Beautifully designed apps, ultra-simple navigation, and instinctive commands make it hard to believe Metro came from the same company that brought us Windows Vista. Interactive, “live” tiles and an intuitive app store simplify the PC. Windows 8 is as easy to use as the iPad. That’s exactly what Microsoft intended. As PC sales slump amid a surge in tablets (okay, iPads), Microsoft is creating an operating system that lets hardware makers reimagine the PC for a tablet world. The software is slated to go on sale later this year.
But let’s be clear: Under the veneer of its redesign, Windows 8 is still very much a PC operating system. It features the familiar desktop and taskbar you’ve learned to love — or hate — over the years, and it works just as well with a keyboard and mouse as it does with a touchscreen.
The iPad is the simplest entry point to what Apple calls the “post-PC” world, but PCs haven’t outlived their usefulness just yet. Most people still go to their PCs for tools like Microsoft Office and more complex content creation tasks. That’s where Microsoft sees uncharted territory.
Metro is ideal for everyday tasks like Web browsing, e-mail, photo sharing, social networking, and casual gaming. But when you need to manage files, edit a document, or do anything else you wouldn’t typically try on an iPad, a tap or click on the desktop app launches what looks and feels like the Windows 7 interface.
Image: Gizmo Watch