For some people, Metro is a familiar thing. It started in Windows Phone 7 (and Zune if I remember right), and then came to Xbox 360. With it, you can see up to date information from your apps on Live Tiles instead of shortcuts, and the apps themselves are full screen. The full screen Metro apps are most useful on Tablets or TV’s but can be used in a desktop setting if you want a more minimalistic interface.
If you are using metro apps on a tablet, all you have to do is swipe down a little from the top of the screen to access additional menus, or swipe down all the way to close them. With a mouse you can just right click on the top the the screen for additional menus, or again, pull down with a mouse to close metro apps. In my personal use of Metro apps I did use it predominantly when I was using my convertible as a tablet or my full blown tablet, and when I was using my larger laptop as a media computer with the TV. However, I also found that for things like web browsing, the metro internet explorer could be even snappier than Firefox or Internet Explorer, probably because Metro was designed to be use on slower power saving devices while still providing a “fast and fluid” experience. So even on netbooks I have found Metro to sometimes be not just usable but desirable. When I am using my computer as a desktop, I think the live tiles are very useful as well, even if I don’t use the apps that they launch. It is very helpful to know at a glance what the current weather is outside, if I have any new e-mails, what’s coming up on my calender, if I have any new messages, what is happening on facebook or twitter and more. That is something I think a lot of people are missing. When you see the information that the live tiles gives you, you don’t have to launch the live tiles. I can just open up outlook or a browser for my e-mail or to act on other information there if I choose, and that is something I really like about it.
Tomorrow we will discuss Windows 8 bloat. Have you used metro in Windows 8, or an implementation of them in other Microsoft Products? Tell us about your experiences with metro.