Windows 8 Metro theme, new wallpaper and other elements leak

The world is anxiously awaiting a Windows 8 leak and it is becoming more apparent that many users now have their hands on the alpha platform. Since we initially reported that Windows 8 was now on Microsoft Connect, new information has been surfacing from a multiple directions.

The latest information comes from two sources, MDL and ZDnet. The dark theme and taskbar images show what is expected to be the new 'Metro' UI which is expected to ship with Windows 8. While not confirmed, the dark theme appears to be the 'Aero Lite' variant that we reported on previously.

The next bit of information shows a new wallpaper from Windows 8 that was sent as a tip to Zdnet and they state (you can download the wallpaper here):

In addition to the screen shot and wallpaper I was sent, I’ve been informed there are Jupiter bits (a new user interface (UI) library for Windows) scattered throughout the OS, as well as signs of Windows 8’s new “Twin UI” via a new DLL aptly named TWINUI.DLL.

There is not a lot of new information in these shots but they do show that more users now have the build in their hands outside the walls of Microsoft. It is expected that a leak of these builds will happen in the near future, but we will not place any speculation on rumored dates and times that have previously been mentioned.

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It seems that this happened:
1. Microsoft was working on making an Aero variant from scratch, meaning they start with basic components excluding any fancy glass effects
2. They never ever mentioned anything about Metro, but all the media people ate it up b/c it would sound great for rumours
3. Now they've got software rendering (and CPU speed increases are massively overtaking RAM and other speed increases btw), so they can add onto it.

Y/N?

I wish the sites leaking these would stop ruining the screenshots with their watermarks. You can make a watermark subtle or at least not smack bang in the centre of the image!

I genuinely don't like Metro theme and if the change is finalized, Windows 8 will be the first Windows I will not upgrade because it's too ugly.
I think as computer hardware advance, operating system should look more glamorous while maintaining its usability (take a look at Time Machine in Mac OS). Metro to me is a giant step backward in terms of UI design.

sopharine said,
I genuinely don't like Metro theme and if the change is finalized, Windows 8 will be the first Windows I will not upgrade because it's too ugly.
I think as computer hardware advance, operating system should look more glamorous while maintaining its usability (take a look at Time Machine in Mac OS). Metro to me is a giant step backward in terms of UI design.

Wel.. there are a lot of us who like the Metro theme,
And maybe you will too!?
I'm geussing they will combine Aero with Metro..
So why is it a gaint step backwards in terms of UI design?

Ramcee said,

Wel.. there are a lot of us who like the Metro theme,
And maybe you will too!?
I'm geussing they will combine Aero with Metro..
So why is it a gaint step backwards in terms of UI design?


I would refer to design of Windows Phone 7. Overly simple iconography, monotonic use of colour, too much texts, too little images. It's just boring and depressing to look at Windows Phone 7 which is just plain black or white background with some texts on it. I don't get this feeling with iOS. The colour use of the iOS and its icons are more vibrant and less predictable and repetitive. Windows Phone 7 UI looks like can be designed by anyone who use visual basic or paint.

i am not impress with this..looks like windows 7 to me lol...what did Microsoft do add a few pictures here and there.....

OgamaWab said,
i am not impress with this..looks like windows 7 to me lol...what did Microsoft do add a few pictures here and there.....

*facepalm*
How many times do we have to repeat UI changes aren't shown 'til beta?

What you don't know is that a very big quantity of people will only post their comments and they won't come back to read them...
So, yeah, we should kill a few people because of that...

OgamaWab said,
i am not impress with this..looks like windows 7 to me lol...what did Microsoft do add a few pictures here and there.....

you care for UI change for the sake of UI change?

If you read the news, second paragraph: "The latest information comes from two sources, MDL and ZDnet." with links to both sources. Thanks.

This is the most interesting part, before a lot of releases/leaks happen. Because the UI gets worked on heavily. It is as if as soon as the OS begins to be distributed, the UI is set and only VERY minor changes are done. So, in a way, we are almost at the end of the UI changes.

ccoltmanm said,
This is the most interesting part, before a lot of releases/leaks happen. Because the UI gets worked on heavily. It is as if as soon as the OS begins to be distributed, the UI is set and only VERY minor changes are done. So, in a way, we are almost at the end of the UI changes.

