install.

    Metro (winRT) app I'm unable to tell it were to install. and most the time there lacking a good part of options/setting that programs should have..

  108. Drew says:

    Listen, I don't mind if you want to change things. More power to you! But there really needs to be at least AN OPTION for the regular start menu. I'm a huge multitasker – I don't want the start screen to take up my entire 1920×1080 resolution, especially if I'm trying to watch something while accessing it! Why not just include an option for people like me who like a nice, small, simple solution?

    As far as touch screens go, they MAY be the future… but not MY future. At least until they develop screens that don't collect fingerprints.

  109. @Karina

    I agree.

    Aero = Cool

    Metro = Cheesy

    MSFT should just fire the responsible.  

  110. stevejobs says:

    Copying Apple much or copying Apple not enough?

  111. Peter says:

    Aero gets removed? Wasn't one of the first W8 "leaks" that Aero can now be rendered in software only? I'm kinda confused on this one.

  112. fromphilippines says:

    this is fugly

  113. Stefan says:

    User experience:


    Windows 2000 is still the most stable Windows version delivered by Microsoft. You can mistreat it quite badly without it throws up any BSOD's. It might tell You about some error occured, but not much more, but it continue to run. Later OS:es, from XP, and later, aren't that immune against being heavily mistreated. System restore is far from any saviour as it could have been. Even in Vista and Windows 7 it fails quite frequently. Even their reapir features fails quite often. Refresh in Windows 8 is far from perfect either. If i understand how it works it does only refresh Windows 8 to what it was when it was newly installed, without all the apps and software You installed later. I can't see any reason to why a user should bother to use it, except instead of re-install it ofcourse. Wouldn't it be better to have a real failsafe system restore where exactly everything is restored to a working state ? It is a shame we must continue to use third party software to create backups we can trust. And, with MetroUI Windows 8 is a no way to me. MetroUI has nothing to do on any desktop computer. To Microsoft i can only say: Good luck with the upcoming Windows 8 failure !

    To You who still can't respect other people's thoughts: I don't care what YOU think !

  114. I remember when Windows Vista was in the making, everybody wanted to have that theme on their Windows XP laptops / Computers…

    I remember lots of hacks to bring those effects to XP like WindowBlinds, Glass2K, VistaMizer and a hundred different gadgets…

    With 8 it is different; we want to go back to Aero…

    See the difference?

  115. @pmbAustin

    "2- The way the parallax scrolling works on the start screen, implementing custom images here is very difficult, so I think you will only have the in built choices"

    Android Home screens use parallax scrolling and you can set a background image on them but the model is a little different because there's usually a fixed number home screens versus what could many many metro tiles. Not sure about ICS but anyway…

    I'm also no expert but on parallax scrolling but I think what it does is move the image layer slower than the icon (or metro tile) layer to create the appearance of depth between the layers. If you have a great many tiles, the size of the total image layer will be large variable so you really couldn't standardize an image size. You could center and stretch the image but then you'd only see left-most part of the stretched and likely distorted image. I was hoping for something like a custom image right-sized for the screen and the initial left-most landing Start Screen with something like a color to the right of it for panning. And it's undertood there will be some distortion when panning.

  116. Somewhere I saw an item about there being a 'home' and a 'pro' version.

    Will a 'pro' version have an option to either uninstall or not install the touch screen interface and also the Metro UI or even just have them as options which can be downloaded?

    As a device for social networking, watching movies and playing games etc. it may be O.K. – Just like an enlarged smart phone.

    Maybe XP will be in service for longer than anticipated!

  117. RJ says:

    Looks like crap honestly.  Hope you can shut off this Metro UI because it looks too much like Crapple

  118. William says:

    I can only hope they actually get Windows 8 working with a touch screen or a mouse, whereas the previous consumer and developer previews worked with neither. Have a mouse? Sorry, you can't efficiently use our operating system as it's touch based. Have a touch screen? Sorry, you can't access half of what you need to access to do anything worthwhile… and you have to spend a minute making enough gestures to shut down, despite the 3 seconds you spent with previous operating systems.

    Perhaps Microsoft will push us on Kinect motions for Windows 9. To shut your PC down you have to rub your belly five times counter clockwise, pat your head four times, wave your hands frantically six times and follow up with your thumb on your nose and fingers wiggling in the air.

    Microsoft – Encouraging Inefficiency Since 2012!

  119. User says:

    Have a look at…/windows

    for real cool Windows themes, Microsoft should fire all  its Design department…

    Starting with whomever decided to make the Xbox boxes green, I hate green.

    My PS3 boxes are transparent and they look cooler.  

    I hope Google makes a Desktop OS soon.

  120. bRonCOde says:

    Congratulations ! That's atrocious!

  121. What about the Win8 apps on Windows 8 + n?

    This is a serious question.

    The Swiss style won’t be fashion forever, and one it does fade out, the apps will seriously look bad on whatever the new style look like.

    Are we going to have to buy new apps? Are we going to have to mix the styles?  Or are you happing you can make the Swiss style be a permanent fashion?

    Sorry, but this Metro (ugly name btw) is just not good enough.

  122. Android user says:

    Do you wonder why People don't buy Windows Phones?

    Have you ever thought that maybe people don't like it?

    Did that ever crossed your mind?

  123. davis says:

    Hey it's the Windows Whistler/XP beta 1 "Professional" (or "Watercolor") theme reincarnated.

    Presumably the DWM will still be running though?

  124. This is true abomination. The biggest pile of crap UI wise and usability wise. It looks like my next OS is going to be Linux if MS doesn't fix this broken interface with Windows 9.

  125. Why would you remove Aero for God sake. Does Windows UI needs to look like plain ugly washed pile of crap called Windows Phone Metro?

  126. wifi icon says:

    Can you guy change the wifi signal icon to look like it does on every other device/OS.  The Windows icon looks like a cell reception indicator.

  127. So anyway this must be all joke, when is Microsoft releasing real 'Windows' ?

  128. exWindowsFan says:

    Can someone help me out?

    Should I install Ubuntu, get a Mac, or keep using Windows 7?

  129. Arthur says:

    Why on earth did you change the visual style?

    Look at Apple, they have been using the same style since I can remember, and its not bad.

    Instead of improving over Aero, you are making a new (and ugly imnsho) style instead?

    And you wonder why people like Apple better…

    You could have designed a touch interface using the Aero style guidelines.

    That would have been beautiful.

  130. John smith says:

    I am convinced. Good job microsoft.

  131. multitasker says:


    Don't strap yourself to any operating system.  Pay the money to your software vendors to get your apps ported to HTML5.  Rely on open standards and never allow ANY vendor to hold the whip every again.  Don't "switch" at all.  Change apps.  If your apps won't port, start a kickstarter and get millions of other users together to convince the developer to port the software.

    If you can't learn from Windows 8, you'll never learn…

  132. Bob says:

    Historical note. Those of us developing for Windows in the 1990 largely worked on Windows NT, developing apps for mostly Windows 9x market (9x was mainly used for debugging and testing). UIs were stylistically similar. XP was an evolved version of 2000, itself an evolution of NT rather than 9x.

  133. exWindowsFan says:


    I like native Apps more than websites.

    I think websites are ugly, slower, weaker, don't follow the OS style and they have to be bounded by a browser.

    I love the fact that Apple is leading the industry towards a native app world, even though I'm not an Apple fan.

    But I don't like Metro, maybe it is time to get a Mac???

  134. First disclaimer.  I tried Windows 8 for 2 weeks and then uninstalled.  I then tried it for another 3 weeks and then uninstalled again.  So I can say I have used Windows 8.

    I will be completely honest guys.  I've been using Windows since Windows 1.02.  Windows 3.11, Windows 95, Windows NT 4 Workstation with dual booting on Windows 98, then 98SE, then Windows 2000 Pro, Windows XP Pro, Windows Vista…then back to Windows XP, then Windows 7 Ultimate.  I'm not going any further.  You guys have lost someone who has been with you pretty much since the beginning all because you are trying to force a UI on desktop users who don't want anything to do with it.  17 years.  17 damn years the Start Menu has been around and overnight you throw it out.  Do you know how convoluted the Start screen is on a 1920 x 1200 24" screen with about 65 apps installed?  I can organize the start menu into nice need subfolders perfectly organized.  This new Start Screen is trying to shove a round peg into a square hole and its not fitting.  I will be blunt.  I get a ton of people who come to me at work and at home for computing advice. There is not a single person I will recommend Windows 8 to and will actively advocate avoiding buying any system that has it installed.

    Windows 8 has one and only one purpose: and that is to try and wedge Windows into the phone and tablet market.  A market that Microsoft is loosing in.  The obvious attempt is to utilize the userbase of Windows to drive sales and you do that by trying to force people into using metro apps.  You are sacrificing the Windows UI for sales.  It really is that simple.  You can throw up as many graphs as you want to try and claim that well this is what people user and want, but at the end of the day I do not know any common consumer that looks at Windows 8 as anything other then some joke of a UI.

    About 6-7 years ago I dabbled with Apple.  I picked up a MBP and gave it a shot.  I had the system for 3 years.  And you know what?  It was the worst 3 years of my life from a computing standpoint.  Why?  Because Apple forces a UI on you with very few methods of tweaking the UI to how you function.  Instead Apple gives you a UI and says "here, this is how you will work on a computer."  I hated it, and as such I switched back to Windows.  Do you know what Windows 8 is?  Its Microsoft telling its end users "here, this is how you will work on a computer."  Windows 7 and all previous versions of Windows gives you 50 ways of doing any one thing.  It gives you flexibility to work how you want.  You tell the OS this is how I want to work.  Windows 8 dictates terms.

    And I'm sorry guys.  I will never touch Windows 8.  IN point of fact I picked up a cheapo netbook 3 weeks ago and am starting to learn Linux.  I'm done.  

    I think you guys better get ready for a revolt.  It won't be all at once, but it will be a slow middle finger to the scrapping of a UI 17 years in the making all overnight.   And then you have this…..crapping on aero.  I really am at a loss for words.  You have squatted over a beautiful UI and given your users solid ugly crap.  Seriously.  Done.  Thanks for the ride.  My next system will most likely be android based and a Linux flavor on the desktop.

  135. @exWindowsFan Get a PC with Windows 7 and dual boot with Linux.  And it isn't impossible to get a computer without windows.  you just need to jump through a few additional hoops.  Also I would pick up a couple Win7 Ultimate licenses sooner rather then later for future upgrades….I have.

  136. Alex says:

    Mr. Sinofsky, you may be great group lead and might even become good CEO one day, but you're no UX designer if you think this looks any better than Aero. It doesn't. Take it from UX designer.

  137. @Kellic

    I've been using Windows since Win95 since I'm younger, but I can totally relate.

    >You have squatted over a beautiful UI and given your users solid ugly crap

    I couldn't have said it better.

    I already know my way around Linux and OSX, maybe its is my time to make the decision…

    I just got depressed, good job Microsoft.

  138. Alex says:

    And one more thing… When you show new Windows UI, produce visually stunning screenshot at least, not white washed out one with one untelling window open. If your goal is make most popular software product, make some effort, willya?

  139. Apple fanboys are really out in full force. can wait to buy windows 8 , the future is coming  there is no need to be scared people.

  140. You still haven't quite explained why you couldn't design the following :

    1. Win8 Desktop / Classic Edition *with start button/menu with or without Metro*

    2. Win8 Tablet Edition *exactly as Win8 CP with Metro*

    3. WinRT for Arm devices

    Is your best excuse for not designing 3 versions of Win8 as above that giving users the start button/menu is dangerous and leads to Winrot etc !?  

  141. martindta says:


    By including Metro in Windows 8, they expand the possible audience for the new types of apps, Microsoft can have a single team and devote more resources on it, and they may actually think that the Start Screen is more feature rich than the older Start Menu based on the millions of users who allow Microsoft to collect anonymous data from them!

  142. Colour Saturated says:

    Nice work, actually I had switched my chrome on Windows 8 desktop to white and reduced the transparency some time ago so I'm liking this direction for the desktop.

    I agree with some of the commenters that a dark theme would be a nice choice to have as well.

    It's interesting to read comments that are negative about the new full-screen Start menu. It's so much more capable than any previous Start menu and it's really easy to learn. With the desktop being more in line with it visually, I think it will go nicely once people get over the very slight learning curve. I wonder how many of those making negative comments have really given it a fair go?

    One thing. I would love the option to customise the colour of tiles, especially those that come with the system or are produced by Microsoft for basic functions like Mail. There's a lot to like about the new full-screen Start menu, but some of the colours of app tiles in the Consumer Preview are so ugly I'm reluctant to pin important apps for that reason alone. Or maybe there will be a market for apps that do nothing more than provide an attractive tiles to launch system apps, if that's allowed?

    Metro in Zune was very stylishly coloured, and Windows Phone allows enough customisation that it doesn't need to be too loud if that's not my taste. I'm a little worried that the Windows 8 full-screen Start menu version of Metro can't be customised enough to make the tiles for essential apps suit my taste.

  143. @mdtadesign

    As much as Microsoft wants people to think Metro is isolated, I do not believe that this is true based on my testing of the software. As far as I can tell, Metro is a new component that runs alongside existing Windows components, not a whole new section of the OS. While WinRT isolates Metro apps from the rest of the PC to a certain extent, Metro apps are not truly separate from the desktop as far as I can tell. It should be technically possible to run Metro and desktop apps alongside each other; I believe that not allowing this is merely an artifical limitaion.

    Disabliing UAC makes usage of Metro apps impossible.

    "Desktop is treated as another running app in which you can run classic exe apps." However, it is merely treated as another app. To claim that the desktop is simply another Metro app is entierly false. In fact, the desktop ultimately constitutes the core of Windows 8, of which Metro is simply a new component.

  144. @mdtadesign says:

    This is Microsoft’s “you’re holding it wrong” moment.  Except instead of saying “you’re holding it wrong,” Microsoft is telling the entire world “everything you know about how productivity is wrong; stop multitasking and do one thing at a time.  It’s better for you.  Because we said so.”

    Great message.  Fantastic PR.  Great engagement with the customer base.  Excellent understanding of how PCs are used.  

    Best of all, it’s really nice to tell your customers “if you happen to be anywhere close to the ends of the bell curve, you can just leave.  We don’t care about you.  At all.”  Everyone – every single person on earth – is at some point in their lives on the edges of a bell curve.  Something they do, enjoy, etc is somewhere not within the middle 60%.  

    Microsoft, our friendly neighbourhood desktop monopoly have told the entire world with Windows 8 that they only give two hoots about the middle of the curve.  The 60% of people who only need 2 apps open at a time.  The other 40% (power users, corporates, creative, etc.) have no say.  They aren’t relevant.

    And when something you use is on the edges of the bell curve, and nerfed into unusability?  What then?  Will Microsoft still be in the right?  Or will it suddenly matter because it affects you, personally?

    How many people have to exist in a given usage case before we matter?  Ten thousand?  A Million?  A Billion?  Millions of people swap between multiple windows dozens of times per hour as part of their regular workflow.  Millions upon millions of people put multiple windows in layers in order to see information from multiple sources at the same time.

    Apparently, we don’t matter.  Not to Microsoft, and not to her ardently rabid fans.


    The money that would have been spent upgrading?  It’s better spent taking the last few Win32 apps we have and paying a developer to port them to HTML5.  It’s time to cut the shackles to a vendor who obviously doesn’t see us as more than points of data on a spreadsheet.

    And they can obviously only see one spreadsheet at a time.

  145. Anonymous Coward says:


  146. hamakaze japan says:

    Is a translucent Aero Glass user interface [ like Windows 7/Vista ] whose Windows 8 is lost?

    I think that I wanted it to carry Windows 8 succeedingly since this was quite a favorite.

    adding even to an option — ? — since it does not become impossible to think that this one is smarter somehow …

    Please think.

    I need your help in the form where the transparent feeling was taken out to a slight degree.

  147. Martín says:

    All your problems about amalgamating Metro and Desktop experiences to make the new Windows 8 could find the solution by putting Metro as a Desktop background. No jarring experience. No alienating  current customers for complete, et cetera.  For tablets, it could not be necessary Desktop at all, so using a tablet and a PC could not make more difference because you will find, IN FRONT OF YOU, the new immersive paradigm. It doesn't care if the Desktop UI is now flat; the jarring transition between full screen Metro apps and traditional windowed Desktop applications is STILL there. My 2 cents. Anyway, looking forward.

  148. Alex says:

    sorry, I just can't stand that my favorite OS is deteriorating… Metro was awesome, now you have to just do this artificial "let's pull these two together"?

    Take a page from the community. This UI for Win8 created by TheVerge contributor sputnik8 is infinitely more beautiful and fit for best-OS-ever and unified with Zune as an extra plus:…/windows-desktop-ui-concept

  149. Alex says:

    Agree with marrying Start screen and the desktop. Desktop is not needed anymore. Widgets+icons are all on Start screen. Moreover, desktop would become fluid and dynamic. Just allow drag and drop of document to it on PC and you're done. Make new UI skinnable and use Metro icons (without circles) everywhere in desktop windows too and it will be more or less bearable.

  150. Windows Fan says:

    I've always loved Windows, I even liked Vista, but this is one serious step backwards. Windows Phone 7 could have been scaled up and improved but you made the smart choice to use full Windows instead- and then removed things like support for legacy apps, making Windows RT no more usefull than an improved Windows Phone. I wish you would understand that touch based controls and mouse/keyboard based controls cannot be effectively merged in this fashion. Aero was (and still is) very nice, I cannot understand why you would make it so good just to suddenly abandon it. I love my Windows Phone, I've been using it for over a year, but Metro, in the form of the start screen and white windows, does not belong on my desktop. Windows 8 is currently very ugly and a step back in terms of usefulness. I showed someone a picture of the new Windows 8 explorer and they thought they were looking at Windows 3.1. I do love Windows so I'll offer my opinion on how to improve instead of just ripping at all of the team's hard work. I suggest you all take a look at this link:…/windows-desktop-ui-concept  and possibly hire the person who designed those concepts. They look much nicer and follow the same Zune software/Metro style while beautifully merging it with desktop Windows. I would also like to request that you bring back the Start Menu- it's a key component that makes Windows, Windows. Don't abandon your desktop users in an attempt to make Windows touch friendly, please don't forget your loyal legacy users! 🙂

  151. martindta says:

    We don't have the same level of information that Microsoft has.  We are making our opinions based on our own personal opinions and the experiences of people we know.

    I look at my parents and see that the run their apps full screen, and switch between apps to do things one at a time.  It is for these people where Metro on its own will be sufficient.

    Then there are those who may only do two things at a time.  Twitter and Browser.  Music and Email etc.  Metro is also enough for these users also.

    Finally there are those traditional desktop users – myself included – who have many tabs and programs open and running, with multiple monitors and more professional productivity tools.  For us, we still have the desktop, and desktop apps, as well as possible sync to the more consumption based devices.

    The problem many seem to have with the addition of the Metro elements, stems from the fact they don't see the types of apps they would use available, some resistance to change which has been demonstrated as a kneejerk response which has been overcome in previous generations.

    I myself have always been a Windows user, since my first time using a PC with Windows 3.11.  I remember desperately waiting to get my hands on Windows 95 because its UI seems much better and easier to use,  I even went around school (driving my IT teacher and admin nuts) installing my personal copy of Windows 95 on the school PCs.

    We have been using the same basic UI with tweaks and different visual styles since 1995.  I was always just a user, not a Microsoft fanboy or Microsoft enthusiast.  That was until the Zune HD!  I sold my iPod Nano, and got one from the US.  Metro in its early stages really appealed to me compared to everything else.  

    Then I got my first smartphone – A Windows Phone – and as hard as it will be (and has been through developer and consumer previews) to adapt to the changes from what I have grown up and gotten used to, I firmly believe in this new aesthetic, and how much of an improved experience Metro will be for the majority of users out there, who have no idea what the registry is, or who just want a personal, simple, stress free relationship with technology.

    For business users, this can also become a good experience also.  Many custom built apps have very poor UI, and are just about functional.  Taking away the complications of these environments with a simple to click set of tiles for all the tools they need to do their jobs.  New modern apps which have a UI which is more than grey buttons and a data grid.  The potential is there for the users who have no time, nor wish to tinker around with their user environment.

    IT Admins, who will spend all their time in the desktop presumably, will be the ones making life better for the users.  Less IT support calls, because with Metro less can go wrong.  If we could all please avoid only looking at our own circumstances, and think about other users, then perhaps we will start to welcome these changes.

    And if you really are so inflexible or so unwilling to adapt to relatively minor changes to our Desktop Classic environment, then there will be third parties willing to try to cling on to older (possibly out dated) concepts, and because it is Windows, you are free to modify and adapt the OS to your tastes.

  152. Rand says:

    I'll post only to say that I agree with the many comments stating that the new desktop colour scheme looks atrocious, alas I have little doubt that it won't change and that we will have little to no option to customize it as I wish.

    At this point I've more or less accepted the previously unfathomable, I'll have to move to either OSX or Linux despite having never even touched either one before.

    Android for mobile usage on Phone/Tablet and either Linux/OSX on laptop/desktop.

    Instead of utilizing the desktop monopoly to push users towards Windows on mobile you're succeeding in the very opposite. Pushing me away from Windows and associated MS software (Office etc) on Desktop while I remain content with Android on mobile.

  153. multitasker says:


    Let me put this to you in a way that you (hopefully) can understand.  


    I care about having an operating system that makes my use cases not only possible, but easier and BETTER than before.  This is the only reason I would keep giving them money.

    You can sit there and try to explain away all their decisions by appealing to the fact that they target the middle of the bell curve all you want.  I don't care.  They didn't target me and MILLIONS OF OTHERS LIKE ME.  The backlash against Windows 8 all over the internet is proof enough that I am not unique in my views.

    So you can take your sycophantic, patronising, populist view of UX design and stow it, okay?  WE DON'T CARE.

    We aren't the 60% who just want more Facebook and easier access to Netflix.

    We're the 40% who actually have to use this turd to try to get real work done.

    Please cease your lipstick application attempts.  There isn’t enough beer in the world to make this pig doable.

  154. PaulAtreides says:

    Thanks, Steven, for being so frank in explaining what the target audience is that you are designing Windows 8 for.

    So now we understand that the focus is entirely on the content consumers, the ADD types wasting all day on nonsense like Facebook and Twitter, nervously scanning those silly tiles every second of their waking hours for all of those exciting news streaming in.

    Fine, I understand that there's a lot of these types out there. Too bad that in the process the people attempting to do actual work on a computer are getting short shrift. Well, thankfully there's alternatives. Windows was nice as long as it was offering us a viable platform to do our work on. Apparently, Microsoft has no interest in people accomplishing creative work anymore. Those of us who still want to be productive on a computer will have to look elsewhere. So be it.

    P.S.: You know, Steven, I am genuinely curious: Have you ever seen the kind of production environment that people rely on to do high-level creative work? Have you ever seen Computational Engineering programs like Solidworks or Invnetor, fifth-generation language environments like Mathematica or Matlab, simulation environments like ANSYS, etc., etc. in action? Do you have any idea at all how people that need to create complex content work? Do you have any understanding whatsoever that there is no way, none at all, to shoehorn the kind of functionality that us creators use every day into that narrow-minded framework you envision? Finalyy, are you sure you know what you are doing by abandoning us?

  155. Great in-depth article and nice history of Windows.

    I wouldn't say though that the people criticizing Touch and Metro in Windows 8 are the same as the people who did not believe in the mouse (Dvorak, of all people!) or refused the progress brought by each consecutive version of Windows.

    I did upgrade every time from MS-DOS to Windows 7, even including Windows NT & 2000, but there are still a few aspects of Windows 8 that need to be improved before it can satisfy the whole of the current Windows customers. Things like touch, for instance. It does not work on my desktop PC, I can't reach the monitor with my arms extended, and it doesn't work on the TV either. It's actually not a problem with Windows 8, more with the lack of devices that can simulate the touch signal without actually "touching" the screen. For instance some sort of light glove or set of rings with a gyro and accelerometer or two in it. You move your fingers like you would on a touch screen, swipes, gestures, etc., and a sensor transmits to Windows the same signals an actual touch screen would send. Pretty sure we'll all wear such rings in a few years, and they'll be able to connect to thousands of private and public devices where actual touch is not an option. I actually thought that with all your hardware and research labs, you would have released such a device in time for Windows 8, but it seems not.

    Similarly, Metro is just not mature yet. The dual Metro/Desktop interface is anything but "fluid". I won't find Metro replacements for my current desktop apps for years, nor do I plan to repurchase all my apps in Metro form after the already expensive purchase of Windows 8, so I would be stuck on using desktop apps in Windows 8 for quite a long time, there does not seem to be much thought put into this kind of users, they are not made to "participate" in the excitement of Metro or Touch, so there is really not much enticement to upgrade, as much as I like most of all other Windows 8 features.

    I can't help but think that Microsoft does not see itself as a user enabler anymore, but considers users as consumers. This is what Metro apps look mostly about: consuming information and playing games, not a productivity and personal development tool. When a developer creates a new software or updates an existing one, I doubt that many will put the effort into developping two separate versions, one for desktop on Windows x, and one for Metro on Windows 8. At least professional software. So in that way, Windows 8 is probably not encouraging enterprises to upgrade their computers.

    The single (dual at best) app interface is just such a regression for multitaskers (it looks like the fixed windows arrangement in your Windows 1 screenshot) that I can't believe you're advancing the excuse that it's the only way for Windows to manage apps' CPU and memory usage. Surely there are many other smarter ways to recognize the frequently used apps that don't require humans to fit a set of rigid mono-window rules, but would instead adapt to how we use the computer. Like the "Display on Top" attribute, for instance. Where's your Intellisense when we need one? Multi-tasking can take either of two main forms, either disruptive, which is more like switching from one app to another, or complementary, when an app will be used on top of the existing app(s), which you need to keep displayed and active. Do you really think people buy large monitors just to display a single app on it? Most web sites use for instance a fixed width for their pages. A full screen browser window displays them on the first third of the screen. Two thirds are blank, so of course users have email, IM, videos, music and what not constantly on display on the otherwise wasted part of the screen.

    Using aluminum and glass textures may be "cheesy," but it doesn't make Aero as a whole cheesy. Bad designers will be cheesy regardless of the tools they are offered. A much better argument for getting rid of Aero would be its high power requirements. I don't remember for instance a single Blu-ray software player that is not forced to temporarily disable Aero before playing a movie. Pretty sure the new "Swiss" design will be cheesy much faster than Aero. After all, Switzerland is a great cheese country!

    By the way, something which is not clear in this and the previous article: When using multiple monitors, does the single/dual app limitation applies to all monitors as a whole, or to each monitor, meaning 3 monitors could theoretically display 6 apps?

    To the Windows designers who removed the Start menu because it spans over several scrolling pages and looks ugly, here's how I keep mine clean, with most apps neatly categorized and accessible from 2 clicks at most on All Programs. All apps I frequently use are moved to the Quick Launch tool bar or the Superbar, so they can be called from a single click. Why did you introduce a Start menu but not a single tool to manage it, leaving users and developers to their own devices? Even Microsoft apps add to the confusion and don't provide an integrated look & feel.…/desktop%20and%20start%20menu.png

    (Skydrive, why don't you offer direct short links to my pictures?)

    Talking about design, a logo is supposed to be a graphical concept, not some "Windows" word in some font with a background color.

    And all this talk about single app design made me think you got the wrong product name. It should be "Window 8" now.

  156. Paul says:

    Windows 8 = ÜBER FAIL. Bye bye Microsoft. It's been nice knowing you for the last 20 years.

