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Windows 8 Pre RTM Metro UI Leaked 484

An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from PC Tech Talk, which features screenshots of what is said to be something very close to what users will see in Windows 8: "One of the biggest changes Microsoft announced for Windows 8 was the change from the 'Aero Glass' interface we had in Windows Vista and Windows 7 to a new Metro UI. Until today these changes had not been fully seen as the weren't included in the recent Release Preview. A number of changes have been made to the UI since the Release Preview 2 weeks ago. Microsoft have said the new Metro UI will appear crisper following the removal of shadows and transparency. Gradients have been removed from buttons. The task bar is no longer has the glass, transparent look or blur effect. The new design brings with it some heartache for those that loved the Aero Glass effect as it has now been completely removed from Windows 8." Maybe it's more exciting in motion than are these static shots.
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Windows 8 Pre RTM Metro UI Leaked

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  • Wow (Score:3, Informative)

    by busyqth ( 2566075 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:08PM (#40326667)
    It sucks just as hard as I thought it would!
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SomePgmr ( 2021234 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:17PM (#40326811) Homepage

      Eh, it looks to me like win7 with less transparency. I'd say it's more on the order of "minor theme adjustment" than anything.

      I just can't make myself get worked up about it one way or another like it's a huge deal.

      • Windows 7?! If that IE icon was the Windows Start Button
        • Windows 7?! If that IE icon was the Windows Start Button

          This is my horrified face.

          Seriously though, nothing about dropping Aero seems radical. I haven't played with win8 yet so I'll reserve judgement on the underlying functionality.

          But in the meantime, I'm not jumping off any bridges.

      • ..... especially since I won't be using Eight. ;-)
        I need to get off my duff and go buy a spare Win7 machine while they're still available. BTW will this be Windows NT 6.2? Or are they incrementing to 7.0 for Eight?

      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by localman57 ( 1340533 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:24PM (#40326951)
        To me it looks like windows 3.1, but with more colors and higher resolution. And a task bar.
    • Not that I'm a big fan of all the bling and bells and whistles from XP onwards, but this is just another way in which Win8 is the PlaySkool OS.
      Do. Not. Want.
    • It's like a 12 year old Disney intern ate a bunch of crayons and threw up on the screen.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:10PM (#40326705)

    That's horrific.

    • and Merto is program manager full screen that goes away when you start a app.

  • It looks the same (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:10PM (#40326713)

    It looks the same. I the blurring/transparency that important?

    • This seems to be normal overlapping windows. I was under the impression that "Metro" was a Unity-like single app desktop.

      • Re:Is this Metro? (Score:4, Informative)

        by perryizgr8 ( 1370173 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @11:50PM (#40331637)

        This is not Metro. This is the Windows 7 - like part of the OS, they just made the color theme a bit more like Metro. Aero transparency was really jarring when you switched from Metro.
        I think the desktop has been deprecated. Microsoft no longer intends to add any new feature to it, just bug-fixes. That's sad, because the desktop found in Windows 7 is probably the best computer interface there is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:11PM (#40326725)

    I for one will not be pirating this version. The ultimate DRM!

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:12PM (#40326735)

    its like seeing bill o'reilly naked

    i'm going to run out and buy a Mac for twice the price of a PC just so i don't have to look at this

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:12PM (#40326751) Homepage Journal

    Can it still be set back to the 'Windows Classic' theme? If so, nothing to see here.

    (I do need to touch a Microsoft PC once every few months).

    • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:17PM (#40326821)

      No, the Windows Classic theme is actually not there this time. After surviving XP, Vista, 7, 8 seems to kill it off.....

      • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) *

        Well that tears it; Classic was the only reason I could even tolerate Win7 as a dual boot option. So Microsoft has joined the GNOMEs in total tablet madness. Only Microsoft has now one upped them with this retro 'could have been done on 16 color VGA with no GPU' look.

        XFCE for the win. Guys, computers aren't new virgin territory anymore! We just want to get work done, not spend all of our time relearning your latest reimagining of the OS. It is beyond that now, it is all about the apps.

  • by bodangly ( 2526754 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:13PM (#40326755)
    Its pretty clean and I was baffled at the need for fancy glass and transparency, heck, those things were cliche by the time Win7 came out and are beyond cliche already. I like an interface made up of flat colors much better personally.
    • by spitzak ( 4019 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:41PM (#40327191) Homepage

      Just because you can compute transparency does not mean you should use it.

      IMHO this is looking infinitely better, the first time they have improved over the "Classic" appearance. Clean is much better.

