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  • 2 Post By SebLC
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  • 3 Post By Winterfang
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  • 1 Post By Pronk
  • 1 Post By aubreyq
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  1. SebLC's Avatar
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       #1  
    Microsoft’s fast adoption of Metro UI across the board has more implications than just a pretty face. In fact, it’s so important, that Metro was called out and even touted during the FY12 Q2 earnings by their CFO Peter Klein on January 19th 2012.

    It’ amazing how Metro is quickly influencing the design of all Microsoft’s consumer products. It started with the Zune HD, morphed into Windows Phone, was recently adopted by the XBox 360 with the latest dashboard update and it’s now coming, with controversy, to Windows 8 as the Start Screen. Why is Metro important to Microsoft?

    Find out here

    I'd like to hear your thoughts!
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  2. based_graham's Avatar
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    #2  
    It gives them a edge IMO its a fresh new way of computing it changes the mind set on how to use and utlize a computer or phone. I love metro I always said the Zune HD interface is the future and I guess I was somewhat right
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  3. based_graham's Avatar
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    #3  
    Today I had to setup a new employees PC and he has an iPhone he literally talked about every feature he had from maps to e-mails to apps and good thing I didn't have my Lumia because if I whipped it out and showed him the metro interface where I can see things like calendar appointsments without opening the app or showed him how to navigate through a Windows Phone it would make his iPhone purchase look like a bad choice.

    He also has bad vision and with metros big tiles and everything bigger its alot easier on the eyes too no more squinting to find icons or words
  4. Winterfang's Avatar
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    #4  
    Metro is the reason I felt in love with Microsoft all over again. I already used a lot of their products but the fact that Metro keeps them together is what's making me try their new ones.
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  5. Pronk's Avatar
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    #5  
    What worries me is that they're insisting on using Metro for everything for a uniform look rather than looking at what works best. For example, Metro on the xbox is ok, but a refinement of the previous dashboard would have been better and more useable.

    They're working to make metro fit all roles as best as possible, whatever the role is, not looking at the problems to be solved and then making what's needed. That's not the best starting point design-wise.

    Oh well, wait and see how Win 8 comes out when it's done I guess.
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  6. Winterfang's Avatar
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Pronk View Post
    What worries me is that they're insisting on using Metro for everything for a uniform look rather than looking at what works best. For example, Metro on the xbox is ok, but a refinement of the previous dashboard would have been better and more useable.

    They're working to make metro fit all roles as best as possible, whatever the role is, not looking at the problems to be solved and then making what's needed. That's not the best starting point design-wise.

    Oh well, wait and see how Win 8 comes out when it's done I guess.
    I have a Kinect and the new dashboard is a huge improvement over the last one for kinect owners.
  7. bear_lx's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Pronk View Post
    What worries me is that they're insisting on using Metro for everything for a uniform look rather than looking at what works best. For example, Metro on the xbox is ok, but a refinement of the previous dashboard would have been better and more useable.

    They're working to make metro fit all roles as best as possible, whatever the role is, not looking at the problems to be solved and then making what's needed. That's not the best starting point design-wise.

    Oh well, wait and see how Win 8 comes out when it's done I guess.
    i actually prefer the uniform eco system... i feel like everything is easily navigated and user friendly... by having several different interfaces makes things a bit messy. leo laporte feels the same way!
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  8. Pronk's Avatar
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterfang View Post
    I have a Kinect and the new dashboard is a huge improvement over the last one for kinect owners.
    Yeah, but not everyone has or wants a Kinect. There are 66 million xbox 360s and only 10 million or so Kinects sold. So 5 out of 6 of xbox users now have an interface that's basically not designed for their benefit.

    And uniformity is ok, but that should never be at the expense of usability. Is it really better to have everything look similar rather than look different in some ways but integrate well together and each element have the best interface for that particular task?

