Introducing Google's new design language: 'Material Design'

Microsoft has gone through more than its fair share of names for its design language - from Metro to Modern to 'Microsoft design' - but as Google continues to evolve its cross-platform products into a more mature and connected suite, it's keen to ensure that everyone understands exactly what its identity system is called. 

Today, as part of its I/O event, Google released a video giving a flavour of its unified design language, which it calls "Material Design". 

The video shows it in action in glimpses of Calendar, Gmail, Maps, and a range of apps on devices and online. As is the current trend in digital design, it embraces flatter user interfaces, large blocks of colour and a greater focus on typography. 

Google's Matias Duarte said: "Material Design is beautiful and bold, because clean typographic layouts are simple and easy to understand. Your content is the focus." The company has updated its 'Roboto' system font, "so that designers and developers can use one typeface, designed and optimised for every screen, from your watch to your laptop to your television."

The effect of the new design language can be seen in the image below, which shows how the Gmail interface has been dramatically improved to make content more clear. The new look Android universal navigation buttons - back, home and the task switcher - are also visible on the new screenshot. 

It's not just Android that will be affected by the new design standards. Google is introducing Material Design across all of its products, including Chrome OS and Search on the web. 

The company has also completely overhauled system animations, promising a dramatically enhanced user experience, starting with the Android L release. In addition to a new 'Material theme' for Android, the flatter user interface elements will be combined with 3D views including real-time shadows, and new transitions between on-screen activities. UI elements respond with a 'material touch effect' as the user interacts with them, while a 'nested scrolling' effect contracts and expands other elements as users scroll up and down the screen. 

Google says that it is "a visual language for our users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science." It adds: "A material metaphor is the unifying theory of a rationalized space and a system of motion. Our material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by our study of paper and ink, yet open to imagination and magic. This is material design." 

It says a lot that Google opened its keynote by leading with its new focus on design, and on establishing a more stylish and consistent experience for its users across all devices and products.

A Google Design site now features resources, guidelines and other information to help developers and designers to embrace Material Design to create better experiences for their users.

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Metro is flat and Material is exactly the opposite(has multiple z-indexes and dynamic shadows).

So stop saying metro all of the time, metro isn't even a design style. The only style we see here is minimalism which has been around for a looooooong time in the customization forums scene as example.

And even old software could be called minimal since its flat...

And not to forget Material is not about being flat but about giving depth and making it look 3d materials, metro is about being flat, there's not a single shadow in the metro design.


Personally I like Google's idea since I didn't like the idea of not having shadows in design.

To those saying it's not copying, it is definitely copying (or at least definitely based on) Microsoft's Microsoft design.

Just look at the tile interface on the web, the app designs, the Calendar looks almost exact as Microsoft's calendar app, etc. also the illustration style is almost the same too. The only thing really different is the slight unnecessary shadows.

Material design looks great.

1. Beautiful, short and FAST (are you reading this, MS?) animations
2. Colors (WP is getting really boring with that black/white/monochrome look)
3. Consistency (we'll see how they implement this guidelines across their ecosystem, but MS does not respect their own guidelines. It's really sad.)

Anyone that doesn't like it, don't panic Google will completely change the UI in the next version anyways

Arrrgh. Tiles and two-color designs again.

Is there no creativity anymore? I can appreciate a unified interface, but this is too utilitarian for my tastes.

Sorry this is a Modern UI ripoff but with different fonts and neon colors. Why can't Google come up with THIER own original ideas?

mrdeezus said,
Sorry this is a Modern UI ripoff but with different fonts and neon colors. Why can't Google come up with THIER own original ideas?

Who cares?
This is just the industry moving because MS was right.
Doesn't matter that MS implementation is inferior to upcoming implementations.
No need to credit Microsoft after deriding them for forcing this change down our throats.

That's the Google Way.

There is more in common with the Metro design language than just being flat or squares (which is NOT a principle of Metro but it very common). Metro is about typography and content first.

Metro: "Metro is our design language. We call it Metro because it's Modern and clean. It's fast and in motion. It's about content and typography. And it's entirely authentic."

Material: "Material Design is beautiful and bold, because clean typographic layouts are simple and easy to understand. Your content is the focus."

Everything about Material IS Metro. Metro is a design language not a specific implementation as seen in Windows 8/Phone. There is not one type of Metro. Everything that follows the Metro principles is Metro. Material follows them very closely and arguably is an implementation of Metro.

