Will the Metro user interface work on the Dektop?

Two days ago Windows 8 Release Preview was released to the public, while not being the final release of Windows 8, it is probably quite close. You can download the ISO files from here:


If you like me, had problems finding the key for it (it was hidden on the FAQ page), here is the key to install it: TK8TP-9JN6P-7X7WW-RFFTV-B7QPF.

I have tried the earlier builds of Windows 8 that has come out and after playing with the release preview for a short while I must say that my feelings toward Windows 8 is still somewhat mixed. I think the new application model, WinRT, is a step in the right direction to get away from the old legacy Win32. The Market Place is a must to compete with Apple. And the Metro interface seems like a good fit for tables, phones, etc. But Metro on the desktop? I am not sure about this.

A big difference between the mobile devices and the desktop is screen estate. On a tablets the screen area is limited and even more so on a phone. In this case it makes sense to run all applications in full screen. But on the desktop you generally have more screen estate available, and I prefer to use this to have more information visible. For example, I always want to be able to:

  • see a list of open applications
  • see the URL i am browsing
  • see all the tabs that are open
  • see my contact list of friends that is online
  • and something as simple as always have a visible clock on the screen

It does not matter if this wastes some of my pixels, I have plenty of them!

The Metro applications i have seen for the desktop so far have all been good looking. But take for example the calender application, full screen on a tablet, that is fine. Full screen on a 27″ monitor? No thanks. Also, most of the Metro applications I have seen so far seems to simple, not so useful applications inline with, app for twitter, app for stocks, app for something else that I already can do just fine in a web app. What I really want to see is a real complex application converted to Metro, like Office, or even better, Visual Studio. I might work, but even if it does I think using a Metro application on the desktop will feel like it is limiting your ability to multitask because of the full screen nature of it.

I guess time will tell, but for now it feels like the “legacy” desktop will be the frequently used one in Windows 8.


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