First of all, the Metro interface looks amazing. It is very light, clean and simple. The user experience is a result of the developer’s abilities to follow those three golden principles: light, clean and simple. But we all know that the Windows interface won’t always look so clean and elegant. It’s no fault of Microsoft’s, but after a few days of use, the Windows desktop will pretty much look the same as your desktop today: tons of icons, files and media with only God knowing where to find what. Today it’s easier to find something, as icons are small. But with the new Windows 8 interface, the icons are a little larger, so there’s a finite number of things you can fit on the desktop.
It’s a little odd that Microsoft settled on that name. Microsoft Marketplace would sound much less similar to, ah, that other app store belonging to You Know Who©. But the Windows Store is a great step forward for Microsoft. With the Metro interface it gives us really intuitive and simple access to thousands of apps – by genre, type, popularity, etc. And, as some of us know from using iOS and Android, this is quite a handy approach.
Improved task manager
Microsoft has actually managed to make it easier to work in Windows. Those who have just started using Windows won’t see all unnecessary stuff on the desktop, such as non-active apps, status messages, etc., and instead only will see the apps that are running or are not responding. If you are an experienced user, you can always configure the layout to show you more details on what’s been going on in the background. And, finally, if you want to kill a running app you just right click, then choose “close” and it’s gone. You won’t see any panicking windows with “Are you sure?!” –
New password types
Let’s face it—most of us are lazy. And when an expert tells you that a password made up of your cats’ names is not safe and something like “@_E#23$Ssdcnlse_ws@#$dnkj23” would be much more secure, most of us usually stick with option number one. (I bet 5 bucks that you are not using option number two, right? That’s what I thought.) Microsoft’s effort to bring new password and authentication mechanisms to Windows 8 is a big step in the right direction for helping users avoid weak passwords.
The Metro interface was designed for multi-touch displays. When you try to work it with your mouse it’s not always that easy and intuitive. On your tablet or smartphone you just make a swipe with your fingers and get to a different window or program. If you do the same with your mouse-pointer nothing good will come of it.
Questionable usability of Metro apps data
Metro apps are informative, but that’s not necessarily the best news. First off, developers are limited in terms of amount of data that can be shown on the icon. Usually it’s 1-2 lines of text. When you have about 40 apps on your metro desktop running, you won’t see that much info, to be honest. Second, the human brain is not that attentive. Even that limited amount of info in every icon can be too much to take in one setting. Trying to find info from one specific app on a full Metro desktop is a tall order.
Remember when you were opening two files on the same screen comparing the contents of both? Well, forget about that in Windows 8. You cannot do that the way you were used to. The only way you can perform this operation with Metro apps is to drag the file within the working area and let the app crunch it on the side of the screen. In most cases it’s not useful at all.
Full screen, all the time
Full-screen by default is annoying. Yes, when you launch Internet Explorer, for instance, it starts in full-screen mode and you can do nothing to change that, but get used to it and appreciate it. This is not something everybody is going to love at first sight, and it will take some getting used to.