Windows 8's traditional desktop to be a separate app, the touch-optimized Metro style UI takes over

Windows 8's traditional desktop to be a separate app, the touch-optimized Metro style UI takes over
Microsoft announced at its Windows 8 blog that the tile-based Metro UI desktop would be a permanent feature, and the traditional Windows 8 desktop code won't even be loaded in the background, unless you call it as a separate app.

The software giant might have a winner on its hands with this approach. If you turn on the screen only to do simple tasks like browsing, chatting or working up your social networks, you will be greeted with the touch-optimized Metro style UI, whose Live Tiles are brimming with info you can gather at a glance.

If, however, you need to run one of the hundreds of thousands of PC applications that have been designed with the traditional Windows desktop in mind, you can call it up, and it will load as a separate app. Otherwise no Windows 8 desktop code will be loaded to save on memory and battery. Pretty neat approach, and Microsoft also revealed some changes in the Windows Explorer navigation interface.

Everything will be Ribbon-ized now, like in Office, with big fat icons, which will be more finger-friendly than what we have now in Windows 7, so even if you switch to the traditional desktop view, the interface will be more touchscreen-friendly now, despite that it will work well with a keyboard and a mouse as until now.

Microsoft will unveil much more about how deep the Metro style UI goes at its BUILD conference September 13-16, which is dedicated to the Windows 8 era. Now, where are those quad-core Windows 8 tablets?

source: Microsoft



1. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

Oh no ! Is use Windows 7 at work, and from what i have seen Windows 8 will not do it where i work... Maybe we should start using linux instead...Wait, the product we are selling needs Windows so i don't really know what to do. Just hope Windows 8 is better than what i have seen. For a normal consumer Windows 8 is better, but for businesses Windows 7 is better.

3. ilia1986 unregistered

why not, peter? Windows 8 = windows 7 with many optimizations and a touch-friendly widget interface for tablets.

18. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Relax, Peter. The desktop experience with W8 will be much more smooth and polished than your experience with the Omnia at the soft start-up of WP7 was. It will not make your life any harder for you. I am truly sorry your time with WP7 left such a bad taste in your mouth. Hope Windows 8 improves your opinion of it.

20. Peterlfromsweden

Posts: 8; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

Let's see what happens with windows 8 : )

41. HeyBadaBadaSwingBadaBada

Posts: 10; Member since: Aug 30, 2011

Only great things :)

33. kainy

Posts: 165; Member since: Aug 10, 2011

Dude ... rly? Didn't you learn anything or you just like to spam ... they said that you can use only Metro style if you want, and if you don't like it you can use the old school Win7 underneath the Metro UI... Is it that hard to understand?!

2. ilia1986 unregistered

Exccccellent. Can't wait for it to become the standard in the industry. This is the piece of software that will ensure that Tablets are PCs of the future.

43. Dubya

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 10, 2012

Yeah good luck trying to use a tablet for work! Just not practical!

17. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Looking like a winner!! Next evolution will be to allow pictures and graphics to allow for more customization. Betting Window 8 will allow that. Also will help push WP devices as user friendly experiences lead users to be more open to the phones. Microsoft is going one step at a time here. A mistake in todays mobile is more deadly than a delay. Really impressed with their patience.

19. pongkie

Posts: 663; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

too bad it's a year away and apple and android is teasing me like their doing lap dances. MS is too slowwwwwwwwwwww

21. surethom1

Posts: 31; Member since: May 01, 2009

The Tiles are just a wast of screen real estate, most of the tiles are just way to big, if they have noting to display like launching internet explorer or the app store, then they need to be 2 times smaller, hows can you have hundereds of apps & programs with such massive tiles.

25. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the tiles are "live" they display information in real time. Not every app you have has to be a tile. you have a choice to set it up that way. all the "other" apps that you dont have as a live tile are in a scrolling list. totally agree with illia and snowgator. unless something drastically changes in the android/apple tablet markets I'll probably end up buying a windows tablet if they are any good. For school that extra true PC functionality is a must. Todays tablets a great but they are more toys than power tools. If they do it right, i can see windows8 tablets taking a large chunk of the market. Schools and businesses will buy them by the boatload over ipads n android tablets for the same reasons I probably will.

22. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

Did microsoft change the managment or something, because they're coming up with some good stuff lately. They are taking the right path.

23. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

Yeah, it's better for consumers, but not for business use. Winmo 6 was great for business, but not so good for consumers. Windows 7 is great for business but not so good for consumers. On the other hand WP7 and Windows 8 seem to be designed for consumers, not businesses...

24. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

peter Microsoft did not say that Windows 8 would lack any feature from Windows 7, you still can do everything you do on Windows 7 on Windows 8 as well. But even better.

26. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

peter, windows 8 is a tablet experience. its a finger friendly UI over what is basically windows7 underneath. It is a full functional tablet that is supposed to be backwards compatatible with most all current windows PC programs. How is that not the best of both worlds?

27. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

I do think Windows 8 as tablet experinece woul be great (but bada of course would be my favourite), but i'm talking from a business point of wiew. anyway, i can't say to much before i see a video of it and acutally try it myself.

28. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Actually not much. Only PC version will be backwards compatible with other windows apps. Its probably related with processor and that regular windows apps are made more likely to use the most resources to bring the good experience, so taking all those into a device that's less able might cause a serious resource drain and a less deficiency. Devs will need to make their apps more resource friendly, this might as well encourage them to develop for Android and ios as well

29. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

well, this thing is supposed to be a quad core processor :) Id guess that the average specs of a windows8 professional style tablet are going to be very high compared to other tablets for the reasons u just mentioned proto.

30. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

it doesn't have to do with the amount of cores but for the possible architecture (unless they use regular processor but those consume a lot of energy)

32. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

34. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

oh i remember that. But im hoping its as easy as a program update from the developers to make it compatable. I wouldnt expect anything crazy for compatibility at first but I'm hoping within the year after launch that the major programs and such are updated to be compatable. Im not knowledgeable enough about driver programing to know how easy or hard it might be, but I can always hope. Portal2 and Starcraft2 on a windows8 tablet.. thats the goal... err.. i mean school work.. lol

39. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

well it might be as easy as adapting your app to be 64 bit optimized.... (hope you get the punch line) if they develop their apps for tablet use they might also make a version for other popular mobile OS's but I think pc devs are quite scared of the mobile market.... i mean you check how much they guys that made winrar charge and to think a mobile OS will have des-compressor and compressor app for lower than a dollar might sound outstanding to them, even if that dollar dev is making more money. I personally loved MS office (had it on linux and windows :D ) but after seeing what quick office can do for 20 bux and that is exactly what I use office for I was sold!, same with dolphin vs Firefox, will see beefier games on other platforms and maybe more of your favorite programs come to the mobile platform of your liking.

31. bluechrism unregistered

Microsoft typically do well with developers, but i'm still not sure I want Visual Studio with touch friendly icons and menus. Will be interesting though. I wonder if there will better dual screen support and if you can have Metro on one screen and the Windows 7 app on another. As far as the tiles go, one thing I am certain of, I would really like control over resolution or things like the number of tiles to display. Especially if i'm not on a tablet, and even if i were, if i had a 10" vs a 7", i might want more information visible on the one with the bigger screen, not just the same info but bigger. Will be interesting to finds out how competing browsers, as well as music and media players are able to integrate with the new UI. If they are not, I see another round of antitrust suits going on, esp in Europe. Lastly, touch friendly UI is nice, and i can see mice going away gradually as both PC monitors, as well as laptops and netbooks join the touch revolution. I still don't feel any need for a tablet though, and don't see any reason to really get one vs a Netbook/Laptop, and to some extent, my smartphone, unless I was a frequent traveller (Engadget had a great article about this a week ago). Touchscreen keyboards have no tactile feedback and you have to look at what you type, and lose screen real estate. Nice for browsing and media consumption, but how productive can you really be? MS should make sure their new OS remains a hub for productivity as well as media.

36. Daniel2324

Posts: 8; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

buy a transformer :D

35. Daniel2324

Posts: 8; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

buy a transformer :D

37. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

which one?? Optimus prime or Megatron? lol

40. Daniel2324

Posts: 8; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

optimus prime, I guess? :D

38. Jasneet unregistered

Win 8 tab and Nexus prime makes a perfect combination for me...I am saving for holidays

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.