Modern UI or Metro, revolution for all
We heard of long-secret project Midori to replace Windows. The ideas circulating about its design, the tiles, the asynchronous mode, can be found in the Metro interface .
It's a touch interface giving access to standard applications or other services such as videos, weather service, etc. ... which replaces the screen with icons.
Tiles have notification, they show always the current state of the application they represent.
New applications for Windows 8 will thus use an interface in HTML, confirms the vice president of Windows Experience.
These apps will be online or connected to the Web, but with full access to local resources. Official said:
We are clearly influenced by the mobile phones.
Microsoft has designed the perfect weapon to thwart Google Chrome OS and Meego which appear on netbooks. They have a market share because they are free, but most users prefer to the former a system that can run local applications (as are mobile phone applications).
The name Metro was choosen because the UI was inspired by signs commonly found at public transport systems. However, for reasons of conflict of brand name, the name was officially abandoned by Microsoft which speaks rather of Windows 8 UI. We can simplify in WUI.
Design of the new interface
To resolve the conflict between the interface with Metro made for immersive applications on PC or tablets, and other common applications that users will not want to give up, Windows 8 offers two independent interfaces.
- Metro for touch screens. It is also the interface of Windows Phone 7. Metro applications run on all versions, 32 or 64 bits.
- Windows desktop for common applications. Compatibility rules are the same as Windows 7, but x86/64 applications do not run on ARM processors.
The desktop is improved, Microsoft has already shown the new file manager and its ribbon interface.
The interface will adapt to whatever is the current task. Icons in relation to the latter will appear in each user action.
For graphics, Aero Lite is a light version of Aero for limited configurations, based on Metro.
Windows Desktop works also on a tablet. So a tablet connected to a keyboard and a video monitor, is a perfect replacement for a cumbersone PC.
Applications in the immersive interface Metro can be coded in HTML 5 or any native language or with XAML and the Jupiter interface. Metro replaces the browser which remains an application among others.
These Metro applications are the only that run on PCs and tablets. They will be very easy to make and will be synchronized with online services.
In the long term they should replace conventional native applications.
What are immersive applications?
The word keeps coming up in the blog posts dedicated to Windows 8 (see links). What is an immersive application?
This means that the interface of the application disappears completely in favor of the useful part, text or images needed by the user.
In a typical application, the content fits into a frame with buttons, menu bars etc ... All this becomes invisible or becomes instruments similar to real objects with which the user interacts.
The Metro interface and HTML 5 programming will be for immersive applications. Typical applications will keep their interface on Windows desktop.
The end of the free distribution
Microsoft is clear on this point, it is not possible for any programmer to distribute software running on this interface, as was the case up on Windows and as is always the case on Linux, and on mobiles (next to the AppStore and other stores).
All applications must be downloaded from the Windows Store. To put his application, a developer must have a license and each application it makes must go through a certification process. Then the shop will retaint 30% of revenues of the software. This explains why there are so few developers for the platform to date.