I was thinking that this might be an alternate way of looking at things for those naysayers against the Windows Metro Screen (Start Screen). I am writing this more from a Mac User’s Perspective.
Now, I am not
saying that Microsoft copied the OSX Dashboard at all. But, one thing I did notice in my own personal use having converted from OSX back to Windows (I left late in XP and Came back very late in Win 7 just before Win 8) is that I tend to rely on the Metro Screen as sort of a hybrid Dashboard if you will for Windows. On the Metro screen, you have live tiles which will display weather, new mail counts, real time information and of course more. For me though, I rarely ever launch an application from the Metro Screen, instead I use Launchy or a Start Menu replacement to do the job.
With the OSX environment, you can add widgets to the Dashboard to give you live weather, news email counts, twitter updates etc. And you can also launch programs with the right widget to do the same job as you can with the Metro Screen. You can also launch programs like you can with Launchy using QuickSilver for Mac.
‘Drill to desktop’
There are a lot of people that discount Windows 8 because of the whole Metro Screen taking place of their beloved Desktop. It is often the short sightedness of people that haven’t used Windows 8 that form these conclusions. I used to be one of them and it wasn’t until I messed around with it, that I quickly learned that it is quite easy to access the Desktop and live in that world just the same as you would with older versions of Windows. And look here! I am accessing the desktop just the same as I would a Mac! (Metro Screen as a Dashboard).
Missing Start Menu
I think one thing that has helped me get past the whole start menu dependency is becoming more adept to using QuickSilver on Mac or Launchy in Windows. With the Mac, it was more of a task to load a program if you didn’t have an Application folder in your dock (easily added BTW). Even then, it is faster to type the name of the program and within a few characters have it pop up ready to be launched. For me it has been a pretty natural transition to move from Mac to Windows this way.
Sure, I have a start menu, and I am not really sure why I have it, except I think it is more for easier access to the control panel and some of the other items there that make it faster to access than having to go to the charms bar, or Metro Screen and perform a search to find what I am looking for in the Control Panel. For most people, this is easy enough, for me, it is a personal preference thing.
I must admit though – I don’t use the start menu but for rare occasions so I think I am pretty much ‘weaned’ away from it.
I think for me personally, it has been easier to migrate from OSX back to Windows 8, than it was to Migrate back to Windows 7 for some reason. Not 100% sure why, but at least it has been that way for me.