    After all, we'd all laugh if MS tried putting Windows 7 on a phone as is, mouse pointer and all. Yet they're effectively putting WP7 on PCs with Windows 8...
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  9. aubreyq's Avatar
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by SebLC View Post
    It started with the Zune HD...
    At first I was going to say I thought it started with the original Zune, but of course, that was probably only the font since the original Zune wasn't touch screen. In a way, though, one could argue the dawn of the Metro look was the original Zune.

    Regardless, thanks for the link. I'm very excited with the direction Microsoft is going. Oh, and welcome to the WPCentral Forums!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pronk View Post
    What worries me is that they're insisting on using Metro for everything for a uniform look rather than looking at what works best. For example, Metro on the xbox is ok, but a refinement of the previous dashboard would have been better and more useable.

    They're working to make metro fit all roles as best as possible, whatever the role is, not looking at the problems to be solved and then making what's needed. That's not the best starting point design-wise.
    I agree with you. I honestly wasn't too excited about the new Xbox 360 dashboard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pronk View Post
    Yeah, but not everyone has or wants a Kinect. There are 66 million xbox 360s and only 10 million or so Kinects sold. So 5 out of 6 of xbox users now have an interface that's basically not designed for their benefit.
    This is true. I have a Kinect and although I don't use it much, Metro definitely works better for Kinect. This means I'm kind of screwed because I'd rather use a controller or remote to navigate the Xbox interface instead of voice and motion, so the interface is currently working against me. Oh, well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pronk View Post
    And uniformity is ok, but that should never be at the expense of usability. Is it really better to have everything look similar rather than look different in some ways but integrate well together and each element have the best interface for that particular task?

    After all, we'd all laugh if MS tried putting Windows 7 on a phone as is, mouse pointer and all. Yet they're effectively putting WP7 on PCs with Windows 8...
    Agree with this as well. I do like what Microsoft is trying to do, but I'm not so thrilled on the Xbox side of things.
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  10. Pronk's Avatar
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    #10  
    That's the worst part - I really applaud them for trying something different too. And WP7 is great - I wouldn't have come near Windows Mobile but WP is entirely different. The thing is, they seem to almost be thinking "OK, it worked on the phone and got good reviews - we'll just use that good idea everywhere else!".
  11. Vulak'Aerr's Avatar
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    #11  
    By the way, it's 18 million Kinect units sold now I believe. That is quite a decent proportion.

    I honestly don't get the fuss about Windows 8. The Metro interface on Win8 is akin to the Windows Media Centre interface in the past. It sits on top of the OS (although helpfully closes down Explorer.exe when it's not in use) rather than your only choice. The standard Windows interface isn't going anywhere for a good while and they are still working on it and improving it separate to the Metro UI.

    And yes, for the typical luser MS will benefit from having a relatively uniform UI across multiple platforms.

    Even with a controller, the Metro interface on the console is pretty good.

    tl;dr: I don't think MS are just throwing the Metro UI out there. They do have a clear vision in mind. This time. :)
  12. J4rrod's Avatar
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    #12  
    Can someone please explain to me why some people, like Pronk obviously, prefers the old Dashboard to the new? I use a controller and Kinect and I love it either way. Here's why I think it not only looks better but is more functional:

    In my eyes, the old Dashboard has some Metro aspects. For this new Dashboard, they basically took the old design, made the category headers (Home, Apps, Games, etc.) horizontally aligned (making it to where you could see all category headers at all times) and took the big boxes and made them smaller into tiles (allowing you to see all options under the category you are in). I'm not understanding how this isn't better.

    Sent from my Samsung Focus S using Board Express.
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  13. Pronk's Avatar
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    #13  
    Well I don't like it for three reasons:

    1. navigating the metro-esque grids with a joypad is clumsier than scrolling through a list
    2. actually finding content is more difficult because there are more menus/submenus
    3. the biggest thing on screen when you boot up? An advert.