See http://designmodo.com/metro-ui/ for source of the Metro description.

I think Material does look a bit like Metro but "content", "clean" and "typography" just seem like common words to describe a design layout.

These words are the foundation of these designs though. They are all about using text as borders and content separators which was new at the time Metro was released. Before Metro, designs had more graphics to separate content instead of just using the text/content itself. It is the way these common words come together that made Metro unique when it was released.

BannanaNinja said,
There is more in common with the Metro design language than just being flat or squares (which is NOT a principle of Metro but it very common). Metro is about typography and content first.

Metro: "Metro is our design language. We call it Metro because it's Modern and clean. It's fast and in motion. It's about content and typography. And it's entirely authentic."

Material: "Material Design is beautiful and bold, because clean typographic layouts are simple and easy to understand. Your content is the focus."

Everything about Material IS Metro. Metro is a design language not a specific implementation as seen in Windows 8/Phone. There is not one type of Metro. Everything that follows the Metro principles is Metro. Material follows them very closely and arguably is an implementation of Metro.

See http://designmodo.com/metro-ui/ for source of the Metro description.

And I think this is what (a majority) of commentators, are not understanding. Metro goes beyond "a flat grid of tiles". It is a design language, not what you see in random pictures on the internet. And - based on the narrative of Google's design team - the Material Design language, borrows many of the key elements of Metro.

I don't think borrowing from Metro makes Google bad; it just makes Microsoft's Metro look (surprisingly) ahead of its time. You may not like the company, but they still employ people who are passionate about what they do - and you have to, at least, give them some credit.

It don't find it looks like metro. I think it looks even more simple than metro UI. The only I think it looks alike is the calculator. It looks really like the one on iOS 7.

There is nothing new or particularly exciting stuff to be honest. Everything that has been announced in the Google I/O is last year technology and knew it won't bring any surprise or breathtaking product as well.

Agreed. More so aligned to what others are doing. Animations are nice but will probably get old quick.

Was more interested in the wearables, battery savings, and ART vs DALVIK.

All I can say is: the entire world's designers' work is based on a common template. :p They all have the SAME kind of design with no originality.

Hard to believe that Microsoft was on the cutting edge here, and now everyone is copying Microsoft... yet somehow utterly failing to give them ANY credit. Fascinating.

pmbAustin said,
Hard to believe that Microsoft was on the cutting edge here, and now everyone is copying Microsoft... yet somehow utterly failing to give them ANY credit. Fascinating.

Flat UI design has been around long before MS got involved.

pmbAustin said,
Hard to believe that Microsoft was on the cutting edge here, and now everyone is copying Microsoft... yet somehow utterly failing to give them ANY credit. Fascinating.

That is because Microsoft is like the smart kid in class.. Brilliant ideas but no balls when the bullies take it away and pretend it's their idea.

paulheu said,

That is because Microsoft is like the smart kid in class.. Brilliant ideas but no balls when the bullies take it away and pretend it's their idea.


Actually MS applied, note "applied" not "invented" the guidelines in MSN 2, which was called Metro during the Beta, but people did not like it much and then reverted to the gradient style for the following iterations. It was then applied to Media Center etc. etc.

Pretty nice. Also natural progression. The internet, computers, mobiles and the rest, are all maturing and part of that maturing is finding your own feet. Gone are the Skeumorphic days as digital realises it doesn't have to be all wood effect, green baize, ugly drop shadows and over-bearing bevels.

I can't believe the self-imposed ignorance in some of these comments.

MS tiles = ugly
Google tiles = OMFGZZZ!!!! SO AWESOOMMEEE

Oh, and let's compare house parts to an OS UI.

BTW, MS' metro design started with Zune.

As for this new UI; I like it. Looks much cleaner than android's current iteration.

eddman said,
I can't believe the self-imposed ignorance in some of these comments.

MS tiles = ugly
Google tiles = OMFGZZZ!!!! SO AWESOOMMEEE

Oh, and let's compare house parts to an OS UI.

BTW, MS' metro design started with Zune.

As for this new UI; I like it. Looks much cleaner than android's current iteration.

Metro started much earlier than the Zune. It was the basis for Microsoft's Media Center in Windows XP MCE which came before the Zune.

eddman said,
I can't believe the self-imposed ignorance in some of these comments.

MS tiles = ugly
Google tiles = OMFGZZZ!!!! SO AWESOOMMEEE

Oh, and let's compare house parts to an OS UI.

