Windows 8: Metro control panel video walk through

The new Metro look for Windows 8 has been, for the most part, well received. In the video below, we walk through the new look as it is applied to the control panel in the Metro environment. 

The new look is a big step for Microsoft who has traditionally played it safe with its UI. But with the new Windows Phone platform, Metro has shown its usability and it is here to stay.

We should also note that the classic control panel is still available. The new layout is easy to navigate and relatively clutter free. Take a look at the video above and let us know your thoughts on the layout.

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I got the Windows 7 start menu back. And got another menu on the task bar right side that is similar to the old Windows 98 type, (sort of).
I right clicked on the task bar, then properties, then the 'Tool Bar" tab and put a check in 'Desktop'. Applied and OK. The word Desktop with a double arrow appeared on the right side of the task bar. Clicking the double arrow it brings up like everything in the computer in the style of Windows 98 (kind of).

I have mixed feeligs about this release... but once again, its not even beta. we'll see where the road takes us.

However, Im kinda confused about some things. I try to explore the Metro apps, try to browse them (explore) but I cant seem to close them? They get "suspended" but still there taking up memory space?

I do miss the start menu, the applications on Metro reminds me of the Unity on ubuntu, never really liked t. To go to the applications I click on start, move to the applications and then open what I want, Im still trying to get used to it, but some stuff seem a little bit out of hand. My gf couldn't find the shut down computer button and honestly took me a minute to find it too lol.

Even writting this post the keyboard seems funny.

Anyway, like I said, not even beta, let's see where it goes I'm sticking with Win8 for a while to see how much there's of a learning / get used to curve. I might be wrong, maybe this is a lot easier once I get the hang of it.

... however the first minutes were kinda of a nightmare, sort of very very unfinished product..which... it kinda is lol.

Regards.


Looks ugly, even for a tablet, not a pretty UI.

I have a windows phone and it's easily the best interface I've used on a phone, but this isn't working on a larger scale for me. looks very dated and not as modern as the new Windows Phone.

I'm also disappointed with the desktop changes we've seen, some are nice, but I see no productivity upgrades yet.

I'm still on the fence, the desktop (or whatever they are calling it) looks really nice, but going into the control panel doesn't.. the full screen blue flash you get with control panel logo is pointless... then you are presented with so much white space..

Uplift said,
I'm still on the fence, the desktop (or whatever they are calling it) looks really nice, but going into the control panel doesn't.. the full screen blue flash you get with control panel logo is pointless... then you are presented with so much white space..

I love the splashscreen for each app, especially the ones that are just colours with a small logo in the centre of the screen.

So basically Windows 8 is Windows 7 + Touch Optimisation... Great... For everyone who doesn't want to use their computer for Sound Engineering, Music Production, Video Editing... etc. Basically everything you bought a desktop PC for...

r3stle55 said,
So basically Windows 8 is Windows 7 + Touch Optimisation... Great... For everyone who doesn't want to use their computer for Sound Engineering, Music Production, Video Editing... etc. Basically everything you bought a desktop PC for...

You can still do all of that on any Windows 8 PC. If you'd read some of the articles, you'd know that.

Even though the classic control panel is still available, I have found no way to actually access it except though the metro interface. I just want my classic start menu back. There's no option to change it. We'll see how things go when beta comes around and things are more finished and polished.

They're not going to let you, so no point waiting for it to happen. The Win 8 version pretty much works like the start menu does now anyway, but a lot bigger. Typing searches and can bring you to your list of apps, or just opening it shows you your favourite / important apps.

Unclean009 said,
Even though the classic control panel is still available, I have found no way to actually access it except though the metro interface. I just want my classic start menu back. There's no option to change it. We'll see how things go when beta comes around and things are more finished and polished.

There's no need for the Start Menu because you have the Start Screen. When using Windows 7, did you also always want an alternative to the Start Menu (as that was the only option)? I doubt it.

~Johnny said,
They're not going to let you, so no point waiting for it to happen. The Win 8 version pretty much works like the start menu does now anyway, but a lot bigger. Typing searches and can bring you to your list of apps, or just opening it shows you your favourite / important apps.

This would never fly in corporate environment; I am speculating but I think that MS will allow to switch to a "Classic view" in later builds.
Right now they want to push developers to use the new GUI .

It's the same with every release of Windows. Everyone has to complain about this and that and for what purpose? It's not even a beta nor a finished product. Not to mention, these same people that are complaining will try the final product and upgrade to it. *sigh.*

briangw said,
It's the same with every release of Windows. Everyone has to complain about this and that and for what purpose? It's not even a beta nor a finished product. Not to mention, these same people that are complaining will try the final product and upgrade to it. *sigh.*
yep, hope they do another tech preview like they did with 7... Was the first retail version I bought... Xp came with comp

max84 said,
God, you guys never read? You can switch to the classic control panel anytime you want.

