Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 23rd Jun 2012 17:05 UTC
Windows Two links to Marco Arment within a few days? Well, if you make good points: "Many Windows developers were upset that iOS development had to be done on a Mac, but it didn't hurt Apple: the most important developers for iOS apps were already using Macs. But the success of Windows 8 and Windows Phone in the consumer space requires many of those consumer-product developers, now entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, to care so much about Windows development that they want to use Windows to develop for it. How likely is that?" As usual a bit too Apple-centric (he implies - as explicit as possible while still being implicit - that only iOS developers can create great applications), but his point still stands. Judging by the abysmal quality of Microsoft's own Metro applications (Mail, Video, Music, People, IE10, etc.), even Microsoft doesn't know how to create great Metro applications.
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It's true that the apps bundled with Windows 8 suck. In fact, ever since Windows 7's optional "install Windows Live Essentials instead" decision was I unhappy with the first-party apps on Microsoft Windows.

Outlook Express has long been horrible, but I had a ton of clients that used it, and even used it myself back when I had a POP e-mail account from my ISP. Then, when I first upgraded to Mac OS X back in 2004, I saw Apple's and loved it and wondered why Microsoft couldn't create something similar… something that wasn't as overkill as Outlook, but not as limited and shitty as Outlook Express (seriously.. the inability to import/export your mailboxes after how many versions was just ridiculous).

Ironically, for all of Windows Vista's flaws, the built-in Windows Mail application was beautiful. The interface was lean, it properly handled IMAP folders, and you could import/export. In fact, I set up an IMAP e-mail account on my web server just so I could use it. I loved it. Then, with Windows 7, they took it away and forced users to use that god awful Windows Live Mail mess (which was confusing to a lot of my clients because they also renamed "Hotmail" to "Windows Live Hotmail" so many clients didn't understand what they were using).

I think the Windows Live Essentials apps, with their horribly bloated and excessive "chrome" or window borders or whatever you call it, was the pre-cursor to Metro. A ton of wasted space that made the app look like their horribly designed web apps. Metro is the next logical step.

Microsoft has hidden behind the excuse "we're not showing all of the UI changes in Windows 8 yet" and "we're going to add more functionality… we promise" but the fact that after 3 public preview releases you can't add POP and IMAP accounts to the Metro Mail application is inexcusable. And the functionality of the app is pathetic. My old BlackBerry running OS 5 has more capability than that Metro-based Mail client (the BlackBerry not using an e-mail account that is connected to Exchange or BIS/BES… so, just plain old e-mail, which BlackBerry doesn't handle well at all).

Microsoft's first-party apps have been poor for quite some time. Windows Media Player has gotten more bloated. I know a lot of people claim otherwise, but the Zune software is absolutely horrible, bloated, and awkward to use in my opinion. Windows Movie Maker was a nice answer to iMovie back in Windows Me/XP but has gotten worse. Outlook Express finally shaped up into a decent client with Windows Mail in Vista only to be replaced by the most awful Windows Live Mail, and they have yet to offer a decent built-in solution for standards-based e-mail (POP/IMAP), calendars (CalDAV), and contacts (CardDAV).

Metro isn't going to be any better. Instead, we're going to see a bunch of "apps" for individual services and a bunch of free or cheap e-mail/calendar/contacts clients that differ very little and will work with standards and clog up the "Windows Marketplace." And to get the most out of Metro, each individual app/client will get its own "SUPER AWESOME LIVE TILES FTW!!!!!!" clogging up the already stupid and wasteful Start screen.

When Internet Explorer is the best first-party built-in app on Windows, things are pretty bad.

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