  157. multitasker says:



  158. Matthew says:

    Thanks for all the great work! I have one feedback for the file association apps. Right now there's only 1 app that can be associated to a file type (ext). I'd rather have one for metro mode and one for desktop mode. So when i'm running a metro apps, I want to associate my action for a file with another metro app. When I'm in desktop apps, I want my desktop apps to handle it. IE10 I believe is handling url separately between desktop & metro?

  159. Michael says:

    I like the programming concepts being introduced with Metro and it's use in coming tablet / laptop devices. I haven't used Win8 enough to know how but do you get notified of immediate things like download has finished, battery is low, reminder items or you have a voip call etc? If it's like Windows Phone that overlays a message at the top then disappears, is there a way to have a notification sidebar in case you were away from pc briefly and missed the message?

  160. Nick says:

    I find it concerning that the same team that considers writing such a long blog entry an effective way to communicate over the Internet is, "designing," the next version of Windows.

  161. Gbvc says:

    Windows 95 Media Player could certainly do more that just play wav files. It supported video as well.

  162. Quppa says:

    'This style of simulating faux-realistic materials (such as glass or aluminum) on the screen looks dated and cheesy now, but at the time, it was very much en vogue.'

    I guess I'm stuck in the past, because to me Windows Vista is still the best-looking version Microsoft has produced.

    I hope window frame transparency will be configurable – its presence makes it much easier to find windows (I'm reminded of this every time I use Ubuntu).

    'The Start menu was changed to focus on launching only the programs you use less frequently, as no program can be pinned to both the taskbar and the Start menu.'

    That's not true, though.

  163. That was a great read. Thank you Jensen! When I was reading through some of those links leading to past complaints when 95, XP, and Windows 7 came out… I mean I understand those complaints. Yes, the blue and green theme was garish. The fly-out "All Programs" was a bad UI. However, I was too young to have fond memories of MS-Dos, so to me, the idea of a keyboard only computer is ludicrous. I think the ultimate test of a successful UX may be to give it to a kid who has no experience with a previous version, and then show him its predecessor. After XP, could I go back to the dull grey everywhere? Would I really care for the long grid of icons of the Windows 3.1 interface? It's rather interesting how familiarity distorts our views 🙂

    Good luck, and I look forward to the next preview release!

    Main feedback at this point from the CP (where should feedback be left?):

    – Apps that require multitouch, GPS or accelerometers should not be available on hardware that do not support these features

    – "Settings" charm is inconsistent. Some apps use it for in-app settings, some apps have their own Settings interface… You end up having to look through two places every time

    – "Share" charm (btw, most promising feature of the whole release) disappears when switching app. Example, trying to share a picture through email in the Photo app, start writing the email, go to the desktop to look something up, come back, email is gone.

  164. Fizichella says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    Please insert Start menu and my computer , control panel and … to Desktop UI.

    Please ………………………

    without it i don't work in windows and i am dizzy.please insert user options for change something.(back to old featurs)

  165. Itguy08 says:

    Good God Microsoft, that's one really nasty looking user interface.  Then again so is pretty much all of the Metro design language you guys keep trying to push on us.

    You lost me in 2002 and this garbage won't win me or anyone else back.  You took you loosing platform of Windows Phone and are trying to put it on the desktop where it doesn't belong.

    Try copying Apple some more as we all know they are your R&D arm.

  166. The OS is baked and ready to go. Time to start using it and stop over thinking it. Anyone confused about mulit-tasking, a hint, go to the upper left and just keep clicking. Or go back to the desktop and stay there and do it the old way. I look forward to smooth pinch to zoom mostly on maps and web browsing and I look forward to busting out the keyboard without losing ANY screen space. I look forward to always on computing, and all day long battery life. I look forward to similar screens and interoperability from the TV, to the phone, to the convertible laptop. I look forward to the security of the app store, and the power of multiple screens. I look forward to many different form factors from many different hardware makers, not just ONE.

    I look forward to WinRT leapfrogging everyone else because that's all this tech game really is.

    Mostly I look forward and encourage others to do the same. If you insist on looking back or over, so be it.

    I especially look forward to the giant that has awakened within MS, and will be psyched to see them stand tall after being kicked while they were down for so many years.

    This is one fanboy who is ready to go. I'll be the first one to tell you what sucks and what doesn't, but not till It's out the door.

    Bring it on.


  167. Rusty says:

    What abouot Bob, Windows 95's cousin?

  168. Itguy08 says:

    Keep dreaming Jimmy.  Knowing Microsoft little of this will work right and it sure won't work well across devices.  Definitely nowhere as well as other companies do it.  Cough iOS, cough Android.

  169. @Steven Sinofsky

    We're glad to see these changes, I still have some suggestions for UI and UX in Windows 8:


    1) Add ability to choose and customize our own textures/patterns on start screen from different sources…Right now they're just built-in.

    2)Refresh icon pack in desktop UI which was introduced in Windows Vista as well as icon of some old programs such as Registry Editor, DxDiag…

    3) Refresh side panel in Control Panel with new color.

    4) Expect some changes in Windows Media Player as well as Windows Media Center in term of look and feel.

    5) IE10's button style (back/forward button, notification button…) need to be in Metro style as well as less clutter context menu in this browser.

    6) Some progress animation (When rating Windows Experience Index Score) that needs to be revised with new Windows 8 scheme color and simpler motion:

    7) Twist some old Windows Vista Blue and Green theme in some Windows 8 Dialog:

          For example:…/windows-firewall-add-exception.png

    8) New Set of User account pictures for local account users.

    9) Refresh Windows CardSpace icon and UI with Metro.

    10) New official Windows sounds since Windows 7 is just the tuned version of Windows Vista sound theme.

    11) New Animating Bootscreen please.


    1) Bring the new metro style which is introduced in this blog (white and square corner window) into installation UI because some of them are still with rounded corner,blur glass and some are even in Basic from of Windows Vista or classic style from Windows 9X/2000/ME.

    2) Flatten the two installation progress bars (Metro).

          For example:…/Install-Windows-8-Windows-8-installation-process.png


    3) Display Windows 8 new set of cursor during installation as well

    >>>Please update (Official Windows Sites) with new Metro style just as did.

    >>>Please consider bringing new UI to Windows Live Web Services as soon as possible (good with Windows 8 launch)

  170. @Steven Sinofsky

    Old, BTW, as I have been looking for: please remove and tweak the focus/dot border in Windows 8 as well.

  171. GrandMaxin says:

    A blog which is very, very touching. I like the newly designed desktop-mode chrome.

  172. xpclient says:

    I have always generally praised the improvements on this blog keeping my harsh criticism for the User Experience aside but let me say it now that we're talking about it, as advice from one user experience expert to another, MS screwed up BIG TIME again. You just have no understanding left any more of what a quality user experience means. All of the work on Windows 8 is very impressive, it's a significant improvement, yet the user experience has regressed SO BADLY that the entire product gets ruined. A bad user experience ruins everything. Your team is single-handedly responsible for ruining the entire Windows UX ONCE AGAIN.

    Windows Vista was the beginning of it all, it harmed the XP user experience in unimaginable ways – basically it took away everything power users need in a professional OS. Never before Windows Vista in the past 20 years was the user experience harmed and regressed in any way. Then for Windows 7, things slightly improved compared to Vista, it improved very slightly, but the general system level improvements Windows 7 brought made people finally leave XP, but the UX was still not up to the level of XP UX. Now for Windows 8, you totally blew it! Yes you completely and wholly have created a disaster in "simplifying" and "re-imagining".  It is a product where power users have no customization options, no choice, nothing. Windows 8 will fail because of a bad user experience. Your entire team – Julie Larson Green, Jensen Harris and everyone else should just resign after Windows 8 fails. I had a talk with Jim Allchin over Facebook over this and he was wholeheartedly convinced.

    It is my honest opinion as a UX expert that Windows 8 is what happens when people who have zero understanding of human-computer interaction (HCI) and usability get to "re-imagine" a product used by a billion people. Sure it's like ordering a pizza but you went for the most tasteless, topping-less bland pizza with stale, rotten bread instead of going for the tastiest, most expensive variety with full choice of toppings.

    As the person in charge of Classic Shell UX, I'll say that the Classic Shell team will help Microsoft fix and improve the user experience as we have been doing since 2009 for Windows 7 and Vista, but this time, it may not be enough really to save the product – it's not beautiful, it's not productive, it's not powerful, it's not customizable. It's ugly, it's unproductive, it's oversimplified to the point of being useless for power users and it's unnecessarily "re-imagined" for traditional PCs. I sincerely hope that Microsoft will realize it at some point and work with me to understand and fix the UX.

  173. mutitasker says:

    @Jimmy Fallon

    Oh yes; never voice your concerns or objections, filthy proles.  How DARE you believe you should be allowed some input in software you in all likelyhood won't have any choice except to use?  It is excellent because there are no alternatives.  Now, accept it!  Accept it and praise it!  It is the future!  It is revolutionary!  And just like Vista, it simply isn't understood by you stupid, ignorant proles.  You just aren't capable of understanding the complexity and excellence of its design!

    Wait until it is out before you say anything bad.  Because by then, its too late.  And you'll have no choice.

    Here's a shocker for you: this isn't 2000.  We have a choice.  We're exercising it.  But you can sit there preaching your digital hipsterism all you want.  Obscure music, obscure beer, obscure coffee combinations…

    …soon to be obscure operating systems.

    But it's just because "we don't get it" that we'll exercise our CHOICE to not buy it…right?

    But heaven forbid we give VOICE to our discontent.  That's not acceptable.  That's not done.  That's not gentlemanly.  

    Too bad.

  174. dg32 says:

    Metro sucks. Prediction: Metro will go down as a flaming train wreck rejected by consumers, corporate clients, and developers.

  175. @xpclient says:


    The Classic Shell team are heroes.  Absolute heroes.  If I ever meet one of you guys in person, I'll buy you a BARREL of your favourite.

  176. Prayaas says:

    This is just soooo good!

    I love the new Metro styled Explorer! But don't know why I still miss Aero glass, though Metro is too good! Any way to get the best of both worlds? Maybe 2 visual styles. Transparency is also good, though Metro is better. 😀

    Yeah, 2 visual styles would be better.

    I'll love the new UI of Explorer, but I somehow feel and fear that I'll miss Aero. 🙁

  177. Pramod says:

    What, no transparency or aero effects? this is the last straw!

  178. Prayaas says:

    Who noticed the Aero cursor on the Windows 95 Start button Video? *hehe*

  179. Richard says:

    I liked this post and I liked the UI chages introduced to the desktop. However there are two things Id like to mention:

    1. Add more things to explorer ribbon. There are some commands which used to be in old explorer but are not there in the ribbon

    2. Add the boundaries of window buttons back! When I first used the Developer preview I really liked aero lite,but the absence of any borders between close,minimize and restore looked ugly. Consumer preview is much better, you should keep it that way!

  180. Steve "Elvis" Jobs says:

    Good, everything is proceeding according to my grand plan.

  181. thenonhacker says:

    Thanks Jensen! I'm one of those who suggested using a white background (ala-Zune) for the Windows Explorer chrome.







    My request now are:

    1. Make the Scroll Bars consistent with the Metro-UI.

    2. Remove the lines that divide the Title Bar and the Ribbon / Menu Bar. This should make it consistent with Zune.

    3. Please lend a UI Designer to the Visual Studio 2012 team. They are misusing ALL-CAPS. The right implementation of ALL-CAPS is in the Zune Software. Visual Studio 2012 misused this by making the Menu Bar items ALL-CAPS, and it looks ugly. Please give them a UI Expert!

  182. Apple 3.14.159 says:

    I'm sorry Microsoft, you lost me to Apple.

  183. Sriram says:

    Am I the only one who feels the icons in the explorer are screaming out for attention in the interface ?. I feel the icons design

    somehow doesn't  gel with the new interface.

  184. Angry user says:

    I'm sorry but usability is not the problem here…

    This $hi7 is ugly.

  185. Well, this is why windows 7 will be around for 15 years.  This joke of an OS is crap.  Don't try and beef u "multi-tasking" in this OS with "snap"  You can't even re-size the apps.  Try reading a word document while browsing the metro browser.  Oh yeah, you can't.  Try looking at 2 web sites, side by side in metro, oh yeah, not happening.  A word document, next to an email where i can, i dunno, copy and paste information, yeah, not happening.  

    I've never wished so hard in my life for something to fail, because if this is the future of computing, i don't want any part of it.  Company I work for could get off of Lotus Notes if they went to windows 8, but they would rather stick with the headache of Lotus Notes than have to deal with Win 8.  

  186. Developer00 says:

    Simply put, I'd rather be a carpenter than to develop applications for this.

  187. I hope there is a way to make white bg 10% darker

  188. ScrewFBI says:

    Come back Mr Gates! They've become nutty!

  189. ito says:

    and allow metro apps and desktop apps to snap to the left or right no matter what screen resolution they have

  190. Sean Russell says:

    Since the forum posts are being read by the designers of Windows 8 I thought I might post a few things that I would really like to see in Windows 8.

    * Removing The Empty Space On The Task Bar (Program Icons On One Side, Status Icons On The Other As Well As Making The Task Bar Retractable)

    * Moveable Windows Menus (Icon, Program title, File Menu Options – All On One Bar)

    * Metro Optional (I Know. I Know. Half The People Using Say "Yes," Half Say "No.")

    * Better File Renaming (Particularly Proper Casing and Multi-File Renaming)

    * A Separate File Folder For Windows Icon Graphics That Make Windows Easily Customizable (Explorer Icons and Window Frame, Desk Top Icons, Device Icons)

    * Menu Tile Sliding Using A Color Code Or ** File Menu Back Button ** (Instead of, Drop Down Menus, Choose An Option From The File Menu, Such As Clicking File, Edit, Format, View, Help On Note Pad and, Instead Of A Drop Down Menu The Options Move To the Left to Form Thinner Tiles As The File Drop Down Menu ** Options Slide in From The Right Of The Menu Bar** ) – This is a little "Experimental", but the object of the OS is to Present A User Interface That Provides The greatest utility and as well, keeps from cluttering the window. (Or Just A Back Button, Instead Of, Thinner Tiles That Go Back To The Original Menu Options – This would probably be less cluttery.)  🙂

    Some Of These Internet Browser Options Could Be Amended For The File Explorer.


  191. I don't suppose we'll be allowed to have choice of having reflections/transparency in the windows?

    You make several comments pertaining to options and user choice being a big deal with the desktop but Windows 8 seems to strip away many of the options we previously had to configure our computers to look how we liked them to.

  192. Echelon Bob says:

    Happy to hear there is a return to form following function.  

    Your best interface was still Windows 95.  It's ironic that its visually pressable beveled buttons were probably the most natural style to be used with a touch interface.

    Would be great if you could dump those space-hogging ribbons while you're at it…

  193. Sean Russell says:

    Also, File Explorer Tabs….. Yes… Yes.

  194. Art C. says:

    "Neither gesture works perfectly in the Consumer Preview—it should be expected that some things will not be perfect when we effectively design and test the product in the open like we do. The corners are too fragile to target reliably with the mouse right now, and it is too easy to frustratingly “fall away” from them. We have already significantly improved this in internal builds. And today’s touch hardware, which was designed for Windows 7, doesn’t always do a great job of interpreting swipes from the edge. The good news is that hardware designed for Windows 8 will have excellent edge detection, and our device manufacturer partners have been working on this for a long time."

    This paragraph is actually really excellent news to me. My biggest concern regarding Windows 8 is the unresponsive bottom right corner that does everything I need to do. The Start Screen is effectively useless to me; between the desktop and the taskbar I have access to most functions I need. What bothers me is that accessing other functions through the bottom right corner is horribly unresponsive.

    The only way that I can see that being fixed is if Microsoft makes a button out of it. Buttons will never go out of style people but "hovering" can and will. There's no immediacy to hovering, no direct input. You don't press a button and get a response, you hover and hope something happens.

    That mechanic needs to be removed on the mouse/keyboard end. It isn't satisfying, it isn't useful, it's just a source of meaningless frustration.

    Otherwise the OS looks great for a tablet/touchscreen environment.

  195. neko says:

    Windows 8 will flop. Maybe MS will bring traditional Start menu back with Windows 9.

  196. TimoTim says:

    I would only ask MS that you retain the customization that we've come accustom to in Windows. Dont dictate for me how I want my set-up to look…provide options to that I can tweak the way I like.

    The icons must be changed. These icons do not mesh with the Metro icons and hope you add small touches like using the them colors we pick as the trim colors in this space. Great job with listening to our wishes.

  197. Derek says:


    "Windows Vista […] harmed the XP user experience in unimaginable ways"

    "Then for Windows 7, things slightly improved compared to Vista"

    So you believe that over 550 million Win7 users right now are having a UX that is just slightly above total crap?

    "Now for Windows 8, you totally blew it! Yes you completely and wholly have created a disaster in "simplifying" and "re-imagining"."

    As pointed clearly in this blog post, the "simplifying" and "re-imagining" efforts were focused on the new generation of touch users who would represent the majority of PC users sooner than you think. Why are you having issues in Windows responding  to that?

    BTW in case you didn't notice, the Windows team did a great creating this new touch-centered environment. Give me a single link to reviewer who said bad things about the Windows 8 UX on a touch-based PC/tablet.

    The desktop is still there for people like you who spend most of there times using professional tools.

    In time, you may find some Metro apps that interest you, or you may not. It's your choice, right?

    Sure you have to use the new Start Screen to launch stuff not pinned to your taskbar, but it's not so hard to learn and adapt for the average user, let alone a UX expert like yourself.

    PS. I spend most of my time in Visual Studio, I'm currently using the Consumer Preview on a desktop PC and often have Metro apps such as People/Mail/Messages snapped to the side of my desktop and I'm having a great experience with that.

    "I had a talk with Jim Allchin over Facebook over this and he was wholeheartedly convinced."

    Sure, the man who mis-managed the windows vista team  thinks Windows 8 is total disaster.

    FYI it took Steven Sinofsky "unimaginable " efforts for the course of over a year to refocus the windows team and gear it toward delivering the excellent Vista SP1/2 and ultimately Windows 7. have a read of his book "One Strategy" if you're interested in learning more about this.

  198. I really like the new desktop look, but then I hated Aero. Turning off transparency is always the first thing I do on a new computer as it is so distracting to see text and other items through menus.

    The new desktop window does look a bit washed out in the sample photo and needs more contrast. I'm guessing the array of grey icons is because the libraries object is selected and not any sub objects and so those icons are 'unavailable' and therefore grayed. At least I hope so. I do hope all icons are updated, and please update everything this time. Nothing makes an OS look more unpolished than coming across a config or settings window that has been untouched since Win95!

    The taskbar icons do really look out of place, as well. Hopefully these will all be fully updated to better match the new look and feel.

    Also, since icons are being hopefully being updated, how about using SVG? Please make all UI elements scalable on the desktop so things don't look so ugly when using various DPI settings. Details really do matter!

  199. sym says:

    i still dont like that arrows at top left

  200. amaurys92 says:

    btw those of you asking about why the buttons in the destop havent been changed to the ones used in metro, read the post carefully, it is long 😛

    "To complete the story, we updated the appearance of most common controls, such as buttons, check boxes, sliders, and the Ribbon" then he goes on to say that we wont see these changes till the FINAL release.

  201. Difference between Windows 8 and Windows 7 is, that Windows 7 made my work more effective.

  202. Rob says:

    Windows 8 is not usable for a normal computer it is anoying all those things i just want the old start menu back. works faster than those metro style buttons.

  203. btriffles says:

    @Jensen Harris:

    This probably wasn't intentional, but I found at least the first quarter of the post (everything under "A brief history of the Windows user interface") to be rather biased.  You repeatedly refer to cherry-picked, anecdotal evidence suggesting that some common technologies (e.g. the mouse) were not accepted at first.  You then subtly use this to imply (based on no evidence) that the new, contested changes for Windows 8 will be similarly proven correct, and that current criticism is just as misguided.  I feel this is not a good way to foster a dialog with your audience.

    @Microsoft and Jensen Harris:

    While I appreciate many of the advancements in Windows 8, I am mostly disappointed in the direction you have chosen for the interface.  It seems like you are discarding or deprecating features needed for productivity in favor of simple consumption and looking "modern".  Here are some quotes that bothered me:

    "the archaic distinction between starting a program for the first time and returning to a program that was already running"

    Running applications represent current documents/things that I am working on.  By reducing the distinction between running applications and closed ones (Metro apps, combined groups in the Windows 7 taskbar), you only make it harder to organize and switch between the things I am currently working on.  I would love to see a universal (Metro + desktop) taskbar that would provide the options to always be on-screen and to turn off all grouping and combining.

    "People, not files, are the center of activity"

    Please keep in mind those of us who mainly use their PCs for work rather than online socializing.

    "Windows 8 reverses this trend, with Windows itself receding into the background, and putting the content of your apps ahead of the chrome"

    Even time you hide part of the UI or reduce the distinctiveness between elements, you are making it harder to find and access useful/necessary commands.  Most monitors have ample resolution to show important chrome at all times.

    "many people use their devices, obsessively switching between different websites and programs on their PC and apps on their phone, checking to see if there’s anything new to see or do"

    The thought of Windows 8 being designed for people like this makes me worried.  Please retain on option to easily turn off many or all live tiles.

    "all of the knobs and levers in the system, you can still access them just as easily as you could in Windows 7"

    Please consider an option to disable Metro-focused elements (e.g., hot corners or the entire Metro app subsystem) for those who want to use only the desktop.

    "Windows 8 provides a no-compromise experience"

    The new touch-focused interface requires more mouse movement in many scenarios, such as the Start screen, right-clicking in a Metro app, activating distant hot corners, etc.  I also have no desire to memorize and switch to using obscure keyboard shortcuts.  Since I have practically no need for touch support for my large desktop monitor, touch support is a compromise.

    "It is an explicit design goal of Windows 8 to bring this software forward, run it better than in any previous version of Windows, and to provide the best environment possible for these products as they evolve into the future as well."

    You say that the desktop is not a legacy mode, but your subtext suggests otherwise.  I have no desire to use the Metro interface because I find it less productive.  My initial hope for WinRT was that it would be a new infrastructure for desktop-style applications.  I am sad that it has been locked to Metro apps, and that you feel this type of interface is the direction of the future.

    "It is really your choice. You can use only desktop apps if you want."

    The hot corners get in the way of regular desktop usage.  And I still miss certain aspects of the Start menu, such as its limited size, the visible Start button, folders, recently used programs, jump lists, etc.

    "we want a chrome style that doesn’t distract from the content of the app"

    I have never been distracted by the use of standard chrome in applications.  I do get distracted when I have to perform extra steps to find common UI controls or distinguish between elements without the lines, colors, depth, etc. that help delineate them.  I also get distracted when applications use custom chrome/skins (e.g., almost every Microsoft product).  Moreover, I worry that the lack of standard chrome in Metro apps will lead to every developer coming up with custom ways to display their "immersive" interfaces, hindering usability, accessibility, etc.

    "we have confidence that people will quickly find the new paradigms to be second-nature"

    Despite being a relatively advanced user, I prefer always-visible access points to hidden access points, even if I know where they are or the keyboard shortcuts that invoke them.  I suspect this is an even bigger issue for novice users who are likely to get lost without some visible indicator.

  204. @Alex says:

    I like Sputnik8 concepts.. its a bit more Zune and less Metro which looks great.. I mean the file picker, Media Center, the Browser that is so much better looking than what the metro apps have produced.  

    @Jensen, @steven

    Also, I sure hope Aero Glass will still be available Theme options, I'd hate to lose that forever, so we can switch it back. and the all white explorer doesn't quite make sense, it still should have some color like Office 2010 or Zune.

    The other thing is could you actually put Metro App in a Virtual Machine Windows mode so they could be opened in the desktop view as well?  I also find it interesting that people suggested the Start screen be the Desktop Background (reminds me of Windows 95 and IE4 Active Desktop with hyperlinks and html, really odd.. but you could then allow the wall paper behind it and then you couldn't put icons on the desktop if you had it set that way..

  205. Sich says:

    There are two things which make me feel like I use kinda handicraft compilation of the OS:

    1) The desktop's aero style interleaves time-to-time with metro UI elements. For instance: Language switch popup menu, network settings panel when I click network icon in the tray; popups for selecting which program to use for a file type etc. Shouldn't the UI be consistent? I would prefer seeing aero-styled controls in response to actions in aero UI, and Metro-styled ones for Metro action root. Probably, the only Metro which should be allowed on desktop is charms panels and different notifications from metro apps.

    2) Its really crazy what a user needs to do to shutdown/sleep a Windows 8 PC using the mouse/keyboard. Yes, I understand, that for tablets its natural to push the power button for that. But its definitely not true for PC. Its very common that a PC box is put somewhere under the table, and its not convenient to try to reach the power button. I'm pretty sure, that non-enthusiast users, like my girlfriend, not to say about my parents, which are used to use windows 7, will get lost trying to figure out how to shutdown their PC. Its really unnatural where those controls are placed.

  206. TL says:

    Now we need Metro style icons for the desktop 🙂

  207. It is good to know, at least MSFT is really listening.

    1) Keeping the 'bar' might keep some users at ease. However removing it actually make the space more elegant.

    Incase you guys missed this post from one of theverge forum user.…/windows-desktop-ui-concept

    2) Since there are 2 paradigms. The transition between the Desktop to Metro will need natural and smooth.

    Current implementation is not that graceful. Pressing the windows key threw user into a full screen and chromeless environment.

    I feel it will be better to transit to full Metro in 2 steps.

    After user presses the windows key, if Win8 detects a mouse, it is better launch a Menu-Size <Start screen>. User will feel like current Win 7 start menu … however when user touch a easily identifiable area / pinch zoom the menu will go full screen into current Win8 CP start screen, which is full screen.

    It is easier to transit from Metro to Desktop because most of the users are used to desktop paradigm.

    All the best for Win8 launch. Beside Fast and Fluid, I hope Win8 can also be Smooth and Natural, going hand in hand with MSFT concept of NUI. Thanks for reading.

  208. Lawrence says:

    Looks like Windows 1 had a taskbar! Didn't come back until a decade later? lol

  209. Jonp says:

    To anyone who states that metro or the metro UI has ruined windows for them or anyone else for that matter clearly has a disability. You lack the ability to adapt to change and it is a wonder how any of your ancestors were able to evolve to the point you currently reside base upon your idiotic comments.

  210. @gameForMonster says:

    I have a better idea: when a user presses the windows key, the Start Screen appears snapped to the left side of the screen, with vertical scroll, and a search box. the user could then expand it to normal full-screen Start Screen with a click on a button somewhere in the top-right corner.

    of course this all should be optional and we could opt to use current behavior instead.

  211. @Jonp says:

    experience shows that it's not a good idea to treat these people as if they had a single-digit IQ.

    better to remind them that their next PC will probably have touch capability and they would be thankful that Metro exists 🙂

  212. It is so funny that Mr. Harris mention;

    "… You may choose to carry a tablet, or you may choose a laptop/convertible, but you do not need to carry around both along with your phone…"

    With Windows 8 and wearable tech, we might not even be carrying candy bar devices for communication. 🙂

  213. Adam Koncz says:

    I see you committed yourself to ruin the desktop experience a much as possible. 🙁

    Forget that bloody touch. Write an article that how the hell would this OS work for user with multiple monitors and no touch interface.

    What VALUE you added to windows for those users. Why should the 99% of the user switch from W7 or even XP?  

  214. ReMark says:

    In 2012, in a world based on the connection, I have to install gadgets or other software to see quickly the speed of my connection.

    If you will remove the gadgets, make available on the system tray (optional, to be chosen):

    – Speed ​​download / upload of the connection

    – Cpu / ram load

    – Etc … use your imagination

    For now I'm using this:

    And in the context-menu of the connection system tray icon add the voice Details (ip, security, etc… for a quick view).