BTW, MS' metro design started with Zune.

As for this new UI; I like it. Looks much cleaner than android's current iteration.


Not really, MS started it with MSN 2 which was also called Metro.

Ok, I stand corrected, but if MS started sooner, then it enforces my point even further.

When MS does it, it's "meh, who cares, they're forcing things on us, GIVE US CHOICE, they took the idea from somewhere/one else" etc.

When others do it it's freaking revolutionary and amazing.

I don't care about MS, I care about treatment equality.

eddman said,
Ok, I stand corrected, but if MS started sooner, then it enforces my point even further.

When MS does it, it's "meh, who cares, they're forcing things on us, GIVE US CHOICE, they took the idea from somewhere/one else" etc.

When others do it it's freaking revolutionary and amazing.

I don't care about MS, I care about treatment equality.


Actually, now it's Google who gets the "they took the idea from somewhere/one else" treatment.

As for the "they're forcing things on us", when you're the first to do something you might get that response. That's just how it is, as people don't like change.

Also, Modern/Metro and Material Design do not look the same. People notice the small differences. Just a drop shadow can have a huge impact on how it is perceived. So you cannot expect people to like Modern UI because they like Material Design and vice versa, they are different.

I don't see why they had to change the UI, I thought it was fine overall, but oh well. Change for the sake of change.

George P said,
.....

Maybe because when they saw the old UI on TV / Car / Watch / Tablet / Phone / Nest and services like YouTube / Google Docs / GMail / etc, it looked fragmented and inconsistent.

I like this new look consistent across all devices and services.

Google desperately need consistency in their UI and their new material design language is the solution to that problem. Apple's iOS looks great because it's consistent. I'm glad Google finally got around to it.

I think Google mis spelled Metro

I'm sorry others can split hairs or not but Microsoft was first to push out the minimalistic flat design (Media Center, Zune Software etc) and got mocked up and down for it and since then we've seen pretty much EVERY major tech company and tons of websites/apps copy that type of design.

Just funny to see MS start something then everyone copies it and no one is willing to admit it.

To those saying flat designs were used alot before please give some actual examples of where flat metro like designs were used before Windows Media Center in the early 2000's and Zune software in the mid 2000's.

Edited by swanlee, Jun 25 2014, 5:15pm :

swanlee said,
I think Google mis spelled Metro

I'm sorry others can split hairs or not but Microsoft was first to push out the minimalistic flat design (Media Center, Zune Software etc) and got mocked up and down for it and since then we've seen pretty much EVERY major tech company and tons of websites/apps copy that type of design.

Just funny to see MS start something then everyone copies it and no one is willing to admit it.

To those saying flat designs were used alot before please give some actual examples of where flat metro like designs were used before Windows Media Center in the early 2000's and Zune software in the mid 2000's.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massimo_Vignelli

swanlee said,
I think Google mis spelled Metro

To those saying flat designs were used alot before please give some actual examples of where flat metro like designs were used before Windows Media Center in the early 2000's and Zune software in the mid 2000's.

The Swiss in the 1950s. I mean, it's what was once referred to as Metro is based on... Swiss Style...:p

My god Microsoft started a revolution. Everybody is copying this style and none gives credit to Microsoft.

The style was in use before MS started the revolution. Its like crediting Apple for slide to unlock. MS had the ability to push it to the industry and make it a standard. That is what they get credit for.

techbeck said,
The style was in use before MS started the revolution. Its like crediting Apple for slide to unlock. MS had the ability to push it to the industry and make it a standard. That is what they get credit for.

Name 1 example. Zune debut in 2006, so you're looking at pre-iPhone era software.

How about all the many pic viewers out there that display pictures in squares...which will now be called Metro. Applications that were released before the Zune. Not to mention all the themes that were available on Windows 9x going forward that had minimal/flat design to it.

And how else are certain things supposed to be display but not a preview/square image? Like pictures or movies on Netflix. Just a link will not do and does not provide enough quick info for the user.

Ideas are nothing new here. MS just brought them together and has the power and recognition to bring it mainstream.

Edited by techbeck, Jun 25 2014, 5:56pm :

Interior design and user interface are not the same thing. Else you could say that all traffic sign makers are the real revolutionists.

Also it's not only a design. It's consistency across layers of a user interface which is unique in this way.

