Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 25th Oct 2012 20:50 UTC
Windows "Microsoft today announced the global availability of its popular Windows operating system, Windows 8. Beginning Friday, Oct. 26, consumers and businesses worldwide will be able to experience all that Windows 8 has to offer, including a beautiful new user interface and a wide range of applications with the grand opening of the Windows Store." I'm still not clear on what '12:01 AM local time' means, but if it means it goes on sale in every country on 12:01 AM, I'll be buying in a bit over an hour!
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It's counter-intuitive (or at least to me), doesn't offer up any clean way to multi-task and feels severely crippled.

Multitasking is very clean and easy, at least to me. Hold down the back button and you get "cards" containing your running tasks that you can select from by swiping, and each card has a screenshot of the task. To me that's cleaner than Apple's "drag four fingers up the screen and pick a cryptic icon", and it's very similar to the method in 4.x versions of Android.

As for why I found it counter-intuitive:
* the monochrome glyphs take a bit of guesswork sometimes (I really miss having labels on the icons to help me identify their functions). So I'm often left guessing what I have to tap to perform a specific function.

I enjoy the clean, simple glyphs but then I'm a big fan of simplicity and neatness. The lack of text on most tiles is an advantage, and the tiles that do require text do so in a tidy way.

* notifications are hidden unless you're at the metro home screen. This is a real pain as if you're browsing a web page, you can't just flick and see if you want to read the message or carry on surfing the net.

This bugged me too at first, until I discovered that the browser wouldn't auto-refresh if I hit the home button long enough to glance at my tiles, and even go into another task to read the message. This goes back to the (mostly) intelligent task switching power of the OS. Granted, if you leave the browser for a long time and go back it will probably refresh the page, but that's true of all the current mobile OSes.

* tiles take up too much space! I resent having scroll so much to launch applications (actually, as much as I love webOS, the launcher on there grated me a little as well).

No argument there! I'm really looking forward to 7.8 to address this gross oversight.

* everything is too samey. I mean that's great if you're watching someone else use their phone as you can gasp at how pretty everything looks. But as a user, it means I cannot just glance at the screen to spot an application. So I have to analyse the screen detail until it locating stuff becomes memorised.

Again, I consider this a breath of fresh air. Pick up Android phones from three different manufacturers and you would probably find three completely different paradigms to do the same tasks. iOS is better in this regard, but static icons are a throwback to the 80s and don't compare in the slightest to live tiles. That said, live tiles aren't as useful as widgets on Android, but I have a feeling Microsoft will try to make them more interactive in the future.

Most of those issues are just down to getting used to the platform and some might be down to my dyslexia (referring particularly to the "samey" complaint here). But quite frankly, I never had the same difficulties with webOS, iOS nor Android.

I also suffer from a very mild case of dyslexia (are you by chance left hand dominant?) but I have had the opposite experience: Metro actually helps me avoid dyslexia-related mistakes.

Personally I don't particularly like the aesthetics of Metro either. I think Microsoft have made it too plain. But that's purely personal preference and I can't blame anyone who does genuinely like the whole theme.

Indeed, everyone's tastes are different and one of the greatest things about Android is its extreme customizability.

Thank you for responding and giving me an outside perspective! I often hear people say "Metro sucks" and when asked why they say "'cause it's Microsoft, duh!". While I don't care much for Microsoft, I have no problem enjoying the use of their better creations. It's the same with Apple; the company disgusts me but I still regard OS X as one of the best OSes on the market today.

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