Metro UI is the most important concept behind Windows 8, at least from the user view, and like we presented it in our previous posts, it’s the first milestone in an era where computers and portable touch-screen devices blend together to create a simpler world. And, simple is the word that this user interface relies on. As you will see from our post that follows today, Metro UI provides users of all touch input devices an easy-to-navigate menu, where you can leap from an application to another in just a few taps/clicks and where all the important information is presented upfront.
Designed by Microsoft back in the ages, the “simple, clean, modern” concept has stand behind well-known services like the Windows Media Center, Zune, Microsoft Encarta, the upcoming Xbox360 menu and most of all, Windows Phone OS. This was the first service where the mobile world encountered Metro style, leaving fans desiring for more. In a few words, Microsoft describes its style as being purely based on texts and content to navigate.
Basically, Metro UI it’s a tile-based interface where icons of all colours are replaced with simple pictures that blend into a chromatic “work of art”. It seems like “everyone” knows its place and integrates into the group without screaming its uniqueness. Also, if an application featured on the main screen contains updatable content, like Tweeter, Facebook or just a weather widget their icons will actually be created using that content. And you can interact with it.
To fully understand it, here are six important reasons why Metro UI rocks:
Universal Sharing: Sharing will be a lot easier from now on. Metro UI allows the user to change and share a file across all installed platform and those that relay on the cloud. Let’s say that you’ve seen a nice pic on Deviantart and you want to tune it up a bit and post it online. All you have to do is simply drag the photo to an editing program (Paint, anyone?), do your stuff and then drag it back to the Facebook and Tweeter apps. All of these are done from the main screen, without having to enter dozens of websites and closing/opening programs like an addict.
Universal Search: When talking about search, Metro allows all compatible applications to subscribe to the universal search and take part in the process. That means whenever you are going to look for something in the main search function, Windows 8 is going to seek across all platforms.
Hardware Acceleration: All Metro applications are automatically hardware accelerated. This means they will run faster than they should, not relying on software to launch.
Simplicity: Metro UI acts like a wall between the normal desktop and the user. It’s a conglomerate of widgets where all the icons display content and you can get in-touch with the content right from the main panel.
Economizing battery: When the battery is low, Metro suspends some of its processes to increase its life. That means one process that is not currently used will be closed until further notice.
New WindowsRT: the Windows Run Time has been changed to accommodate any social environment with the minimum amount of extra coding. For a usual user, this means that most programs can be modified to be compatible with social networks without much fuss.
Whether Metro UI will make a breakthrough from the first view or users will disable it after a few hours remains to be seen. Still, this stands as Microsoft’s most ambitious redesign of the desktop.