I didn't mean for Metro & Desktop to interact; I was thinking more like using Metro like a sort of screensaver role (like that "light OS" HP uses on its laptops for instant internet access). If Microsoft have 100% separation between Desktop & Metro, I can see probably the majority of people switching it off on a desktop PC pretty much straight away.
My last laptop had Windows Media Center on it and I soon switched it off. If it interacted with the XP Desktop I might have used it, but with 100% separation I had absolutely no reason to use it over what the 100% integrated Window Media Player had to offer.
I used to have this linux based mini OS on my HP laptop before I destroyed the partition. But it was its own OS separate from windows, so I don’t know where you are going with that… that’s infinity x separation lol.
Well Windows Media Center is not intended to replace WMP, it was entirely made to be used with TVs and IR remotes and stuff; they didn’t really intend for you to use it where WMP would be better suited (any time you had a mouse / keyboard in front of you). Moreover media center is incredibly inefficient and it would have crippled many systems if they integrated (or ‘forced’ as some would say) it into the desktop experience. I’m sure many users will just disable metro at first, but they’ll come around when it matures a bit and the marketplace fills out.
I understand. I say it looks unfinished because of the ugly flat colour visual styling of Metro. The visual style looks like when a website has an admin section made and it doesn't get involved with aesthetic considerations because the public won't see it. The Android Market *cough* Metro *cough* styling looks like a step in a nicer looking direction of tiles.
Hmm agree to disagree on this one. The only thing it is missing is some different themes or perhaps user customizable colors, but I highly doubt they would release it before adding that. My favorite part of metro is that they do not use gloss or overly fancy / complex UI elements. I like simplicity and efficiency. You’re talking to someone who shut aero off and is using the windows 95 “classic” theme XD.
Note that sharp edges and flatness are intentional. I hate systems with all the unnecessary UI elements… they just look out of place on a computer. My monitor is rectangular and has 90 degree edges, and in my eyes trying to fit round things in a square hole is just an inefficient use of space. I like the flat, professional no nonsense look of metro (and 95). Gloss is just a trend that’s been around for the last few years, and thankfully it seems to be on its way out (think; all PCs used to be white/beige/grey). Plus it irks me just thinking about all that RAM being used to just look pretty… that makes me sick :/
But how can it be speedy and efficient if it doesn't handle multitasking very well?
I need to rapidly move between many programs at work, dreamweaver, Firefox, IE, Photoshop etc. If it isn't as fast as the Desktop ALT + TAB switching, surely its not as speedy or efficient?
There are a few things here… first and foremost, if I remember correctly Win + Tab switches between metro apps and Alt + Tab between desktop programs. So yeah, it does that. Moreover, designed for touchscreens: there is a very intuitive and efficient gesture for switching between metro apps. It’s great, can be done with a mouse, but while you have the keyboard Win + Tab is probably going to be used more often. There is a great feature that lets you split the screen between two metro apps; excellent multitasking for a mobile interface if you ask me. I think the only thing missing is perhaps a way to view and manage running apps other than the taskmanager though, if that doesn’t already exist and I missed it.
All those programs you mentioned are desktop programs… You really must get it in your head that metro is for quick portability stuff, touch friendly UI, etc. It is a consumer product, and nothing as heavy as dreamweaver or photoshop will ever be made into a metro app. The mentality behind metro is quick, efficient, in/out… I must have said this a thousand times now. This doesn’t fit into “work” because efficiency and quick in/out is gained at the cost of some functionality. That’s probably why there is a separation between metro, and the line is drawn right where “work” begins. There might be a “mobile firefox” made for 8, but meanwhile the desktop client isn’t going anywhere. There is a metro (mobile) IE app already, however there is a desktop version as well. Metro is for personal feeds, news stuff, games, media, etc. You won’t be using it to work, you'll use it to *take a break* from work.
Is Microsoft looking to replace the Windows Desktop environment in future Windows iterations or is there always going to be two 100% separate systems in future Windows versions?
The desktop environment will never die. Microsoft listens to their customer base for one (as opposed to apple who just assume what their customers want and impose this upon them). This is evident because Microsoft demo’d two SDKs for 8; a metro one and a desktop one. Microsoft knows that a very large chunk of their user base is professional; corporate, IT, worker terminals, hackers, power users, etc. Metro is a very managed and controlled environment; if they planned to replace the desktop, Microsoft would quite literally lose the majority of their customers to linux/bsd overnight. Moreover Microsoft would not dump the last 20 years of compatibility they have been maintaining (7 x86 can run 16 bit programs from the olden days of DOS even today). Desktop applications will always be developed and used because a certain amount of freedom is necessary to do certain things. Metro is a way to create a portable interface for tablets, an efficient, easy and pleasurable to use interface for all, and a secure, simple environment for old or otherwise tech illiterate people to interface with the computer.