Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 14th Apr 2013 18:22 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
Windows You can say what you will about Windows Phone and Windows 8's Metro interface (I refuse to drop that name) - it's inefficient, unpopular, cumbersome, beautiful, ugly, organised, clean, limiting - but there's one thing we can all agree on: it's unique and distinctive. CNet has published a profile of Microsoft's Albert Shum, the man behind Metro, and he highlights what I think is at the very core of Microsoft's problems in mobile right now.
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Comment by Morgan
by Morgan on Sun 14th Apr 2013 19:42 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

It's easy to conclude that because of the (so far) failure of Windows Phone's and Windows 8's Metro to make any significant dent in the market, Metro as a whole, and thus, digital design, is not what consumers want. In less obtuse words, that Metro is the reason why Windows Phone and Windows 8 aren't successful.

This reasoning has never held up to scrutiny very well.


I couldn't agree more. The only reason I'm using an Android phone right now instead of my HTC Arrive WP7 phone is because of little bugs unrelated to Metro or the WP7 interface itself. It seems that a lot of the third party apps I use are just poorly made, and fall victim to what may be bugs in the core of the OS. Last.fm for example, which would be amazing on the Arrive since you get unlimited internet radio on that platform (you have to pay for a subscription to get that on Android), instead falls on its face. The app sometimes takes up to five minutes to load, no matter how good the connection is, and often never loads at all. When it does manage to start, it will play about ten songs before locking up. Even on WiFi it craps out all the time.

That's just one example of many, and I think it's something deep in the bowels of the OS that is causing it. Perhaps these issues don't exist on WP8, but I wouldn't know since Sprint obviously has no desire to stick with the platform. I even managed to update the phone to the official 7.8 ROM ahead of the release schedule, and while it fixed a few bugs it introduced many more.

I also think Metro is fantastic on tablets, but I feel it has no place whatsoever on laptops and desktop PCs. Browsing around a computer store the other day, I came across a touch-enabled Sony laptop with Windows 8. The first time I lightly touched the screen to open an app, the laptop nearly fell over. I realize people want their laptops to be as thin and light as a tablet, but when you have to use one hand to steady the base so you don't tip the entire machine over when touching the screen, you get the feeling a touch interface has no business on a traditional laptop.

Windows 8 "full version" should come with a way to turn Metro off completely for traditional machines, and only be on all the time for tablets and phones. But that's an old, dead argument since it's obvious which direction Microsoft is going.

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