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Hey, Microsoft: Don't Forget The Desktop in Windows 8: Page 2

Metro, the user interface designed for tablets, offers both promise and challenge to next generation Windows platform.
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It's not just the ribbons added to Explorer, either (not that most people seem to be fond of the latter anyway). It's all the kernel-level and OS-level changes have been made that make it a better system from the inside out.

The fast boot is remarkable, even in this early stage of the game. The native VM system, based on Hyper-V, is immensely useful. The system uses less memory and works that much more efficiently.

I want all those things. But I don't want the distracting, productivity-sapping baggage of the Metro interface on top of them.

I know I can turn off Metro with a single Registry edit. I'd rather not have to do that, because it doesn't fix the underlying problem: that Metro wasn't designed to work well on desktops, period.

Instead I'd like to see that many more concessions for desktop users in Metro, and less distracting ways for Metro and old-school Windows to coexist. How about, for instance, the option to run Metro apps in a window--where their size on a big screen will be a) adjustable and b) that much closer to what we get on a phone or even a tablet anyway? Or how about the ability to "pin" the Metro desktop to a second monitor, where I don't have to pay as much attention to it?

… or skip it

If Windows 8 is mainly meant to be a tablet OS, maybe I should just leave it there and skip a generation. It's not like Windows 7 is going to expire the second Windows 8 comes out. If anything, it’s fast looking like this generation's Windows XP in terms of longevity, which is reassuring.

A sure sign that Windows 7 was on to something good was how it didn't need major tweaking to be phenomenally useful. I've had to tweak each successive generation of Windows less and less to get it to perform well, improvements in hardware along the way notwithstanding. I don't want Windows 8 to be a regression in that respect.

IDC is claiming most Windows users will find Windows 8 irrelevant, with almost nobody bothering to upgrade from 7 to 8. In their purview, most of the people who bother with Windows 8 will be tablet users getting it as a preload. Business users are warned to stay away because of the problems the Metro desktop is going to cause with conventional enterprise apps--and because many of them are only just now getting up to speed with Windows 7 anyway. (I see that last reason as being the single biggest obstacle.)

Yes, I'm quite conscious of how the Windows 8 we're getting peeks of now is far from being anything like a finished product, or even a beta. I hope the rumored January beta gives us more hints where things are going. But from all I've seen, Microsoft is in danger of alienating the part of their user base that still matters the most.


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