    This blog sums up a lot of what I feel about it (though to be honest I'm not as hacked off as the author clearly is!)

    The New Xbox Dashboard is slightly a trainwreck - Giant Bomb
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  14. selfcreation's Avatar
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    #14  
    its innovative,,,meaning it not better ,, just different...

    and being*better* is not good enough in our time and age.. every one is *better* .. you need to be different attract people. and that's exactly hat METRO UI is.

    as for the Xbox dash board.. its soo much cleaner and efficient now .. allot more user friendly..

    FYI Kinect COMES with EVERY Xbox now.... so every new client has kinect.


    all these complaints basically say to me: * i hate the new dashboard, because i haven't gotten use to it yet! lol *

    its actually WAY more efficient cone you learn to manipulate it properly. ( i dont even use my kinect)
    Last edited by Se1fcr3ation; 01-27-2012 at 11:43 AM.
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  15. aubreyq's Avatar
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    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by J4rrod View Post
    Can someone please explain to me why some people, like Pronk obviously, prefers the old Dashboard to the new?
    In my case I just want to play a damn video game or watch Neflix. The tiles and ads are a distraction to what I really want to do most of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pronk View Post
    Well I don't like it for three reasons:

    1. navigating the metro-esque grids with a joypad is clumsier than scrolling through a list
    2. actually finding content is more difficult because there are more menus/submenus
    3. the biggest thing on screen when you boot up? An advert.

    This blog sums up a lot of what I feel about it (though to be honest I'm not as hacked off as the author clearly is!)

    The New Xbox Dashboard is slightly a trainwreck - Giant Bomb
    Agree with this on all points. Also took a look at that blog post you linked and it so happens that it articulates my frustrations.

    To everyone here, this is a matter of personal preference. No dashboard is "better" or "worse" for everyone. In my case the new dashboard was a bit of a turn off, but I don't have a choice when using the Xbox. So that's that.
  16. sketchy9's Avatar
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    #16  
    FWIW I think the old Media Center on Windows XP was the first to incorporate some of the Metro philosophy. It needed a "10 ft interface" to be legible from your couch so a lot of the large typography and horizontal scrolling started there.

    -R
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  17. Nataku4ca's Avatar
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    #17  
    well everyone has their own preference, i like the new dash board for xbox though, LB/RB moves the category and a few flicks of the stick gets me to the right tile

    only issue i have is this seperate tile for zune and music on my PC... couldn't they just merge the two so i don't have to think for a min before i open the tile? by the way... i constantly use the youtube app but i think google screwed it up... doesn't connect sometimes to my subscriptions =..= man why can't they play nice
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  18. J4rrod's Avatar
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    #18  
    I think the problem is people can't figure out that a simple hit of the RB/LB button navigates the menus from left to right. And no, Adverts aren't the biggest thing on your screen when you boot up. That big tile you're talking about actually shows a slideshow of 5 different things, some being related to games, some movies, and maybe the occasional advertisement.
    soulzero likes this.
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    #19  
    I actually find it easier to locate things on this dashboard then the previous. I can see all the menu options at a glance and can jump between them far more easily. It did take some time figuring out where the sub menus were but I definitely prefer this over the old dashboard.

    I though the previous dashboard was more difficult to navigate as I couldn't see all the menu and submenu options without scrolling through them first.

    Either way as someone has already mentioned its all personal preference.
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  20. SebLC's Avatar
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       #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by aubreyq View Post
    At first I was going to say I thought it started with the original Zune, but of course, that was probably only the font since the original Zune wasn't touch screen. In a way, though, one could argue the dawn of the Metro look was the original Zune.

    Regardless, thanks for the link. I'm very excited with the direction Microsoft is going. Oh, and welcome to the WPCentral Forums!

    I agree with you. I honestly wasn't too excited about the new Xbox 360 dashboard.

