Microsoft’s Metro user interface has earned itself a reputation for polarising opinions. There are those who believe that its ‘authentically digital’ design is infinitely better than the skeuomorphic stylings of iOS, for example; but it’s just as easy to find people who see Metro’s truncated, oversized text and big colourful boxes as being ugly and even childish.
Regardless of its capacity for dividing opinion though, Metro is here to stay, and having already made its mark on Windows Phone, Windows 8 and the Xbox 360, it will soon make its way on to Microsoft’s Windows Live services on the web.
LiveSide was alerted to a discovery made by a reader of Brazil’s Tecnoblog, who came across the first glimpses of the updated UI while accessing Windows Live services over the Easter weekend. The English language screenshots captured by LiveSide show a redesigned sign-up page featuring a new header bar:
Clicking on the arrow in the header bar exposes Windows 8-style links to Windows Live services, including Mail, People, Calendar and SkyDrive:
Tecnoblog also noted that Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer TV ad features a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it screenshot of a new look SkyDrive website:
The upcoming interface updates will inevitably make navigation on Live websites more touch-friendly, while of course creating a more unified user experience (UX) across Microsoft services.
LiveSide noted that the company has posted a job listing on its Microsoft Careers site (or the "Microsoft Talent Network", as it seems to be called these days), seeking a UX Designer “to build the next generation of the Windows Live web services”; the fact that theyre still recruiting to the design team suggests that there remains plenty of work to do before the updates are rolled out. Indeed, Tecnoblog highlighted that the UI seemed to be in its earliest stages of development, with some clunky design and less-than-intuitive layout.
So, its not exactly ready for prime time yet - but the fact that a Metro-styled update is on the way is certainly something to look forward to… unless, of course, you hate the Metro UI, in which case it’ll just be something new to get your blood pressure up.
Images via LiveSide and Tecnoblog