      The title bars and resize edges are really thick however. And they seem to be cluttering the titlebar with icons. Not sure what the colored text that seems to be attached to the "ribbon" tabs is either, it would seem better to move the ribbon tabs and menu bar up into the titlebar.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:14PM (#40326779)

    These screenshots remind me of linux when the window manager crashes.

  • by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:15PM (#40326793)

    ... looks like ass.

    Or vagina.

  • The task bar is no longer has the glass, transparent look or blur effect.

    Actually, look at the lower right corner. The wallpaper is indeed showing through in a blurred translucent way. Of course, I'm going to guess the trick is the wallpaper has a one-time blend done and windows will not show up behind the bar in a blurred way....

    In any event, MS is throwing Desktop experience under the bus hard chasing that tablet market...

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:18PM (#40326835)

    If these screenshots are to be believed, it feels like every fancier looking OS from the late 90s, back before most of the fancier stuff was really feasible.

    Shadows have a role (helps to establish depth and layers). Gloss has a role (draws the eye to interactive elements). Translucency has a role (establishes that something is over something else and gives it a sense of impermanence). Gradients have a role (draws the eye along the gradient towards something). Windows Vista and 7 overdid it by quite a bit, but cutting them out entirely is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. You sacrifice usability when you do so. You can take a minimalist approach while still having those elements.

  • As long as they don't tap the GPU for UI effects like they did in Vista and 7 I'm cool with it. ;) I also can't help but feel they chose the worst way to display the new UI. The wallpaper is horrific, Window colors do not seem tuned, looks like a 12 year old realized you can change the UI colors around and started tapping away at configuration options. I doubt this is the final refined look / color scheme.
    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      Actually, the color scheme is *actually* defaulting in that way and not a lot of customization offered to change it. At least based on the release preview....

    • Re:GPU? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:35PM (#40327129)

      Why would you want your CPU doing the Window compositing? Computers have these massive GPUs sitting around doing nothing - might as well use them for something like, I dunno, graphics processing.

      • Re:GPU? (Score:4, Funny)

        by davidbrit2 ( 775091 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @04:31PM (#40327963) Homepage
        He's probably the type that disables superfetch because IT'S USING ALL THE RAM.
  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:19PM (#40326839)

    It's like a step backwards to an old 80s OS where everything consisted of solid bars with no shading or variation.

  • by clinko ( 232501 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:25PM (#40326965) Journal

    This design is great, but Windows for Workgroups 8.11 is going to be even better!

  • Metro = Retro? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by localman ( 111171 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:26PM (#40326979) Homepage

    How odd - it looks like any of a dozen Linux window managers from the late 90's. Back then I used to think how the flat/square look was just the first simple thing a developer would come up with, and how Linux would need a little more graphical refinement if they ever hoped to go mainstream. In the end it doesn't matter much for usability, but it sure looks like a toy/baby window manager to me.

    • You mean it looks like it was developed by somebody who skimmed the fancy graphic design because they were concentrating on a secure and stable OS? We can only hope - I realise the graphic design of the UI is an element in usability, but it's been given precedence over getting the bugs ironed out in some quarters...
  • Clean and simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hob42 ( 41735 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {24opuj}> on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:28PM (#40327005) Homepage Journal

    All I have to do is set the window border color to a nice light blue, drag the task bar to the top of the screen, and I'll feel like I'm back using my Amiga from 20 years ago. Which isn't a bad thing, really.

    What I find funny is that everyone bashed XP's big rounded edges and colorful themes as being cartoonish. Then Vista came around, and everyone railed against Aero for being a pointless resource hog, adding eye candy without functionality. With 7, everyone complained it was just a service pack for Vista, because there wasn't a big huge interface change. Now, they decide to overhaul it to be a simpler, cleaner interface, without the frivolous flair, and everyone hates against that too.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm one of those people, and after I've had my say and lambasted Windows compared to the wms I've experienced with Linux (Windows should really decouple its window manager more so that it's easier to run 3rd-party wms), I sit down, spend 5 minutes searching through rearranged menus, and turn on Classic Theme.

      It's unobtrusive, it's simple, and it works. Win+R is vastly inferior to the Mod4+P dmenu binds I could set up, the lack of multiple workspaces is atrocious, multimonitor support is a joke, but at leas

    • Re:Clean and simple (Score:5, Interesting)

      by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:45PM (#40327267) Homepage Journal

      But people didn't bash Vista because of the eye candy. They bashed it because (a) the eye candy didn't work with their graphics card (which is a fair criticism - Vista came out long after OS X, which had similar compositing going on, which worked on old 4Mb ATI Rage 3D chipsets - I'm not kidding, Jaguar worked perfectly on an old Beige G3 that had that chipset); (b) because Vista was incompatible with a lot of their existing software. and (c) because Vista introduced some security changes they didn't like much.

