Windows Store, Too Metroesque For The Desktop?

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 21, 2012
Updated • Jun 25, 2018
Windows, Windows 8

Microsoft revealed additional information about the Windows Store that the company plans to integrate into the Windows 8 operating system yesterday.

When I first saw the store landing page screenshot, it immediately reminded me of the Chrome Web Store turned by 90°. The store consists of a horizontally scrolling page that lists spotlight apps and app categories next to each other.

Touch screen users can scroll with a flick of their finger, while mouse and keyboard users do not have that luxury. They need to use their input devices to scroll the page horizontally, something that should feel awkward to many considering that this is not a common activity on the desktop.

windows 8 store

The store has been integrated into Metro UI, which means that many of the user interface controls are working in the store as well. Users can tap on the search charm to run a search or zoom out of the page with the pinch gesture. And while those actions will surely be accessible via shortcuts on the desktop, it is likely that the operations will not be as fluid as on touch screen devices.

Pinching, flicking and tapping, that's what gets you the best results in the store and Metro UI. But the majority of Windows users are not using touch based devices, and chance is that the majority won't in the coming years.

It is not really clear why the company decided to go down that route, other than trying to increase their market share in the tablet and touch device market. It feels like an all or nothing move, with no turning back.

Is no one at the company wondering if Windows 8 could alienate a large part of the company's existing user base?

The concentration on apps, and the exclusion of desktop applications, is another aspect that weights heavily here. While it would have certainly be more complicated to build a Windows store that included desktop apps, it would have been much more rewarding from a user perspective and certainly also from Microsoft's perspective.

Microsoft has released a video that demonstrates the user experience

It is interesting to note that the video only showcases touch based navigation in the store, and not keyboard or mouse navigation.

The Windows 8 Beta will surely shed more light on a desktop user's user experience. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft has improved the developer preview's experience, or if it has remained more or less the same.

What's your take on the Windows store and Windows 8?

Windows Store, Too Metroesque For The Desktop?
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Windows Store, Too Metroesque For The Desktop?
Is Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system too focused on touch and the new Metro part of the interface?
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  1. Roman ShaRP said on January 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Jimmu, are you conspiracy theorist, aren’t you? :)

    Look, most of people here doesn’t criticize “Microsoft at all”, they just don’t want that ugly Metro.

    Many people worked with MS Windows for years, – 95, 98, XP, Seven, and they are satisfied with the familiar interface of them.

    Last year I bought Asus EEE netbook with OEM WIn Seven. I could buy it without that OS, and save about $50, but I have some experience with Seven, and decided that better have it installed to make work software I got used to (and most of it did).

    But things would go different if it would be Metro style. I had some experience with it too, and I don’t wont it at all.

    So, the question is if MS wants my money. If they do – please don’t push me to Metro, I won’t buy it, rather prefer OSless PC. It may lead to problems, but Metro is so ugly, that I won’t pay for it.

  2. Jimmu said on January 22, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Anyone notice that as 8 comes closer the anti Microsoft paid google and apple articles are all the same and so are the comments. Same anti comments but different websites. How many websites did google say they had in their paid blogger camp?

    1. Nerdebeu said on January 23, 2012 at 9:38 am

      If Google or Apple had intended to pay someone to criticize Windows 8, they have not took me. I do not speak English, you saw, not? Should you care, you and your paranoia. I love Windows 7, I find Chrome OS totally absurd, and for the little that I saw a Mac by far, as it is fully locked, it doesn’t interest me. And I do not use the browser Chrome, Safari, but Opera and FF. And, it makes me sick to see MS do anything and commit suicide.

  3. Dan said on January 22, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I love it!! I cant wait to use this on all desktop computers I have. Looks great, feels smooth. I really hate the Apple store experience and who can trust doing any business with spygoogle. Microsoft is my choice when it comes out. Ive been selling all my apple stuff getting ready for it. I think finally one company gets it, its the customer and thats Microsoft.

  4. kalmly said on January 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    is not meant fo’

  5. fokka said on January 22, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    as i said before, i simply don’t like the metro ui. on non-touch-computers its completely useless and on tablets etc i think it’s the worst solution of all (android, ios, web os,…).

    as for the desktop-part of win8, i really can’t complain much, as long as you can disable metro _completely_.

    and the store? you don’t have to use it. i for sure wouldn’t.