    Users want to choose to keep in view the data and information they need, in a non-obtrusive and customizable way.

  215. Adam Koncz says:

    "Make your PC work like a device, not a computer."

    Have you ever considered that if I need a device rather than a computer I would have bought IPad 2 years ago? Like everybody else who was satisfied with a "device".  But I need a computer. I swear I never thought that if i want a computer Linux will be my only option to have one.

  216. Bob says:

    Start menu and Aero Glass must be reinserted, absolutely, no discussion allowed!

  217. Bob says:

    Start button and Aero Glass must be reinserted, absolutely, no discussion allowed!

  218. TvS says:

    Why not make areo optional?

  219. Adam Koncz says:

    @Jonp  "You lack the ability to adapt to change and it is a wonder how any of your ancestors were able to evolve to the point you currently reside base upon your idiotic comments."

    There is a reason I user power tools instead of a stone ax. Metro UI and Apps are five step backwards in terms of usability.  On desktop

  220. ReMark says:

    But are you sure guys about Aero?

    Ok, the Glass effect, but I think Aero there is in W8 (blurred translucency + Aero Peek, preview etc…)

  221. Stefan says:

    I am not even going to bother reading all this. Consider making a video with such a long blogs.

  222. Maybe says:

    I do not mind if you remove the glass effect or not, all I care about is not having to go through the Metro cr@p UI every time I want to perform a simple task, like starting a program.

    Give me back the start menu and allow me to remove the rectangle madness, or I will have to skip on Win8 as so many others are going to do so.

    The gradients, colors and uneven surfaces were there to give us a perspective of depth and orientation. The Metro style everywhere makes everything look flat and confusing. Take the new task manager for example, it looks great, but you don’t know where one graph ends and the other starts. Look at the response you got about the new Visual Studio UI, total counterproductive for all developers.

    You are so deep in your Metro obsession that you are destroying the most important aspect of Windows, i.e. consistency. The choice of color schemes, ribbon bar etc is subjective, but having to switch context to the Metro cr@p start menu is not, it is simply wrong and marketing motivated.

  223. Hrvoje says:

    OMG, now I'll have to buy some utility that gives me shadows under windows again!?

    Thought shadows really helps focusing on tasks and working window, now it'll be just flat surface with bunch of rectangles, and I'll not now which one has focus.

  224. I hope there will be an option to tone down the white (similar to Office for example) which is really intense.

  225. Ali says:

    Good story. Can't wait for the final release of Windows 8.

  226. Sebastian says:

    Awesome job, guys!  At first, I was like "oh no!" to no aero.  But then I read up and thought about it, and it definitely unifies the experience more.  😀

  227. Farhood Kankash says:

    What about the icons. I really like to see the metro icons and metro taskbar without the glass. If you want it metro do it right everything metro for the icons look at what the office team has done with office 15.

  228. ReMark says:

    "metro icons" are horribles in the desktop, the taskbar without blur transparency idem.

    But I know, users want different things.

    So put everything (behaviors and styles like colors, transparency, blur, fonts etc…) customizable and GG.

    This is the only way IMHO.

  229. Sebastian2 says:

    Very nice post. I know you have reasons for the big changes and I know these are good reasons. But problem is: These reasons are not good for everyone. In fact, most of the people don't think you should let the fast evolving mobile market influence the desktop experience and I can't blame them. Personally, I used Win8 since release of the Developer Preview now and I like it very much, but I can understand everyone who doesn't think that's a good idea.

    I know that probably a lot people posted this but I couldn't resist.

    Your reasons are well thought-out, but I think most of the people just don't want to go this direction. No matter what your reasons are.

    What I don't understand is, why don't you let the user choose? And by choose I don't mean deactivate every single bit of Metro for desktop versions.

    You could just let the user choose if he wants the old startmenu. In the developer preview, that was possible. Why not make it an official feature? All you have to do is: bring the startmenu back, deactivate the gestures in the Corners of the desktop, add a button "back to metro" to the startmenu, after login, go straight to the desktop. I know there're a lot of small things that let Metro-stuff Pop up (e.g. if you click on the Network icon) but that's more than ok and you also could still use Metro if you want, but it wouldn't change the desktop experience.

    So what I mean is: I see you have good reasons for what you're doing, but these are big changes and why can you not let the user decide if you can make it happen? That would solve a huge amount of anti-Windows 8(Metro) Posts which are just under every news I read and it would make everything possible you want: one OS which is great for mobile experience, but also allows you to have the same good desktop experience as before.

  230. Abraham Wilson says:

    This is a very good move for Windows 8, the new look will mean that it will speed up the Operating System a bit because it uses less system resources to the OS, this means that you will have more memory and more processing power for other tasks on the Operating System.

  231. Darren Treat says:

    Looks better! Small Question, Is there any way we can get an icon overhaul? The icons seggest depth, while the interface is on a flat pane. The worst ones are the redo and undo buttons in the top left and the folder icon, it's time for a change in that. Also, have you thought about adding a click effect like in the Start screen and WP where mouse down on a button actually moves it?

  232. Kai Schätzl says:

    Metro looks and feels like DOS, I don't call that progress. It may be appropriate or even wonderful for phones, but not for desktops. In Germany we call that "digging your own grave".

  233. Senzune says:

    While this is a huge improvement over previous knowledge publicly available on Windows 8, I'm still not sold until there is an option to either switch off Metro or change the default environment to the Desktop. Unifying a new, modern design for 2 to 3 types of devices (laptop, tablet and smartphone) is a great choice, however ever with the dedication to legacy apps on the Desktop, it is wrong to call them legacy in the first place. These apps are the very core of Windows. Windows may be targeted towards the consumer rather than businesses (hence, there's a good reason people call this the next Vista), I still believe it is a wrong choice even for consumers to have a new 'limited' experience mask the know working one – it's not for nothing that Windows 7 is the best operating system thus far.

    My personal opinion on a solution for the problem of having 2 interfaces, is to hybridize them. There have been these hybrid designs for a reason, I believe there is plenty of opportunity to bring many elements of the Desktop to Metro. Or perhaps even the other way around, Live Tiles could well exist within the Desktop interface, to name an example.

  234. @steven, I still don't understand why you guys haven't made Zune Desktop PC software WinRT as the Metro Music app.  I know you wanted to move to the Xbox dashboard, but the Music App and Video app its really not every good at all on Windows..  What needs to happen is drop all the Zune branding but leave the Interface, drop Pictures and create two identical apps, one for Music and Video and everything is already Metro style.. it would be perfect, but instead the Music and Video apps are terrible monster of Xbox dashboard and Zune and Media Center and Metro – that shows MS doesn't understand..  

    IE, You could still have the Xbox Dashboard main start window and the marketplace searching I suppose but zune is nice, but it should end there.. because its horrible, UI is convoluted and slow and very buggy, over animated and is not even intuitive, which no one wants, and I can see how developers are at odds trying to put the 4 things together.. and use more space, but you have to know what makes sense and what doesn't.. and clearly who ever built the Music and Video apps does not understand what makes the Zune Software great!  Those developers new how to design and clearly they got it right.  These other guys, come on, we know it just doesn't look or feel right.. I mean if your going to gives an Entertainment experience, give a 110% and at least be like Apple and give us a good one, not some crappy glued together app we have in Consumer Preview, when we know you can do so much better than that as Zune Desktop software shows!

    Thanks, and love win8..

  235. dermo says:


  236. Maxxy says:

    Keep on moving! Icons need to change, computer, docs, txt files, music files, folders, etc. And especially, we need larger icons (like 500 x 500) to fit larger screens. Bigger text scheme need to be added, and why don't you make your color scheme like office 2k10, 3 different schemes are enough.

    And, what's MORE, it's time to compose a new set of media, like starting windows, shutting down, new mail, new message, and so on. You need to create a whole set to make a wonderful W8!

  237. xpclient says:

    Most people are not power users, which is why Windows 7 works for them. Does that mean Microsoft is going to target only them and forget about power users? The design of the last three releases indicates that. All that comparison to how the same things were said about the mouse vs touch today is one thing but Microsoft is overlooking one major blunder it has been committing since Vista: making everything oversimplified, non-customizable, dumbed down and too toy-ish. Power users are screwed in this new age Windows, they just can't control the system the way they want, they haven't been able to really control it the way they wanted ever since Vista. XP is the last OS for power users where a far greater degree of customization is possible and the system does not force you to work only in a certain possible way.

    MS actively remove functionality already implemented to "simplify" and then they "re-imagine" but in the new design, only 10% of the features are re-implemented, the rest of them are omitted. The average user doesn't even notice that. Such a thing never happened up to XP and which is why the enterprise and also users with more advanced needs are still on it. In that Windows 3.1 screenshot, for example, you can see the status bar, showing critically important things. The status bar of today's Explorer is now dumbed down with some important details removed with no choice for the user to restore them. MS engineers the product for the lowest common denominator and then sells that same product with reduced functionality and customization as an upgrade. It is a downgrade in many areas. This is not done and not acceptable.

    For a billion customer base product, it should be an upgrade in all areas, there should be no regressions. No bling-bling, just form following function. **As leaders in computing, Microsoft has a responsibility towards every kind of user, not just the average crowd.** MS now lets design take over productivity of the power user. You compare all that hatred for Windows 95 over Windows 3.1 and think the same hatred is now for Windows 8 vs earlier versions but you are not even making a logical comparison. Windows 8 has no concepts of "advanced" and "choice", everything is oversimplified and what Microsoft thinks is the best, whereas Windows 95 was all about introducing more productive, more usable and more advanced, expanded concepts and yet retain choice. There was nothing unique in Windows 3.1 that was lost or you couldn't do in Windows 95, Windows 95 only *increased* the functionality. The desktop was the equivalent to the Program Manager and still the Program manager as a separate program remained.

    Whereas MS REMOVED the Start Menu and the Start Screen isn't capable of doing several things the Start Menu did. Don't you see this **reduction in functionality**? Microsoft is just acting dumb here, a system with reduced, note, not just different, but significantly reduced capabilities is being sold as an "upgrade". It will fail because it omits functionality users have come to expect in an upgrade and the new way of doing things lacks those features. Microsoft's so called UX people have no understanding whatsoever of backward compatible, usable design. They just design for the simplicity loving crowd, they need serious help from outsiders like Classic Shell to fix their OS for power users. The average user doesn't even notice anything's missing or broken, they just happily adapt and keep wondering why all the hatred.

    The first step for Microsoft is to acknowledge that you reduced the functionality and then fix it promptly. Believe me, after XP, until Windows 8, there are a hundred different unaddressed, unfixed Windows problems which are all regressions and steps back in normal functionality. Microsoft broke the strong legacy which was there till Windows XP that there will only be an enhanced product, there won't be reduced functionality. And to top this all, the User Experience team is untraceable, uncontactable and Microsoft isn't even willing to have an open, two-way discussion about serious usability issues. I advise you again, this product will fail because it does not respect power users.

    The source of those market share figures too about Windows 7 overtaking XP is just conveniently switched as MS seems fit. For Windows figures, they use StatsCounter as the source to show Windows 7 as dominant and then tout Net Applications and say they are more accurate when showing Internet Explorer figures. Stick to one reliable source please, not the one that favors your product.

    @Derek, those 550 million users are experiencing a dumbed down UX which does not meet power users. It's not necessarily crap, it's a fine experience, it's just too simplified, with functionality actively deleted to simplify it. I have no issues with Windows changing to address the changing user habits and type of hardware. But its strong backward compatibility of design, UI and Windows features that it once touted is absent. I know about Sinofsky's book, there is nothing wrong with that strategy of planning well and delivering with good execution except that power user market is being abandoned. I want to stick with Windows, no other mobile or other platform delivers an experience like Windows, but the newer versions are just taking away all customization, choice and everything that made Windows unique from other platforms. This same mistake has been committed for the third time with Windows 8 (with Vista, it failed because of this, with Windows 7, it succeeded, but with Windows 8, it's going to fail again). I just hope that with two out of their three Windows releases failing (Vista and Windows 8), Microsoft wakes up and confronts its power user community, its perfection-seeking beta testers and demanding users who had the power to find design problems, not just bugs and fix them in early design stages. I think Microsoft knows this, it just doesn't care about power users any more and lies straight to their face "Windows 8 works equally well with mouse, keyboard". No it doesn't. And when we show you how it doesn't, you ignore that as well and tell us to adapt to change, that we are scared of change and what not.

  238. Kevin Moore says:

    Whatever, Microsoft, whatever. You can keep writing books about how Windows 8 is wonderful, demands no compromises, and is a marvelous experience. I know that in truth you're only after the iPad with Windows 8 and you're showing you're not giving a crap about anything else.

    Good luck with that. I will not be upgrading to Windows 8 and I'll make sure no one in my personal environment does. I'm not interested in a tablet, but if I were, it wouldn't be a Windows 8 tablet. And count yourselves lucky that you got such immense talent on your development division and I'm not willing to let go of .NET and C# just yet, otherwise I'd be giving OS X more than serious consideration.

  239. drach says:

    Ok, this already looks much better, but why can't you just get rid of the window-borders? They waste space and look like crap. Just dump them all together. Also as a positive side-effect it would fit into the Metro theme much better.

  240. This modification of the theme is more integrated with metro style:

  241. disappointed says:

    I never thought I'd find something that would make the Linux UI look good. Then I saw this. Hopefully Windows 8 flops and you're back on form with Windows 9. Disappointing.

  242. pdjshog says:

    tabs neep put to head of window like office 10

  243. dgschrei says:

    Seriously? Now you removed Aero Glass from the windows? How exactly do you expect to market this to the customer?

    Your windows now look distincly like Vista/7 does, when it goes back into Aero Basic fallback mode.  This does not look premium and improved.

    You just removed a fancy visual effect and replaced it with flat white. That doesn't look more advanced and improved. To most people out there this will look like a technological downgrade.

    I also hate it. The best thing that came with Vista was the new Aero Style. And to date it is, what makes Windows the best looking OS out there. With those plain white Windows even OSX with it's boring gray windows looks a lot better.

    Also by making it white with practically no borders, the "chrome" that you keep on lamenting and complaining about even though it never was a problem to Windows 7 users before, now actually becomes a problem in the first place.

    Let's have a look. In Windows 7 all the "chrome" is always placed in clearly defined and visually seperated areas where the background color differs from the rest of the Window.  Now in this new version everything is white and there is no clear seperation between the "chrome" and the actual content of the window. It makes it difficult to distinguish between the two and will only serve to confuse customers.

    Also stop touting Metro's Snap as the holy grail for multitasking. There is no angle you can view this at where this feature beats free floating windows in a multitasking environment.

    And you know why this is? It's because the entire reason of having windows was to be able to multitaks between a plethora of applications at the same time. That's why this feature actually coined the name of your operating system.  Think about that: Your product is named after a feature of your product. And now the new version of your product tries to abandon said feature in it's newly introduced usage mode.

    For real multitasking you need more than the ability to use just 2 applications side by side. With the Ipad now boasting more than FullHD resolution we can expect the future for all devices to be in high resolution displays. Therefore there always will be enough pixels to do proper multitasking available. The 2 apps only approach you are taking will evolve itself out of existence even before Windows 8 hits the streets.

    It is also an affront to the user that once he decides to multitask in metor, you predefine how the screen real estate will be divided for those apps. Having a default value that apps will be snapped to is fine. But not allowing the user to freely change this so that he can actually use the app that got the short end of the stick and got squished down to 1/3 of it's usual size, is an absolute no-go.

    I was very much looking forward to Windows 8. The integrated USB 3.0 driver alone did that trick. But with the UI changes that you are introducing into Windows 8 which are actively hampering me in my productivity I will be sticking with Windows 7. And that's even though I could easily get the Windows 8 license for free via MSDNAA.

    It may be true that  for heavy facebook and twitter users the required steps for typical usage scenarios get less. But for me as a content creater (both graphics and coding work with Photoshop, After Effects, Cinema4D and Visual Studio) I find that the things I need to do every day take MORE steps. If I take longer to do my work in Windows 8, Windows 8 is effectively costing me money. If it costs me money by reducing my productivity I will not get on this train.

    You did the same thing with Vista. The stuff I wanted to do, required more steps than it did on XP. Therefore I  did not upgrade to Vista. You fixed most of these problems with Windows 7 so I was happy to upgrade to this version and I have been very happy with it ever since. In fact, the moment the first Beta of Windows 7 hit, I stopped using XP entirely and went from Beta to RC to RTM.  

    With Windows 8 now, the CP hit. I was absolutely expecting the same magic to happen. I downloaded and installed the CP started using it and immediately launched into all the problems that have been discussed to no end on this blog already.

    But I kept positive about it thinking: "That's okay. It's new and different so it's going to take some getting used to. Once you get it it will be awesome."  

    The sad fact is though: It didn't become awesome. A few days later I caved in and switched back to Windows 7 again because I was longing so hard for the system that just lets me do my work easily. In fact while desperately trying to get behind the Windows 8 UI and trying to find a way to efficiently use it, I built up such a strong resentment for the system and it's shortcomings that I haven't touched it since.

    I will try out the RC (or whatever your marketing department, which these days seems to have more control over development than the actual developers, decides to call it) but currently I'm not expecting it to win me back over.

  244. jonp says:

    The funny thing about power users is the majority of people who claim to be one; really are not. If you were truly a power user you would see that windows 8 is not that much different from windows 7.Unless of course you define the whole windows experience by the addition of a start button/menu which simply serves as a directory to files, folders and functions you already know existed as a power user.

    So your problem is the start button/menu which only served as a directory is being replaced by the start screen which provides you with far more information and functionality than the default static desktop full of static icons and useless directory ever could?  The only time I ever use the start button/menu is to simply search for a file, application or system tool by simply pressing the start key (another tell tail sign of a true power users. Using shortcuts) then simply typing. Other than that it is an archaic remnant of what was once thought to be the traditional form of computing.

    Windows 8 retains the functionality simply by typing once on the start screen for an application, file or setting similar to that of windows 7, regardless if it is or is not pinned to the start screen.

    Power users and the vast majority of users are going to spend most of their time on the desktop running desktop applications. This functionality has not changed other then one of the two choices you had to launch an application previously, be it the start button/menu or desktop shortcuts(which have not changed). Metro applications are not going to replace desktop applications although there will be some which will replicate functionality. Metro is not replacing the desktop or desktop applications or at least not in this release of windows, it simply is there to compliment computing as a whole.

  245. alike says:

    you are immolate all things to Metro.

    3D bring 3D , FLAT bring FLAT !

    if metro was 3D , this problem was solvable.

  246. dgschrei says:


    What you say is quite true for Windows 8. That's because right now there practically are only desktop apps and so power users will work practically exclusively in the old UI. For now.

    That is the problem. Once Metro apps become available and begin to replace desktop apps that's where it will begin to get problematic for us. And MSFT hasn't been shy to admit that it thinks the future for applications on Windows is in WinRT.

    Once your Skype, IM, Mail-Client, etc are only available in Metro you will be constantly forced to switch back and forth between desktop and Metro. That's already a less than optimal situation, but not something that would warrant the "end of the windows world" cries that sound through the internet right now.

    The desaster happens once the professional tools also start to migrate over to Metro. With Microsoft pushing WinRT and the MS Store helping a bit to prevent piracy (which is rampant with the professional tools. Just think Photoshop) there is a lot of incentive for these companies to do so. It wouldn't hurt those applications either. Photoshop as a self contained Program can work just as well under Metro I'm sure of that. But at that point you lose the ability to efficiently Multitask between Photoshop, Skype, Outlook, your 3D Application, your Browser and all the other programs you might have open while you're doing work.

    This won't happen in Windows 8's lifespan of course. But it might with Windows 9 or 10 and that's what we power users are really concerned about.

  247. Stephen Kellett says:

    "What all of these trends have in common is that people had started to use their PCs with different expectations and scenarios in mind."

    Correct. So why are you damaging the desktop top user's experience. We want to work with a start menu. That is our expectation.

    "This helps people who want to predominantly use the desktop feel comfortable and immediately at home in the new environment."

    But I don't feel at home because the really important part of the desktop is missing. Its called the start menu.

    "The Windows 8 user experience is forward-looking, yet respectful of the past"

    I don't feel respected. You've completely ignored and broken how I want to work. Note that. "How *I* want to work". You could give me

    the choice to work with a start menu. But its your way or the high way. To hell with whats best for "Me". *YOU* know best. That is not

    respect. That is dictatorship.

    Fast and Fluid. But its not. No start menu means wasting time with a needless transition and context change to a Metro start screen

    where you have no context for why you wanted to be there. Search from there means you can't see where you were in your desktop

    application. Open cmd from the start screen and you go back to the previously opened command line (wrong) when in actual fact you wanted

    a new command line prompt. This is not fast and fluid. Its slow, ineffective and broken.

    Also if the UI was fast and fluid then I would have a seamless visual appearance at all times. If working in Metro I would never, ever,

    see a desktop application. And If working in the desktop I would never, ever, under and circumstance see a Metro application. The only

    way I would see the desktop or Metro was if I specifically made an action that moves me from desktop to Metro or vice versa (a Goto

    Metro button on the start menu would be a good starting point). That would be a seamless fast and fluid experience for both Metro and

    desktop users.

    Have you noticed I haven't said Metro is rubbish etc? Metro isn't the issue for me. The issue for me is you needlessly imposing on me an

    inefficient way to work. I know what works for me. You don't. But even though you have the ability to allow me to work efficiently (a

    start menu) you have deliberately chosen to prevent me from doing so.

    I've tried Windows 8 (DP and CP) and it sucks for me. No start menu == fail. Being dumped into Metro for no reason at all when I do

    something on the desktop. Its a complete context switch and that breaks flow. It is not productive. You should never change my working

    environment (to or from Metro) without my requesting it explicitly. That is why I want a start menu and why search should never leave

    the desktop if that is where I'm working, etc. The same is true (in reverse) if I'm working in Metro.

    A friend tried Windows 8 the other day and tweeted that he liked it. By the end of the weekend his last tweet was that he loved

    Microsoft (his business is built on ASP.Net) but that he hates what you've done with Windows8 and that he gone out and bought a MacBook

    Air and is now learning XCode and Cocoa because he is so worried about the damage you are doing to the desktop for corporate users. My

    reaction isn't like his reaction, but I'm not that far from abandoning ship if you're not going to make the desktop experience usable.

    I'm not against change. My first computer was a VIC-20 and I've worked on most computing technologies from VAX/Unix/Windows and a wide

    variety of computing languages, technologies and user interfaces. What you've done with windows 8 is clever but badly implemented. The

    two should live side by side but not be forced onto the user as you are doing.

    Lets switch for a moment to Windows Phone 7/7.5. Widely recognised to be a very nice, useful phone user interface and experience. Very

    little market share, mainly due to poor negotiation/integration with carriers so they have little incentive to push the phone in the

    sales channel. It's a good user experience because it's Metro only – no dual personality as with Windows 8 on a PC. But if you read the

    reviews for Windows Phone 7/7.5 there is on criticism that repeats and repeats – the 3D tile animations get wearing after a while. That

    is the same sort of stuff that you get when go to and from the start screen. Its needless, gimicky and a waste of time.

    Give people the option to choose. And track the telemetry. I think you'll be surprised at how wrong you are about the start screen.

    Compete on benefits, not features, not gimicks.

    The benefit is to be able to work in one environment (desktop OR Metro) not both (desktop and Metro) with a start menu because that is

    what I find effective. Your start screen is a just a mass of icons (like my desktop) except less effective to use.

    "The new Windows 8 user experience is no less than a bet on the future of computing"

    You're damn right. And lots of us (myself included) don't want to see you fall on your face like you did with Vista. Hence the upset

    with one single thing. The start menu. Please fix this. One UI for the desktop. A different UI for the tablet.

  248. Robert says:

    Ne vem no vse preveč zahtevni glede konfiguracije so tile windowsi ko bi jim le uspelo maksimalno performirati winse do te mere da bi bili bliskovito odzivni ne samo hitri pa tudi da podpirajo vse staro in novo programje, igre ter drugo in naj naredijo samo dve verziji cenejšo in kot ponavadi dražjo ne pa 5,6 vrst in te po pametni ceni in enostavni aktivaciji ne pa da ti je pol to že tečno.

    poleg novih PC ki jih dobiš že prednaložene pa bi jaz dal ko jih prodajajo pa nikoli ne dobiš originlnega disca zraven bi lahko dali to kot obvezno da je zraven drugače nima windows kaj delati gor in ga kot takega licenčno prodajati, namreč izkušnje so moje take de več kot polovica ne ve kako do original winsow če se kaj zgodi čeprav so kupili nov PC z Windowsi, žal tako pač je. Seveda pa bi se morali opirati tudi na starejše konfiguracije PC da da bi kar se da windows optimirali da bi bil hiter kar pa jim je v določeni meri pri  win 7 že uspelo le tako naprej pa bo

    Moj predlog pa je da ko se izvaja inštalacija zahteva recimo da vpišeš kar največ podatkov o svoji konfiguraciji PC ročno in da ti že na začetku izbere in sam windows takoj prilagodi in optimira sistem glede na zmogljivost PC-ja idej ki so lahko zelo koristne za marsikoga je sigurno dovolj samo priti morajo do njih smiley

    LP vsem

  249. Peter Kjeldsen says:

    Lets be clear, the more you push us towards your own applications, be it office,browsers etc the more you push us away.

    Don't lock our files into "stupid" package formats, don't treat 3rd party apps like dirt, stay open, stay free.. stay the hell away from the Apple way of thinking. If not, i see no reason why i should keep on pouring money into the PC/Microsoft world, i might as well just join the other religion.

  250. MechanisM says:

    I love new look it's so minimalistic white.

    Reminds me this concept…/windows-desktop-ui-concept

    You're right to remove glass(ppl who wants this crap can install it as separate tweak-programs)

  251. Mac says:

    seems like Graphics card is not able to show Aero or perhaps Windows is in safe mode!

    the incremental advances of windows OS GUI are ruined one by one. And now we renounce all those advances specially those who made Windows 7 so successful.

  252. Osmario says:

    Please include glass visual style too! lol

  253. I know you guys are working hard to make a product, but you are diverging way too far from what windows has been refined to be over 30 years. Windows 8 is like an evolutionary mutant that hopefully will produce no offspring of its own.

  254. tomato says:

    We need flat monohrome icons for desktop !!!

    We do not want mouse, drop it !!!

    In the end please revert command line at full screen, graphics eats too much energy !!!

  255. 6205 says:

    Simple classic start menu is needed, like in old Win95, but in Metro style.

  256. Simon Bruce says:

    @dgschrei, people like you first complain MS is not communicating and listening to the customer. when they communicate and listen to you, you complaint why they did that? If you are reading b8 comments from the beginning, you will find your brethren were yelling at windows team to make the aero looks metro … or merge them or mitigate the differnce between metro and desktop.. now that they have done it you are bytch'ng about it! no one word of appreciation??

    wtff you guys really want… bytchh everything MS produce and promote what Linux Apple?? trolls like you will never get satisfied anyway.. go and get a mac or linux or that fukk'n green bot where u actually belong and see how it works out for you

  257. Ffffuuuuu! Why …

    Just became a pretty OS with Aero, so it is here and killed … It would be better left in the aero glass Win8 in conjunction with right angles, and changing the color of your taskbar, depending on the color of the desktop background.

  258. Windows user says:

    You need to get rid of window border to complete Metro UI style.

  259. steveg says:

    Good to hear from Mr Jensen, he's been absent since the excellent Office 2007 blog posts.