Technically the same as with the way the control panel has been for the past 10-11 years... Always been a couple different ways to view it... Some ppl like it, some not

max84 said,
God, you guys never read? You can switch to the classic control panel anytime you want.
Its annoying to find though.. You cant get the old start menu to get to it you either have to go to metro control panel and press more options or find a way to it through personalise

zikalify said,
Its annoying to find though.. You cant get the old start menu to get to it you either have to go to metro control panel and press more options or find a way to it through personalise

You can right mouse button in Windows Explorer on the Computer tab.

remixedcat said,
too much scrolling with the control panel

Not sure why the person doing the video didn't just use the 'swipe' gestures like they would on WP7 or iOS to scroll instead of dragging the 1980s scrollbar. Even rolling the mouse wheel is far easier and more productive.

remixedcat said,
too much scrolling with the control panel

Why? When a person would like to access the Control Panel, they typically only need to change one or two things (apart from the first time they set up the operating system), so scrolling shouldn't be an issue because they wouldn't have to scroll much.

I know it's far from finished (the Device section was totally empty) but I hate the direction they are going in. That UI may be fine for a tablet or phone but it makes no sense at all on a mouse driven desktop PC.

Skyfrog said,
I know it's far from finished (the Device section was totally empty) but I hate the direction they are going in. That UI may be fine for a tablet or phone but it makes no sense at all on a mouse driven desktop PC.

Holy **** you are clueless. The desktop UI is the same as Windows 7. Get a clue.

andrewbares said,

Holy **** you are clueless. The desktop UI is the same as Windows 7. Get a clue.

I am well aware that both Metro and Aero are available, I am simply commenting on Metro as a desktop interface (which is the default). What is your problem, anyway? Perhaps you could try to avoid resorting to childish insults and swearing and calm down a bit.

Skyfrog said,
I know it's far from finished (the Device section was totally empty) but I hate the direction they are going in. That UI may be fine for a tablet or phone but it makes no sense at all on a mouse driven desktop PC.

It makes perfect sense for a lot of users on a desktop. It's fast and simple. A vast majority of the desktop PC user base like that idea.

Skyfrog said,

I am well aware that both Metro and Aero are available, I am simply commenting on Metro as a desktop interface (which is the default). What is your problem, anyway? Perhaps you could try to avoid resorting to childish insults and swearing and calm down a bit.

Default as in, the first UI that appears and that you can turn off and never see again.

When you say it makes on sense on a 'mouse driven' desktop, this is where you sound completely clueless. It is like someone looking at a Corvette and asking how you feed it and complain that you will need a bigger stable, cause your last transportation (your horse) fit in the barn just fine, and the horse didn't need all those fancy buttons and lights and things.


Seriously... Stop, and truly think about this for a little bit...

There are GOOD reasons why this UI model works on a Desktop and also works on a desktop in combination with the more advanced UI constructs. Microsoft didn't doing millions of dollars of research on UI starting in the mid 90s, that Metro and other concepts came from, and need someone from Neowin to point out that all the testing and their 140 IQ engineers are stupid.

Start here:

Desktops are NO LONGER just mouse and keyboard devices. We have touch, we have pen/stylus, we have 'surface touch' (imaging), we have kinect and camera input, we have voice input, we even have freaking media center remote control input.

Do you open Media Center on your PC daily just to say to yourself, this is not a good design for a 'desktop'? It is just the older version of this UI, and it has been in Windows for over 6 years, and I don't see complaints. (If you don't like it, don't use it.)

As for the keyboard/mouse argument... That is even silly.

With a mouse you can 'flip' through tiles and screens easily and it is really cool the way it works in conjunction with Apps and even older existing Apps with both UIs on one screen.

And for a keyboard, it is even easier, as you can use the arrow keys and navigate everything (also works well with a remote control, and well with kinect too.)

The UI is Metro, that was part of Microsoft's UI studies in the 90s, go look up Microsoft Streets from then, it had the black Metro UI back then, as Microsoft was trying to implement some of the things that worked from the test groups.

Windows Media Center also comes from this research, and was built as a test of usability in large scale, and it has been successful with the users that use it for TV and Netflix, etc. It is designed for multi-input, and works WELL with a mouse, a keyboard, a remote control, and a touch screen.

There is no reason that a 'simplistic' UI metaphor cannot work well on a desktop, it does not have to complex to have the same functionality.

Look at WP7 compared to Android's UI model. WP7 is far easier to use, and has the same level of functionality, so why make it more complex if you don't need to? Does this is it not a smartphone, or does it mean WP7 is actually a 'smarter' smartphone?