    This is true. I have a Kinect and although I don't use it much, Metro definitely works better for Kinect. This means I'm kind of screwed because I'd rather use a controller or remote to navigate the Xbox interface instead of voice and motion, so the interface is currently working against me. Oh, well.

    Agree with this as well. I do like what Microsoft is trying to do, but I'm not so thrilled on the Xbox side of things.
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  21. lumic
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    #21  
    Jeez, I read the title as "Metro is just not a pretty face for Microsoft". Shouldn't have spent 10 minutes on Engadget today.
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  22. Zumanity's Avatar
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    #22  
    Microsoft is often looked at as a company who copies ideas from competitors, when in all honesty, they were the first ones to start many of the things we value and love today. There is a popular nick-name for Microsoft, and one I often enjoy using. It's Microsloth. This term actually has some accuracy in its usage. The reason is because while Microsoft certainly does not copy from other competitors, they are one of the slowest companies to introduce new ideas in new markets, or take on new products. It's how Microsoft has defined their image in this age, for better or for worst.

    Metro is something new. Microsoft's aim with Metro is to introduce their products as "different" and get away from that sea of sameness that is out there with the competitors (such as the iOS Android grid design, and the vast differences in Android design on different devices). This might be their main advertising line and you might say "yeah yeah, I've heard it before", but I actually believe this is the reason they are doing it. There is the thought that they are trying to integrate all of their hardware/software in a uniform fashion, and this is true. But they could have stuck with their normal design or a different one to accomplish that. The reason they chose metro is because it's fresh, relevant, and looks modern. Also, you might say that they would be having the "sameness" that they complain about in competitor devices if they adopt this Metro uniformity. The thing with Metro is that it's customizable in it's own right, so that devices might have metro, but will never really look the same.

    It's a look that is visually appealing to many, it's a look that is easy to use, and the most important factor is that it's a look that has no comparison to competitors what so ever. It's a new face for Microsoft, as they move away from that factually wrong image of "copiers". Competitors such as Sony (PS systems), Apple (iPod, Phones, Software, Computers), Android (phones), Sun, etc etc have thrived in our markets because they took on Microsoft, not in the way of offering superior products (although some products are great), but in the way of differentiating themselves from Microsoft and attaching the label of sameness/clunky/slow to Microsoft. Microsoft was and still is the top leader in software and other areas, but they find themselves stuck with this horrid image of "copier" "slow" "virus" etc etc, you name it. Microsoft is now sticking some of those labels to it's competitors (grid icons, going in and out of apps, etc), and touting it's new fresh eco-system (that is really great) with the Metro face.

    For my own personal opinion, I'm giving the chance to see how Microsoft does with this Metro implementation. So far the future looks good.

    I personally enjoy the Microsoft Ecosystem, having a WP7 phone and Vista computer (although I have a Macbook Pro, just to experience all sides), and can't wait to see how Windows 8 and my eventual Xbox + Kinect enhance that experience even more.

    I really encourage everyone to share their experiences with Metro. If you agree, tell us why. If you don't, tell us why as well!
    Last edited by Zumanity; 01-30-2012 at 12:52 AM.
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  23. cdook's Avatar
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    #23  
    I'm a minimalist so I'm actually a pretty big fan of Metro. The interface is simple and clean, but at the same time just as powerful as any competitor.

    I had a 2nd Gen Zune so it's interesting to see how Metro evolved over time and eventually became the look of Microsoft for all their products. I hope they keep this style around for a long time to come.
  24. alpinestars1z's Avatar
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    #24  
    I quite like it, I actually owned the Zune HD and it was a great device. I loved how it was made of metal, and the screen was gorgeous. If I remember correctly, I think it was one of the few devices out there (including mobile phones) that had an OLED display.

    As for Metro, I like it. It's different. I'm a bit of a minimalist probably because of Apple, and Windows Phone and Metro is like taking that one step further. I really enjoy simple, I mean, why make things complicated if they don't need to be?

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