    What makes me worry is that Office 2007's worst feature, the replacement of the File menu with that marketing logo, seems to be comparable to the replacement of Windows Start menu.

    An application's File menu is the starting point for the user experience, in the same way that (in Win 7 etc) the Start menu is the starting point for a user experience.

    How successful was Office 2007 at removing the File menu? Not very. Office 2010 reverted to having a File menu.

    If the Metro interface was ubiquitous (eg Control Panel was completely replaced) I'd understand it, or at least admire MS's commitment to Metro. But as it stands in the Win 8 CP, Metro is a bolt-on implementation of an interesting idea that displays, just like Office 2007 did, a massive disconnect between theory and practice.

  260. @Jensen Harris says:

    It looks from the Yammer example in the post above that Microsoft's own executives do not know that one can right click on an image on any website, copy the image URL and paste the URL directly into the Attach image dialog (yes the dialog for selecting local HDD images – it also accepts URLs to files. You don't have to save the image. Now, copy-paste is not such a complex "file management" task, is it? It's also just in three steps. So you need to give a better example.

  261. steveg says:

    Sorry to double post.

    I wasn't going to mention why I despised Office 2007's removal of the File menu as much as I do: I saw a very computer-literate 8 year old cry because she couldn't find Print.

    Windows 8 team: here's your challenge. How many 8 year girls are you going to bring to tears?

    10? 100? 1000?

    Sleep well.

  262. If user forgot the document name of his recent work. With Win 7, he can access recent document from start menu. Make a good guess and he can continue with his work.

    How does Win8 start screen and charm provide this 'feature'?

  263. Techokami says:

    Wh-where did all the color and definition go? I really liked the desktop UI in Windows 8 Consumer Preview. I really did. Please tell me we can go back to using it 🙁

  264. @Jensen Harris

    I may have failed to explain something significant about the design of Windows 8. In my usage of the product, I have found that switching back and forth between Metro and the desktop is cumbersome and gets in the way of trying to use Windows 8. This issue of switching back and forth is a big reason why I don't like Metro.

  265. TDUupdaterHD says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    Will there still be options to change the colour of the Interface, For Example, Red and Black. Or will it stay at white?

    Also I suggestion for you, Can you add a feature where you can change the colour of the Windows Explorer Ribbon UI to Blue, Black and Silver, Like in Office 2010, I think that will add a bit more customization.

  266. dgschrei says:

    @Simon Bruce

    Actually the only reason I'm posting in these comments is for the exact fact that I do not want to have to go to Linux one day. And I'd rather never use an electronic device again in my life than use something that has that infernal fruit on it's case.

    FYI I'm currently studying to become a programmer. And I want the Windows ecosystem to flourish because it's the system I want to develop for. MSFT has been nothing but good to me ever since I started using their programs. So I harbor no ill will against the company. But the changes made to Windows do impact my UX with it and lessen it's usefulness to me as an OS.

    And your comment about me complaining about the Metro in the desktop: I wasn't one of the guys that complained about the different looks in Metro and Desktop. I actually thought that this was a good thing since it clearly and visually separated the two different worlds.

    And sorry:  With the swiss style in a normal desktop window the whole thing becomes a bloody mess. This style onle works as long as there is a finite amount of options on screen.

    Once you get to high density controls like the ribbon in explorer the fact that there are no clearly defined borders makes the whole thing cumbersome and difficult to grasp.

    And I know what I'm saying because my studies in addition to programming also very heavily focus on UI design, so I can see when something will not be intuitive to the user.

  267. MOUSSA says:

    hello microsoft just change the icons aspect for better visual and make an evolution because these icons are here since long time.then for the desktop color a less bright white will be better .Thanks and hope new Success

  268. moussa says:


  269. Linda says:

    I find it hard to get back to my prior page if I want to print something.  Using control alt delete to return to your prior page is tedious.  I love the new design but I think you need better instructions for newbies like myself.

  270. M. says:

    It looks ugly. Far too much bright white: eye-strain city. I think it’s a big step backward. It doesn’t look uncluttered: it looks spartan; minimalist; 90s.

    Switching back and forth between the two UIs is extremely painful. How can you possibly resolve that? Are Metro apps available on the desktop?

    One thing that people seem to have glossed over: the roaming. Does this mean to propose to store our private data “in the cloud”? How can we trust that? Where’s the encryption? You mustn’t be able to access our stuff. We can’t possibly trust you with actually having our data, there’s no terms of service which will let you handle my passwords without encryption you cannot break—that means either choosing a VERY strong login password (10 word Diceware?) or having crypto tokens.

    Done right, with a way to manage it from home, it could be good, but I can’t help but feel you’re moving away from the ‘home’ paradigm to a ‘cloud’ paradigm that seeps us of control over our own PCs. It’s also absolutely and totally incompatible with the enterprise. There had better be a VERY solid enterprise management of this feature, and you had better have to explicitly turn it on for individual parts, settings, and MAYBE individual files but there’s no way your profile should roam over the cloud unless the whole thing is totally encrypted…

  271. The best Windows 8 article so far, and finally a glimpse at a "metroized" version of the desktop. Keep up the good work, and let's give the user a full Metro experience (hint : icons) and more personnalization features ! I can't wait for Release Preview then for the Gold version. By the way it is the first time we hear that some new features not included in the RP will appear in the final build. Being an early adopter of WinPhone 7, I also can't wait to see WP8 🙂

  272. Syed says:

    Now this is what i'm talking about, the UI now seems more "metrofied", but like some people said you should metrofy the taskbar and the icons. Then it would be perfect! Good job microsoft! 😀

  273. glowingsword says:

    Windows 8 is very beatiful, with simple and clean UI. This is the first Windows version, which GUI I like in the default state. UI of Win 9.x has very ugly, but Windows XP look as a toy. Windows 7 looks some brtter, but only some…  

  274. Metro Icons & New Sounds says:

    I think that the icons should be metrofied something like this will do…/icons.png

    I think it will fit the Metro User Interface nicely.

    I also think that the Windows 8 sounds should be different and should be changed as well

  275. Darren says:

    @Jensen: Please explain to me why live tiles are not integrated into the desktop as widgets. What is the use of live tiles for desktop users if the information is not popping into my eyes but I have to switch to the start screen every now and then to check if there is new email, new photos or anything changed. There is the need for constantly switching to the start screen to check if anything has changed. For productivity this is terrible.

    And in regards to the terribe Metro start screen experience. It seems that these kids beat you with that:…/Vids.html

    That Metro for Android offers a context menu for group headers and context menus for tiles, offering a far better user experience than what the multi-billion company Microsoft has come up with.

    What I like from your post is that it shows that this terrible Windows 8 mishmash is directly related to the erroneous assumptions that have been made when you started building it. So there is hope that once you see sales figures are getting down to nowhere you will make far better assumptions about computer usage for Windows 9.

  276. Raik says:

    lasso2007 said: "Why … Just became a pretty OS with Aero, so it is here and killed … It would be better left in the aero glass Win8 in conjunction with right angles, and changing the color of your taskbar, depending on the color of the desktop background". Yes. I fully agree with him. Why was it necessary to kill the glass? Stupidity of some sort!

  277. gigaherz says:

    Okay, this is it. Whenever win7 becomes obsolete I'm switching to a different OS. There's just so much backwards walking I can take.

  278. Phil says:



    I understand that the future of computers is probably going to be some sort of tablet device for the 99% of people who only use a computer to surf the web and check e-mails. What about the rest of the computer population? The ones who use PC for professional purposes like graphic designers, audio specialists or journalists. What are they to use in this post-desktop society Microsoft are planning for? I have tried both versions of Windows 8 DP and CP and both are horrid to use on the desktop. Metro is a bad idea for the PC, I can see it will work well on a tablets and phones but I don’t understand why the people at Microsoft can see the obvious information of how to do this properly. Apple has the iOS for iPad and iPhone and they have OSX for Desktop, wouldn’t it make more sense to follow suit and have Metro for WP and Tablets and an update windows 7 to include some new features like ISO disk mounting etc.

    Another lesson to learn is release 1 version of windows not 2, not 8, not 16 just one. Microsoft could call it Windows 8. Apple only releases 1 version of OSX and they do it for a very good price of £30 why doesn’t Microsoft follow suit and do this. It is funny how Microsoft looks at the competition in the computer market but fail to see why the other companies succeed where they fail.

    Here is a quick guide for all at Microsoft

    Release METRO for Tablets and Windows Phones (One unified version)

    Release Windows 8 (One version without Metro)

    Remove the registry from windows to speed up the computer (OSX doesn’t have a registry)

    Rather that activation use things like Ilok licencing to secure software as a faster alternative to the registry

    Finally FIRE Steve Ballmer and Steven Sinofsky as neither of them have a clue what they are doing!!! OMG a blind man would do a better job as a taxi driver than these to imbeciles are doing running Microsoft.

  279. Greg says:

    Ouch!  First Visual Studio goes off the deep end with the white minimalist how ugly can we make it look and now Aero, the best part of Windows over the past 5-6 years is tossed in the dumpster and replaced with something that will hurt my eyes.

    And before I hear about contrast and brightness controls, there is something about the non-content area of a window being white or another similar bright color that makes me feel uncomfortable looking at it and feels hard on my eyes.  That's what people mean when they look at this and go "ouch my eyes".

  280. nicholas says:

    the new design remains me on windows whistler……/search

  281. james says:

    When will you MSFT marketing folks finally learn that long and boring novels doesn't gather more attention than a short blog post that come straight to the point? Your blog Steve S. is ridiculous. Stop writing, start communicating.

  282. Raik says:

    The best idea Designers Microsoft:

  283. Bob says:

    probably skipping 8…. cant stand metro and this laughable new window screenshot sealed the deal.  Metro is boring, not appealing and looks like youve gone back in time to 1990.  8 will be a win98 or me IMO.   Ill stick with Aero thx.

  284. ReMark says:


    I love if the Ribbon titles are in theme too… not a gray bar, but the label background could be in the theme color… the effect is good with the Aero transparency too…

  285. A good UI shouldn't need several pages of text to justify it.

    Think about it.

  286. Aero is great says:

    I agree with the commenters that say this looks more like Windows 3.0. I love Aero. It's what sets windows apart from OSX and Linux. This new interface is harsh. Boring. And uninspiring. Seriously, you got SO MANY things right with Windows 7. Why abandon all of that???

  287. Alex says:

    I think the new style looks too color-less. Metro-Style on Windows Phone looks great because it's mostly color but this UI is mostly white. I think it needs a bit more work done to it before it's finished.

  288. Love where this is headed. Don't bother with the detractors…wherever there is innovation there will inevitably be a bunch of peole that can't wrap their heads around the new paradigm. Give them time, they will see why Win8 is a better OS than 7.

  289. You start menu people are hilarious. How can you talk to me about productivity, speed and efficiency on one hand and then promote use of the start menu as an application launcher on the other. The two best UI features of introduced in Windows 7 are taskbar pinning and aero snap. Hands down. If you are scrolling through a list of programs in your start menu you are a dinosaur and have no clue about efficiency. Furthermore, to opt for the start menu over the power of keyboard commands (fully preserved and even expanded in Win8) is madness. "Winkey+first couple letters of program name+Enter key" is BY FAR the fastest way to launch or find anything in windows now. And it works even better in 8. All of you that are clamoring for Start menus are clueless. Open your mind and be responsive to innovation. Instead of fearing change and complaining about it why not try to see how a new usage paradigm can make things better with a little adaptation?

  290. Mr. Butts says:

    Sure, simplify the desktop but overcomplicate explorer. Maybe you need to resimplify explorer to be like Thunar on XFCE, stop storing per directory viewing in your massive registry (considering it still forgets how you want to view things) and use seperate config files as glorious Linux does. Sure, the tiles are a good idea, however stop treating all computer users as retards, where we need to be TOLD each and everytime that this is the 'Start' page, with ~1/3 of that page being used up by completely useless whitespace. Display 'Start' once, when people start up an installation for the first time, make the username display a tile in itself, allow for tiles which persist upon page swipes. Seriously Microsoft, it is the 21st Century! You need to act like it!

  291. BoB says:

    also…. I have yet to hear a reason as to WHY I should update to 8.  It doesnt seem to do anything new, anything I cant do now or add any benefit or address some issue I have.  All it appears to do is add a UI I dont like.  This seems an OS with no real purpose.

  292. Paul M. says:

    @Phil: it seems you're the one that does not have a clue what you are doing.

    – MS cannot remove the registry because that would break compatibility with tens of thousands of programs

    – New Metro-apps don't use the registry (do your homework!)

    – Instead of complaining at every new innovation, try using it for a couple of weeks, then react (it makes you look less like a fool)

  293. Remus says:

    Cool since i never use the aero interface… i always use the 'windows classic theme'….

    But please add a black interface… BLACK INTERFACE / BLACK UI / BLACK THEME !!!













  294. Neil says:

    Really glad to see Aero gone – I also have no problem with heavy multi-tasking in desktop. I really like the way you're going with this and am looking forward to RP. I'm also running the CP on a Samsung Slate 7 and am absolutely loving it – it simply blows iPad away even on this 'old style' hardware – the future's bright!

    I do have one major concern though – it's almost a shop-stopper on the slate which I use for note-taking:

    You say " ….. and has the best pen support of any OS …. ". This is simply not true. You have totally messed up pen usability compared to the equivalent setup on Windows 7. In particular, the pen entry dialog no longer expands and this ruins the entire experience. Please address this issue as pens are coming back in vogue an I really don't want to have to go back to my old Fujitsu Stylistic 🙁

    Regards and  thanks for the post.

  295. Dana G. says:

    ""Winkey+first couple letters of program name+Enter key" is BY FAR the fastest way to launch or find anything in windows now. And it works even better in 8."

    Bull.  Try this in Windows 7:  win, m,o,u, enter.  "Mouse" control panel.

    Now try it in Windows 8: win, m,o,u.  enter.  enter.  enter.  enter.  enter.  enter.  enter.  enter.  Nope, doesn't do jack.  No results.

    You have to hit arrow keys and tab several times to get the result.

    The start screen would be tolerable if the search workflow was the same in Windows 7.

    Another thing to try: start, m-o-u, context-menu key (the one that's the equivalent of right-click).  

    In Windows 7, you get the context menu for the selected item; in Windows 8, you get the context menu for the TEXT BOX.  Fail.

  296. Bhairav Pardiwala says:

    Eww so every desktop window will basically have out of focus colors?

    hmm you are really trying to kill the desktop here !!!

    and i thought it was a rumour

  297. Dana G. says:

    Oh, and speaking of pens: try out Windows 8 on a PEN-ONLY Tablet PC (or just disable the touch portion in Device Manager).

    It's a massive fail, because a pen is a mouse, not a finger.

  298. zhuoyang says:

    Hope we can have an option to choose weather to use aero or not !

  299. Chris says:

    What's the target audience of Windows 8? People who don't want to get things done? This is extreme failure.

  300. dgschrei says:


    The problem isn't that the all white windows bothers me that much in particular. I mean it would be laughable if I wasn't able to get Aero back if i really wanted to.

    It concerns me from a marketing standpoint. Like I said in my first post. How are they going to market this as an improvement to the masses.  

    They went from: "Oh look our windows are now transparent and so pretty."  to "Oh look our windows are now completely white. We are so awesomely minimalistic." .

    Most people I know do not favor overly minimalistic UIs over flashy graphics. They go for pretty colors. Which was one of the reasons why XP was so massively popular. The colorful look of XP got scolded by many professionals who said it looked like it was made for kids.

    But the masses flocked to it and ate it up. And now they go back to a look that is even less colorful than Windows 95. There windows at least hat different shades of gray.  Absolutely everybody I linked to this screenshot today (and most of them aren't professionals) just said that this looks like Windows revertet back in time to the early nineties and that they do not like that at all.

    If I want to develop applications for the Windows ecosystem I however need people to stand firmly behind Windows and buy the new versions. Otherwise Apple's marketshare will continue to grow at an increasing rate which I most certainly don't want to happen.

  301. Marc Winter says:

    This gotta be some sort of comedy? Please tell me that it is! They are basically winding back the desktop design by 20 years into some sort of Windows 2.0 mode with white, non-gradient backgrounds, black lines, square edges, "neutral" colors and they seriously use words like "premium", "airy" and "crisp" to describe / justify such, uh, "simplification". What i see here is just serious, serious cluelessness about reasonable design, they now just apply their "retro" sledgehammer to everything, no matter how appropriate it is or not.

    Coming in Windows 9: premium shell with crisp green text, premium black background and airy spacing under the command prompt!

  302. So wait, you're getting rid of the transparency in the title bar and WindowFrames?! Well ***, Time to start dev of Cloud8 huh?

  303. dgschrei says:

    Also to clarify: My problem is not with Metro as a whole.

    I own an Omnia 7 after all and I adore the WP7 Metro on that device. Every time I get to use one of my friends' Android or iOS phones it boggles my mind how they can bear such a cluttered and unorganized mess of an UI.

    The problem I have with Metro in Windows 8 is that in it's current implementation it is less intuitive and efficient to use than previously existing solutions. I believe that to be useful on a PC it still needs more work and a few fresh ideas on how this system can be used more efficiently.  

    The utter lack of any multi -monitor support in the CP for Metro shows pretty much that the Metro idea wasn't thought through all the way. The improvements to multi – monitor that got leaked still only show Metro on one screen. Why not put Metro on both screens and have 4 Apps open simultaneously. My guess is that this idea never even popped up, while they happily used it on all those great touchscreen Laptops they get to work with at MSFT.

    Which brings me to the point that MSFT is very carefully avoiding to talk about. If Windows 8 works best with a touchscreen, do they really expect everybody to rush out and buy a (propably quite expensive) touchscreen monitor?

    Will the millions of desktop users suddenly and happily replace their existing monitors with touchscreens? Hell no. These screens are expensive and you still are hard pressed to even find 24" + touchscreens. Especially at not ridiculous prices.

    Will the even more millions of Laptop users throw away their machines in order to buy all new touch enabled laptops to run Win8 on? I don't think so. They might if their Laptops are old an they're looking to replace them anyway. But otherwise they'll just stick with Win7.

    Will the Laptop manufacturers suddenly only ship touch enabled Laptops once Win8 hits the streets? Most certainly they won't.  Putting a touchscreen in a Laptop adds to the bill of manufacturing which flies in the face of the current trend of cheaper and cheaper Laptops to buy. (One of the main reasons why they are so much popular these days)

    What Microsoft isn't willing to discuss is that they are pushing a heavily touch focused UI on their users while 99% of their target audience don't even own touch enabled hardware to run it on.  (and it is heavily touch focused. no matter how much they beat the "no compromise" drum. A mouse centric UI minimizes the amount you have to move the cursor. The large tiles in Metro – while perfect for touch – are the clear opposite of that. )

  304. Wasi says:

    Please remove all tiles experience, continue with traditional desktop and make as much changes as you want but please stick overall with Windows7 interface… I tested Windows8 consumer preview and its horrible… really… might excite you while first look but you'll get fed-up very soon…

  305. @dgschrei

    "The utter lack of any multi -monitor support in the CP for Metro shows pretty much that the Metro idea wasn't thought through all the way."

    No, it shows that the CP is a beta. C'mon guys…

  306. multitasker says:


    Windows 8 is better than 7.  Thanks to the CTP, J have been able to convert 18 companies to CentOS, and 2 to Mac.  Not servers.  Desktops.  Windows 8 has done more to get alternate operating systems under people's desks than anything that has come before.  And it isn't even out yet!

    I don't think you understand the depth of loathing for Metro/WinRT from non-rabid fanboys.  You know, people for whom computers are just a tool, not a "tribe" that has come to be some critical part of their identity.

    The real world dislike of this product is tangible.  Not by nerds, or "get-off-my-lawn" crusty old farts.  By businesspeople and professionals who simply don't see an enhancement in their workflow.  Worse, they see a significant productivity reduction!

    Understand me: in general, we don't care one way or another about the visual styling.  Metro?  Aero?  Mac?  Android?  …who cares?!?

    What matters is WHAT IT CAN DO and HOW IT GOES ABOUT DOING IT.  WinRT offers LESS functionality than Win32.  It is clunkier, slower to work with, a drain on time and a strain on sanity.  It is a CONSUMER interface.  It is for COMSUMING content.  It is not an interface for getting work done.

  307. multitasker says:


    …and yet, Microsoft have said WinRT is the future.  You MUST develop for it, or you app won't enjoy the full-citizen treatment.  

    So the writing is on the wall.  Microsoft have publicly denounced their ties to the professional/creative/productive/enthusiast communities.  They have told us what we are worth in their eyes.

    At least Apple backed down on Final Cut Pro X.  Somewhere, someone in Apple has started listening to pros again.  Apple are starting to become a responsive, responsible company.  And Microsoft have absorbed the irrationally defensive fanboys.

    So my next PC will be a Mac.  My tablets are Android.  Why?  Because both let me do more than two things at a time.  (Thanks, Wind River!)

    Understand I am not ANYONE’S fanboy here.  I have trained on Microsoft for two decades.  I have been building MS networks since I was 8 years old.  I don’t want to throw that all away.  

    But Microsoft are not only not being responsive to my needs, they are actively calling me stupid for “not getting it,” and telling me my needs are irrelevant.  Just change how I do everything!  Simples!

    Hate me for blaspheming your religion if you must, but if I am going to reinvest in relearning everything, I will invest in never being locked in to any vendor ever again.  

    That makes BUSINES sense.  And business is what matters.

    Mac/Linux desktops with Windows servers is the future.  What a strange world…

  308. NOT GOOD says:

    DESKTOP UI for desktops — TABLE UI for tablets ….  the idea that one fits all is like communism.

    I love win7, but win8 makes me seriously think about moving to MAC

    MS once you make it right, you ruin it the next secound

  309. martindta says:

    Everyone going on about loving Windows 7, but Windows 8 makes them want to go to the Mac or to Linux.  Why not stick with Windows 7 until it's support runs out in 10 years time.  Who knows if you all think you are right about Metro being a flop, Windows 9 or 10 may have what you need.

    Honestly all this personal vitriol and intense hatred is going to do nothing to convince Microsoft to abandon their plans.  It just makes you look petty and inflexible.

  310. sreesiv says:

    Phew!!! Just finished reading the novel. It was good though and I like the way it is presented.

    Jensen, you should really write a book about this and the Metro design language; but not a blog, blogs are supposed to be compact 🙂

    The new desktop looks cool, as you rightly pointed, it looks less cheesy.

    Eagerly waiting for the release bits!!! Feel that XP moment, when I was all nervous and anxious to buy my first copy.

  311. Serious? says:

    Are you serious or is that just a joke? Aero was the best. You need to develop it, not destroy all the good things came from Vista/windows 7!!! Metro UI the only UI that I don't like. Maybe on phones but not on 10-24" screens. And you should have added more transparency, the smooth transition was nice in office 2010. Metro is so boring, I can't enjoy the work on my laptop. Why Ms why your obsession is METRO?

  312. Int says:

    Выглядит плохо. Когда было стекло мой глаз отдыхал. Сейчас мне плохо от такого количества белого.

  313. AlanZ says:

    It looks bad. When the glass was resting my eyes. Now I'm sick of so many whites.

  314. erichon99 says:

    it'd be great to snap 3 apps in WinRT instead of just 2

  315. Peter Pain says:

    Hi, I hope you have something to allow me to easily choose where to put things.

    i.e. I have an SSD (Which will fail and delete everything at some point). SO… I need to put my libraries / data files etc on the secondard Spinning disc drive. When I want to install a new program I have the option – Is this a program you need to start quickly? And if I say – YES – it puts just this and none of it's data files on the SSD. Reason to ask is because some people only have small SSD's, or this feature would allow for small SSD's.

    I guess you would need program devs to tell you if they used any of their own install directories for data files to make sure you don't lose anything, but this should be handled by the users home directory.

    Maybe windows has flag… reliability of device. SSD (fast but will fail), spinning disc – will fail but recoverable (and build in some recovery tools), Raid 1 – safe (but build in some nice tools to detect and recover for the average idiot).


    Peter Pain

  316. That was one long but excellent post.

  317. Ivanka says:

    Microsoft pleaseee bring the start button back!…..i d like to see it works this way when i clicked on start it goes to meto main….if i hover the mouse pointer it display all programs that working in the background…….thanks! 🙂

  318. Awesome post, this post gives explains clearly why you designed Windows 8 this way and your vision for future computing.

    I just have to thank you so far. I am a big fan of Windows 8 new design, since you showed it in June 2011.

    It's trueley amazing how Windows and computing changed in the last 15 years and i can't wait to get a Windows 8 devcie in my hands.

    Windows 8 will defentley change my way how i use the PC. For daily task the mouse is useless and i can say or sure that will use Touch more frequently and in addition to that i will attach a keyboard (maybe a mouse too).

    Best regards a Windows User since Windows 95 and i am looking forward to an amzing decade in computing.

    Thank you for all your effort making Windows modern!!! 🙂

    P.S.: Hope that you plan also to make new Windows sounds, which represents the simplicity of Metro!

    For me with the current Windows Sounds there is no WOW feeling.  

  319. PeterP says:

    Day and night option for screen. Automagically detects according to timezone / clock / if really clever looks up sunset/sunrise from weather widget.

    Assignable screen sized – tile over, allow people to move something around so you can line screens up no matter how the physical screen is located.

    URM….. the one where you just toss programs to the top (with your digit), apps to the right etc…

    Then have stacking but more like a circle. This will be drill downable and expand the deeper you go. like perhaps you just want to know… docs, pics, movies, programs in each part of the screen, so you touch and it opens a different level. There should be a max of say 8 items on the screen. and if you click again it opens more or less or opens another level or something.

    it should put the most used ones at the top

    it should intelligently put stuff into the right part of the screen.

    copying should be drag to another section of the screen and it then pops up a box or something… share, pay, burn, email, bluetooth, widi… etc…

    ie should also have the same concept but for bookmarks, intelligence about how you surf and how it stores your bookmarks, have a smart review system which is friendly or advanced and boring, this will ask you how its been doing with the auto bookmark feature.

  320. Swarm says:

    Metro reminds me of Moblin/MeeGo.

  321. Jote says:…/windows-desktop-ui-concept

    Will you please STOP posting this nonsense? It is inconsistent with what what we have now, it's not even consistent with itself. The Verge posted a much better concept, and I'm really amazed how little attention it gets compared to this crap.

  322. martindta says:


    The problem with all these 'wonderful' and 'beautiful' concepts is that it is not possible to implement them without destroying backwards compatibility for all Desktop Applications.

  323. multitasker says:


    Why wouldn't we leave the Microsoft ecosystem if Microsoft has so clearly told us we are unwelcome?  Why would we stay with Windows 7 until it's support runs out, continuing to invest our time and money into developing applications, middleware, scripts, training and all the other things that get built on top of an operating system if Microsoft has so clearly told us we are unwelcome?

    This is what it boils down to, and what you don't seem to be able to understand:


    This isn't about personal vitriol.  It isn't about "attacks."  It is about COLD HARD CASH.  It is about BUSINESS.  It is about TRUST IN YORU VENDOR.

    Microsoft's decisions with Windows 8 have quite simply ruined any faith we have in them.  Their corporate stance regarding engagement with the community, their responses to criticism and complaints have left us with a chill.  We aren't prepared to continue to invest in an ecosystem based on a company that is deaf to our concerns on the HOPE that the next version will take us into account.

    What you are prescribing is FAITH.

    What I am prescribing is PRAGMATISM.

    I don't pray to a god, why would I pray to a corporation?

  324. SwatOnFire says:

    Jensen and Steven would be known as two people who killed windows on desktop and laptops. Their stupidity is beyond reason. Touch on desktop, even a person with half brain would know that the distance between monitor and your arm makes it practically unusable.