Oguz said,
Interior design and user interface are not the same thing. Else you could say that all traffic sign makers are the real revolutionists.

Also it's not only a design. It's consistency across layers of a user interface which is unique in this way.

I think that is a point most people miss. MS used their modern design as a standard across ALL of their apps and OS' and everything. Then, Apple comes out with that idea as well, and then Google. It is irreverent who made the first metro design for a single app and blah blah blah. Microsoft started this idea of making everything look the same in the metro design style for everything and the other companies have followed with minor changes. Its not that the other companies are bad or stupid for changing. Its a good idea and MS happened to be the first one to aggressively pursue it.

I also feel like some people think that if they give MS credit for something then it would go against some moral or idealistic code or something. Or that MS cant be hip and cool or a trend setter so it couldnt be them that start something. MS had a great idea and looks good so good on them =).

Oguz said,
My god Microsoft started a revolution. Everybody is copying this style and none gives credit to Microsoft.

Well, we can give Microsoft credit for following a design trend, and then putting it in front of a bunch of people who had no idea the trend existed thus making some people think Microsoft started the trend.

Scabrat said,

I think that is a point most people miss. MS used their modern design as a standard across ALL of their apps and OS' and everything. Then, Apple comes out with that idea as well, and then Google. It is irreverent who made the first metro design for a single app and blah blah blah. Microsoft started this idea of making everything look the same in the metro design style for everything and the other companies have followed with minor changes. Its not that the other companies are bad or stupid for changing. Its a good idea and MS happened to be the first one to aggressively pursue it.

I also feel like some people think that if they give MS credit for something then it would go against some moral or idealistic code or something. Or that MS cant be hip and cool or a trend setter so it couldnt be them that start something. MS had a great idea and looks good so good on them =).

I agree that this new thing from Google shares a lot of similarities with what Microsoft has done, but that's what a design language is...it ensures a consistent look and feel across a range of similar products, or a whole range of products. So no, Apple did not come up with the idea, and then Google to make everything look the same after Microsoft did. Not only is it an idea that predates the three mentioned companies, and Apple has applied a design language for its hardware since the Snow White days, but if you go back and honestly look at iPhone OS/iOS you will see that the apps on there were just mobile versions of their desktop counterparts. Even when Forstall started jacking up the iOS interface with skeuomorphisms, their desktop counterparts were updated to match what was being implemented on iOS and vice versa (Back to Mac event October 2010) all before Microsoft unleashed Metro on us.

I don't think, and this is from my point of view, that not giving Microsoft credit goes against a code or anything. It's just that Microsoft didn't seem to care about things like a design language. Since they didn't care, the enthusiast who visit sites like Neowin didn't care either. Now that Microsoft is on board with one, it's only natural for their enthusiast to be on board too and see it as something Microsoft started doing. Do you think someone who closely follows what Microsoft is going really pays attention to what their competitors have been doing? I bet they haven't paid attention to what web designers have been cooking up since last decade. It's funny to me to see that when ever company X updates its design language some people here automatically cry, "MICROSOFT FIRST!". Some are warranted. Others..not by a long shot.

techbeck said,
How about all the many pic viewers out there that display pictures in squares...which will now be called Metro. Applications that were released before the Zune. Not to mention all the themes that were available on Windows 9x going forward that had minimal/flat design to it.

And how else are certain things supposed to be display but not a preview/square image? Like pictures or movies on Netflix. Just a link will not do and does not provide enough quick info for the user.

Ideas are nothing new here. MS just brought them together and has the power and recognition to bring it mainstream.

There's a big difference between simply navigating pictures as squares and having a functioning tile interface (live tiles, live apps, etc.) with standardized typography and design language throughout the OS. Key word: standardized. Yes, there might have been flat designs around in the past, but Microsoft made a concerted effort to make it universal across its operating systems. That's what everyone (Apple, Google, etc.) is implementing now - a standard, flat design across their devices. Microsoft did put this trend in motion, whether you like it or not.

As far as who copied who, "Metro" is not a NEW thing. It's based on classic print design principles. But like I said, Microsoft was the first to standardize it across their entire product line... using it as their "identity" if you will. Apple also had a design style, but it was not flat up until recently. Google had a jumbled up mess of design until Android 4.

benthebear said,

Well, we can give Microsoft credit for following a design trend, and then putting it in front of a bunch of people who had no idea the trend existed thus making some people think Microsoft started the trend.

