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Posted 26 Aug 2011

An Early Bird's View of Windows 8 "Metro UI"

, 26 Aug 2011
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In this post, you will read about an early bird's view of Windows 8 "Metro UI"

Microsoft is formally making its pitch to sustain and continue to hold the commendable position in the world of operating systems. In this effort, Microsoft has recently announced its revolutionized, most discussed, and would be most debatable Metro UI for Windows 8 operating system.

Just a day or two before this article was published, Microsoft has been granted a patent for its "Metro UI" from US patent and trademark office, and this patent was filed under the name 'Visual motion for user interface feedback'.

What Made Microsoft Invent "Metro UI"?

Windows 8 derived this idea of Metro UI from its most popular "Windows phone 7" UI. As Microsoft burnt its fingers with Windows CE phones, since these phones failed to cater to user expectations in many areas, Microsoft really had to bring in radical changes and innovative features into its next generation of phones to stay in the competition and live up to its reputation. "Metro UI " is one of the biggest changes that the designers at Microsoft stressed for.

Why is it Even Called "Metro UI" ?

There is an interesting story behind this. The designers at Microsoft were working hard to find out what makes humans perceive things quickly and easily, and as research went on, they found that people showed capabilities to perceive Sign board, Warning boards, Information board displayed at Metro stations and many other public places.

Microsoft decided to milk out this idea, and redesigned Windows phone UI as sign boards displayed at metro stations and named it as "Metro UI".

A Sneak Peek of Windows 8 Metro UI

Microsoft has re-engineered its conventional desktop UI to bring in home screen concept in Windows-8. This is a significant change when compared to all old versions of windows UI, however this Metro UI doesn't seem to be a big change for Windows Phone 7 users as Windows 8 UI is inline with Windows phone 7 UI. Now Microsoft has decided to introduce this unique UI across all gadgets like Phones, Tabs, Desktops, Laptops, etc.

As most of you might be knowing, Microsoft is expected to release Windows 8 during Fall 2012, though beta releases are made available for selected OEMs, there has been no official beta builds available for the public. But few companies and geeks (rainmeter and omnino) are successful in emulating Windows 8 metro UI on Windows 7 and below are a few glimpses.

Home Screen

  • Home screen is a unified central location providing quick access to apps, file system, multimedia utilities, E-mail clients, browser, HTML 5 and JavaScript based web apps and many more.
  • Home screen is all set to replace decades old windows start menu.

Live Tiles

  • Home screen is customizable by adding live tiles which will be replacing static icons.
  • A live tile can be created for each of the application that you would like to have a quick access to
  • Live tiles are highly customizable like gadgets on Windows 7.
  • These live tiles just not being acting as access points for applications, but they also provide a summarized view of application content.
  • Live tiles are dynamic and they get updated with the most recent application content.

Other Significant Changes

  • Smooth switching between running apps
  • Anchor and re-size apps to the sides of the screen to leverage true multitasking
  • Touch optimized Internet Explorer 10 with improved browser engine
  • Thousands of HTML5 and Java based web apps
  • And many more undisclosed features

Most of us are hooked to the fact that "Seeing is believing", and from all the specs that Microsoft has made available for the public, I'm sure that Microsoft will emerge as a winner with this innovative UI. As Bill Gates always said, "Passion and Innovation" are the key factors driving their business, and it looks like this apetite for innovation has paid off.

After all, we need "Change"... So looking forward to you Windows 8. :-)

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Vijay Rajanna
Engineer
India India
I am Vijay hailing from Bangalore, the silicon valley of India. I posses extensive expertise working in mobility domain. I have a natural propensity for "Research and Innovation".

My areas of interest include Pervasive computing, Cognitive sensors, HCI, and Multimedia. Being strongly resolute with an everlasting fervor for learning, over the years I have learnt to come out of comfort zone to experiment with state of the art technologies and to contribute to developer community.

I blog about innovations and latest technologies from mobility domain, about development environments and programming languages across different platforms.

Blog : Amusement of a speculative mind...[^]
Projects : Amusement of a dilettante mind...[^]
LinkedIn : Vijay D R [^]

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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionNice intro Pin
Pradeep Venishetti8-Jun-12 6:55
memberPradeep Venishetti8-Jun-12 6:55 
QuestionUseful article Pin
sinun14-Nov-11 1:55
membersinun14-Nov-11 1:55 

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