    If Steve Ballmer is worst CEO, it is not because he missed business opportunity, it is because he let morons like Jensen run the show just like he let the KIN phone released.

  325. Walter says:

    @Jensen Harris

    The windows 8 experience lacks the organization of notifications!

    I don't get the limit on the lock screen apps and their ability to show numbers only or an icon. Looking at a glance requires those lock screen apps to have click-able icons that display more info and can take the consumer directly to the app.

    Also the notification system in win8 requires users to hunt for new notifications across the tiles, so if the tile is at the end of the start screen then the user has to go all the way to the end to see if any notifications are there.

    other platforms aggregate notifications in one place, so the user won't go hunt for them.

    If you could please issue a post discussing the decisions made regarding notifications and the users feedback regarding the issue.


  326. multitasker says:

    *YORU obviously = YOUR.  And now…coffee!

  327. Windows 8 is going to be the biggest flop ever recorded in IT Industry. It is going to be all records of being the biggest failure product in Industry. Windows 8 is done wrong in every possible way.

  328. Walter says:

    @Jensen Harris

    The windows 8 experience lacks the organization of notifications!

    I don't get the limit on the lock screen apps and their ability to show numbers only or an icon. Looking at a glance requires those lock screen apps to have click-able icons that display more info and can take the consumer directly to the app.

    Also the notification system in win8 requires users to hunt for new notifications across the tiles, so if the tile is at the end of the start screen then the user has to go all the way to the end to see if any notifications are there.

    other platforms aggregate notifications in one place, so the user won't go hunt for them.

    If you could please issue a post discussing the decisions made regarding notifications and the users feedback regarding the issue.


  329. multitasker says:

    You know, the heck of it is, this is more about PR than it is about the tech itself.  Enthusiasts, professionals, businesses, etc would be willing to simply bypass Windows 8 is Microsoft were to suck it up and say "guys, listen…this is a consumer OS.  We promise we will deal with your concerns in Windows 9."  Then they lay out what is going to be in Windows 9 to deal with these concerns.

    It's about TRUST.  If they made clear 7 was going to be something we could continue to get licenses for (INCLUDING OEM STICKERS) until 9 came out, and that 9 would deal with all of the complaints we have about 8…I think the community would be singing a different tune.

    We are (most of us) actually okay with the idea of Windows 8 being aimed only at consumers, tablets, etc.  We don’t NEED to upgrade every version.  We’re fine with Windows 7 for now.  It’s not like Microsoft would lose money; we’d still be buying those Win 7 licenses.

    But this is about corporate hubris.  It is about Microsoft not being able to admit that they misjudged.  It is about Microsoft telling BILLIONS of people that it knows better.  It is about Microsoft being completely unwilling to talk with those of us who have legitimate, valid concerns about Windows 8.  

    And “talking” doesn’t consist of feeding us the same, worn, utterly facetious lines about how Windows 8 “improves our experience.”  We’re complaining because it DOESN’T.  So TALKING in this sense involves acknowledging our complaints and working with the community to remedy them.

    It is obviously too late for Windows 8 to be substantially changed.  WE GET THAT.  But we are exiting (or preparing to exit) the Microsoft ecosystem not because of one product failure.

    We are leaving because Microsoft has so abysmally failed at public relations and community engagement regarding that failure that we simply cannot trust them.  

  330. Много совершенно не нужных панелей says:

    Когда люди не могут (боятся) придумать что-то новое, они возвращаются к прошлому.

  331. Bel says:

    I rather liked Aero. Its been part of my desktop experience for years, since I moved to Vista, and then to Win7. I'm not entirely sure I like the way the top of the menu in the win8 picture provided. Flat gradients just don't do it for me. Couldn't we get a option to at least get the transitional merged gradients, or something for the Desktop?

    I hope you fixed the 'guess where the mouse pointer' is with the fuzziness. I don't want to guess where my mouse is, I want to have the precision that I have come to depend on. Realistically it will be some time before I upgrade to a touchscreen since I primarily use a desktop, and getting the two monitors I'm using now replaced with equal sized 24"+ touch interfaces will be a significant investment. Loosing precision on the mouse in the name of touch would be irritating. You say you have improved it on internal builds and I really hope you have.

    Can you post something about multi-monitor support? The full screen Metro menu popping up is a bit disconcerting to me. I've used multiple monitors for years, and while I do my primary tasks such as using the internet, word processing, or consuming media on my primary, my secondary monitor always runs a couple of common program's. Neither screen do I want to see vanish when I click for the menu.  

  332. luminaobscura says:

    great for touch. but trying to emulate touch gestures with a mouse is just dumb.

    i have two 24" screens in front of me, why would i want a metro interface? it kills productivity. multi tasking is a pain.

    win8 will be the next vista for desktops. companies will not adopt it, home users will not adopt it.

    just put the option for classic ui (with start button and no metro), let people to choose.

    you have been warned thousand times.

    i will go on with win7 for next years, and if ms does not fix this by win9, probably look for something else.

  333. it's funny to watch and be aware of Windows 8 big fail

    loosed trust in Microsoft next products

    I'm just saying,

    all comments do the same!

    Microsoft is headed by dumb idiots not reading comments from months now on, instead improving, they are just removing

    So will do all market users, removing 8 completely from their future PC and SO purchasing….

    And When OEM will be aware that noone(or just a few blinds ….)will buy new hardware what happen?

    Remember it is possibile to purchase computers without OS on it….

    Microsoft will make a lot of money selling more windows 7 copies

    Apple and Google will laugh loudly at Windows 8 fail, tablets are it's markets, and i will choose them 10000 times more than 8 rubbish lego swiss kill your eyes unproductive OS

    Linux will reach it's top with developers porting lot of windows program to it!

    And do not ask for start menu, orb and transparency….(best beautiful and productive at all UI feature and effects)

    Microsoft is headed to fail and will no listen to their customers, they are not reading our suggestions, and last novel long blog is a cristal demonstration to this!!!

  334. Hélcio Vitor says:

    Good, beautiful, sharp… now, Windows just needs an actual native video editor.

  335. Zeph3r says:

    Sigh. . . I suppose that I will be waiting for windows 9 to fix all the bugs and features.

    Windows ME was fixed /w Windows 2000 and became Windows XP

    Windows Vista was fixed and became Windows 7

    Everytime Microsoft adds new 'features', don't buy that version but wait for the bugfix release in another 3-4 years.  Microsoft uses the unsuspecting buyers as their beta testers.

  336. Doctor Sullivan says:

    @Jensen Harris (Microsoft)

    Sir please take a look at the beautiful concept by these guys:…/windows-desktop-ui-concept

    Microsoft will gail lot of respect if they listen to this undeniablly GREAT UX design for desktop items!

  337. Narg says:

    "mobile form factors such as laptops, tablets, and convertibles, where people spend the vast majority of their time today."   Epic fail.  Wrong wrong wrong wrong WRONG!!!!


  338. Aleksey says:

    Все сразу вспомнить……..круто

  339. In general I like the new design. This might come from the fact that I've been using Windows Phone for a long time… Regarding the desktop I have to say that on one hand it is good that you flattened things out, etc. But on the other hand what makes me(or my eyes) crazy is the color contrast. It's really difficult to distinguish things in many of the windows that have a white background with grey text… (the worst experience is the new Server Manager in Server 2012…). Christian

  340. S+e7en says:

    No Aero,No Start Button,No tweaking Capabilities..

    Uhhh..get lost, you loosers..

  341. Terresa says:

    @Zeph3r and Bimble Britches..

    You both are whining trolls with no constructive input. Why are you even here? Bimble britch, *** you bash MS in every comment on MSDN, why in the hell you care what they r doing? if you are satisfied with the Lion or whatever name that faggotyy OS got!

  342. Raveen Bhasin says:

    Please, someone explain to me why ClearType is not enabled in the Metro environment. The big font sizes coupled with the lack of sub-pixel tech (ClearType) just makes all text and UI elements looks horrible.

  343. LocalH says:

    Raveen: I haven't actually used Win8 that much, but I think it has to do with the fact that screen orientation can change, same reason that Apple's mobile devices don't use subpixel smoothing. The difference is, Apple chooses to render fonts unhinted whereas Microsoft does not. I personally prefer unhinted rendering (especially in preparation for the future's high-DPI displays) but to each their own.

  344. Pino says:

    @S+even, "…No tweaking Capabilities.." thats utterly untrue.. get lost YOU looser!

    @Raveen Bhasin, I guess they would enable it soon… as the author of this post (…/cleartype-takes-a-back-seat-for-windows-8-metro) concluded that it would be a deal breaker!

  345. change at first is hard for everyone but in order to appreciate what microsoft are trying to do with windows 8 you have to look into the future and when you do you will realise that the future is touch.  as mentioned in this blog when the mouse was introduced no one wanted to use it or didnt know how to use it with people rubbing it on the screen and trying to talk into it and scared women standing on chairs hitting it with the heal of their shoe and thought it was a bad idea that would never take off but where would we be now without the humble mouse?.

    the amount of people wanting and using touch devices has sky rocketed in the last few years and will continue to grow as people move away from their pcs and become more portable and in the future people will be doing amazing things with tablets and they will become as popular as a mobile phone. [almost] everyone today has a mobile phone and seen been most as an essential part of their daily lives and never leaving home without their wallet, keys and phone and in a few years time phones will probably be replaced by tablets as an essential part of our daily lives.  

    current versions of windows are not suitable for whats coming so microsoft is developing an os that will take us into the future and thats what the design of windows 8 is all about and you need to open your eyes in order to see that this is a good thing and stop complaining.

    i think everyone who complains about windows 8 will eventually pick up a windows 8 tablet and instantly change their opinions. i like most other people on here can see the beauty of windows 8 why cant you?.

  346. UI guy says:

    @Doctor Sullivan, thats indeed a great UX design, except the top left back button. Windows has the legacy of having a menu at win explorer's top left area. (10x10px iguess!). If you press a single click the menu will appear. Double clicking will close the explorer window (both windows and the internet explorer).

    UX team may infer lot of other things from the conceptual design.. especially the Skype UI is awesomely great and exclusive! <3<3

  347. LocalH says:

    @Pino: No, the author of your linked post concluded the exact opposite: "Although by no means this is a deal breaker – Windows 8 is still very readable and beautiful at the same time"

  348. S.I. says:

    without aero I don't wanna buy this good, but ugly os. anyway, there was 1 reason, w7 looks better then Apples OS, but now…

  349. Pino says:

    @LocalH, sir the deal breaker is the lack of ClearType font rendering in Metro! Overall Windows 8 has tons of improvements UI and technically both.. I do agree!

  350. LocalH says:

    @Pino: Keep in mind, I'm not saying that it can't be a deal breaker for you, that's entirely your decision. I was just noting that the post you linked to, as worded, concluded the opposite of what you stated. Personally, I'd like to see displays reach such a resolution where neither subpixel rendering nor hinting are even required in the first place, since both technologies are bandage fixes for technology limitations. Once displays have reached a similar resolution to the average printed page, we can all have beautiful unhinted fonts that look exactly the same on screen and on paper, without having UI elements that are so tiny that they can't be used. I think that's another reason MS wants to try to make a clean break from the past with Metro. Not to say there aren't other ulterior motives, as I don't know either way. If they make a clean break where standard Desktop apps still behave as under the "old" rules but Metro apps are restricted from doing some of the crappy things that devs have done over the years to require such onerous backwards compatibility, then it will be much easier to do things like seamless (and resolution independent) DPI changing. Currently, the system on Vista/7 is suboptimal, either you get nice clean fonts with the occasional misplaced widget, or you get perfectly placed widgets with everything blurry.

  351. SatoMew says:

    Nice job in creating less discrepancies between the Immersive and Desktop UIs as well as for Metrofying Aero in Windows 8 to finally unify the designs of all your products and services. Still, there are still things to improve, as usual.

    – The Ribbon's font should be the same used in other areas;

    – The control panels should all be unified for once;

    – Windows Installer needs to be redone into an Aero Wizard;

    – Drivers should have a universal and general installation UI native to Windows and force manufacturers to ditch those optional components they include with them; this also implies that Windows would have new control panels for touchpads, for example, where the user could define the settings for the devices;

    – Redesign the iconset to feature Metrofied Aero icons;

    – Get rid of old dialogs such as the legacy common file/folder dialog (Vista introduced a new one) and the folder dialog (the new common file/folder dialog introduced in Vista has a "pick folders" mode, which should be used;

    – Overhaul dialogs such as the color, font and icon selection dialogs and remove legacy elements such as the dotted item selection marker (Vista introduced a linear rectangular item selection marker with a transparent background) as well as the legacy solid item selection marker;

    – Use the same font and button size consistently throughtout all of Windows UI and its programs and apps;

    – Revamp and unify the UIs of built-in desktop programs such as Fax and Scan, Media Player, etc., many of which are still out of place and still look inconsistent;

    – Make sure all the UIs used in native Windows software follows <b>your own guidelines</b>.

  352. Abdullah Zahrani says:

    [Appologies this is a little off-topic regarding Internet Explorer 9]

    Internet Explorer 9 in Windows 7 (x64 ultimale edition with Arabic locale) has a flaw. While you have opened multiple tabs, and you left the computer for some time, Win7 will page the memory on secondary drive. When you resume the operation and click on some random tab and refresh the page — sometimes — one-refresh (or the back-from-idle) event triggers *few* other tabs to refresh with it!

    For example.. I have 4gb RAM and I had opened 20+ tabs in IE9, 20+ tabs in FF and I was watching a video. After that I launched visual-studio and when I was in the middle of work, I maximized IE9 and refresh, say 14th tab, first it took some time to load from dump memory to RAM and then it refreshed the 10th, 18th and 15th tab as well! although my intent was to refresh just 14th.. Just to clarify, as I have checked, those websites (in 10th, 15th and 18th tabs) dont have auto-refresh on them and they dont have any interactive call going on in the normal course. It looks like sometimes –when resurrected– some tabs in IE9 lose (some?) context of the content and which require refresh. Never had this issue in FF or Chrome. Sometimes their respective UIs get frozen when resumed/maximized after a long time. But the action on target tab doesn't bother the other tabs.

    Could be my poor guess but is it a sandboxing issue? I wish if there could be a less complicated way to reproduce the error. But still I believe if my feedback reaches the IE team, they might able to reproduce it and troubleshoot the issue for power users in future development.

    Thank you for listening to your consumers.

    -A. Zahrani

  353. JaouadK says:

    Good Job very impressed, by the results the style of metro style UI and classic desktop are more likely now to live together , but in my opinion there is still one contradiction to fix , try to have two button one for fullscreen and another for switching to the desktop version of particular app (IE 10 is a good example)

  354. Cuprohastes says:

    I'm not using that UI. 22 years I've used Windows. I found good things to say about Windows ME and Vista and Windows 8, but… no, now when the time to replace my desktop comes I'll be switching to Mac, since Microsoft have apparently fired anyone who has any UI design skills.

  355. HeartAttack says:

    Windows 8 is the only OS I'm going to have to attempt to "warm up" to. I do like Metro – but not Metro, Aero AND Ribbon all thrown together in a seemingly random fashion. Pick ONE, not all. Oh, right – so you got rid of Aero. Not exactly – it's now simply "Aero Basic", that's all. My guess is that the decision to "remove" Aero was a last second move, because clearly it's simply Windows 8 Aero with transparency removed – from the windows, at least; the taskbar is still transparent. Lazy, sloppy decisions. The GUI for Windows 8 should have been created from the ground up in the Metro style. You've got Metro features along with Ribbon menus slapped on top of Aero remnants complete with older, Vista-era icons thrown about the interface. Seriously, MS – PICK A STYLE! Metro is about flat simplicity, so why are all the icons shiny, glossy, Vista-era stuff? Ugh. For Windows 9, you guys need to think hard about unifying things a bit. The Windows 8 GUI is simply a huge mess.

  356. SatoMew says:

    Nice job in creating less discrepancies between the Immersive and Desktop UIs as well as for Metrofying Aero in Windows 8 to finally unify the designs of all your products and services. Still, there are still things to improve, as usual.

    – The Ribbon's font should be the same used in other areas;

    – The control panels should all be unified for once;

    – Windows Installer needs to be redone into an Aero Wizard;

    – Drivers should have a universal and general installation UI native to Windows and force manufacturers to ditch those optional components they include with them; this also implies that Windows would have new control panels for touchpads, for example, where the user could define the settings for the devices;

    – Redesign the iconset to feature Metrofied Aero icons;

    – Get rid of old dialogs such as the legacy common file/folder dialog (Vista introduced a new one) and the folder dialog (the new common file/folder dialog introduced in Vista has a "pick folders" mode, which should be used;

    – Overhaul dialogs such as the color, font and icon selection dialogs and remove legacy elements such as the dotted item selection marker (Vista introduced a linear rectangular item selection marker with a transparent background) as well as the legacy solid item selection marker;

    – Use the same font and button size consistently throughtout all of Windows UI and its programs and apps;

    – Revamp and unify the UIs of built-in desktop programs such as Fax and Scan, Media Player, etc., many of which are still out of place and still look inconsistent;

    – Make sure all the UIs used in native Windows software follows <b>your own guidelines</b>.

  357. Pino says:

    @Cuprohastes, good luck! now pack your shyte together and get going you ignorant fool…

  358. vFunct says:

    Nice start to integrate Metro into the desktop.

    I agree with everyone else that the icons need to match the new look as well.  2-d, flat unshaded icons please.  Don't need faux-3d icons anymore.  (or any faux-3d shading anywhere)

  359. Nitz Walsh says:

    Another poster on another forum summed up this blog post perfectly:


    Hey do you guys remember aero? Not that it wasn't a great idea, because it was, but now we are throwing all those concepts away and doing the exact opposite. But don't worry, we maintain consistency and compatibility by keeping the borders the same size so that users aren't confused, but we are removing all of the unnecessary and heavy reflections and translucency and squaring off all of the edges that we softened (which was completely necessary at the time but now it doesn't make any sense). Oh and we also went back to the dark on light theme so if you changed your programs so that they look good in aero you might want to think about redoing them. Anyway thanks for reading, and yes, we did change our UI appearance completely between 2000 and XP and then between XP and vista and then vista and 7 now again, but it's not because we haven't been able to come up with a good design and continually refine it, it's just that we like to change it up and our users don't get confused and like learning new interfaces. Wait until you see what we have planned for metro in windows 9 (hint: grey ovals)

  360. Cleidson says:

    I would like the aero visual style was an option, but still exists.

  361. vFunct says:

    You might have seen this before, but this is what Win8 desktop should look like:…/windows-desktop-ui-concept

    flat icons, whitespace, etc..

  362. SatoMew says:

    Oops! Looks like that, for some reason, I double-posted the same text on accident. Please remove post no. 10307494 (…/creating-the-windows-8-user-experience.aspx).

  363. Skyrim Guard says:

    I used to like Metro like you…then I took a monotasking operating system to the knee.

  364. The problems people had with all the prior Windows versions were mostly REAL problems. The mouse really WAS that useless in 1.0. The styling really WAS that garish in XP and Vista (at least by default). Even you saw they were real problems. These are all things that had to be improved upon in subsequent releases. You thought you were making your point, but you actually made ours. Your customers are trying to make you see and fix some REAL problems with Windows 8 before ever releasing it, and all you can do is insult us. We LOVE change. We LOVE new technologies. Your currently implementation just really is that bad.

    On a small touchscreen device such as a tablet or phone, the Metro interface makes sense. As long as you don't have to go to the desktop, it's great. Unfortunately, you do have to go to the desktop to reach many important options in Control Panel. Things like that are understandable given that the interface is in its infancy. But overall, it makes great use of the limited capabilities of those kinds of devices.

    On the desktop, however, it forces those SAME limitations on us. It treats everyone as if they have a tiny little touchscreen device. Apps have chrome FOR A REASON. Full-screen apps were a way of making use of very limited hardware and screen real estate found on phones and tablets. Somehow you've gotten it in your heads that an app being full-screen is some kind of a glorious feature in its own right. Using Win8 on modern PC hardware is an incredibly frustrating experience. I DON'T WANT a full-screen program launcher. Except for immersive games, I DON'T WANT to run a single full-screen app. Not ever. If I want something to fill the screen, I will maximize the windows. Simple. There are very particular circumstances where some may wish to have a full-screen app on a desktop PC. That's why it should remain an option, but it should absolutely not be the default.

    I realize that Microsoft's intention (and a correct one at that) is to have a consistent experience across all the kinds of devices that Win8 will run on. But it also needs to make full use of each type of hardware. We should be able to run Metro apps windowed on the desktop for instance. Yes, that kills the power savings advantages and so forth, but those aren't considerations on a desktop. Desktops AREN'T tablets, and shouldn't be treated as such. Desktops should not be forced to have the Charms Bar and other things flying out from everywhere. It's extremely annoying, and keeps getting in the way of me trying to click something. I really wish I could use Win8 due to the various improvements on the desktop side, but it's just the most awful OS experience I've ever had in my life. It's absolute junk. Honestly, our clients literally start laughing when they see it. I don't know how we can sell this to desktop users.

    Even though it's less important, I'd also like to note that Windows 7 got the styling just right. It had just the right mix between flash and simplicity. It sounds as if you are yet again finding new ways to dumb down Win8. That screenshot is ugly. It looks like the window isn't finished loading or something. It's the Fisher-Price version of Windows. Even though the appearance is configurable to some degree, if it's anything at all like the Consumer Preview, that won't do much good. I know a lot can change on this front before release though.

    As a final thought, I'd like to point out the hole in your arguments once again. You're right, Metro on the desktop is exactly like the mouse on Windows 1.0 — no matter how comfortable you are with it, it's still just as useless. Plus, it's really quite sad (and yet hilarious at the same time) that the Windows 1.0 screenshot has 3 apps open, and you can only open 2 in Win8. Ok, more like 1.5..

  365. Michael says:

    Isn't white heavy on the battery for tablets on a super oled screen?

  366. WinMetro says:

    Also, while you change the desktop look and feel in the final release of Windows 8 please look at changing

    the icons since most of the icons have been in since Windows Vista and look dated and Aero style.

  367. I've sat idly by and watched the development of 8 for quite some time now, even trying the CP twice. But now i'm just irritated.

    I will start by saying that I love windows 7, and think its the best OS ever made. I welcome your new performance improcements, but the UI changes have gone from bad to worse. Its fine to give us more options, or even change the defaults, but if you keep us from making our PCs the way we like and the way we're used to (we being power users) then that's a problem, and an upgrade killer.

    -Why is it such a big deal to not have a visible start button? This seriously bugs me, and my less tech-savvy friends just dont understand to look for something that they can't obviously see. why can't we just have a button on the screen to send us into the metro zone?

    -Glass is not "dated and cheesy" by any stretch of the imagination. have you doen any research to support this? I've never built or sold a computer to anyone who didn't think Windows 7's glass effects were beautiful and pleasing. In fact, its my favorite feature of the windows 7 UI. I will not upgrade my computers to 8 if it is not there, or until a third party tool exists to re enable it. I want to be able to view my entire desktop background through the taskbar. Windows 7's UI makes OSX's look like a toy. Why screw with this if it isn't broken? I feel like i'm going to have to write a whole shell from scratch to be able to enjoy windows 8, which means i'll clutch to 7 long after its support has ended.

    -I cant help but feel that you're screwing the power users in favor of the everyman. The power users are the people that reccomend computers and software to people, and making them angry is unwise. I would never reccommend a mac over a pc, but others may if they dislike 8. beware, don't alienate your most influential and loyal allies here.

    -speaking of macs, that's what this UI feels like. a mac… a toy. The level of customization that made windows the best is just not there anymore. I can't set my own background on the start screen. Now I can't use glass if I want to. I can't have a start button if I want to. I can't have a windows7-like start menu if I want to. I can't hide metro on my work PC if I want to. This list should not be possible to make.  you're removing so many things that made 7 great. Look, I don't care if I have to edit the registry for 2 hours to get this stuff back. I just want a way, some way, to do so. Or you won't get me or my organization's order on launch day, unfortunately.

    -I love the ribbon on office 2007, but for the love of god let us turn it off in explorer. It takes up way too  much screen space that could be used for file viewing. its fine for it to be the default if a touch device is present, but if there isn't one I need a way to turn this off. I already cant see enough thumbnails on my screen with a 1366×768 laptop. You said it yourself, get the chrome out of the way!

    (and no, mimimizing the ribbon is stupid too, as it just buries functionality that was in the menu bar previously, adding an extra click and again alienating power users)

    -there is a significant disjunction in the UI. when you hit the start button and are whisked into metro land just to search for something, only to come back to the desktop, this is very disorienting. its like you just bolted two devices together, and there's no way to make it seamless. its as if windows 8 is trying to be too many things at once, and together it doesnt seem to do them well.

    -I do like the start UI and new apps, but they aren't the reason people buy PCs. this is all fine and dandy on a tablet, but its only going to be a distraction to my work.

    -go look on sites like engadget, they posted about this today. there is a lot of hate in the comments, and im certainly not the only one.

    another poing on asthetics, I havent noticed it much in the CP but I want to point it out. cut off text looks stupid, period. my coworker returned his Focus to at&t because it just bugged the crap out of him. please avoid this problem on W8.

    -seriously, guys, just don't screw this up. If windows 8 bombs then the godawful macs will just get more market share, and they will become even harder to get rid of. If windows isn't able to drive them into the ground where they belong, then who will? I think I'd rather go ahead and shoot myself in the face than live in a world dominated by apple.

  368. @Microsoft: Look at the success of Android vs iOS (52% Android vs 15% iOS according to Gartner). And Android is the most customizable mobile OS. It's the best mobile OS for power users, and it's successful.

    If you must follow somebody, follow Google, not Apple. And Google just added windows to Chrome OS. You are removing windows from Windows. This won't end well.

    @Kellic @Chimel @xpclient @btriffles @dgschrei @Stephen Kellett @Dana G. and especially @multitasker: Excellent posts, I wanted to make a long comment, but you already said all I wanted to say.

    I agree with multitasker, I also need Microsoft to promise that, unlike Windows 8, Windows 9 will also focus on power users and power applications, then deliver on that promise. Otherwise I will start looking for the best alternative to Windows.

    @mdtadesign: Please respect other people's opinions. What you do is very close to trolling.

  369. Paul says:

    Thank you Microsoft for this complete failure. I for one welcome our new KDE overlords!

  370. martindta says:

    @Vlad NC

    I'm sorry, I have only been trying to get people to look more objectively at things, to try to stop people from posting nothing but hatred.

  371. Taking about being clean and modern, what about removing the fram or border of each window. They are old fashion and useless. Frameless windows would be more clean and modern (at least to me!)

  372. Rodrigo Roberto says:

    i don't like this new theme… Aero theme is wonderful… please, insert an aero theme 😡

  373. Danny says:

    Wow Microsoft.  I am a huge fan. I ran every single Windows OS and never really complained. Windows 7 has been the best so far, but now I read this. All I can think to myself is, "What a utter failure". This will fail harder then Vista. I for one will stick to Windows 7, and for the future, might just go with Linux. Tired of microsoft thinking that they know their customers, this just proves otherwise.

  374. mike says:

    i love Aero theme. i love to see verything with Aero than metro. metro looks old school.

  375. Matt says:

    I WILL NOT upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7 UNLESS you GIVE US AN OPTION to disable metro and allow us to ENABLE THE FULL DESKTOP experience. None of this TABLET CRAP belongs on desktops!

  376. Kashif Farooq says:

    @Vlad NC, lets get neutral for a change.

    Say I am a power user, a developer. From this standpoint, what I could do for Windows applications with C++ unmanaged code or managed .NET 1.0 or Java or Perl or Delphi etc.. in Windows XP 10 yrs ago, I could do much more in .NET 2.0 & 3.0 for Vista  and XP 6yrs ago and even more in Windows 7; the delay service initialization concepts, the revised virtualization concepts and lots of other charms..

    Now with Windows 8, I can develop in the entire .NET family, the unmanaged code, XAML/HTML/JS for metro apps.. then there are integrated cloud services, spell-checking system service, single-sign-on service, improved PowerShell, native ISO and VHD support, boot from VHD, integrated antivirus, copy-paste with pause option and graph-UI for progress, improved browser, windows phone as a first class citizen to windows 8, GUI boot program (using winRT), improved multi monitors support, improved networking (from IPV4 and IPV6 perspective and from FTP NFS perspective..), among many other features ..

    Evidently, Windows 8 is bringing great deal of goodness for power-user as well as the home-user… Windows was never better and windOS8 is the "right" sequel to windOS7!

  377. Matt says:

    Giving DESKTOP USERS a touch experience is a HUGE FAIL! The mouse is so much better! Don't let the desktop mouse users suffer!

  378. Matt says:

    I WILL NOT upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7 UNLESS you GIVE US AN OPTION to disable metro and allow us to ENABLE THE FULL DESKTOP experience. None of this TABLET CRAP belongs on desktops!

    I WILL NOT upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7 UNLESS you GIVE US AN OPTION to disable metro and allow us to ENABLE THE FULL DESKTOP experience. None of this TABLET CRAP belongs on desktops!

    I WILL NOT upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7 UNLESS you GIVE US AN OPTION to disable metro and allow us to ENABLE THE FULL DESKTOP experience. None of this TABLET CRAP belongs on desktops!

    I WILL NOT upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7 UNLESS you GIVE US AN OPTION to disable metro and allow us to ENABLE THE FULL DESKTOP experience. None of this TABLET CRAP belongs on desktops!

    I WILL NOT upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7 UNLESS you GIVE US AN OPTION to disable metro and allow us to ENABLE THE FULL DESKTOP experience. None of this TABLET CRAP belongs on desktops!

    I WILL NOT upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7 UNLESS you GIVE US AN OPTION to disable metro and allow us to ENABLE THE FULL DESKTOP experience. None of this TABLET CRAP belongs on desktops!

    I WILL NOT upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7 UNLESS you GIVE US AN OPTION to disable metro and allow us to ENABLE THE FULL DESKTOP experience. None of this TABLET CRAP belongs on desktops!

    I WILL NOT upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7 UNLESS you GIVE US AN OPTION to disable metro and allow us to ENABLE THE FULL DESKTOP experience. None of this TABLET CRAP belongs on desktops!

    Giving DESKTOP USERS a touch experience is a HUGE FAIL! The mouse is so much better! Don't let the desktop mouse users suffer!

    Giving DESKTOP USERS a touch experience is a HUGE FAIL! The mouse is so much better! Don't let the desktop mouse users suffer!

    Giving DESKTOP USERS a touch experience is a HUGE FAIL! The mouse is so much better! Don't let the desktop mouse users suffer!

    Giving DESKTOP USERS a touch experience is a HUGE FAIL! The mouse is so much better! Don't let the desktop mouse users suffer!

    Giving DESKTOP USERS a touch experience is a HUGE FAIL! The mouse is so much better! Don't let the desktop mouse users suffer!

    Giving DESKTOP USERS a touch experience is a HUGE FAIL! The mouse is so much better! Don't let the desktop mouse users suffer!

    Giving DESKTOP USERS a touch experience is a HUGE FAIL! The mouse is so much better! Don't let the desktop mouse users suffer!

    Giving DESKTOP USERS a touch experience is a HUGE FAIL! The mouse is so much better! Don't let the desktop mouse users suffer!

    Giving DESKTOP USERS a touch experience is a HUGE FAIL! The mouse is so much better! Don't let the desktop mouse users suffer!

    Giving DESKTOP USERS a touch experience is a HUGE FAIL! The mouse is so much better! Don't let the desktop mouse users suffer!

  379. Diapolo says:

    Kick Aero Glass and I kick Win8!

  380. Arturo says:

    Aero is classy, beautiful, alive, fresh, modern, cool and looks like glass, metal and neon.

    Metro is old school, flat, monotone, ugly and looks like paper propaganda.

    Guess which one looks "dated and cheesy".

    #fsck you Microsoft, I will switch to KDE/Linux if you don't allow us to use the Aero style.  

  381. Sean says:

    This could have been great if you did exactly as you are doing, but used the Aero style guidelines instead of the Metro style guidelines…

    i.e. more glows, gradients, blurs, shadows and effects in general.

  382. Im with Matt! says:

    "I WILL NOT upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7 UNLESS you GIVE US AN OPTION to disable metro and allow us to ENABLE THE FULL DESKTOP experience. None of this TABLET CRAP belongs on desktops!"

    Quoted for truth.

    Look Microsoft – I really want to work with you on this.  So please listen, as we've been together since 3.1 – so I feel I have a right to chime in here.  our relationship has been good – we've had our rocky patches (Windows ME, Vista) but I've been able to deal with that, learn and move on.

    I've forgiven you…for your…mistakes.  

    And just when I thought we were back on solid ground with Windows 7, you go and do this to me? Windows 8? Seriously? Metro? Is that what your telling me? You've been a Metro all along?

    If I had known this is where our relationship was headed I never would have started out with 3.1 – I would have stayed with my first love (The Command Line).  And I had that other girl, OSx calling me…inviting me over…but I said NO! I'm with Windows 3.1 and we're building something together – something beautiful.

    And when that foreign chick started flirting with me…think she was swedish…Linux…telling me I didn't have to pay for anything anymore…that she was faster, smarter, quicker better than you I told her to take her Open-Source Euro-Trash keester out of here.  I'm with Windows.

    But now I feel betrayed…by you.  Our beautifully productive relationship built on trust and an accepted way of operating (WIMP) has been cast aside.  And your telling me you want to get touchy.  feely.   with everyone.  that your changing.  your different.  you don't see the world in the same way anymore and you don't want to be with WIMP (users) that it is all about multi-touch now.  and you want to kinect with multiple users at the same time.

    this is too much. too much too quick too soon.

    you say it is nothing to do with that OSx girl – but I think theres jealousy here.  You see how many people enjoy touching her…sliding her screens….carrying her around in their pockets and…her users even talk to her…and she talks back….are we back to that old argument? that I don't talk to you? that I don't communicate with you enough? that you feel like your just a tool I use to get the job done.

    Look….we can try again with the talking ok, I'll go to therapy…there's stuff we can try again…IBM ViaVoice it worked sort of…I know I know its been ten years but we can try again.

    Just slow down.  Remember our journey together.  How much we've been through.  Please re-think this whole Metro, Touchy, Multi-User non-sense.  Come back to me.  Please.  I'll be waiting…

    …just send me a signal…a sign that my favourite gal is still in there somewhere…that they haven't managed to completely re-write your soul…that somewhere in there is the same START menu I know and love….that beautiful UP DIRECTORY ARROW BUTTON in explorer…and most of all…FILE EDIT VIEW…they're like our Children!!!! Please don't strangle our children away with that DAMNED DIRTY RIBBON…please Winny, come back.  come home.  we can make Windows 8 work – just have a "MAKE THIS LOOK AND ACT LIKE XP" button and all will be forgiven.


  383. Aretzios says:

    Not that you would listen, but there are any ways left for you to totally destroy the Windows experience?  I do not think so.  I think that the market is going to punish you badly, as users and enterprises will vote with their wallets.

  384. ññññññññ says:

    There must be a big party at Cupertino and other at Mountain View right now…

    Windows is going down hill since Gates left…

    Ballmer and Sinofsky should get fired.

  385. Matthew says:

    >> all of the desktop code is not even loaded

    Is this the case for Win x86 as well? Because I can hear Skype starting up behind the start menu when I start my PC.

  386. JT says:

    Metro, is garbage.  I do not have a touch screen monitor and I really don't want to put finger prints all over my screen to do something.  For a tablet this interface would be great, for a desktop or a laptop this interface is horrendous. I'll be skipping Windows 8 unless it ships with the ability to use the Windows 7 UI.  

  387. Matt says:

    Guess I'll have to learn Objective-C after all….

  388. multitasker says:


    I do have a touch screen monitor…but it is one of TWENTY FIVE screens in the house that are not built-in to the device.  My HOME has somewhere in the neighbourhood of $30,000 worth of established PC estate; more if you count the wiring.  Am I now to replace my screens with touch-enabled widgetry just to try to use this newfangled operating system?  

    When I open the start menu, or am forced to use a Metro application, must they take up the 47" screen on the wall, 6' away from me?  Why must I lose the flexibility and productivity I have created through my investment in screens of all shapes and sizes?

    Because Microsoft wants to try (and ultimately fail) to catch up to the iPad?   Everyone here is thinking it, but nobody will come out and say it: Windows 8 is too little, too late to catch the iPad.  The iPad is established and dominant.  Even a top-flight competitor like Android can’t make any significant dent in the consumer tablet market, and it has both mindshare and a significant host of applications.

    iPads are chosen by everyone because everyone has an iPad.  Microsoft should be familiar with the concept; this is what keeps Microsoft Office (and thus Windows) rolling in the money.

    Rip and replace $30,000 worth of equipment in my home?  No.

    I’d rather buy an iPad.

  389. I'm not sure if you are already planning on doing this or not, but if you are going to apply a new look to the chrome, you really need to do something about the icons so that they actually match the rest of the product. Many of them haven't changed since Windows Vista and they have Aero written all over them. This is particularly noticeable with the glossy monitors shown in icons like "Computer" and "Network". I never liked the slick, greasy look of Aero and I'm quite excited at the prospect of being rid of it, but that needs to include the icons too, because the Aero icons look quite jarring with the new look.

  390. @multitasker says:

    Or you can use Windows 7??? Whos is asking you to buy an OS which is yet to release?? You whining little pigg 😎

  391. @multitasker says:

    what?? you will have the "productivity" on iPad? are you fukin retarded my little pig?

  392. multitasker says:


    The cold, hard truth of the matter is that Microsoft have created an operating system that I feel is OPENLY ATAGONISTIC to power users, business users, creative professionals and anyone seeking to use their PC as a productivity tool.  Worse, they have lost mine (and others’) trust.

    I can’t do business with a vendor I can’t trust and who is openly hostile to my needs.  The problem is, they are still the best chance at getting a decent operating system.  They have the technology, they have the skills.  The question is; will they choose to respond to community requirements?

    There is a time limit here.  They either interface with the community BEFORE the launch of Windows 8, acknowledge our issues and set a roadmap to rebuilding the featuresets we require (and the trust we need to work with them,) or we will walk.  When we do, we will collectively be taking BILLIONS of dollars a year with us.  (Yes, there are that many of us.)

    We won’t be keeping that money in the Microsoft ecosystem.  We’ll be investing in exit strategies. We will be gaining the knowledge and skills, building the tools and applications to enable others to leave to.

    I am prepared to make a career of this. I can point you to thousands of others on the cusp as well.  The community anger is palpable.  The trollish, spiteful, ad homenim responses from both Microsoft and her ardent fanboys (such as yourself) only deepen our resolve.

    Ponder that; what is done and said over the next few months will mean a great deal over the coming decades.

  393. multitasker says:


    I am not posting hatred.  Far from it.  I like and respect Microsoft as a company and a great many of the people who work for her.  I desperately want to see Microsoft succeed.  As much as I dislike Microsoft's licensing shenanigans (there is a special place in hell for whomever refuses to allow Windows 7 multittenant VDI, right next to child molesters and people who talk at the theatre,) I think Apple’s business practices are far worse.

    Beyond Apple lies what: Google’s all seeing eye?  Ubuntu’s off-the-rails spectacularly awful UI?  ORACLE?!?

    So I WANT Microsoft to succeed…but I am not willing to sacrifice that which makes computers make solid business sense in order to do so.  This isn’t emotional.  There is no hatred.  

    It isn’t personal.  It’s business.

  394. @multitasker says:

    lets get neutral for a change.

    Say I am a power user, a developer. From this standpoint, what I could do for Windows applications with C++ unmanaged code or managed .NET 1.0 or Java or Perl or Delphi etc.. in Windows XP 10 yrs ago, I could do much more in .NET 2.0 & 3.0 for Vista  and XP 6yrs ago and even more in Windows 7; the delay service initialization concepts, the revised virtualization concepts and lots of other charms..

    Now with Windows 8, I can develop in the entire .NET family, the unmanaged code, XAML/HTML/JS for metro apps.. then there are integrated cloud services, spell-checking system service, single-sign-on service, improved PowerShell, native ISO and VHD support, boot from VHD, integrated antivirus, copy-paste with pause option and graph-UI for progress, improved browser, windows phone as a first class citizen to windows 8, GUI boot program (using winRT), improved multi monitors support, improved networking (from IPV4 and IPV6 perspective and from FTP NFS perspective..), among many other features ..

    Evidently, Windows 8 is bringing great deal of goodness for power-user as well as the home-user… Windows was never better and windOS8 is the "right" sequel to windOS7!

  395. multitasker says:

    @mdtadesign, Sinofsky and every Redmondian in truth or spirit,

    I would like to remind you all that it is not the duty of the end user, developer, VAR, sysadmins or so forth to find a reason to like and buy Windows 8.  

    It is instead the responsibility of Microsoft to provide us a product that we want to buy; a responsibility you have to your shareholders, even if you have no professional pride in your work.

    People who speak their mind about aspect of design, featureset or configuration are not trolls.  They are not attacking you and they are not the enemy.

    They are your customers.  They are the people who you should hope will ultimately buy your product.  The days wherein Microsoft on the desktop was absolutely assured are over.  Make your option adequately unpalatable and people WILL jump ship.

    We are not your enemy.  We are your customers.  We keep your children in shoes.  Please try to remember that; it might prove important to all of us as this project unfolds.

  396. multitasker says:

    @"Lets get neutral for a change"

    I have been objective and neutral throughout.  You however…whomever is employing you should be ashamed.  That's junior level astroturfing AT BEST.  Please talk to your manager and get enrolled in some remedial online marketing courses ASAP.  

    Protip 1: multiposting the same thing at multiple people?  Bit of a giveaway.

    Protip 2: Don’t construct your posts using common astroturfing lexiconic morphology.  Properly formatter Google searches reveal much better source documents from which you cribbed your material.


  397. @multitasker says:

    Metro apps have a left side area for multitasking, and on the PC you still have Alt+F4.  And if you are in the desktop mode, or the desktop is snapped, you can multi-task the desktop applications.

    For version 1.0  Metro does seem to be orientated to consumption and basic creation apps.  For professional productivity you still have the desktop!

  398. @multitasker says:

    Multitasking in W8 has not slowed me down at all. I mainly use the keyboard instead of the mouse and have always preferred Alt+Tab to switch between running programs, since it shows a thumbnail of the actual screen. In W8, this capability works exactly the same as it did in W7.

    You also have the WinKey+Tab, Mouse to the App Switcher bar, or the Taskbar if you are using switching between Desktop apps.

    I don't see where productivity is being effected?


  399. multitasker says:

    Copying others comments will not cut it… i want a large black cocko 😀

  400. @multitasker says:

    Actually I often have Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, 3ds max, zune, couple of browser windows with about 30 tabs, skype, windows live messenger, windows live mail open at the same time.  But if I was away from my machine, on my phone or using a tablet, I would only want to dip in and out of apps.

    I am a heavy multi-tasker who puts their machine on sleep so windows stay open.  But Metro apps are for casual use, for light computer users, or for single focused machines, like data entry users, kiosks, financial data apps etc.

  401. multitasker says:

    Having fun with the pesudo-anonymity of the forum's titling abilities?  

    They are indeed fun.  Copypasta is a good way to end a thread though; cheers!

  402. @multitasker says:

    Now you're just showing off :)) Just kidding.

    Well, I think MSFT's approach is good. They've improved what YOU need too. But I really doubt that you're going to do all the things you said, in a slate. As you mentioned you're doing this in a 3-monitor desktop environment. Am I wrong? In a slate/tablet you're at most are going to use 2 programs at a time. (which could be done in Metro).

    All the features you require are implemented and even improved in the desktop environment of Windows 8. I don't think you've got a problem here.

  403. multitasker says:

    Anyway I lost $30,000 and I feel like an arseholee now.. or am I ? Next time I will prefer to get raped by the elephant rather buying any Microsoft product..

  404. Alan D. says:

    One person said "Bring back the start menu and aero, no discussion" imho make the start metro screen disable-able and have backwards compatibility with 7, and I'd upgrade. But that's my taste…

  405. multitasking says:

    I hate where Windows 8 is going.. Microsoft sucks Apple rocks.. period!

  406. Justin says:

    I’m a fan of Windows. I want Windows to continue to flourish. I actually hope Metro catches fire, but I have some reservations.

    I’m sure to Microsoft the problem seems insurmountable (Apple’s market and mind share, the rising tablet market, the sad rate of Windows Phone sales) and I understand trying to take it in a different direction. I also understand that moving a ship like the Microsoft Windows team must be near impossible since the design and development cycles started years ago. Yet every day I see more MacBooks than PCs at coffee shops. PCs still rule the enterprise, but "I"devices are making in roads. And almost worse, it looks like Apple may be about to take on the XBox.

    But we have to ask something realistic here. If Metro is failing to sell on the Windows phone (which I own and use daily), why does Microsoft believe it will succeed on tablets? And why would it succeed on a laptop or desktop for which it isn’t the optimized experience?

    I’m not an award winning designer but I think I have some good insight. Here’s where I think things went awry.

    1. Windows 8 misinterprets telemetry data.

    In WW2 the English started a program to analyze aircraft to figure out where they needed to add armor. They looked at all of the planes coming back and did frequency analysis of where the bullet holes were. Some areas were so riddled that easily 60% of bullet holes hit these key areas.

    The first reaction is to armor these heavily hit areas of the plane. This is wrong. These planes survived. The armor should go everywhere else.

    In a similar manner MS is collecting telemetry data from customers who have "come back" and deciding based on their usage patterns to change the product. This is wrong. MS needs to understand the ones who left for other operating systems and understand why they left.

    2. Windows 8 underestimates the value of familiarity.

    People tell me OSX is beautiful. I think that’s rubbish. Have you seen the big ugly white toolbar at the top from circa 1990? Microsoft long ago did away with such things in their office products by replacing with the ribbon.

    And let’s look at the IPad. Just take a phone and "make it big"? Surely this would be a recipe for failure..

    Yet OSX market share continues to explode despite the big ugly menu bar. IPad sales couldn’t be hotter. Mac customers are repeat customers.

    Apple isn’t very "innovative" – quite the opposite. They do one or two big innovations and then they find something that works and keep at it until everyone agrees. Many people still hate the ribbon (of course telemetry data says otherwise because many office users switched to Mac where they get to keep their ugly but familiar toolbars and menus). Even if the ribbon surfaces more commands, it’s jarring for users who are attuned to a product. Better would have been a search box.

    Don’t underestimate the power of familiarity and muscle memory. I still "save" by hitting ALT-F and S. It’s inefficient. I know CTRL S is better. But I’ve been doing it that way for so many years, it’s a habit.

    People hit the Start button and have an expectation based on over 15 years of familiarity. Some will be flexible and accept this significant change. Others will be very confused, so much so that they may think the PC is "broken" and they will want it "the old way". When this starts happening PC makers will start offering Windows 7 instead of 8.

    3. Windows 8 devalues consistency

    MS is betting that people want one device, not two. In some ways they are right. Most people I know (yes this is just my experience) want one device. But they want either a tablet or a laptop. The problem is the use cases are different. To try to put them in the same operating system gives us an OS with split brain syndrome. People want consistency.

    Consistency is why the office ribbon was a bad idea. For each program, users must learn something new. Even the size of things aren’t consistent and the layout is haphazard. With menus you can easily read what you are trying to do. With toolbars, icon sizes are consistent and easier to scan. Yes, menus and toolbars and launch bars and start buttons don’t "surface" commands well – but there are other ways to handle this then to throw everything the user could possible need on the screen.

    In the metro start menu, the only consistent motif is the rectangle. It’s why tiles are a bad idea. Metro tiles don’t promote mental mapping. From cognitive science we know we can only contain 7 +/- 2 things at a time unless we "chunk". Chunking in Metro involves a sea of tiles grouped by spacing. This is why folders are so valuable. The Metro tiles are akin to taking your filing cabinet and dumping their contents on your desk.

    Windows 7 was universally praised. Why loose that momentum? It seems more sensible to release Windows 8 as a tablet only release and "wait and see" before trying to use it in the enterprise

  407. multitasker says:

    all i want from Microsoft is to fail.. sell office to Google so they can make it free.. sell xbox to sony, so they rule again… donate other crap to poor kids in Africa..

    Let Apple and Google thrive! woohooo!

  408. multitasker says:

    Having fun with the pesudo-anonymity of the forum's titling abilities?  

    They are indeed fun.  Copypasta is a good way to end a thread though; cheers!

  409. @multitasker says:

    See, you are smarter than 100,000 microsoft's employees.  B-)

    Amen to what you said.. Microsoft die.. world might be a better place.. well it will be!

  410. multitasker says:

    Windows 8 is an epic fail. I will buy an iPad.

  411. WindowsVista567 says:

    No one cares wat i say… I hate MS! you hear me? I HATE it !! hear me? If they release Windows 8 with metro I will never use Microsoft product ever again.

    @multitasker, wait till the final release then we both quit using Microsoft products.. we are better off playing with eachother's dick!

    Personally I like Apple and a yay-BIG banana:


  412. george wooten says:

    BOB 2.0

    was a fail… this is an epic fail… its going to make vista look great

  413. multitasker says:

    @WindowsVista567, well dont know about you.. I'm a straight *** thats why I like Apple soo much!

  414. @multitasker says:


    Go back to the hole you crawled out off (aka 4chan).

  415. grapemanca says:

    I remember the Windows Live Movie Maker fiasco… lots of promises to listen to regular users, but in the end there were virtually no changes to mollify traditional WMM users. At the moment, nobody I know uses WLMM.

    Now we have Windows 8. WILL you listen to traditional users? I really wonder. As a desktop user who hates tablets of all kinds, I don't see any improvements in W8 that would justify me leaving W7. As an early Windows adopter since 3.1, this will probably be the first Windows I'll avoid.

    Here's a question that I just can't seem to find the answer for: Will I be able to boot straight into the desktop "app", or will I need to click on a button first? If the latter, W7 must remain my OS of choice no matter what.

  416. Beany says:

    I'm very glad to see the desktop UI changes. I've been commenting on past blogs on here, basically saying to do exactly what you've now done – Make it look more like Metro. I think you've done a perfect job of balancing things because i realise you cant change the desktop UI too much because of compatibility issues with software. I think you've nailed it, it's exactly how i wanted it to look! No more nasty gradients and material effects – leave that cheesy dated stuff to Apple. Although i hope you still have an option to enable the Aero transparency effect because i think a lot of people will miss it (but not me).

    Now all you need to do is update those icon graphics 🙂 Flatten them out a little and get rid of gradients and reflections, but please keep some colour.

    Anyway great article, enjoyed the read (but it did seem a little like marketing talk at some points). You guys know what you're doing and i'm happy with how things are going. It keeps looking better and better.  

  417. @Beany says:

    You are an old timer, there is a whole bunch of people who like Aero, just have a look at the theming community @ deviantart.

    I'love the glass effect, and the neon effect, and the reflections and everything…

    I do think the default aero theme was not the best, but the style has a lot of potential.

    this Swiss style, although good, is not better than aero imho.

    Perhaps microsoft should merge both styles?

    Like Android did… glows and stuff, but flat colors etc.

  418. GregH says:

    Excellent! Thanks Jenson – I have been waiting so long for you to say some of the things you have said in this post.

    Please Steven – please make sure the designers go through this and make the desktop UI incredible – don’t leave those old-school raggedy icons knocking around and don’t let them just give it a once over, this is now in my opinion your priority – regardless of how much the features are what sells Windows – a stunning desktop UI will pay off big time.

    I did like the large soft shadow on windows which give them depth – I don’t think absolute monochrome is appropriate; people just loved this UI…/windows-desktop-ui-concept – to the point that it would sell a new Windows alone – needs to have the modern WOW factor like this.

    I mean it – if there is even one gel button, xp cartoon crap or vista icon in this – I will scream!!!

    AND make sure that the install screens do not have remnants of Aero in.

    P.S Ignore the trolls – usual hateful bunch. Everything you are doing is bang on.

  419. GregH says:

    I do like the flattening of color like on the Explorer 'File' tab – can you make sure that the ribbon design elements match what might be expected in terms of quality by the Office 15 team.

  420. @ "@Beany" says:

    No i'm not an old timer. If anything, you are. Incase you haven't noticed Aero is 6 years old. Gradients, reflections, glows, material effects, rounded corners and all the rest of it belong in 2006. I'm a graphic designer myself and all UI design is heading away from this stuff. Aero and it's style is dated and the Metro style is far more modern and cleaner. I think MS should still include an Aero-like transparency option for the window boxes, but it definitely should not be enabled by default.

    And merging Aero with Metro would look tacky and out of place because then the desktop wont go with the new Start Screen/Metro (like in the Consumer Preview). What MS are now doing to the desktop UI is original, modern and it stands out from other OS's. If you want an OS thats looks dated and has all them cheesy effects you like so much then use OSX.

  421. Диванный теоретик says:

    «какой родилась, такой и помрет»

  422. Zubair says:

    Don't remove the Aero. It will be another Vista like disaster

  423. Mojtaba Alemi says:

    i used to hate transparency of Aero. it seemed its the result of having no idea about the color of windows.i love the color of OSX explorer and windows.

    thank you for removing aeroT but choose a darker color for windows. specially for the left list of explorer. makes battery life better for using darker colors.

    also remove transparency of taskbar.

    from IRAN.

  424. Robin Mathew says:

    LoL… It seems like a bunch of nooby idiots are acting in Microsoft now…!! Don’t that computer illiterate noobs know, ‘Pure White’ all over without any much ‘breaks’ will effectively tire the eyes when staring at the computer monitor…?? Ha Ha… Looks like, some Head at Microsoft is forcing his stupid decisions.

  425. Club17 says:

    Don't remove aero. And please put back the start button! 🙁

  426. Robin Mathew Rajan says:

    First of all Microsoft have to be educated the difference between a tablet & a computer. A Tablet can’t match the computer & neither the Computer can match a Tablet. They have their own uses. And if we start to imitate the other, it would harm the environment of both devices.

  427. @Steven

    I know that I have been very critical of the UI/user experience in the past; however, I am very pleased that you have again opened this topic up for discussion and presented the design philosophy.  

    You wrote: Some bloggers believe it is critical to further separate the traditional desktop from Metro style elements. Other people believe passionately that it is important to make the desktop more like the Metro style interface.

    Notice that those are simply different approaches to solving the same problem. It would be helpful if some attention was given to the problem and not the various suggestions that have been made on how to solve it. Windows 8 is innovative, live tiles are a great idea, the improvements under the hood and added features are fantastic. That being said, the frustration of the users of the DP and CP is not because Windows 8 misses the mark by a yard, but because it misses the mark by the narrowest of margins, but it still misses. The changes we all would like to see in the UI are tiny but they would have a massive impact.

    The Problem: The operation of finding and starting a new program should not be tedious and distracting.

    When I decided to write this post, I knew I needed to start MS Word. On my Windows 7 machine, I simply click Start, navigate to the Word icon and click Word. My entire screen did not change, the blog post was still on my desktop and the MS Word window opened on top. The process is almost exactly the same in Windows 8, but the experience is completely different.

    In the above example, the Windows 7 experience is superior, but this just 1 of many examples where the design philosophy and implementation of Windows 8 leads to a significantly inferior user experience, but the process (steps the user takes) is almost identical! This is the frustration. How do we put into words something that is extremely significant but also extremely subtle?

    In order for Windows 8 to be successful on tablets and the desktop, mobile and traditional, it has to do, or rather, not do one small and simple thing; It must not distract from what the user is currently doing just to start a new program, app, or find a file. In the mobile world we accept the compromise. In the desktop world we do not.

    True innovation would be to rid us of this compromise in both worlds. That would be a winning product. At this point in the game, I don’t believe it’s critical how you do it.


    1. Use of transparency  on the Start Screen

    2. Include the desktop task bar in Metro and Start Screen

    3. Do away with the Desktop and start apps over the Start Screen. Clicking start would then bring the start screen to foreground.

    4. Do away with the Start Screen on desktop computers

    5. Allow the Start Screen to occupy a quarter of the screen by default (similar to charms) and expand it to half screen or full screen based on additional user input.

    I could continue with suggestions, but it isn’t critical to me how the problem is addressed. It is a tremendous problem for the product, but only requires a minor fix; frustrating.  

    Yes, there are other things about Windows 8 that I don’t like or would like changed, but one must choose ones battles and this is where I as well as numerous others draw the line.

    I am confident that the problem will be addressed and resolved because the market will dictate that it must be fixed. I just hope that it gets done before the release of Windows 8 instead of in a subsequent release. Better yet, I hope your competitors don’t stumble onto a solution first, forcing Microsoft to play catch-up yet again. Doomed to 2nd fiddle, or 3rd or 4th fiddle, as is the case today.

  428. ZuneClient says:

    Good work guys, I like where this is going, but i really hope aero theme is available for those that want to use it.

    Quick question, why did you guys abandon the work done with the zune client people? I think stuff like their implementation of mouse side scrolling on the quickplay screen is better than your start screen hit the edge style.

    Also as you say this is the early screenshot, can we see where you are going with this cause in this it looks like its very reactionary and you are just changing it as you go very late in the game making me fear that we wont get the polish that we have come to expect in todays UIs.

    Good luck guys.

  429. Rynaard says:


    John 18 May 2012 1:53 PM #

    I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit.  Marketing has officially taken over.

    I have to agree with john, MS is too preoccupied with chasing after the stupid ipad, that they have forgotten about all of us with pc's and laptops who don't have touch screens who have to put up with this lame excuse for an OS, I'll stick to Windows 7, thank you very much

  430. Alex Chege says:

    Ok, since I just finished reading this novel, these are the steps that I would do with Windows 8:

    1: Continue using Windows 8 Consumer Preview on a separate partition with Windows 7.

    2: Uninstall Windows 8 Consumer Preview when it expires next year.

    3: Keep Windows 7.

    4: Enjoy Aero Glass!

  431. windows 8 says:

    This is a fantastic AD which explains on windows 8 in 1 min timeframe , hope we use this kind of concepts for windows 8 marketing

  432. Pol says:

    Windows 7 = new Windows XP.

    enjoy MSFT!

  433. Bhupendra Singh says:

    Windows 8, already not giving enough reasons for desktop and notebooks users to upgrade from windows 7, its no fun to use mouse and keyboard when runnning on desktops or notebooks. Now ditching Aero is another disappointment for PC users. In my opinion windows 7 looks great with all the reflections, aero etc effects.As far as battery life is concerned, then remember people always like to credit that for the hardware manufacture, rarely they think that how optimized the software itself is.

  434. Martin says:

    Please leave us an option to enable Aero T_T please.

  435. petmal says:

    Microsoft just totally forgot the power users who use their computers for work. How sad. They are going to pay for it…

  436. Paz (Technical user) says:

    I'll try to be short.

    What is wrong with you.

    Untill you finally created a great experience for windows desktop's your  just killiing it?

    and what by the end of the beta proccess?

    This look like bad management people.

    The only reason Installed Vista in the first place was AERO.

    you should at least give users the option to choose to activate it.



    Don't you want desktop users to upgrade?



    THIS IS SOOO WRONG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  437. gagan palia says:

    itis vary baad

  438. hamakaze japan says:

    Since I wanted you to reflect some by Windows 8 from me for the time being, it collected.

    The request to a next-generation operating system is increasing every day, and, probably, it is expression of expectation.

    I think if I reflect many at least one on a release version.

    – I want you to revive Aero Glass.

    – I want you to improve so that it can be operated overall a little more nearly intuitively.

    – Although DVD is good for pay, it supports flv as standard.

    -WMP12 so that it may not become not much high.

    – I want you to attach a tab function by Explorer.

    – Make it want you to be able to revitalize a start button by an option or registry a default is undisplayed and it OKs it.

    – the classic of the ARM version if  the conventional desktop applications.

  439. @Paz (Technical user)

    >The only reason Installed Vista in the first place was AERO.

    Same here… And I used vista since day 0 to the day Seven was released…

    Some of us are techies, not just Facebook zombies.

    I'm, until now, a Windows Power User, Windows Evangelist, Gamer and a SE Student.


  440. JustMe says:

    Please Remove Aero Peek! We have a show desktop feature and so why do we need this than. I think its just useless.

  441. Neonocyte says:

    You want to know something, Microsoft? There are multiple differences in what you've done in Windows 8 compared to the previous version changes. Let's take that example with the mouse you chose to compare the issue to. Right now, I'm on XP, and guess what? I can still control everything, minus a few games, with my keyboard. When adding mouse functionality, you kept that ability, and that helped the transition from DOS work. Unfortunately for everyone, that is not the case in Windows 8. Instead of adding optional features and improving existing ones, you decided to force your ideas upon the user. The other difference is that previous versions of Windows made new features popular, and now you're attempting to ride on the success of other companies. It won't work. At one time, Microsoft might've been able to get away with changes  that screwed the customer, but that isn't the case anymore. Remember Vista? Users will get upset, and Microsoft will end up in a very uncomfortable position.

    In the realm of the changes themselves: I don't like them. Today's world would trade quality, power, usability, and rationality for some new fad or a way to chat with their friend who's just across the block. This is a huge problem because they already have low powered devices to do that, and now Microsoft would take a huge leap backwards to try to catch the crowd's attention, without any concern for the people who need that power. Maybe I'm biased because I know doctors who heavily depend on computers, but I'm certain that the removal of support for the so called power user is a mistake. Medical facilities need the strongest, most reliable computers that can be feasibly used in their workplace, and an interface that doesn't fight with them or beg them to talk to their friends over the Internet. This is the reason that cloud storage of medical files will never happen: it is too unreliable. When checking to see if that patient in the emergency room has any condition that must be known before an impromptu operation, the doctor will be at a loss of what to do if the Internet connection is unable to connect and find the patient's files over the cloud. And thus, local servers are necessary. Even beyond that, a powerful, yet easy to use desktop environment (for they provide more power, and what would a static company need portable equipment for, anyways?) improves productivity and will appeal to every business owner. Games and social networking are the bane of all productivity, and thus, businesses, too.

    Microsoft has an uncontested niche, and instead of throwing mud in their faces and courting another fickle crowd, you should at least give them the courtesy of legacy options. Throwing statistics around about laptop purchases doesn't justify your actions, either, as they, evidenced by testers posting here on Windows 8, have just as many, if not more issues with the interface of your program. People who game on a computer do so for a reason, as do business owners and medical facilities. Removing functionality from them and compensating by dangling low end games (PC gamers want Starcraft and Bioshock, not Cut the Ropes, we have smartphones for that) and support for touch interfaces to a crowd who wants neither is a good way to end up with no customers at all. There will always be a market in those realms, but pop culture changes fast and frequently. And don't tell us how these changes are actually benefiting the groups I mentioned, because the people are already alive with a rumble of discontent. Vista happened once, and the people will be angry with Microsoft again if they make mistakes just as big this time around. You have no idea how good these parties have been to you.

  442. falkkon says:

    Thank you for removing that ugly, resource hogging aero and putting metro everywhere…

  443. pleace redesign the Mouse pointer !!!

    I mean it´s one of the most important things if you want to bring Touch and Mouse / Trackpad more closer.

    I think there is no need for a small arrow. Replace it with a simple graphical symbole like a cross or a circle, a point or anything like this, what fits good into the designlanguage of metro.

    The mousesymbole should also give a better feedback, when I klick or doupleclick or when holding a mousebutton.

    for multitouch trackpads the mousesymbol should show all fingers, that are on the trackbad.

    The symbole could be shared in two peaces if there are two fingers on tha trackbad or it is duplicated whan two fingers are ao the trackpad. Especially for the pinch-to-zoom-gesture it is importent to get an indication.

  444. Derp says:

    Hi /g/

  445. Marco says:

    Most people can't stand windows 8… it will be a flop like windows vista but not for the performances… for the new UI! I see every day in some websites like youtube people that are Windows XP users (Long life to XP!) and at the first look at Windows 8 they says "This sucks…" "Metro UI is not a good idea" etc…

    I hate Windows 8 for its UI

  446. Ed says:


    >I hate Windows 8 for its UI

    Same here…

    I love some of the new technical improvements, but I can't stand this Swiss style everywhere…

    And Metro has never been appealing to me…

    Not with the Zune, not with WP7 and most definitely not with Windows 8…

    I will either keep seven or switch to OSX.

  447. John says:

    This design is beautiful, simple, and looks touch-friendly, besides mouse and keyboard. Please, consider this design for Windows 8 Desktop UI..…/windows-desktop-ui-concept

  448. ReMark says:

    Simply put options to customize the user experience…

    User A wants Aero > ☑ Aero ON

    User B wants that font > Change windows font

    User C wants shadows > ☑ Show shadows

    User D wants that color > Change color of…

    Like the "effects ON/OFF" dialog, that is very usefull.

    and re-insert the Customization of file types (icons, etc…), I'm annoyed, I need to install a bunch of 3rd-party tool for doing a simply thing.

  449. ReMark says:

    Stop posting that mockup from the verge, is absolutely disgusting…

  450. Though I don't have any problem with the Windows team dropping the Aero glass theme in Windows 8 (and also the direction the team is taking with the new OS so far), I hope we are not going to lose Aero features like Peek or Flip 3D which for me really enhanced productivity on the classic desktop environment. The later especially, I think would make it easier for people to switch between Metro apps and legacy apps running at the same time without having to go back to the Start screen or the left corner of the screen. I understand the necessary learning curve users adopting Windows 8 will have to go through but it's also important to keep some already established ways so users will feel at home while learning new ways to use the OS. And I think Peek and Flip 3D were among the best features of Aero in Windows 8.

    My only concern while using the Consumer Preview is the need of two distinct Metro apps to play music and videos when they can be merged into one powerful Metro media player giving you access to all your media files and both music and video marketplaces.

  451. tester says:


    Metro sucks, I'll get an Android tablet.

  452. ReMark says:

    The background of Ribbon labels in this way is very good:

  453. Paco says:

    no Aero, no money.

    I just found this for OSX.

  454. L Torvalds says:


    No need to buy an overpriced Mac, have a look at this free and open source Operating System.

    Its DE (KDE) can be customized at your taste, and it can be even more beautiful than Aero……/kubuntu.png

    Just install that and get an Android device!

    Happy hacking!

  455. Steffo says:

    I don't understand why the Windows 8 users should need a high end graphic card when everything is flat and ugly ? Why not ship all Windows 8 OS:es with a free 1 (ONE) megabyte ram and with a 1 (ONE) megahertz GPU graphic card ? More graphical resources can't be needed…..

  456. K says:

    This is far better than all this "MS should hire that Sputnik guy" moaning:…/an-alternate-windows-8-user-experience

    I have mixed feelings about the floating Start screen, but the Windows Desktop and Explorer experience shows much more consistency and cohesion than that ugly thing the people supposedly love so much.

  457. Robert says:

    Here still is the Start Button:

    Good hopes for the Start button back or was it a relatively "old" advertising?

    And don't remove Aero Glass, it would be a total failure, who cares if it's different from Metro, who cares? People WANT AERO GLASS in Windows 8! Metro IS different anyway, keep Aero Glass in Windows 8.

    Start typing to search "gpedit.msc" in Windows 8, it doesn't show up until you type it entirely to the last letter… that's bad.

  458. Pioneer says:

    If you remove Aero, please replace with something more beautiful than the present option pls.

    If you remove Aero, please replace with something more beautiful than the present option pls.

    If you remove Aero, please replace with something more beautiful than the present option pls.

    If you remove Aero, please replace with something more beautiful than the present option pls.

  459. L Torvalds says:

    Open source is everything.. even my arshole is open!

  460. A. Perez says:

    I bet you are embracing this style so HTML/js developers can feel like they are actually doing applications and to save battery…..

    That is not a good idea, I like Metro, but please… please… add shadows and reflections and effect in general…

    I noticed that there is not even a single UIElement.Effect ….  that is not a good idea… even android has shadows and glows…

    Metro looks flat!

    Also, to apply an effect to a BitmapImage I have too loop through the pixels one by one and applying the ARGB transform…

    That is SLOW and not powerful…

    You are making me want to get a mac…

       Public Function Invert(Img As WriteableBitmap) As WriteableBitmap

           Dim stream As Stream = Img.PixelBuffer.AsStream()

           Dim StreamBuffer As Byte() = New Byte(stream.Length – 1) {}

           stream.Seek(0, 0)

           stream.Read(StreamBuffer, 0, StreamBuffer.Length)

           Dim a, r, g, b As Byte

           Dim i As Integer = 0

           While i < StreamBuffer.Length – 4

               a = StreamBuffer(i + 3)

               r = StreamBuffer(i + 2)

               g = StreamBuffer(i + 1)

               b = StreamBuffer(i + 0)

               StreamBuffer(i + 3) = CByte(255 – a)

               StreamBuffer(i + 2) = CByte(255 – r)

               StreamBuffer(i + 1) = CByte(255 – g)

               StreamBuffer(i + 0) = CByte(255 – b)

               i = i + 4

           End While

           stream.Seek(0, 0)

           stream.Write(StreamBuffer, 0, StreamBuffer.Length)


           Return Img

       End Function

    Also, why can't I new WriteableBitmap(BitmapImage) any more?

  461. TopherBrink says:

    Okay… I stood by most of the changes. I'm even one of the rare people who "get" what Metro is doing. BUT…

    Having seen the results of the "no glass" look in the Server preview extensively… NO. DO NOT WANT.

    It is beyond ugly how overbright and horrendously coloured things are. I was so stunned at it I sent images to others who all returned the same thought – mostly "Bleurgh!" – it's as if one of the "high contrast" themes is stuck on, all the time. It looks god awful on a monitor, and even worse on a large sized TV screen.

    This is a huge mistake. Please, please listen just this one time to what those of us concerned enough to state it are telling you.

  462. says:


    who is the smartass @ redmond who is trying to get fired?

  463. Raik says:

    Jensen Harris, please take a look:…/Windows-8-Concept-187693694

    Maybe you should take some ideas from here.

  464. Arthur says:


    This is a step in the right direction but:

    – why to you keep a "line" between the top part of the chrome and the window (below the "Libraries" title). This "line" has been droped with Office 2010 and it doesn't make any sense to keep it…

    – why do you keep the chrome all around the window ? This is useless and consume space when you snap windows on both sides of the screen

    – why can't you make the look and feel of the ribbon consistant with what you working on for Office 2013 ?

  465. Nathan says:

    @Pioneer, @multitasker, @Windows567, @TopherBrink  and other bile, foul-mouthed commenters:

    I am sure the engineers at Microsoft will be happy to take advice from anyone on this site that has ever designed and brought into production so much as a pencil eraser. Until then……. SHHHHHH… The grown ups are working.

    Aero is old style. Next is Metro. If you dont like it, don't buy it. No need to b*tch about it. Its not your property. Besides millions of people out there like the change & "start thinking outside the square"

  466. Sean Russell says:


    Since the forum posts are being read by the designers of Windows 8 I thought I might post a few things that I would really like to see in Windows 8.

    * File Menu Back Button – Instead of drop menus have the file menu options disappear and the drop down menu options slide in from the right and have a back button to return to the original file menu options.

    * File Explorer Tabs

    * Removing The Empty Space On The Task Bar (Program Icons On One Side, Status Icons On The Other As Well As Making The Task Bar Retractable)

    * Moveable Windows Menus (Icon, Program title, File Menu Options – All On One Bar)

    * Metro Optional (I Know. I Know. Half The People Using Say "Yes," Half Say "No.")

    * Better File Renaming (Particularly Proper Casing and Multi-File Renaming)

    * A Separate File Folder For Windows Icon Graphics That Make Windows Easily Customizable (Explorer Icons and Window Frame, Desk Top Icons, Device Icons)

    Some Of These Internet Browser Options Could Be Amended For The File Explorer.

  467. Armand Kardon says:

    Metro switch on/off will be great. I want Metro, I turn it on. I don't want Metro, I turn it off. Easy as a glass of water. Otherwise you force people to do things they DON'T WANT TO DO.

    Start button on/off switch is ok as well. Does it cost you something? No.

    So, do it!

    People need practical things, the look doesn't matter at all.

    Who cares if it is not well suited (matched) with Metro? Who f…… cares? Do you get it or not????

  468. atarixle says:

    Well done!

    Now your interface looks like Windows 3.11 without colors! GREAT!

  469. Georges G. says:

    I admire the team for its courage designing in the open and taking so much risk and criticism. I see nothing wrong with the current developments. As a Windows phone user, I can tell how refreshing and effective the design is. As far as I understand it is not a goal to kill old desktop, and anyone (including me) will be able to use multiple old programs with overlapping windows and buttons in a taskbar.

    Keep up the good work, I support all of it and can't wait to try what you come up with next!

  470. bzsys says:

    It's good to hear you think touch can be useful on the desktop, but IMO not only as an adjunct to mouse and keyboard – being able to use the desktop in a pinch even when only touch is available is useful. Yes, the experience of touch-only desktop use is suboptimal, but that doesn't mean it's not useful to have it if you happen to be in a situation where you only have it available but have some simple thing you want to do on the desktop.

    To that end, I wonder why the useful two-finger right-click from Windows 7 appears to be not working on Win8DP or CP – it is MUCH nicer than having to press-and-hold. In fact, press-and-hold right-click is easily the most unpleasant part of touch-only desktop use for me, it's far more of a problem than small touch targets (which are actually not that big a deal, I just use the corner of a finger). The #2 problem (again before target size) I would rank as simply the small size of a tablet screen, especially when you throw in a touch keyboard and lots of window/ribbon/whatever chrome. Anyway, I really hope the two-finger right-click on desktop will be restored for RP/RTM …

  471. Arthur says:

    Quick moke up of something very close from what you've shown in this post, but more clean and more metro (according to me 🙂 )

  472. Shane says:

    You know what? You could solve all of this by doing two things: adding a single icon that launches the metro screen, and giving users the option of which screen to boot into. Yes I know this is something akin to launchpad on the Mac OS but don't worry about that for now (we'll all forgive you). Trying to converge/force the metro start menu on everyone is a mistake. Do this, and all you problems go away, Windows 8 becomes the best OS since 7, tablet users (my mum) are happy, tablet/productivity (my wife) users are happy and hardcore productivity users (devs (me), engineers, office workers, pretty much everyone who uses their computer to get something done) are happy. Keep the start button, create a separate shortcut/icon like launchpad for the metro screen and allow the user to configure the boot up (and dock?) options. There, Microsoft saved. Stock price through the roof, everyone gets a raise, and Apple becomes a toy company. Any questions? Oh, and if that works, I want a job. Ignore at your peril!

  473. Fredrick says:

    Everyone I've spoken to, be they hardcore IT folks who still complain about 'endless summer' or absolute luddites, have agreed that this is not a welcome change.

    I know this will have no effect on you. I am but one person. But keep the old saying in mind:

    don't fix what isn't broken.

  474. gethin coles says:

    You are right to get rid of aero.  But you guys need to do some research into the psychology of perception.  Which window is in front of another?  Metro works because it is geometric and in one dimension.  Windows stack, and if you are not giving visual clues to that stacking then you need to remove the stacking. It will be frustrating and tiring on the eyes otherwise. Also for gods sake microsoft:  Use one word where you have two or better  – a picture or icon instead of words.  And if you are still displaying file folders as little yellow folder icons, with no way to change the colour, I'm going to kill myself.

  475. Ahmed says:

    I think it would be better that you have an option to have an Aero theme. Default can be Non-Aero.

  476. John says:

    I'm ecstatic to hear that you are making the desktop experience more metro. The more you unify the two experiences, the better it will be. Keep up the awesome work!!!

  477. Jarzka says:

    Microsoft, you have totally failed with Windows 8. Already now…

  478. usman says:

    1 Microsoft should have same UI for WP and Windows tablets.2 they should have same UI for laptops and desktops like APPLE.

  479. Internet Explorer says:

    Make the Desktop Internet Explorer also more Metro, looks to much like Aero.

  480. God damn you says:

    Can't you do anything right ?

    This is too bright !

    What's next, making it grayscale like crappy visual studio ?

    Just bring back the classic theme and make it user FULLY customizable. DONE!

    I'm guessing the aero ui sucked too much battery power and you failed yet again to make it work correctly so you just removed it.

    I will pirate this, not for use but to share it to show how disappointed i am !

    Microsoft have lied to me for the last time !

    I want the truth not lies, bullshit or a PR spin (half truth)  !

  481. How about Windows desktop core? Then make the UI system completely user skinable. I think that would end the complaining. If I want your desktop I can get it from the store. Btw, you’ll need some powershell cmdlets so that I can install metro packages from my desktop core, after turning on the Metro Experience. Let users design and sell their own UI skins, desktop and metro. Problem solved. One could then buy the old Windows 7 Aero UI from the windows store as well. Something along the lines of app-get install MetroBlack.ui.msi.

    Finally the default cmd / terminal  shell window in Server 2012 core and Windows 8 needs an overhaul.  Give us a full screen cmd / terminal shell or start PowerShell as the default shell. Either way the shell ui needs to be reimagined as well. Maybe I’ll make my own Metro Style PowerShell app. Probably not possible the way WinRT is sandboxed. Another shame.

  482. George says:

    This is definitely another windows vista.

    The the hell do you manage to make the same mistake so many times ?

    Short memory or just mentally retarded ?

  483. Oops… app-get should instead be Get-App -install MetroBlack.ui.msi in keeping with the verb-noun PowerShell paradigm.

  484. Since you've killed Aero why not the dos prompt… now that's really old. Powershell does it all… dos is redundant.

  485. Wau – what a load of comments in such a short time … :o)

    You should be careful about this assumption "2. People, not files, are the center of activity." from observing intermediaries like Facebook coming up. True activities in the World are driven by People (of course) – however its still an operating system within the domain of computer science you designing – basically about (SYSTEM) interactions which doesn't need to imply people and external events in all cases – although most lifecycles for processes are going to be triggered that way, i.e. sensors.

    As long as the perspective holds realization for automation. That's what I am skeptical about – to much focus on people triggering stuff rather than writing socalled "smart" or automated software (system interactions). We don't need to press more buttons …

    So in the natural world – i.e nature, whether that hosting environment is an electronic machine or not – those processes will run whether or not a human is involved. Of course we "grow trees" for Humans to use … services …

    So we're moving or processing data …. as the center of activity. The more automated, the more advanced labour a human can do … should be obvious right?

    With "2. People, not files, are the center of activity." you probably mean the same? Hope not that too many "human experts" screws up that we are creating electronic paper and pencils here but a natural kind of processing … but that depends what MS want's to do? Are Windows OS designed for humans or for hosting software processes as its first layer?

    I still think data is the center of activity … take the People tile in Windows Phone. It collects data … thus data is the center of activity – i.e. files?

    People buy harddrives? Skydrive, Dropbox, Icloud, …. data is the center of activity? So files or contained data definitely too …

    1.Connected all the time.

    3. The rise of mobile PCs over desktop PCs.

    4. Content is on the PC and in the cloud

    … just support the general development perspective is practically automation. In the domain of computer science about system interactions.

    In the short term and inferred from a business perspective mobile PC' (PC = PIM?) may have risen over desktop PC's. The real interesting part however is to realize – as we go – how hybrids of industrial age tech and nuclear tech are helping fulfill the perspective for computer science … to implement directly in the natural world and become part of that enviroment. That's what a mobile phone is … no wires … i.e. nuclear physics and a more direct implementation. On the other hand we see the need for energy and processing power only growing …

    The only thing a mobile phone is … is an example of one implementation we're the software is more directly implemented in nature. However, we don't need to carry that phone.

    That's why we don't need devices. We need to be able to write more virtual software … so keep the head up and get those API's out for the Start Screen where automation in the "shell space" happens – the point of entry for humans. It will be from here that the automation and virtualization – with respect to humans – is going to be programmed. We need to be able to experiment with that …

    You could decide to do otherwise – however that will just mean that collaboration with the shell space in such a solution will be a lesser thing with respect to current OS'es like Windows, MacOS, (Linux) …

    I am not going to spend another ten years writing more apps featuring a button and a view with just a list of data reflecting some table rows in a DB … that's just too old. Like a typewriter thing …

    You need to position developers into that value chain … automation and virtualization which … as stated above … is not just concerned with UI's of media content …

  486. Edit: Hope not that too many "human experts" screws up that we are NOT creating electronic paper and pencils here but a natural kind of processing …

  487. @Computermensch says:

    "People, not files, are the center of activity" in linux, everything is a file… linux is a file-centric operating system… its good technically.. Linux has 0.98% of marketshare in the entire world!! so dont take it as its nothing! LINUX IS THE WHOLE WORLD.. rest of 99.02% people are just crazy… people at home, at workplace at ministries at labs … they all are crazy only you and me are real deal … genius!

  488. P.s. One more thing. Regarding "3. The rise of mobile PCs over desktop PCs.". Within your own research framework – you started PIM research – like many others – because research showed most data lifecycle cases was initiated somewhere else than the "PC". I.e. a contact entered into the mobile phone. GPS-sensor started inside a house … However, that does not mean the rise of mobile PC over desktop PC. It's not a device world. It's a real natural world – where software or processes can virtually be natural implemented . Going to happen "soon". I.e. bioinformatics.

  489. The way I read this post, metro and the desktop will live side by side for a very long time. At least as long as the dos shell has been around. Given the limited use cases for the metro style, it needs to either evolve to do what desktop apps can do or die. Given the efforts of others to deliver hardware enforced app sandboxing by the use of CPU virtualization technologies, Metro has a chance if it evolves.  Just coping the Windows phone paradigm isn’t going to cut it if this is to have a future. So this must be phase 1 of Metro. Phase 2 more desktop like features. But that will only start once telemetry or sales tell them that not as many people are touching screens as was anticipated.

    As for the start screen, it’s short sighted, just like Windows Media Center. Great if you have 10 videos. Sucks when you have thousands; as I do. But telemetry probably tells you the most people don’t have thousands of videos. No the truth is most people stop using Media Center after they realize it can’t handle thousands of videos. Data is all about interpretation. With enough data you can easily see what you want to see. It takes hard work and objectivity to see the truth.  

  490. "Linux has 0.98% of marketshare in the entire world" … Yeah, if those responsible for making the software infrastructure goes short term thinking (i.e. People, People, People, money, money, money in too much love of something like Facebook or Apple) … instead of data, data, processing) – although they need to earn a living … Linux or something like it will eventually rule. I am thinking short term with respect to application API's which restrict what we can reliably and effectively (collaboration with OS) do on top of that infrastructure …

    We need more automation … data, files .. whatever. I am appalled if further development is blocked because we have to take whats coming and can not go further before 2025 …

  491. all the people who are complaining about the new look and saying they wont buy it and will be buying an ipad or mac instead please go away and stop leaving negative hating comments.  i also noticed that most if not all the negative comments are made by people who have not logged in and if you really believed what you were saying then at least have the guts to reveal who you are. infact i think people should be required to login in order to comment on these blogs in the future to stop these pointless posts from anonymous users who have nothing helpful to contribute.