Hate to tell you this, but with Microsoft got ~18 months of development time left, we're almost _not_ at the end of the UI changes. This is only the start...

Tony. said,

Hate to tell you this, but with Microsoft got ~18 months of development time left, we're almost _not_ at the end of the UI changes. This is only the start...

hmmm for the UI? ,i da say untail jan or feb 2012

after that only tweaks

briangw said,

Like Kirkburn said, Betta's for the Beta.


The "Windows 7"-Betta looks better though (still using it as a wallpaper )

RuuddieBoy said,
Doesn't look too shockingly different

it's m3, not to mention that the new ui may be locked like it was in Windows 7 apparently.

Xerax said,
They fixed the language bar! Finally.
huh? what's so "fixed" about it? It works perfect the way it is right now...

Avi said,
huh? what's so "fixed" about it? It works perfect the way it is right now...
If it was enabled on Aero, it was still in AeroBasic.

I'm trying to figure out why Metro inspired elements look so wierd here and I think I have it. It's Windows' poor font rendering, they should port over the amazing font rendering from WP7.

andrew_f said,
I'm trying to figure out why Metro inspired elements look so wierd here and I think I have it. It's Windows' poor font rendering, they should port over the amazing font rendering from WP7.
Is it not the same font rendering? WP7 just works better because of higher DPI screens.

Kirkburn said,
Is it not the same font rendering? WP7 just works better because of higher DPI screens.

Well, looking at some screenshots of metro on WP7 on my windows pc now, I would say that the font rendering is definitely not the same.

andrew_f said,
I'm trying to figure out why Metro inspired elements look so wierd here and I think I have it. It's Windows' poor font rendering, they should port over the amazing font rendering from WP7.

Is it that font rendering on Windows isn't as good as WP7, or could it be that most PC monitors are 96-120dpi, while Windows Phones are in the 200-260dpi range?

JonathanMarston said,

Is it that font rendering on Windows isn't as good as WP7, or could it be that most PC monitors are 96-120dpi, while Windows Phones are in the 200-260dpi range?

Windows Phone 7 adopts the OS X / iOS approach to font rendering - Windows 7 does it differently.

andrew_f said,
I'm trying to figure out why Metro inspired elements look so wierd here and I think I have it. It's Windows' poor font rendering, they should port over the amazing font rendering from WP7.

Those fonts weren't really designed for GDI display - though they look gorgeous using Microsoft's DirectWrite on Windows, and pretty good using WPF's font renderer as well. Maybe Microsoft should use DirectWrite as Window's default font renderer... though many people would probably go up in arms about that

(Coincidentally, Windows Phone 7 uses very similar font rendering to DirectWrite / older WPF versions).

Edited by ~Johnny, Mar 31 2011, 2:24pm :

andrew_f said,

Windows Phone 7 adopts the OS X / iOS approach to font rendering - Windows 7 does it differently.

It's different from GDI's ClearType, that's for sure, but it looks like they're using the same font rendering as Silverlight/WPF/DirectWrite with sub-pixel smoothing turned off to me.

I HATE with all my guts how fonts look in Windows, I wish they looked like Mac's, even though I don't like Macs. It'd be nice if MS gave the choice of "beauty or readability" for Win 8 font rendering.

~Johnny said,

Those fonts weren't really designed for GDI display - though they look gorgeous using Microsoft's DirectWrite on Windows, and pretty good using WPF's font renderer as well. Maybe Microsoft should use DirectWrite as Window's default font renderer... though many people would probably go up in arms about that

(Coincidentally, Windows Phone 7 uses very similar font rendering to DirectWrite / older WPF versions).

Why would many go up in arms about it? Is it not suited for low DPI displays and small fonts? I find ClearType to work very well for smoothing small fonts, but large fonts look horribly pixelated and something should be done about it, especially now that they are heading towards the metro-look that uses big fonts in some areas of the UI .

Edited by T M H, Apr 1 2011, 4:15pm :

doesn't look all that metro to me.

It's probably going to receive a lot of work before release though but I'm not excited at this point