February 29th Microsoft released its latest milestone in the development of Windows 8. The Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Let’s take a look.
I had previously in the fall downloaded the Windows 8 Developer Preview in the fall and it certainly was much rougher in the edges. Now I’ve had a chance to go and put thru Windows 8 Consumer Preview thru its paces.
Metro Is In
Windows 8 is unlike any Windows before and is a UI revolution. The Metro UI is very similar to Windows Phone and the best way to describe it as a departure. For decades the user interface of practically all software has revolved around real world imitations. The idea was that imitation gave people an idea of what to click or touch and how to interact with software. But that very idea limits innovation and why should computers mimic reality? Metro is that answer. Inviting you to touch, simple to understand, yet it is a revolution.
Gone is the start button, welcome the start screen filled with tiles. These tiles are live icons that can give you details at a glance so that you may decide you didn’t need to open say the music player to see what song was playing. And then when Metro apps do start it’s the whole screen. Immersive yet simple to understand and equally amazing that something so simple can be so beautiful.
Simple is the key word. It makes everything easier. People have always told me that Windows Phone was the easiest technology to learn and now that is arriving to Windows regardless of how you decide to interact with it: keyboard and mouse or touch.