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JerryW

Home Server Status: Metro

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JerryW

I use photoshop on a intuos wacom tablet for doing photo retouching. Sort of a side business I do. I must say it is definitely better than trying to use it on an iPad. Though, I like small photo editing on my iPad as well. I actually use the iPad as a nice magazine reader more than anything else.

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msawyer91

Now that I've played with Metro for a couple of days, it's not as "ugly" as I originally thought it was from early previews. My initial impressions, however, seem to be that the UI is more cumbersome for a desktop or laptop where a keyboard and mouse are used. For instance, finding the option to shut down or reboot took several clicks--and quite a bit of hunting--to find. And having to right-click to get the All Apps option to appear. I'm not quite sure what controls what appears in the default Metro list of applications.

 

Metro certainly has a lot of eye candy, and I can see a good amount of potential there. On the other hand, it just seems to be something that's optimized for a touch screen where you can quickly swipe with your fingertips, rather than having to move a mouse pointer or trackball to get the options you want to appear. So no doubt there is going to be a significant learning curve to find where things are, how to get to them, new keyboard shortcuts, etc.

 

And from a developer point of view, which would certainly encompass Home Server Show should Jerry decide to tackle Metro, there is going to be a development learning curve to learn and implement a new UI. A good example is WPF vs. Windows Forms. What seemed so straightforward in Windows Forms seems to require a LOT more steps in WPF. My guess is that Metro is built atop WPF. I made a comparison late last year between WHS v1 and WHS 2011's API...learning WHS v1 was like taking a 3 credit hour course at a community college, while the WHS 2011 API, which prefers you to use WPF, is more like an advanced masters thesis, maybe bordering on doctoral dissertation.

 

So Metro is not just about UI. It's a complete paradigm shift, and it would seem they're betting (at least half of) the farm on it.

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ikon

Now that I've played with Metro for a couple of days, it's not as "ugly" as I originally thought it was from early previews. My initial impressions, however, seem to be that the UI is more cumbersome for a desktop or laptop where a keyboard and mouse are used. For instance, finding the option to shut down or reboot took several clicks--and quite a bit of hunting--to find. And having to right-click to get the All Apps option to appear. I'm not quite sure what controls what appears in the default Metro list of applications.

 

Metro certainly has a lot of eye candy, and I can see a good amount of potential there. On the other hand, it just seems to be something that's optimized for a touch screen where you can quickly swipe with your fingertips, rather than having to move a mouse pointer or trackball to get the options you want to appear. So no doubt there is going to be a significant learning curve to find where things are, how to get to them, new keyboard shortcuts, etc.

 

And from a developer point of view, which would certainly encompass Home Server Show should Jerry decide to tackle Metro, there is going to be a development learning curve to learn and implement a new UI. A good example is WPF vs. Windows Forms. What seemed so straightforward in Windows Forms seems to require a LOT more steps in WPF. My guess is that Metro is built atop WPF. I made a comparison late last year between WHS v1 and WHS 2011's API...learning WHS v1 was like taking a 3 credit hour course at a community college, while the WHS 2011 API, which prefers you to use WPF, is more like an advanced masters thesis, maybe bordering on doctoral dissertation.

 

So Metro is not just about UI. It's a complete paradigm shift, and it would seem they're betting (at least half of) the farm on it.

 

In some ways I liken the paradigm shift in GUI to the one that occurred when Win95 was released. It took quite a while to figure out how to do things when one was used to Windows for Workgroups. However, I would never have gone back to WFW after getting used to the advantages of Win95. It happened again, albeit to a lesser extent, when XP came out.

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gcoupe

For instance, finding the option to shut down or reboot took several clicks--and quite a bit of hunting--to find. And having to right-click to get the All Apps option to appear. I'm not quite sure what controls what appears in the default Metro list of applications.

 

I've started to think of the "Charm bar" as the real replacement for the W7 Start Button. Like the W7SB, it combines the Search, the Power, the Devices and the Program shortcuts (the Start screen) all in one place. Plus it has the "Share" function.

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ikon

I wonder if the Irish version of Win8 will have Lucky Charms :D

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JerryW

You guys are a lot more forgiving when it comes to Windows 8. I think the darn Metro UI is just plain silly for a desktop. I like Windows 8 but I just don't know..

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ikon

I'm not firmly in the 'yay' or 'nay' camp re: Metro. However, I can sort of envision a situation where the stuff I use 80+% of the time is right there on the first Start Screen panel. I think this could indeed be more efficient than the Start Menu. As one of the Building Windows 8 blog posts said, the Start Menu only offers limited room for frequently used apps; it's cramped, the icons are small, and it's generally not a great way to do it. In fact, with Win7 I almost always launch apps by hitting the WinKey and typing the first few characters of the app's name. It's just faster than clicking through the Start Menu.

 

Then I picture a tile for each of these frequently used apps on the Start Screen, not cramped or tiny, and I think, "This could work". Add to this that I don't actually have to close any of these apps (of the last document I was working on) and I begin to see real possibilities.

 

Don't get me wrong. It's still a wait-and-see game. It's going to take a while for me to decide whether I like the Metro way of doing things on an ongoing basis, or not.

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