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"Spend all of Your Time in Metro" - Can I spend all my time in the desktop?

    Question

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    Like many others, I have had trouble adjusting to the new Metro style in Windows 8. I have pointed out the problems in the experience, and talked about how it makes no sense to create a touch UI and convert it to the desktop, effectively creating an inferior desktop product. On his blog, Steven Sinofsky said that if users wanted to, they could spend all of their time in the Metro experience and not ever use the desktop. What about the other way around? Will Windows 8 have the option of always using the desktop and never seeing the Start Screen/Metro UI? I tried to get used to it, but in the end, I decided that the paradigm has too many inherent flaws for desktop use, gets in the way of actually using the computer, and creates other problems. Will it be possible to use only the desktop, or not install Metro at all in the final version? I certainly hope so.

    Sunday, September 18, 2011 6:03 PM

Answers

  • They view the desktop as an application within metro...

    Maybe that's ok if you are on a "touch-first" device.

    Maybe, they should do the same from the opposite angle...

    When on a desktop oriented environment - reinitialise the "normal" start menu and view metro as an application?

    That way you get both, but from different angles.

    On a table? boot in metro and desktop is an "app".

    On a desktop? boot in desktop and metro is an "app".

    Monday, September 19, 2011 8:55 PM

All replies

  • It's always tricky to transition into a completely new user interface. One of the big reasons why people are unwilling to jump to Metro right now is because there are no decent apps yet. As Metro apps get more and more interesting, I see people spending more and more time in Metro, until eventually they spend barely any time on the desktop at all.

    I think that's what Microsoft is going for.

    Sunday, September 18, 2011 6:18 PM
  • We can only hope that there will be a 3rd party tool that will ultimately allow a Metro App to be displayed in a window so we aren't limited to the Fisher-Price concept of using just one big full-screen app at a time.

     

    -Noel


    Sunday, September 18, 2011 6:33 PM
  • Sunday, September 18, 2011 6:34 PM
  • With adequate level of customization of the ‘Start’ screen as in this ‘Developer Preview’ build, I do find that ‘Start’ screen is a better place to have my desktop applications tile being pinned, a place where I can launch my application. Just like many others, I do like to use powerful desktop applications. But those applications are optimized for mouse and keyboard and used in a fixed place. They are less mobile, not suitable to be used in smaller devices. What I meant is that more mobility means less productivity. But with the variety of form factors, PC can be a consumption device as well. In the tablet form factor which you use as a consumption device, it may not be good for heavy use but ‘Metro Style’ applications make it a good consumption device, which justifies what Steven Sinofsky said, ‘if users wanted to, they could spend all of their time in the Metro experience and not ever use the desktop’. Of course you are doing work at your desktop PC, you are definitely spending all the time with desktop applications with ‘Start’ screen being the place you can take a glance on the desktop applications you may want to use.


    Sonic the Hedgehog
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 7:40 PM
  • Let me as a user be clear in feedback to Microsoft. You are doing a great job with the Start screen for tablets.

    However, it is high priority for me to be to disable Metro/Start screen altogether and keep all the rest of improvements in Windows 8. Of course I would be using the Start screen with my tablet devices, just not with my laptop and desktop and it is imperative that Microsoft enables this choice for us from the GUI/control panel, not some registry tweak. Thank you. There should be Group Policy support to control this and all new Windows 8 features like Explorer Ribbon, new task manager etc.
    Monday, September 19, 2011 4:44 PM
  • It's always tricky to transition into a completely new user interface. One of the big reasons why people are unwilling to jump to Metro right now is because there are no decent apps yet. As Metro apps get more and more interesting, I see people spending more and more time in Metro, until eventually they spend barely any time on the desktop at all.


    This couldn't be further from the truth.

    I'm a developer.  70% of the time, I use the following applications simultanously:

    - visual studio
    - sql server management studio
    - a browser with a couple of tabs (msdn, forums, other things relevant to what I work on at that moment...)
    - media player
    - notepad++
    - word (analysis docs)
    - Outlook
    - msn

    Most of these applications are arranged on my desktop in such a way that they can all be seen all the time.  That's not because I 'like' it that way.  It's because I NEED it that way. 
    Suggesting that I could replace all that with a couple metro apps simply doesn't sound serious.  I can't take that seriously.

    It doesn't matter what kind of applications they develop for metro.  When I'm doing actual work, using a FULL SCREEN for a single application will only slow me down.  It would hurt my productivity.  A lot.  It would be like taking away my secondary monitor.  Or my right arm.

    No amount of metro style applications could EVER replace (or, more importantly: improve) what I do now. 


    Monday, September 19, 2011 8:46 PM
  • They view the desktop as an application within metro...

    Maybe that's ok if you are on a "touch-first" device.

    Maybe, they should do the same from the opposite angle...

    When on a desktop oriented environment - reinitialise the "normal" start menu and view metro as an application?

    That way you get both, but from different angles.

    On a table? boot in metro and desktop is an "app".

    On a desktop? boot in desktop and metro is an "app".

    Monday, September 19, 2011 8:55 PM
  • When OS detects user plugged in a Keyboard or Mouse. It is likely to be an indication that his mind set n interface requirement has changed.

    In desktop mode, the current Windows 8 Start Screen looks messy and out of place. (metro style apps may still looks great, since the 1 content fill up most of the screen estate. However somehow the current start screen look messy)

    I think Charms plus a search bar, is cleaner, in a desktop mode. We might not need those live tiles.
    If MS insist to have information at a glance @ desktop mode, maybe;

    1) Use the lock screen concept of information at a glance. At unlock mode, the desktop is filled with more information, using beautiful font typography, from live tiles pinned to the mobile mode start screen.

    or

    2) re-arrange the tiles for desktop mode. Take reference to some magazine design or something. When Zune's QuickPlay is at Max Windows size, their tiles is not at the centre. What if Win8 lives tile are not in the centre or smaller in size when in desktop mode ... etc

    I am not sure why current start screen experience at desktop mode just does not feel neat or flow. It cause one to feel disjoint n intrusive, jumping from 'old' experience/model to 'new' experience/model to 'old ....' 



    //another minor annoyance;
    When someone look over my shoulder, they will be able to obtain alot of information about me, with a glance of my start screen.
    If I am in mobile mode, I can avoid / turn away. The screen is closer to me in mobile mode. 
    In desktop mode, screen is rested on the table, with keyboard / mouse + kick stand, it is harder to avoid.


    I really hope MS success in this 'bet'.  Good Luck.

    Yes to Freedom of choice and supporting customer's past investment.

    Thursday, September 22, 2011 1:23 PM