Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 17th Sep 2011 00:18 UTC
Windows In the article on Windows 8, I already mentioned that in order to demonstrate the viability of Metro for something other than Facebook and Twitter, Microsoft should come up with a Metro interface for Microsoft Office - one that doesn't leave out 90% of Office's features. Well, Microsoft has hinted that they are, indeed, working on Metro Office. In addition, it turns out Microsoft isn't entirely sure to how to address the issue if legacy applications on ARM.
Thread beginning with comment 489878
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Maybe Microsoft does know what it's doing ...
by MacTO on Sat 17th Sep 2011 01:48 UTC
MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

Microsoft is an easy target because they haven't been compelling in the tablet market as of yet, but they may know what their doing with Metro.

First off, I don't think that it is going to be a one-size-fits-all solution like existing tablets are. I suspect that we're going to see ARM based tablets that will be of limited functionality (at least initially) when compared to iOS and Android products. As many people have pointed out, the apps simply aren't there yet. But they could be in time.

I suspect that we will also see a variety of Intel based tablets. They will have serious shortcomings compared to ARM based tablets, e.g. in term of cost and battery life, but they will be able to run a broad range of native Windows and Metro applications.

But, in the long run, I suspect that will all be temporary. At least it will be if Microsoft is as serious about WinRT as they sound. Once applications are developed for WinRT they will run on both platforms, albeit they may have to be compiled for Intel and ARM if they are using native code. Now something tells me that the serious applications are probably going to ignore the UI guidelines that Microsoft it bound to develop for Metro, and stick to something more conventional, but they would run on your ARM tablet quite nicely if you hooked up a keyboard and a mouse -- and would be just as powerful as existing software.

It will take time though. After all, the existing Windows software ecosystem wasn't created overnight. Heck, Windows developers have even had to go through major transistions. Heck, Mac developers have had to go through major transitions and there was even a smaller market base to justify it. But Microsoft will probably succeed in the long run.

(Sorry iOS and Android fans, but everything I've seen from those platforms have been toys in comparison to what you find on Microsoft's platforms. I'm also not convinced that developers are eager to jump to iOS or Android for serious applications.)

Reply Score: 1

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Microsoft is an easy target because they haven't been compelling in the tablet market as of yet, but they may know what their doing with Metro.


Microsoft's previous attempts at tablets tried to get people to touch the desktop -- which was fraught with peril and essentially the wrong choice because windowed/desktop UI is small, complex, and difficult to target properly. Think about all of the toolbars and menus and junk UI that's impossible to target with a fat finger. Metro changes all that. It removes the chrome and clutter, and gets down to the essence of what the user is trying to manipulate. A lot of geeks will resist this change because they believe that the simplification somehow dumbs-down the user experience to the point where geek hegemony doesn't rule supreme anymore. But that's okay, because they still have their command-lines and desktop, if they really want it. It's just that the rest of the world wants a simpler experience.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

It's just that the rest of the world wants a simpler experience.


How can you be so sure? Any computer user, including grannies, who isn't a total idiot, will know how to use Windows, from XP to 7, or OS X.
As it has already been said, if you can't use such simple interfaces, you have no business using a computer.
But what matters most, time will tell and users will vote with their wallet. My money is on Windows 8 doing worse than Vista, regarding sales.
This will be also a great opportunity for OS X, if only Apple had somebody in charge who was visionary enough to bring Macs to the masses, by making prices more affordable.

Reply Parent Score: 1

vault Member since:
2005-09-15

A lot of geeks will resist this change because they believe that the simplification somehow dumbs-down the user experience to the point where geek hegemony doesn't rule supreme anymore. But that's okay, because they still have their command-lines and desktop, if they really want it. It's just that the rest of the world wants a simpler experience.

I think even the geeks agree that Metro is a superior interface on touch-based devices. What we don't want to accept is Metro being forced on the desktop computers. If you tried it you'd know that it's next to useless on a 24" monitor, operated with mouse and keyboard.

You could say that we don't have to use Metro if we don't want to, but the fact that normal desktop is suddenly being called "legacy", and all the new APIs target Metro, win32 supposedly being phased out, THAT'S what makes us nervous. It seems like Microsoft is forcing Metro on us, no matter the device, it's size, shape or controls.

Reply Parent Score: 2