Aero-Style Design/Aero-Style Apps - Making Metro More Aero

    General discussion

  • Am I the only one who thinks that Aero, overall, is a better design concept than Metro? In my opinion, Aero represents the future - a powerful UI that can do everything you want it to do, while looking modern, clean, and beautiful at the same time; in short, Aero is everything for the desktop that Microsoft wants Metro to be for tablets. Not only that, Aero contains animations, control patters, and an overall design philosophy that is consistent with desktop use. Metro, by contrast, resembles where Windows was years ago while removing the power and flexibilty that was common to PC's of that era and today's era. Metro feels like it was designed for touch and then the team thought "How could we make this work with the mouse?" Therefore, why do we need Metro-style design when Aero on the desktop does everything that Metro does and more? There's nothing that prevents the Start Screen and full-screen apps from working in Aero and the Desktop. I, for one, would like to see an Aero-style version of the Start Screen for desktop users; Aero, in my opinion, is one of the best designs Microsoft has ever invented. I am interested in seeing if others agree with me.
    Friday, October 21, 2011 9:09 PM

All replies

  • Aero is definitely more mature and it is all the things you mentioned; modern, clean & beautiful - a great Desktop OS, I'm sure aero will be with us for a long time as will the whole WIMP GUI thing but it's not that great on a tablet, it's certainly workable. So in steps Metro, a UI designed for tablets that also happens to run on Desktops, Metro is/has all the things you mentioned for aero (obviously some refinements needed - this is only a developer preview after all).

    So two great UI's and two different platforms (tablet / PC), I applaud MS in their attempts at one OS across many devices (Windows Everywhere) but I think they've tried too much too soon, yes Tiles are great, yes the Start screen has certain benefits over the Start menu but could those improvements not been implemented gradually? An Aero version of the Start Screen sounds like a great idea to me because its jarring to flip from the Metro start screen to a desktop app (I avoid this btw because my work patterns mean I can fit all my apps on the 'classic' taskbar so once in 'Desktop' I can stay there all day - others I understand are not so lucky).

    How would an Aero start screen launch a Metro app and avoid that same jarring UI shift? How about in an Aero window (with a minimum size of 1024x768 or whatever the Metro minimum is) you'd lose the 'edge' UI swipes (charms, task switch, app bar) but there are already mouse equivalents to bring those up.

    How would such a Metro window appear in the task bar? Surely there must be some way of getting the app name from a metro app to populate the task bar description?

    Should you be able to launch the same Metro app more than once? No thoughts on this one at the moment.

    Would you want to launch a Metro app on a Desktop machine? Depends on the app, there are a couple of iPad apps I wish would run on my mac but there are also iPad apps that already have a mac equivalent (Garageband for example).

    My initial thought with the wdp was that Metro was pushed to the front to get developers 'immersed' in the Metro UI so they could get 'into' Metro and develop for it, I still hope that this was their aim but I'm now of the opinion that this should have been done via a 'Metro mode' switch the developers could flick if required, those that want to develop for Metro would definitely flick the switch (if only for UI testing) and the rest of the world would have had a 'better' windows 7.

    Once the world had got used to Metro they could gradually start merging the UI's, never completely though as there is a massive difference between usage patterns between desktop/tablet, scratch that, they could start some crossover in graphical appearance so the switch between Metro & Aero wasn't quite as jarring.

    Acer W500 tablet & dock, New 'works' Lenovo laptop Too much apple stuff. Remember: A Developer Preview is just that, a preview for developers - not everything will work 'just right' on day 1.
    Friday, October 21, 2011 11:20 PM
  • Great suggestions, postPCera!
    Saturday, October 22, 2011 1:06 AM
  • Come on everyone, lets show Aero a little love and start letting MS know we still care by making some suggestions for improving it:

    1. Aero start screen - see OP

    2. Trim some fat


    Is me asking why the taskbar has over generous hit areas and spacings, compact it down a little and we can pin more applications to it (maybe not a whole Start Menus worth).

    3. Some mechanism (gesture, Alt+key) to move windows around on a dual screen setup.

    I mostly run applications maximised on a dual screen setup (laptop + external monitor), usually I have Outlook maximised on the laptop and whatever application I'm using maximised on the monitor, what I would love is some way to quickly bring Outlook (but it could easily be something else like Excel) from the laptop screen to the main monitor and then throw it back when I'm done.

    4. Transparency - tone it down a bit more

    I find it irritating at its current levels but then I miss it if I turn it off?? Fussy aren't I, can we have a setting to adjust this (there may already be one but I haven't found it).

    Overall I really like the latest Aero in Windows 8 it looks very clean and I feel it lets me concentrate on the application I'm working in and not be distracted by the chrome. Hurrah for phasing out rounded-rects :)


    Edit: I changed any occurrences of 'Full screen' to 'Maximised'  


    Acer W500 tablet & dock, New 'works' Lenovo laptop Too much apple stuff. Remember: A Developer Preview is just that, a preview for developers - not everything will work 'just right' on day 1.

    • Edited by postPCera Saturday, October 29, 2011 12:50 PM
    Thursday, October 27, 2011 11:26 PM