      The overall look of Vista got a lot of praise, for those who had compatible hardware. And 7 - which was a service pack for Vista - dealt with most of the criticisms and has become extremely popular. People are happily ditching XP for 7. And part of it is the look.

      So I think you're possibly maybe overstating the criticisms.

      I like Aero. Windows 7 is really the first version of Windows in a long time I've been happy using. I think it's a shame they're taking it out of Windows 8.

    • >>>With 7, everyone complained it was just a service pack for Vista, because there wasn't a big huge interface change.

      That's because Seven is what Vista SHOULD have been, if they had not rushed it to market.

      >>>Vista came around, and everyone railed against Aero for being a pointless resource hog, adding eye candy without functionality

      When your brand-new 1/2 gigabyte computer freezes-up for 2-3 minutes because of ahrd drive thrashing, that means Vista is a braindead resource hog. (Funny ho

    • You've just hit upon the Slashdot Paradox. Simply stated, Microsoft can do no right. Add in eye candy and the interface is cluttered and distracting. Take it away and the interface is too simple. This interface very closely mirrors the Windows Classic theme, which I bet 90% of Slashdotters who do happen to be running Windows actively switched to.
  • by Ashbory ( 781835 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:30PM (#40327049)
    If the goal is to simplify the interface they have failed. The first screenshot in the article: "Computer" is the most cluttered confusing thing I have seen in a long time. I counted 8 icons of computer screens.
  • Much improved (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:31PM (#40327059)
    I'm glad Microsoft is getting away from the faux materials UI design that Apple made trendy. Shadows, gradients, mirrors, glass... it was all getting very predictable and tired. The metro interface, for all its faults, is based on the distinct and recognizable iconography you'd find at airports and train (metro, get it?) stations. You can find your way around these places without even knowing the language, and just following the pictures. Adding bevels and gradients and embossing to these UI elements just detracts from the usability of the device.

    We're now in an age where we don't need to draw physical analogs to digital representations in order to understand them. File systems make sense without talking about a filing cabinet and a physical manila folder. Erasing makes sense without having to talk about a pencil eraser. Copying makes sense without having to talk about a clip board. However, Apple still insists on a physical spiral notebook for their notes app, or a desk planner for their calendar app, or a bookshelf for the iBooks app. Maybe this is comforting to a much older generation than mine, but I find no value in it, and therefore welcome the cold digital interface that metro brings.
    • That's an excellent point. I hate icons (I don't necessarily know what a squiggle and two dots mean) and some of the faux garbage in Lion is truly annoying.

      But my big gripe with Metro is the wasted space. Yeah, you need some extra room on a 4 inch tablet. On a 27 inch monitor, not so much. Don't know how configurable this will be. But it's got to look better than 7. That 's just unnecessarily complex and busy.

      Maybe wait for 9.....

  • Casual hardware users don't care what OS is on a device, it just has to be the "in" device of the year.

    Microsoft is slowly alienating the users who keep it alive, until it become irrelevant and so
    similar to the competition all it will have to fall back on is features and innovation, which it is no longer
    a leader in.

    I've never seen a company so eager to destroy their own user base though forced , unwanted, change.
    • I've never seen a company so eager to destroy their own user base though forced , unwanted, change.

      Wander over to a discussion on Mountain Lion in the Apple forums. Remarkably similar rending of garments and gnashing of teeth.

  • by BorgAssimilator ( 1167391 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:37PM (#40327151)
    I'm not a big fan of this UI, but it does remind me of the fairly recent UI change that I've seen in gmail. Yeah... not a big fan of that either.

    Is this just some kind of "natural" progression we're going with?
    • My guess is that the developers are being starved for good / passionate ideas, so they're scraping the bottom of the barrel. You know how things are when you read the same sentence over and over again, until it loses its meaning? And then you keep reading it, and playing around with the words in your mouth, stressing syllables and thinking about alternate meanings for the various words? That's what they're doing here. They haven't bridged the gap from the current paradigm to a superior evolution, so they ar

  • Still the f'ed up ui that ONLY works on on tablets, right? Pass. Its going to be an absolute nightmare for all of these poor people who order their Dell's and go "What the fuck is this shit? How do I navigate this thing?"

