Is it too late for an "AMero" interface? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I'm going to call it "AMero", but what I mean is a hybrid Metro/Aero interface for Windows 8. Today found me installing the Dev Preview on a number of W7-logo convertible tablets... with moderate success. I quickly got used to running Metro on the devices that worked well with touch (good capacitive touch screen), and struggled with those not detecting the first-pixel swipes for the side bars. But generally, it' an interesting interface that I see potential in.

    Where the side let me down was on a desktop PC that had no touch. Now, I am sure I could get by fine if Microsoft ever releases the new Touch Mouse here, but when using a boring old mouse and keyboard... I struggled. The swipe to start from the lock screen felt clunky, and the requirement to click on the "Desktop" tile before I found my desktop-based productivity tools... well... that was annoying. And here's where I think a change could occur. I agree with the W8 Explorer (Aero) being there for the productivity applications. I agree with the Metro interface for tablets. I can even agree that the W95-though-XP fly-out and Vista/W7 collapsible "Programs" menu is a shocker. What I can't cope with is the way that the desktop experience is forced to sue the tablet experience as a "Start Menu". Now, it's important to note that I DON'T want the W7 Start Menu back... good riddance... but I do want access to "User's Files", "Computer", "Control Panel", "Devices & Printers", and "Search" from where the start menu should be. And this is where the "AMero" comes in.

    Image, if you would, that a computer that is detected and found to NOT support touch or pen input could switch the functionality of the "Metro" interface with the "AMero" interface. What does this look like? Well, how about this;

    1. You enable the CTRL+ALT+DEL functionality for the lock screen so that keyboards can be used for the logon process (just like when you bind the computer to a domain - which I did a few times today).
    2. When you unlock your computer, you land on the familiar Explorer interface instead of the Metro interface.

    3. When you click the "Start" button, instead of the current flip to Metro and it's prompt-less search functions, it instead displays a full-screen "Menu" just like the "File" menu does in Microsoft Office 2010.
    4. Within this full-screen menu experience, you can present a side panel for "User's Files", "Computer", "Control Panel", "Devices & Printers", and "Search"... but the rest of the screen can use the Metro panel we see now. So instead of the horrible old "Programs" menu, we still have all the functionality of "Metro"... but this functionality sits alongside the functions used by Windows 7 destop users, and functions as a "Start Menu" for those users as well.

    Now, things could get merky when you consider touch mice and add-ons like Wacom tablets that can convert the desktop to pen/touch enabled (or when you switch to a touch-enabled monitor), but I think that Windows 8 needs to be the best of both worlds. Several experienced IT Professionals got to play with the W8 installs today, and all felt a little lost. The Start button is something we all click on, if just to type to enable search. Having this change the visual style and appear as a separate app, with a separate UI and UX... well, it's confusing. 

    NOTE: We ALL struggled to find the "Shutdown" options too. I think that needs a bit more work. Maybe add those options to the profile pic menu? Maybe also enable a Shift-Click command on the "Shutdown" to perform a full shutdown (if that hasn't already been suggested and/or implemented).

    Parting words: I think I like it... but I think it needs some tweaking to become seamless. Also, not including the feedback tool (and hiding it on Connect) is a pain, so is the round-a-bouts I am facing behind an authenticated proxy where Windows Update and .Net 3.5.1 is concerned... oh, and so too is the lack of WPA2-Enterprise/PEAP/MSCHAPv2 authentication for our wireless (get contant auth requests). 

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 11:20 AM

All replies

  • http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/4762/explorerwin8.png


    Thursday, September 15, 2011 11:46 AM
  • @ Murray

    How about enabling the Desktop toolbar by default and moving it beside the Start button?   The Touch Keyboard seems to get enabled by default so why not that one too for at least, as you say, the right context?   ; )

    BTW I already opened an incident about not being able to move the Desktop toolbar from the right, also that once I tried to resize it, its first item remained exposed when I relocked the Taskbar.



    Tuesday, October 25, 2011 4:05 PM
  • I'm seeing some great feedback on this forum and I certainly hope that this type of feedback is making it's way up the food chain...

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011 11:48 PM