  6. Roy said on January 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Unless it changes substantially before release, W8 looks like continuing the MS good/bad alternate OS strategy and becoming another Vista/ME.

    Porting what is essentially a nice tablet OS to PCs/laptops is conceptually a bad idea and the Store highlights the differences between the 2 platforms – I can’t see many reasons why a W7 user would consider upgrading.

    W8 is a big gamble for MS – it looks good on touch devices but I wonder if they’ll be far too late to that particular party (or peaking fad depending which way you look at it)

  7. Nerdebeu said on January 22, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Afflicted for my English, I read it very easily but does not speak it and do not write it (Google + Bing Traduction + personal modifications;) )

    If Microsoft does not change anything compared to Developing it Preview, Windows 8 will be a colossal failure and I go even further, can put in danger the company.

    One will not be able to compare at all with the relative failure of Vista. And even with the dependent sale. Remember that it was possible to return to XP at the time of Vista, which many people did (DELL for example proposed XP in the place of Vista).

    Why a catastrophic failure?

    (1) Does not create a single interface for different devices, Apple does not, for example. And you can’t really compare Metro and Mac OSX.

    2)The touch screens represent only one very weak share of market for the office computers, and that will not change before years.

    3)Windows 7 had an exceptional success, and is best OS than Microsoft conceived. It exceeded XP in share of market since very little time (Autumn 2011), and continues to be sold very well. To want to launch a new OS whereas the old one is not in loss speed is a madness.

    4)You see companies with Metro on their working station, you? Let us be serious.

    (5) These companies are beginning to renew their computing for Windows 7 only. Remember the XP mode… You think that they will engage in the purchase of Windows 8? It is not nothing understand business, while some still use IE6 in intranet, and the need to accompany them to at least IE 8…

    (6) To read and discuss with many people, here, in Europe, and France in particular, apart from a few very rare users of smartphones, I don’t know anyone, but really nobody wants it, and most people have uninstalled Windows 8 DP after a day of use (my view I have taken 1 month).

    7)People like appearance, and even if one will be able to come back on the desktop, naturally the interface seems to be Metro. And Metro, from a purely aesthetic point of view is particularly ugly, I would say horrible for everyone I know (users smartphones included).

    (8) When I read the sites, international forums, the return of experience on Windows 8, with “geeks” is overwhelmingly negative, and the words used are sometimes extreme limits desperate.

    Microsoft runs to the suicide. If they are the commercials ones which had this idea, then it is really of very bad commercials, with any direction of the analysis. Not only Windows 8 will not be sold, but worse, if I dare statement, it will not be pirated, and not because of its system of safety and authentification.

    Afflicted for my English, I read it very easily but does not speak it and do not write it (Google + Bing Traduction + personal modifications;) )

  8. Vibin said on January 22, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I think Microsoft got the basics wrong, seriously.
    I like the Metro start screen, completely, but except that, Metro UI is crap. I mean it’s so annoying to leave an app *without* closing and even multi-tasking is uneasy. And I don’t even like these full screen apps.
    To keep it short, you can’t have same OS on a Tablet and a PC.

  9. Roman ShaRP said on January 22, 2012 at 3:34 am

    As I said many times, I rate the Metro UI as worst of all I have seen, so my opinion on it’s integration in Windows just couldn’t be good.

    The same for Windows store – I would like don’t see it at all.

    So far I’m from my work experience in Win 8 Dev Preview I’m not pleased with it at all. Yes, the system starts faster, but there all pleasant just ends because of the Metro, which I don’t like and don’t need, and which is hard to ignore because of pushing it by MS.

  10. Shadess said on January 22, 2012 at 2:22 am

    I don’t get the “just metro apps” store either. I understand it would have been tricky to just offer existing program installers from the store and have a good experience with fluid auto updating and such but come on make a new installer that would play nice with the shop or something. Ever since it first became clear that win8 would have a store I just naturally assumed it would have desktop programs and autoupdating through it but no. Such a big big letdown. Windows8 still looks like it has some worthwhile updated features from win7 but what I most wanted isn’t happening :<

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