There is nothing wrong with simple and easy, and there are times desktop users already open Media Center and similar applications when they just want to do a few simple things on the computer and are done 'working' on it.

This also creates opportunity to use features that did not work well with the older UI model. Windows Vista and Windows 7 have 'awesome' voice recognition technologies, but they are not hardly ever used because of the 'complexity' of the older style UI model. With Metro, Voice navigation and use becomes easy for users.

I know myself and others are giving you a hard time, but it is just a bit strange to see people state things as 'facts' that are not facts. A desktop UI can be simple, and the Metro UI does make sense for a desktop, and works great with a mouse and keyboard.

thenetavenger said,

This also creates opportunity to use features that did not work well with the older UI model. Windows Vista and Windows 7 have 'awesome' voice recognition technologies, but they are not hardly ever used because of the 'complexity' of the older style UI model. With Metro, Voice navigation and use becomes easy for users.

Voice navigation has a long way to become really useful in an average working environment: background noise affects it and I wonder what could happen in a room with several people speaking to their computers in the cubicles. Now if I am closed alone in my office, or I am a writer working alone at night is a different story but no matter as accurate the software has become it still does not have the human hear/brain ability to discriminate among the different noises. Actually not yet............

Skyfrog said,
I know it's far from finished (the Device section was totally empty) but I hate the direction they are going in. That UI may be fine for a tablet or phone but it makes no sense at all on a mouse driven desktop PC.

How can you say it makes no sense for use on a mouse-driven desktop, when the video shows that it works fine with a mouse-driven computer?

andrewbares said,

Holy **** you are clueless. The desktop UI is the same as Windows 7. Get a clue.

You either haven't used it or are clueless.

Metro is a pain to deal with on a desktop.

Two scrollbars? really? They'd be better to do away with the descriptive text for dummies underneath the categories, and leave that for a tooltip on mouseover.

Abhinav Kumar said,

It's not the only Control Panel available.

That doesn't really matter. The fact it's even available on the desktop version of Windows shows they've lost it.

If your OS needs two control panels you've already failed.

virtorio said,

That doesn't really matter. The fact it's even available on the desktop version of Windows shows they've lost it.

If your OS needs two control panels you've already failed.


Fail user who hasn't read up all the way and doesn't understand that Microsoft sees touch as the future and is tailoring windows to that has already failed.

Nexus- said,

Fail user who hasn't read up all the way and doesn't understand that Microsoft sees touch as the future and is tailoring windows to that has already failed.

I'm well aware of that. Touch on the Desktop however is not going to be common place anytime soon. Navigating a touch orientated interface with a mouse is not a good user experience. The control panel video shows an interface that is great for touch/tablets, but shouldn't even be available for users who don't have that.


What's that? Since when does that exist? [/quote]
Change that to, "available when Windows is running on a desktop PC/computer without touch hardware

Edited by virtorio, Sep 14 2011, 5:40am :

virtorio said,

I'm well aware of that. Touch on the Desktop however is not going to be common place anytime soon. Navigating a touch orientated interface with a mouse is not a good user experience. The control panel video shows an interface that is great for touch/tablets, but shouldn't even be available for users who don't have that.

Touch screen desktop and all-in-one touch screen desktops are selling quite well, and have been increasing as the costs of the screens have come down.

Go to any store, even WalMart, they will have a desktop with a touch screen. This IS common.

As for the duality of the interface, really? People are going to complain because ONE OS is capable of doing both easily, and makes BOTH UIs available?

If you don't like the freaking touch or Metro UI interface, don't use it... It is not FORCED on you, and you can flip a switch and NEVER see it again.

People get locked into, well if my Car goes fast then it can't have luxury, and if my car has luxury options it can't go fast. (Which used to be a SERIOUS debate with car enthusiasts, and it is also false logic. When GM started putting their premiere technology in the Corvette in the 1980s, and it was the fastest production and best cornering sports car for many of them years, it finally broke the 'minimal and fast' mindset.)

Your OS can handle many UI options, this is a good thing, even if you never use the ones you don't like. Windows 7 and Windows Vista now also have a duality. If you install a Touch Screen or Tablet driver, the UI changes and you have more options available.

Windows 7 is a TabletPC OS, more so than XP TabletPC edition, more so than even Android and iOS are, but people never see this side, because 99% of the people have never used it on a Tablet or Touch Screen.

This is Windows NT, it can easily handle this, and because it is NT, if it is a feature are you not using, it doesn't load, it doesn't consume RAM, it doesn't eat CPU time, it just sits on the HD, and takes up a few MB of space, and if 10-100mb of space is too much, then you need to rethink computer all together, as freaking android shells and apps are consuming this much disk space on a phone.