    RIP Windows 7 the last sane MS Desktop OS
    RIP Snow Leopard the lasr sane Mac OS

  • In other news: (Score:5, Informative)

    by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:42PM (#40327213)

    IE 10: Better HTML 5 support - not much else - who cares?
    Sign in with MS Account: Who cares? Is anyone gonna use this?
    Picture Password and PIN Login: Picture pass is kinda cool, but PIN login? Really?
    Ribbon in Windows Explorer: Holy cow no thank you.
    Hybrid Boot: Kinda cool - depends on how well it works.
    Windows To Go - Officially supported BartPE. Yawn.
    Refresh and Reset Recovery - How about making it so you don't need recovery in the first place? How is this better than a decent backup system?
    Native USB 3 - This shouldn't be a Windows 8 "feature," this should be in a service pack for Vista and Seven
    New Windows Task Manager - Yawn
    XBox Live integration - I don't think anyone will care about this - are they thinking about competing with steam? Good luck.
    Storage Spaces - LVM for the masses? Kinda cool.
    Family Safety - Wasn't this included with Windows Live? Yawn
    Antivirus in Windows Defender - In other words, they are just including MSE.
    Secure Boot Support - Holy cow no thank you

    So a handful of actually useful new features (that can, mostly, be added on to Seven with 3rd party utilities) a few that should be included with Seven and Vista, and a bunch that I don't want, including, in a big way, Metro.

    Doesn't sound like a winner.

    • But look at the UI!!!!!!!elventyone!!! Microsoft has given us the "Safe Mode" option. Except it's not an option. And I doubt it's safe.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Refresh and Reset Recovery - How about making it so you don't need recovery in the first place? How is this better than a decent backup system?

      It replaced the mish-mash of different manufacturer specific recovery systems. Less half baked crapware and a single system to support can only be a good thing.

      Windows To Go - Officially supported BartPE. Yawn.

      Most people have never heard of BartPE and using it violates the Windows license. Plus it doesn't work well from a USB drive, e.g. installing apps is flaky. MS has taken a good idea and added proper support for it. I really don't see how you can paint that as anything other than a useful and good thing,

      Ribbon in Windows Explorer: Holy cow no thank you.

      I find it faster and easier than menus.

      Native USB 3 - This shouldn't be a Windows 8 "feature," this should be in a service pack for Vista and Seven

      It practi

  • Windows 7 was a small improvement over Vista in speed and efficiency. Windows 8 is supposed to be an even bigger jump "backwards", and will run on less capable machines, including many users running Atom and ARM CPUs, who will probably benefit from removal of Aero. For desktop machines plugged into the wall it's all kind of "meh", but Microsoft isn't spending its billions of $$$'s on the desktop -- it's all about mobile. Or something.
  • he now is not hoping this will finally kill of microsoft's cash cow too.
  • Leak? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TejWC ( 758299 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:50PM (#40327329)

    This theme seems to already be present in the Consumer Preview that was released a few weeks ago. The only difference is that the RTM is going to use this theme by default. Did I miss something here?

  • Those images look like they could be from Google Apps.

  • by TheSkepticalOptimist ( 898384 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @03:56PM (#40327427)

    After having used Windows 8 and started developing apps for it using VS 2012 (11 beta) for several months now, I have to say Metro is about the laziest UI design that has come out of any OS developer in the history of operating systems.

    What they have done is removed ALL borders, all color variations and rounded corners, along with any chrome and created blobs of white/grey boxes with text on it.

    Its almost like Microsoft has given up on traditional desktop applications and want to encourage more "web-like" app designs exclusively for the Metro overlay.

    I could almost be claimed to be a Windows fanboy, but Windows 8 is the first time since Windows ME that I am greatly disappointed in the direction Microsoft is taking for UI/UX. It is horrid on almost every level of UI and UX and I have been a UI/UX developer for 15+ years.

    Windows 8 may be the biggest disaster they have ever created.

  • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @04:17PM (#40327731)

    I really never liked Aero that much and the special effects just seemed like fluff to make the CPU work harder than being anything useful.

  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @04:56PM (#40328393)

    I still prefer NT4 era window decorations (NONE) cause I just want to get shit done and pretty graphics means less space on screen for apps.

    However on friends and realitives computers who don't all have eagle eyes the aero thing with the transparencies really look quite nice and cool.

    It is to me a little bit hilarious Microsoft is focusing on function over pretty interfaces while at the same time pushing a totally zombie consumption based interface concept like metro which makes no sense at all on the desktop.

    My conspiracy theory they want the desktop interface to look as ugly as they can get away with so people will be less confused by Microsofts 8-bit blockworld interface.

    It was cool to be able to run and see the output of two DOS programs on one 640x480 vga computer display at once in desqview like 20 years ago... The reserrection of that same prospect for metro apps in 2012 on our modern high rez monitors is beyond anything I am capable of processing or understanding.

    I wish MS the best of luck in its future endeavours chasing the apple zombie class of users.. As for me I don't want to be on your nonsensical sinking ship anyway MS...I'm jumping ship while there are still penguins in the water willing to rescue me.

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith