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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Future Of Windows: Metro Ui

Earlier today, Steven Sinofsky (the president of the Windows Division at Microsoft, as we all know by now) has posted another entry on the “Building Windows 8” blog, centered on the UI of Windows 8 and how the new Metro experience could affect consumers.

An important goal for Windows 8 he emphasizes is the harmony of the two UIs: one similar to Windows 7, and a Metro interface. The inception of Windows 8, he reveals, began in the summer of 2009, before Windows 7 shipped, and the goal? To completely reimagine Windows and asking some important questions: How do you attract a wide set of developers to a new platform? How can installing and removing applications be made painless and easy? How do you prevent applications from draining battery power? With these questions and more in mind, the building of Windows 8 began.

There is no doubt that Windows 7 has been a huge success. “Hundreds of millions of people rely on the Windows 7 UI and existing Windows apps and devices every day, and would value (and expect) us to bring forward aspects of that experience to their next PCs.” Sinofsky writes. He recognizes that Windows 7 powers business software, a wide variety of apps that people rely on, and provides a level of precision and control that is necessary for certain tasks. In other words, the desktop experience provides things that you can’t do as easily with a touch-only interface. Sinofsky points out that people don’t want to carry around two devices; those who have embraced tablets also usually own a laptop for those times when they need more precise control or need to use an application that is not/will not be available for use on tablets.

The bottom line is that Windows 8 brings together all the power and flexibility you have in your PC today with the ability to immerse yourself in a Metro style experience. There are no compromises. You carry on device that does everything you want and need, which is connectable to the peripherals you desire.

What do we think? I personally applaud Mr. Sinofsky; I agree wholeheartedly with his approach. I think we can all agree that no one uses tablets exclusively. Whether at work or at home, you have another PC. For more “heavy” tasks like modeling 3D objects or animating video, we automatically look to our desktop or laptop. Isn’t it peculiar that almost no one writes applications for a tablet on a tablet, while desktop programs are always written on a desktop? The unification of the tablet UI and the desktop experience is a necessary process and one that must be well thought out.

What do you, the readers and customers, think about Microsoft’s approach?

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