Well, I hope you have the answer I am looking for. You say you never have to see the Metro UI by flipping a switch.. can you please tell me how to do this? Thanks.

thenetavenger said,

Touch screen desktop and all-in-one touch screen desktops are selling quite well, and have been increasing as the costs of the screens have come down.

Go to any store, even WalMart, they will have a desktop with a touch screen. This IS common.

As for the duality of the interface, really? People are going to complain because ONE OS is capable of doing both easily, and makes BOTH UIs available?

If you don't like the freaking touch or Metro UI interface, don't use it... It is not FORCED on you, and you can flip a switch and NEVER see it again.

People get locked into, well if my Car goes fast then it can't have luxury, and if my car has luxury options it can't go fast. (Which used to be a SERIOUS debate with car enthusiasts, and it is also false logic. When GM started putting their premiere technology in the Corvette in the 1980s, and it was the fastest production and best cornering sports car for many of them years, it finally broke the 'minimal and fast' mindset.)

Your OS can handle many UI options, this is a good thing, even if you never use the ones you don't like. Windows 7 and Windows Vista now also have a duality. If you install a Touch Screen or Tablet driver, the UI changes and you have more options available.

Windows 7 is a TabletPC OS, more so than XP TabletPC edition, more so than even Android and iOS are, but people never see this side, because 99% of the people have never used it on a Tablet or Touch Screen.

This is Windows NT, it can easily handle this, and because it is NT, if it is a feature are you not using, it doesn't load, it doesn't consume RAM, it doesn't eat CPU time, it just sits on the HD, and takes up a few MB of space, and if 10-100mb of space is too much, then you need to rethink computer all together, as freaking android shells and apps are consuming this much disk space on a phone.

thenetavenger said,

Touch screen desktop and all-in-one touch screen desktops are selling quite well, and have been increasing as the costs of the screens have come down.

Touch screen desktop computers are selling only moderately well, but having to lift your arm and having to keep it up is a lousy experience. This is only worthwhile on a tablet device.

According to one of the developer videos I've watched this metro UI title thing will be what you see as soon as you log in, for everyone. I'll admin I haven't watched anything much from BUILD so this may have changed.

Plug in a drawing tablet and the fairly bad hardwiring tools sure show their ugly head in Windows 7. Something I sadly have to use a lot.

I may be thinking old school, but I don't think something your computer can't use shouldn't be included with the operating system.

virtorio said,

I'm well aware of that. Touch on the Desktop however is not going to be common place anytime soon. Navigating a touch orientated interface with a mouse is not a good user experience. The control panel video shows an interface that is great for touch/tablets, but shouldn't even be available for users who don't have that.

You do realise that touchscreen desktops already exist and many people have them, right? You also realise the same goes for notebooks/laptops, right?

Callum said,

You do realise that touchscreen desktops already exist and many people have them, right? You also realise the same goes for notebooks/laptops, right?
Yes I know a number of people with touch screen desktops. And they all regret buying them because, as I've said about 4 times in this little "thread" already, it's a lousy experience. This only works with something you hold such as a phone or a tablet.

I really hope that's just part of the new layer over the already desktop. Because it really is an step backwards for pro users.

Arceles said,
I really hope that's just part of the new layer over the already desktop. Because it really is an step backwards for pro users.

Read the damn article, man!

Arceles said,
I really hope that's just part of the new layer over the already desktop. Because it really is an step backwards for pro users.

Please explain how you feel it's a step backward.

For a desktop OS I hate it. All this fullscreen nonsense is a step back in productivity. This goes doubly for the metro interface that replaced the start menu.

WisdomWolf said,
For a desktop OS I hate it. All this fullscreen nonsense is a step back in productivity. This goes doubly for the metro interface that replaced the start menu.

TOTALLY AGREED BUD. Quick access to apps on a task bar and start menu are so much more productive. Why couldnt they have made an option to set ui on install, like use tablet or desktop ui as default but you change it in the future. I keep bashing Apple fans but if this is what MS is going to give us then i might eventually become one of those Apple fans. Gnome on linux has also screwed up the super simple desktop UI for touch crap. I feel like i am being smoked out from each OS burrow i live in.

Iridium said,

TOTALLY AGREED BUD. Quick access to apps on a task bar and start menu are so much more productive. Why couldnt they have made an option to set ui on install, like use tablet or desktop ui as default but you change it in the future. I keep bashing Apple fans but if this is what MS is going to give us then i might eventually become one of those Apple fans. Gnome on linux has also screwed up the super simple desktop UI for touch crap. I feel like i am being smoked out from each OS burrow i live in.

Uhmm, you have both the desktop and the Metro interface. It's extremely easy to switch between them. You can even run with the Metro interface on one half and the desktop on the other.