To be fair to MS, most of the other tech companies get high praise for similar things, so its not shocking that people would come out and praise MS in the same way. I mean Apple and Google get high praise for features that they did not invent either, so this is just a case where its MS' turn.

I don't really think its a good or bad thing though. If you are the company that can be pointed to as the one to first embrace a feature or style in a big way that is shortly followed by other companies doing similar things, then you deserve some credit for taking a chance on something that was not already highly popular at the time.

Heck, Apple did not invent the smartphone, but they get credit for really jump starting the market, followed shortly by Android and then WP.

benthebear said,

Not only is it an idea that predates the three mentioned companies, and Apple has applied a design language for its hardware since the Snow White days, but if you go back and honestly look at iPhone OS/iOS you will see that the apps on there were just mobile versions of their desktop counterparts. Even when Forstall started jacking up the iOS interface with skeuomorphisms, their desktop counterparts were updated to match what was being implemented on iOS and vice versa (Back to Mac event October 2010) all before Microsoft unleashed Metro on us.

I agree the design style has been around for a while now. But it wasnt popular with the big 3 for a long time. Then, Microsoft started going metro and making everything look the same across everything. That was YEARS (a few at least) before Apple had their look. Apple was still in the "Mimic-real-things-in-the-real-world" phase when Microsoft was doing it. So Microsoft was first to this design language. Then Apple released their metro style look. And now Google is also doing it. Are you saying its coincidence then that Microsoft, Apple, and Google all were going to go for the exact same design style? I dont think so, and even if they were, Microsoft was first to aggressively pursue it. And they should get acknowledged for that. That is all I am saying. Microsoft got there first. I think the facts line up with that as well =).


Now that Microsoft is on board with one, it's only natural for their enthusiast to be on board too and see it as something Microsoft started doing. Do you think someone who closely follows what Microsoft is going really pays attention to what their competitors have been doing? I bet they haven't paid attention to what web designers have been cooking up since last decade. It's funny to me to see that when ever company X updates its design language some people here automatically cry, "MICROSOFT FIRST!". Some are warranted. Others..not by a long shot.

I am a big fan of Microsoft. And I was a big "hater" (as the kids call it these days) of Apple. And I liked Android. Now I am a big fan of Microsoft, just dislike Apple, and still like Android. But, yes, I have been paying attention to their design for quite some time. I think the average person doesnt care but the average tech person, whether they like a company or not, also can recognize a certain design of an operating system. And most people on here are tech persons, whether they are Microsoft fanboys or not. They can look at when Zune and WP7, and they work they did with W(P)8 and see, "Ah, yes, Microsoft went Metro then the other platforms did it too." =)

I do agree, though, that this style has been around for a while. But I just think that Microsoft started this trend that we are seeing now. =)

techbeck said,
Every flat design is Metro or compared to Metro. Even though flat designs were available before Metro.
The search demo had a realy close design to Bing Smart Search...

techbeck said,
Every flat design is Metro or compared to Metro. Even though flat designs were available before Metro.

This ^^ Apparently everything these days looks like Metro :laugh: Completely ignoring the fact that websites have been using flat designs forever.

Now if we're talking about imitation, then https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/da/Wiimen.png comes to mind when talking about Microsoft's startscreen. I guess Microsoft designers were fans of the Wii :laugh:

Yup, everything flat or anything with a square now = Metro. I have an old window in my house divided in to several little squares. I guess that is metro as well.

Yep flat design were used in the Zune software and windows media center, oops yep it is safe to say Microsoft start this flat design trend.

techbeck said,
Yup, everything flat or anything with a square now = Metro. I have an old window in my house divided in to several little squares. I guess that is metro as well.

LOL. So true.

swanlee said,
Yep flat design were used in the Zune software and windows media center, oops yep it is safe to say Microsoft start this flat design trend.

Actually some signs of it were even in early MSN design... which was also called Metro.

techbeck said,
Metro like, but different and no ugly tiles. :)

And companies copy of each other...including Microsoft.

Uhh, I see plenty of tiles up top there.

In certain apps...but not part of the main interface for Android.

And further....just because there is a square, doesnt meant it is metro either. Gallery apps always displayed pics previews in squares. Is that Metro to?

Square images/icons do not = Metro.

techbeck said,
In certain apps...but not part of the main interface for Android.

And further....just because there is a square, doesnt meant it is metro either. Gallery apps always displayed pics previews in squares. Is that Metro to?

