They've lost the plot. They are trying to shoehorn desktop M&k features into a UI meant for tablets. Do you fail to see the issue at hand? I'm a complete Metro hater and even I can see this is nothing but lunacy!
The "correct" way of handling this would be to do what everybody's been saying since day one: give the user a choice of UI's, allow metro apps to run on the desktop so there's not 2 calculators, 2 IE's, etc. You get the jist.
All Microsoft is doing is further complicating the UI and throwing a cluster **** of crap onscreen. (Pardon my French) I mean good god man, look at DM's screenshots on page 1. Look at the screenshot of Metro IE. Overlapping is not part of MSFT's Metro design language. It's one of the many things I pray to god they change before RTM.
Anyway, this is alpha code. It probably won't look anything like this when finished. Let's see what happens before we get our knickers in a bunch...
f0rk_b0mb, I actually addressed this on the page before you.
The accusation that this is a UI or UX meant for tablets is entirely due to the Start menu's excision - nothing more OR less. Otherwise, exactly how obvious is it to a desktop PC user that is not overly reliant on a pointing device?
Unless you actually KNOW that you are using touch-supporting hardware, and, instead, had a keyboard and mouse to use, what would YOU do when confronted with the very same UI?
I ask that question because I've been running Windows 8/8.1, as either primary OS or sole OS since the Consumer Preview. I do everything that I did on Windows 7 - and a bit more besides, on practically the same hardware. (What hardware changes I DID make had absolutely nothing to do with the OS - whatever.) The hardware in question is, in fact, a traditional mid-tower that dates back largely to the Vista period - only the CPU, GPU, and discrete audio even are in the Windows 7 era. Nothing whatever is current in terms of hardware. Yet my software (mostly desktop applications and desktop games) could, in fact, care less - except in terms of fewer crashes and thus greater stability.
In fact, this was an argument I heard prior to even the Windows Developer Preview - and it had nothing to do with Windows or Microsoft. The same criticism was, in fact, leveled hard at GNOME 3.0 - and for the exact same reason - the Windows-esque GNOME menu that had existed since the early days of GNOME (and which GNOME Classic retains) had been excised by default. That very reasoning sounds silly on its face because, even then, touch-screen support in x86 hardware period - let alone hardware that could run a Linux distribution - was practically zero other than proprietary overlays. Those same proprietary overlays didn't exist for Linux distributions - and still largely don't. Yet that was EXACTLY what the GNOME developers were accused of.
Therefore, apply Occam's Razor - what got booted from Windows 8 that Windows 7 had? The Start menu. The Start menu was deliberately designed to attract the attention of pointing device users from the beginning, in Windows 95 (and NT 4.0 shortly afterward). That is according to Microsoft itself. However, in addition to attracting pointing devices, the Start menu has also attracted plenty of two other things - scoffing and scorn. (In fact, it took fifteen years - and Windows 7 - for both to even die down - and it still largely threw all other interactions with the desktop - including keyboard-centric usage - under the bus.) In other words, Microsoft created the problem; therefore, it had to solve it. Enter ModernUI.
ModernUI serves three functions - oddly enough, touch support is NOT the primary function designed for it. (Touch support had to happen anyway - however, ModernUI was not itself why.)
1. ModernUI was a reset to the Windows UI on both desktops and servers.
2. The UI was designed to be largely the same on everything that ran Windows - from phones and tablets to the server closet.
3. On the non-ARM side (from tablets and netbooks to the server closet), not only was it designed to support all the hardware that Windows 7 did (and most of the hardware that even Vista and even XP did), but a great deal of the software that they did as well.
Point #3 is why touch-support (on the hardware side) had to happen - because the cost of such hardware was dropping, and it was becoming more prevalent - and NOT just in tablets. (I have referred - constantly - to HP's TouchSmart desktops and AIOs; contrary to belief, they are around the same age as the Samsung ATIV 7 that was given out at BUILD 2012 preloaded with the Windows Developer Preview - yet shipped to retail - at the same time - with Windows 7 and a necessary S-View overlay (because touch support in Windows 7 was STILL largely awful); the same was true of the TouchSmarts. They still include keyboards and mice - the SAME keyboards and mice included with the practically identical - except for touch support - Pavilion series desktops and AIOs. Therefore, unless you knew about the touch-screen support ahead of time, WOULD you notice, merely by looking at the desktop? Honestly, I didn't - and I was, in fact, looking for any tell-tales. That is also why I look with extreme skepticism over ANY claim that Windows 8's touch support is obvious, as I HAVE used touch-screen hardware that still retained a keyboard and a pointing device. The tell-tales aren't there - at all.)
Point #2 has nothing to do with touch, either - instead, it has everything to do with remoting into hardware - both desktops AND servers. You may not even have a keyboard - of any sort - at your beck and call when accessing a desktop or server - and this is especially true if you are doing so from a tablet or smartphone (regardless of what OS the tablet or phone is running). How much have ENTERPRISES been screaming about the high cost and proprietary nature of remote-desktop software - for both Windows desktops and servers alike? Again, this is a problem largely handed over to Microsoft - they ARE the major force behind Windows on both desktop and server, after all - could they solve it?
Point #1 is, in fact, the most obvious one - the Start menu basically threw everybody except pointing-device-centric users under the bus. Naturally, the pointing-device-centric wouldn't care - they were, after all, the ones being kissed-up to. Despite the creation of PowerShell with Windows XP and Server 2003, practically ALL the documentation was on the Windows Server side of things - it is, literally, taking Windows 8 to actually HAVE some desktop documentation done; and this is an across-the-OSes scripting language that is both processor-neutral and even platform-neutral, and developed by Microsoft itself. In other words, kissing up the the pointing device detracted from the keyboard, and that was entirely the Start menu's fault. Touch support was not why the Start menu needed to go - the Start menu stomping all over the keyboard was.