Feeds

Windows Metro Maoist cadres reach desktop, pound it flat

3D effects are bourgeois revisionism

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The revolutionary dogma of Metro is sweeping through the old Windows desktop, too, a new leak of Window 8 confirms. The leaked build, newer than the public release of a fortnight ago, abandons the 3D design elements introduced into Windows in 1990 for a resolutely two-dimensional world.

The 'legacy' desktop in Windows 8 is denuded of anything that takes advantage of human depth perception, such as window shadows, gradients or sculpted controls. It's a flat, flat world.

Microsoft had already promised to drop the gimmicky glass effect, first introduced in Windows Vista, last month. Public releases were considerably 'flatter' in appearance than before, squaring off round edges with the designer's knife.

Now the Windows team has gone the whole hog, theming Windows 8 to look just like a Windows Phone. So windows buttons are flat, windows don't have shadows that help the user distinguish where they are in the Z-order, and UI chrome is a flat, single colour element without gradients.

The first popular graphical user interfaces of the mid-80s, pioneered by Apple, Atari and Amiga, adopted flat 2D designs because microcomputers didn't have the graphical grunt to support them. But as horsepower increased, designers took advantage of 3D effects to distinguish the UI chrome from the content inside the windows. This is much harder in a flat, 2D world.

Every sinew of every worker must be strained to purge the 3D elements

It's doubtful whether the glass effect aided usability in any way - as it drew the eye to what didn't matter. Many users were happier with transparency turned off.

It certainly looks different - but does it work?

On devices with a small screen, where UI chrome can be made to disappear, and where one application exclusively uses the screen, Microsoft believes that it does.

Or do you think the Metro designers taking taking Mao Tse Tung's famous advice - to "support whatever the enemy opposes and oppose whatever the enemy supports" a little too literally?

Perhaps they should also heed the Great Helmsman's thoughts on self-criticism.

You can get a glimpse on various blogs and Windows fansites around the interwebs, such as this one. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.