Square images/icons do not = Metro.

You can put it however you like, but the design is very clearly based of Microsoft's Metro Design Language.

Dot Matrix said,

You can put it however you like, but the design is very clearly based of Microsoft's Metro Design Language.

Wasnt my original comment called it "Metro like" Yes, I believe that is what I said. But there is a lot of the UI that was changed to make it stand apart from Metro as well. But apparently all you see is the MS influence. And the Metro look was available in a lot of apps before MS decided to make it mainstream.

techbeck said,
In certain apps...but not part of the main interface for Android.

Some of those screens show the user's homepage and main interface being made of tiles. So maybe not on your phone's homescreen, but pretty much everywhere else.

techbeck said,
Metro like, but different and no ugly tiles. :)

And companies copy of each other...including Microsoft.


This guy used to be with Nokia I think. So he has experience with metro. It is clearly an influence.

Dot Matrix said,
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. #Metro

Yup, MS, Apple, Google, and may other OEMs have flatter one another over the years and will continue to do so.

techbeck said,

Yup, MS, Apple, Google, and may other OEMs have flatter one another over the years and will continue to do so.

I see what you did there!

theyarecomingforyou said,
Microsoft wishes Metro was this good.

Indeed. Sounds like Dot Matrix saw colorful rectangles and then tuned out to rest of the I/O. Windows Phone wishes it had a tenth of the features announced today.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Microsoft wishes Metro was this good.

I haven't seen a thing presented today that Metro isn't capable of doing.

Dot Matrix said,
I haven't seen a thing presented today that Metro isn't capable of doing.
It really doesn't matter what Metro is theoretically capable of. Having used Metro I can tell you it isn't as good as the concept shown off here.

theyarecomingforyou said,
It really doesn't matter what Metro is theoretically capable of. Having used Metro I can tell you it isn't as good as the concept shown off here.

I honestly think we should wait to judge until it's all out the wild. From what i see here though, it does look bloody good.

link8506 said,
it sure must be painful for a metro-hater to see the direction everyone is taking now!
Metro is about 2D, flat designs; this is about 3D layering and drop shadows. They are very different philosophies. As I've said before, Metro is fine on tablets but it's terrible on the desktop.

As for your Windows 2.0 comparison, you do realise that people have made the same (inaccurate) comparisons with Metro right?

theyarecomingforyou said,
Metro is about 2D, flat designs; this is about 3D layering and drop shadows. They are very different philosophies.

right. That is a cluttered version of Metro. I don't see the "layers" and the shadows making the UI easier to use. They add distraction to what was supposed to be a simpler design.


As I've said before, Metro is fine on tablets but it's terrible on the desktop.

As for your Windows 2.0 comparison, you do realise that people have made the same (inaccurate) comparisons with Metro right?

the colors being used on the screenshots provided by google are horrible. That immediately made me think at that Windows 2.0 screenshot where the vivid colors make the UI painful to look at.

Microsoft has done a better job with Windows 8.1 in choosing default colors that are not aggressive as these.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Microsoft wishes Metro was this good.

So this is good all of a sudden? Wow, how people change their tune when it's not M-Dollar doing the heavy lifting.

Enron said,
So this is good all of a sudden? Wow, how people change their tune when it's not M-Dollar doing the heavy lifting.
It's nothing to do with Metro being by Microsoft, as I actually like Windows 8. It's just that Metro is terrible on the desktop, mostly because it wastes display real estate and forces users to run apps fullscreen.

It's worth pointing out that while this looks better it remains to be seen how practical it is in everyday use. All we have is this concept video to go on for now.

theyarecomingforyou said,
It's nothing to do with Metro being by Microsoft, as I actually like Windows 8. It's just that Metro is terrible on the desktop, mostly because it wastes display real estate and forces users to run apps fullscreen.

It's worth pointing out that while this looks better it remains to be seen how practical it is in everyday use. All we have is this concept video to go on for now.

Metro is designed for tablets, but to keep Windows relevant, they had to start somewhere, and fast. However, if you've noticed, the tweaks are coming in, and the metro and desktop are starting to merge.

The cards don't really look like tiles...
Google's Material Design is quite different than Microsoft's Modern Design
You can clearly see that in the video (pictures don't give the whole picture :p)
The key is in the animations and 3Dness of the UI which bring back some skeumorphic elements to the Flat trend that, yes, was more or less started by Microsoft's UI in stuff like the Zune.