  492. Martin says:

    You know, what is the one thing that would make Windows much more usable for many people?

    Improve the handling of modal dialogs! (Don't ever believe they will disappear…)

    E.g. do it like on Macs where the underlying window is dimmed so the modal dialog is more prominent.


    @Im with Matt!

    That is the funniest post I have ever read. Ever!  


  494. Mark says:

    At this point, I just want subpixel font rendering. Windows fonts look so UGLY compared to OSX. Not everyone are programmers.

  495. Arthur says:

    Can you please tell if the screenshot is the Explorer that we'll see in the Release Preview or in the RTM?

    Can we expect something like that :

  496. Dislike the new GUI, both METRO and new Desktop says:

    I've tried the beta with its new METRO design. For mobile devices as tablets or phones its great. But for full blown PCs its useless ang ugly. Most of the work I'll do on a stationary pc and not on a toy on the sofa inforont of a tv so I need a GUI which is usable nice and optimized to mouse and keyboard. Touchscreens on a desktop i think is not ergonomic. your arms will hurt soon while stretchig out to my 24" screen. I think you should produce 2 different platforms. One for PCs/Laptops and one for Mobile devices. maybe binary compatible but with different guis. PCs with GUI similar as Win7 as its very nice to use and beautiful. And simple and slink and fast GUI like metro for mobile devices.

  497. Josh T. says:

    This post perfectly sums up everything about Windows 8 is what it is. I can't wait to use it in my first year of university, this September.

  498. Thorn H. says:

    First of all:  All you haters of Windows 8 haters, go away.  This is not a yes-man blog.  If Microsoft only wanted positive remarks they would have just asked their Jr. Executives for input.  As a professional Graphic Artist for over 40 years I am amused that MS actually thinks it can pull the wool over our eyes with this bland, banal, blank and insulting UI.  Where'd they go for inspiration?  Mac?  Google?  Great, now all of these companies interfaces will be identical:  Blank, white, bland, boring, ugly, and unimaginative.  Great job there Redmond.  Windows 8 gives me a visceral feeling of hopelessness, abandonment and despair.  A white-washed wall that looks more like someone loaded a shotgun with type and fired it at the page.  Whenever the economy is down good design goes right out the window.  It costs money to hire graphic and interface designers to actually design something.  Making everything white and using black type is not design… it's TYPING.  All the apologetics in the world won't make up for the fact that this is the ugliest Windows UI since Windows 1!  I don't like it and can only hope that users will at least be able to patch for 3rd party themes and UIs.  

    But all the visuals aside, Windows 8 still fails in productivity throughput.  It takes more gestures, clicks, moves and maneuvers than ever before to switch between programs and/or Apps.  This is simply not efficient for those of us who use computers to make our living.  One size does not fit all.  There should be a different Windows 8 for each type of device to best utilize the features of that device whether it's a tablet, laptop or desktop tower.  There are so many things wrong with this release of Windows I personally am really hoping it fails big and teaches Microsoft a lesson.  On the other hand with the Stock Market the way it is, Microsoft may very well be shooting themselves in the foot on purpose to drive down their stock so they can buy it back up at a discount…  At any rate Windows 8 is a looser and I for one will keep Windows 7 running as long as possible…

    In the end it doesn't really matter what any of us wants, the die is cast—Microsoft is going to do whatever it wants and we'll just have to adapt to it or quit them.   Way to go Big Brother.  

  499. Todd Garrison says:

    Dear Microsoft,

    Thank you for making an attempt to be truly ahead of the curve.

    A month ago I shut down my laptop, put it in a drawer, and made an attempt to use my tablet from BUILD as an everyday computer.  I bought an amazing dock from Targus that powers two external monitors. When sitting at my desk, the tablet sits in the center flanked on each side by a large portrait monitor. I am what you might call a power user. I develop software for a living. I have VS11 installed, and VS2010 too because you have not updated the Azure tools yet. 🙂

    I feel like I am living in the future.  I am using a decently thin, light enough, powerful enough, touch enabled PC. It allows me to set up multiple accounts to separate my work and personal things.  It allows me to run VS and parse XML and write unit tests in the desktop environment, just like it always has.  When I need a 15 minute break, it allows me to switch to my personal account in 3 taps and check the weather in a beautiful full screen layout.  When I have to go to a meeting I can pop the tablet out of the stand and run down the hall, pen in hand, ready to take notes. And when I am sitting at home watching TV, or eating dinner, or on a flight, it does all of the things I want a tablet to do.  In no way would I call myself less productive.

    I hope that your desktop restyling will be even more aggressive than the screenshot hints. I hope that you will build a world class welcome experience that will teach people the simple gestures, and start the process of developing the muscle memory that makes what you have done truly rock. I hope that chipzilla and your hardware partners have really figured out the thin, light, super long battery stuff for x86. I hope that you have a plan for explaining Windows RT to my Mom and her friends, because right now I'm not sure I understand the plan. I hope that there is a secret plan to upgrade your small but loyal army of Lumia users to the next generation of Windows Phone, rather than throwing them under the bus.  Finally, I hope that there will be major improvements to the app story at launch so that you have great first- and thind-party apps that exercise the power and beauty of WinRT and Metro.

    I cannot wait until Fall.

    And my laptop is staying in the drawer!

  500. bzsys says:

    "The way I read this post, metro and the desktop will live side by side for a very long time. At least as long as the dos shell has been around. Given the limited use cases for the metro style, it needs to either evolve to do what desktop apps can do or die. Given the efforts of others to deliver hardware enforced app sandboxing by the use of CPU virtualization technologies, Metro has a chance if it evolves.  Just coping the Windows phone paradigm isn’t going to cut it if this is to have a future. So this must be phase 1 of Metro. Phase 2 more desktop like features. But that will only start once telemetry or sales tell them that not as many people are touching screens as was anticipated."

    I think over time it will probably get more desktop like features (or at least more "power/productivity" features, maybe implemented in a different way than desktop does them!) regardless of touch vs non-touch. In fact as touch interfaces evolve more advanced gesture vocabularies and standard controls, etc. will develop (on Windows and on competing platforms). We already see a bit of this with Windows 8 introducing "swipe to select" and semantic zoom as standards, which makes it relatively more efficient to command, navigate and rearrange large-ish collections and lists.  But these are baby steps. If you consider that touch allows for use of all 10 of your fingers, and also for the possibility of combining touch with other input methods (keyboard, pen, speech, even mouse), similar to how Windows Explorer lets you do things like Shift-click and Ctrl-click (combining mouse and keyboard) to quickly access more functions, you can see how there is still huge untapped potential here.

    Nevertheless I don't think Metro style apps will replace desktop (and remember desktop apps can support touch too!) because while that platform will certainly expand outwards from its original design center, new platforms usually become "hobbled" by their own "legacy" sooner than you think. It won't be long before lots of strange omissions are explained by "we wish we could fix this, but it would violate assumptions so many apps depend on. they may seem odd now, but they made sense back in 2012 …" This is like C/C++ vs. Java/C#. Sure C# can become more efficient, and allow things like unsafe blocks, interop etc., and determinalistic finalization via IDisposable (if you can get past some nasty legacy!), etc. but if you depend heavily on stuff like that past a certain point it's more effective to just use C++, as that language expands outwards from its design center to more convenience, powerful abstractions etc. (but also not being good for all usecases of C#, due to its original design center).

  501. Keith says:

    Did Apple just pay you guys to ruin your OS so they could gain a bigger market share?

    I use Windows 8, but only because of the dual monitor features. Every other change you've made has done nothing but alienate people who use computers for anything other than dicking around.

    Windows is the primary OS for businesses and professionals, and they're NEVER going to buy into the whole Metro thing, especially considering how clunky and unintuitive it is using a mouse and keyboard. It's great on phones, but not on real computers.

    I really thought Microsoft was better than this considering how great Windows 7 is. EVERYBODY loves that OS, so why go ahead and change everything now?

  502. AHellwig says:

    "We believe in people and their ability to adapt and move forward". Great. So why does Microsoft do a huge leap backwards?

  503. Fabrizio says:

    Windows 8 will be a failure like vista

  504. Keith says:

    On another note:

    Are you people forgetting that computers have purposes beyond updating your status on Twitter?

  505. Ondrus says:

    I loved "aero glass" and its a pitty that its gone now. Metro-styled explorer looks great but I miss the glass on the edge. Give it back! Glass is beautiful and fits to metro style.

    You can add a possibility of turning on / off the glass to the control panel. People will can use what they love. And remake the "aero" glass to the "metro" glass 🙂

    It might be great.

  506. Sampei says:

    Does it run Linux?

  507. Unimpressed Win User says:

    I really trie my best to love Win8m but so far Win 8 is a flat dud. Microsoft is effectively shoehorning a mobile OS on top of windows and calling it new and modern. They are taking away features such as aero so mobiles don't run out of battery. Basically MS has kicked dirt in the face of desktop users. When will everyone realize that mobile users don't create anything. They consume content, but creativity is pretty much confined in a small box. Anyone who thinks the desktop wil die or get replaced by mobile is more of a buzzword than a reality. try writing code on an ipad or wireless device. This message will get back to MS when they have to write off the loss from Win8 and suffer reputational damage as they did Vista8.

  508. Aero – "This style of simulating faux-realistic materials (such as glass or aluminum) on the screen looks dated and cheesy now, but at the time, it was very much en vogue." The true cheese here is the cloaking of a highly contentious and subjective design choice by condemning Aero for being purportedly uncool and out of touch. Aero was a design response to Aqua, and continues to surpass it, remaining contemporary and attractive. If anything's dated or stale, it's fixating on euro minimalism at the expense of natural beauty and usability. Leave Aero alone – one of the few things Vista actually got right, and WIndows 7 made successful.

  509. You dropped Aero? Great!

    Please drop Ribbons, and drop Metro, too. Go back to the fully functional quickstart bar. Then you will have much better usability and productivity in Windows 8.

  510. Mike says:

    metro doesn't make any sense at all on desktop PCs, remove it

    I use my computer for more than just updating my facebook status, it's a workstation not a phone

  511. Fanboy221 says:

    When is windwos 8 coming out

  512. Jacob says:

    What a stupid decision!  Aero was one of the things we could hold over Mac users' heads when they started to brag about how elegant their OS was.  And I personally liked the transparent effect, not to mention the other animations.  Also, any new computer can run these effects as Intel and AMD's integrated graphics are beginning to replace even some lower end discrete cards.  And please give us an option to set the desktop as the default and give us back the original start menu!

  513. 1. did someone notice that metro is not resizable, and this is innovation?

    2. Aero is the best effect for GUI's, Apple and Linux is still using it, it has few years and you call dated??…. Metro is dated, back to Windows 3.11 that is swiss style

    3. For God's sake, how cand you idiots call Windows this garbage OS, where with Metro apps, there is no resizable movable windows????

    4. Yes i'm registered user, do not like Apple, neither Linux, i'm dispponted 20 years of using MS products, call me troll if you want

    5. Demonstrate for really, that this crap is more productive using everyday programs(they do not exists at all, and if yes, Metro apps has not all functions and features a standard program has)

    6. covering taskbar with Metro apps means cover everything magically you have from more than a decade at a glance(working fully productive)

    7. yes you can move mouse somewhere in the top/bottom left to have some info, not all, takes time, it is not a glance, not sensitive….

    8. YES, this is not a game, is just your face, showing off smthg noone like, forcing everyone to use what your telemetry's best?

    9. and if this is a game, users WINS, they are happy at all, continue using Windows 7(or XP) until it outdates, they keep their  money in the pocket and feel more rich(instead throwing in the recycle bin for your Rubbish 8)

      Microsoft LOOSES it's face and our money

    So now we(that someone call trolls; some of them are…) are going to stop posting negative feedbacks, so everyone here lives in a beautiful world where everything is fantastic and marvellous

    Just babies believes in fairy tales…….

    I'm just using CP now, with start ORB and home make full feature 7 start menu all in blurred glass taking color from theme, fast, and productive with Metro disabled.

    It expires?

    7 is on the shelves(YES I GIVE YOU MY MONEY, YOU WIN), Linux is free(with aero glass) so ….

    A suggest for Microsoft:

    To keep your fantastic OS clean and flat, why not remove taskbar, it takes space and is aero, no sense with your beautiful metro OS, we lose features,


  514. ikk says:

    "This style of simulating faux-realistic materials (such as glass or aluminum) on the screen looks dated and cheesy now"

    What? Its just a cople of years ago, and it still the current Windows style, how can it look dated? Windows before XP looks dated, not Windows 7!

  515. It is absolutely hilarious to read these whine comments and compare them to the rants linked to in this blog post from whiners complaining about 3.11, 95, XP, Vista and 7.

    It's like history repeating itself.  They are the exact same arguments.  Hilarious.

    Reading this blogpost, it's clear that everything in windows 8 has been well thought out.  While even I, a win8 "believer", have questions or doubts about certain decisions, I'm glad to see that most of those decisions seem to be made for quite good reasons.

    It's great to see you guys look further then today's hardware and actually take risks and bet on future developments considering today's trends.

    I don't know if all your assumptions will turn out correct.  I don't know if your bets about the future will turn out positive.  

    I, however, DO know that I love that you guys have the balls to take the risks.  And I love even more that you are showing more balls here then Apple and Google combined.  While all 3 companies seem to be driving on the same "track to tomorrow", I'm glad to see that Microsoft is taking the supercar and putting the pedal to the metal, while the other two are in a Volvo just cruising to their location.

    In my opinion, you have made one mistake…  It's something that I think will still come in the (near?) future, but I think it should have been here from the beginning: a new platform for desktop applications based on WinRT so that we can also start to "metrofy" our desktop apps (thinking about the Zune software here…).  That would have also given us the opportunity to put those WinRT desktop apps in the store AND those apps could also work on ARM windows.

  516. bzsys says:

    I posted a comment on another forum I think is relevant here. It was in response to this:

    "Consider this. To switch to a Chrome browser tab, you have to: switch to the [desktop] in the Metro application switcher (and hope this doesn't go wrong), switch to Chrome in the traditional taskbar, and then switch to the right tab within Chrome. This is insanity. (…) _ It's not a technical issue. Microsoft could easily integrate the two much more efficiently and more fluently if they wanted to."

    my response:

    Notice that the scenario you mention is only an issue for mixed use of both desktop and Metro style apps. If you're staying on the desktop, you've got the taskbar there as before. If you're just using Metro style apps, recent apps are available directly in the switcher.

    I do agree that mixed use is kind of awkward, and that's a flaw of Windows 8, but on the other hand if that's a problem for you it implies that you want to combine use of both to begin with. If that's the case, consider the alternatives that I've seen suggested:

    * Making a completely separate OS for tablets etc. whose apps can't be used on other PC form factors at all. Obviously, if you want mixed use it's worse to be completely locked out of it than to have it be kind of awkward.

    * Having a big modal switch that puts the whole PC into "desktop mode" or "Metro mode" (possibly when you plug in / unplug a keyboard or something). In this case, your scenario would involve first going into desktop mode, then selecting Chrome, then selecting a tab – so just as awkward as now. But it would also block a bunch of other ways of doing this and useful ways of using desktop and Metro style apps together. In your case, you also have the option of using alt-tab to switch directly to any app (Desktop or Metro style), going directly to Chrome if it's pinned on the start screen, using Win + <n> to go directly to it if it's the nth app pinned to the taskbar, etc. These wouldn't be available if you had to put the whole system into "desktop mode".

    There are other scenarios like using desktop and Metro style apps side-by-side snapped or on multimon, getting notifications from Metro style apps in desktop / desktop apps in Metro style apps, having a Metro style app / desktop app playing audio in the background while using a desktop app / Metro style app, etc., that would be pointlessly blocked by this approach. The only advantage is that it's conceptually simpler, but other than that it would make everything more awkward and nothing less awkward.

    That's not to say that no better approaches are possible here. I agree that "Microsoft could integrate the two much more efficiently and more fluently if they wanted to" but I disagree with "easily". It's tricky to design something that both integrates them fluently and still keeps them distinct and maintains the identity and benefits of each model. The "obvious" solutions like integrating the taskbar all have their own difficulties if you think about them. Considering this I think Win8 is OK for a first effort in this regard, hope to see improvements in the future.

  517. Mr Ulloa says:

    Aero was the only thing you got right with Vista, and its one of the only few things Windows wins over OSX as far as average users are concerned…

    PLEASE DO NOT KILL AERO!!!! AEROfy METRO if anything….

    I'd rather use OSX if I cant use Aero…


  518. HubertD says:

    So I read under the headline "trends we noted" such wild assumptions like "Connected all the time" and think that might explain a few things for me.

    Just returned from a few days reunion gathering with old friends.  Had a Win 8 Slate with me. And no, there was no wireless connection anywhere; even the cable based Internet connection slow. Does that serve as valid excuse why the thing could not display a locally stored picture (taken by its own camera) just because some stupid routine in the app things strolling the Internet without my permission was the better use of machine time and power?  The simple matter of fact remains however: we are in 2012 and the thing does NOT display a JPG picture, something most PCs 20 years ago and ever since could actually do.

    Ok, later we have the next wild idea: transfer some pictures from a Smartphone to my Win 8 Slate using Bluetooth. Good: I type Bluetooth and the OS actually takes me to the secret hidden place where I can actually establish a BT connection. That part is achievable within 20 minutes.  However, the extreme high complex task of shuffling a picture via this BT connection remains a vague hope it may eventually work. I gave up two beers later; theoretically connected, practically the job not done.

    That is the piece that drives me crazy: no matter how primitive the task, that Win 8 slate does not do the simplest of things.  For instance a weather app that shows temperature in Fahrenheit only is worse than no app.  And frankly I will not praise this guy if and when he eventually does his minimal homework. And now the admittance that device will only work with excessive bandwidth makes me – well angry. No, the world does not consist of Redmond alone and the developer's Gigabit net, yes the real world has spots of no connectedness, no it is not acceptable that my computer stops working once out of reach of a network; and I am not happy that it accepts only half the connections offered.

  519. Glass + Neon Aluminium (Aero) > WWWI Paper Propaganda (Metro) says:

    If the Windows Power Users / Fan boys / Developers / Gamers can't stand it, why do d you think Metro will be successful?

    You really think you can steal the Apple trend with METRO??? Really?

    Because Zune and Windows Phone did right? The iPod and iPhone are dead because of them right….

    Now going for the iPad…

    GENIUS!!!! This is some Genius move!!!

    Windows is the only thing Microsoft still has against Apple, get it wrong and lose all the market.

    And who knows what is Google doing… Last time I checked the Ubuntu people where working to port the full ubuntu Desktop to Android devices….

    You think you can get Market share in the mobile market by making windows like Windows Phone, but it will work the other way around… You will also kill Windows…

    People just think about it, Apple made iOS for phones and then extended it to run on tablets not made OSX slimmer, why is Microsoft doing it the other way??? To get Windows users to buy Windows tablets!

    I hope they suffer for the death of Aero… Aero is so cool that makes Windows look better than any *nix including OSX, kill that and OSX becomes cooler all of the sudden….

    I think the old Xbox style was better too….

    I will keep Windows 7 untill I decide what to do.

  520. @HubertD says:

    you can actually change it to Celsius… just check the settings…

  521. we are not hipsters says:

    You are killing Aero? You have to be kidding!

    That is the only thing I can use to shut up the mac users at Starbucks!!!

  522. Fashions fade away... says:

    Hopefully, the Swiss style trend will be over next year leaving windows 8 looking outdated.

    Aero wasn't a fashion… was a legitimate style, and damn good one for a computer…

  523. Want a professional OS says:

    Jensen Harris, go for designing ice cream, but let OSs alone.

  524. Dan I says:

    You have another Vista on your hands here MS. You need to at least create an option to have the classic desktop become the default in 8. MOST people do NOT have touchscreen computers  and MOST people will NOT pay the premium to get a touchscreen monitor.

    Better start having working on a "downgrade" option because you're going to have people wanting to go back to 7 in droves after they are forced to buy 8 on their new computers. Although I'm sure Dell will say "Dell Recommends a Touchscreen for Windows 8…$150 extra!!!"

  525. Richard says:

    Remember Vista? How it was getting good/neutral review before release? And then if failed massively.

    This is getting bad review from the beginning, I think this will be a bigger fail than Vista! At last an OS that can make Me some serious competition!  

    @'Glass + Neon Aluminium (Aero) > WWWI Paper Propaganda (Metro)' is right, zune and windows Phone couldn't even make it into the market, what made you think this was a good idea??

    When I go to JB Hi-Fi (Australian electronics chain) and I see the Windows 7 slates, they look way better than all the other tablets on display… They are not very touch friendly, but they look way better! I would buy one if they weren't so expensive…

  526. Christian says:

    I hate this design. Why do you think you are allowed to take stuff away like the start menu? Why not keep the Areo design available as well as classic design? Just make this new bright, eye-killing ugly white sterile design like a theme that can be switched off.

    I am really offended by how much stuff you try to force on me with Windows 8! I don't want a censored app store, colourless, sterile metro tiles and I want to keep the great look of colourful icons and the nice glass effect.

    I hope that Windows 8 will be a failure like Vista was. Go, work on tablets, copy Apples greatest sins and failures, but keep the old stuff around and don't spit into it like you do with Windows 8: Yeah, of course all those "legacy" apps still run and they run great. But everytime you start a program, we show you our great app dictatorshipstore. And even if you run the programm, we make it bright and white for you so that you might even buy a Nokia phone no one wants.

    I'm really disappointed and disgusted by what I have to read about Windows 8. 🙁

    It's so sad to see this great operating system go down

  527. Dont delete it says:

    Windows 8 prognosis for sales: not that good. That is the latest finding from research entity Gartner.

  528. average user says:

    Make Aero look more like Metro and Metro look more like Aero and you have new refreshing yet cool style!

    But don't kill Aero… transparent makes it look premium…  

  529. Jonny says:

    This looks like a website….

    Websites use that style because its not possible to make a website look as good as Aero…

    Why are you downgrading to the website level?

    You are not Google and this is not Chrome OS or WebOS…

    Sad Sad Sad days…

    I cant keep windows 7 because I want to jump in the App world…

    It seems I'll have to buy myself a Mac and an iPad…

  530. jader3rd says:

    Last night my wifes family was over. I thought I'd take the opportunity to show them the CP. I showed my teenage sister-in-law the Start Screen, went to the Desktop and asked her to go back to the Start Screen. She had never even heard of Windows 8 before, and she moved the mouse to the bottom left hand corner of the screen, saw the Start Screen preview pop up, clicked it and effortlessly made it to the Start Screen.

    I showed them the search and share charms, and they liked those. My brother-in-law finished playing around with it by saying "it just has a bigger Start Menu." Here I had four non-technical Windows users, and there was no weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth because of the new operating system. They liked what they saw and none of the changes were that big of a deal. I imagine it'll be the same with most people.

    One bad experience I had was the other day my wife got angry because she couldn't figure out how to switch from my account to her account. I know how to do it, but there probably should be a search result for "Switch User" in the Start Screen search to help people find out how to log out/switch user.

  531. Things End says:

    Windows is coming to an end with Windows 8.

    Amy Gx you're too young to understand, or Windows enthusiast.

    Negative comments are right.

    There will never be a…. Windows 9.

    Or maybe there will be a Windows 9 few months after Windows 8.

    Windows 9 will put things back in track again.

    Unless it is like Office 2007 and 2010 that didn't fix things at all.

    Fact is, you can't force people to use things the way YOU want, Microsoft, it's silly and useless. You must give choice… know what choice means? Get a dictionary.

  532. Learn from APPLE! says:

    So what is next? Are you dropping metro in 4 years?

    Why can't you stick with one style and improve upon it? Aero was a great start…

    Look at Apple (for a change…), they have been using the same style since OSX came out…

    And does not look 'old'.

    Remember that Switzerland its known by its cheese.

  533. techguy77 says:

    Metro looks flat and plain compared to Aero.

  534. JakeJackson says:

    I'm a long time user of Windows since the 3.1 days, I'm also a developer and User Experience Researcher and Designer. Quite frankly, this design option SUCKS and simply throwing away one of the best UI designs (Aero) I've ever seen just…wow. I have to give you credit Microsoft, you really do know how to alienate people. This will be the version of Windows that I will skip and wait for 9, that is of course, if you still exist as a reputable company. Harsh I know, but just cause. Now I'm not just speaking for Aero, but the whole UI guideline thing that was introduced in Windows Vista. Heck, it took you a while but in Windows 7 theres alot of consistency that wasn't present in Vista. Now you've just gone and broke the whole thing for no good reason. Metro is a MESS, the whole Frankenstein feeling when switching your work methods on this OS is just gut wrenching. The start menu is beyond repair, the start button being thrown out is another bad decision.

    And Don't get me started on WinRT. What a JOKE. I like how you call 99.9% of the Windows apps out there 'legacy' when they run on 'Desktop App' (we are speaking about Windows – not iPad, right?) just for the pure sake of it. There's many frameworks by your teams for one, .NET, possibly one of the best run-times and languages you can get and you ditch it for a HTML5 clone, that, by the way, isn't even open API and you lock companies such as Mozilla and Google out for fun. Not to mention introducing even more security vulnerabilities because of the tight integration with Windows internals.

    And that's another thing, once Windows 'iPad' 8 is released the Security App developers are going to have a field day with you. You are going to see lawsuits left right and center because of your 'quiet' rename of Security Essentials to Defender. Now, I'm not saying you don't have the right to protect your product from malware BUT it's not the product that Anti-Malware software is protecting. It's protecting the END USER's data and END USER's computer from harm, not Windows. Windows can be re-installed at any time but data loss cannot. Thats the difference, and that's what will be used in a court of law.

    And my last point, see how I emphasized the words END USER. That's something you forgot about when dropping this whole metro business on us, your users and developers, the people that actually make you successful. I'm typing this from Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, possibly the best and last operating system to be coming from Microsoft, and the last I'll be using until you pull the plug.

    Take my advice – Drop Windows 8 and shush it under the intellectual carpet and call it a 'Mojave Experiment', admit it didn't work, and slightly tweak and improve what we what in Windows 7, i.e USB 3, a few more goodies and call it a evolution of Windows 7, Windows 8, how it should have been done, not this holy cow of a contraption.

    Well, that's my rant over but I think everyone here will agree that my opinions (but mainly truth) are justified.

    I'll stick to Windows 7, thanks.

  535. grimace11 says:

    So basically the visual style for desktop apps in Windows 8 is pretty much the Watercolor style from Windows XP beta days (Whistler)?

  536. bzsys says:

    "I like how you call 99.9% of the Windows apps out there 'legacy' when they run on 'Desktop App' (we are speaking about Windows – not iPad, right?) just for the pure sake of it."

    Uh? Where exactly do they call them 'legacy'? It says pretty clearly in the blog post above:

    "We do not view the desktop as a mode, legacy or otherwise—it is simply a paradigm for working that suits some people and specific apps."

  537. Justin Bubba says:

    There's no need to remove things from the desktop, unless it's for battery life. Anyway you should give an option to turn them back on (Start button, Aero Glass) if I am using a desktop PC or notebook and not a tablet.

    You should REALLY give people a selection: 1) Tablet mode (all effects off, automatically selected if a tablet is detected) – 2) Desktop