We'll all be using Metro in 2020? Gartner analysts think so

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 27, 2012
Updated • Sep 24, 2012

According to Gartner analysts, the release of the Windows 8 operating system by Microsoft will mark the beginning of the end for the NT platform, and the beginning of the WinRT (Windows Runtime) era. The shift towards the new platform will not be abrupt by any means, with Gartner predicting that Windows users will run traditional desktop applications for at least another ten years. By 2020 though, the company's analysts believe that in Enterprise environments, users will spend less then 10% of their time in desktop applications, and the majority of time in Metro apps instead.

By then, the analysts predict that most Win32 desktop apps will be run using virtualization or using server-based computing.

Gartner expects that the Windows Desktop and legacy Windows applications will decline in importance in future Windows client releases. Metro is a new interface model that will lock organizations into the next generation of Windows. However, Mr. Silver said that enterprises will take many years to move their applications to the new model, and it will take at least five years for significant traction of Metro-style apps to pervade all areas of user-facing enterprise apps. Organizations planning to develop new Win32 applications should switch to Metro for all new user-facing applications beginning in 2013 and should focus on external apps first and internal apps later.

The analysis looks at enterprise and business environments, and not home users, and eight years is a lot of time. If Microsoft keeps up its pace when releasing new versions of Windows, we should see at least two new Windows releases at that time (Windows 9, Windows 10) that Microsoft could use to integrate Metro more closely into the operating system.It is likely that MS will go forward with Metro, unless Windows 8 bombs and share the fate of Windows Vista which really did not convince consumers or businesses at all.

What's your take on the prediction? Will we all be using Metro apps in 2020? I personally think it depends really on how successful Windows 8 will be, and how Microsoft intends to integrate Metro into future versions of the operating system.


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  1. Tom said on June 29, 2012 at 12:09 am

    This analysis is pure marketing. I think businesses won’t mass deploy WinRT in its current form since it’s clumsy for a productive enviroment. Maybe only after an improved version comes with Win9 or 10, but that’s remain to be seen. OTOH it will be very well received by the majority of home users, especially running on devices like Surface, they’ll like it using for non-productive things, like entertraining, everyday browsing, social networking, etc…

    1. Roman ShaRP said on June 29, 2012 at 11:08 am

      > OTOH it will be very well received by the majority of home users, especially running on devices like Surface, they’ll like it using for non-productive things, like entertraining, everyday browsing, social networking, etc…

      It depends of what that users are expecting.

      If they are used to Windows way as it used to be (taskbar, tray, windows on top of each other, different informers) – they don’t need Metro

      If they expect cool touch apps – on that Metro competes here with iOS and Android, and considering maturity of all three, I won’t bet on Metro (I worked with all of them, and Metro was worst).

  2. Roman ShaRP said on June 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    > What is NT & RT ? Searched the whole web . Couldn’t get a simple clear definition . Help Please .

    NT is current Windows technology kernel which changed 9x. First it was the base only for Windows NT line, then 2k, XP, Seven.

    RT is the new technology proposed to make apps – basically it is those crippled ineffective restrictive Metro (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_RT).

  3. Roman ShaRP said on June 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I think that it’s a ridiculous prediction, because from my point of view Metro is crippled, ineffective and good for nothing.

    I just can’t think of working in Metro.

  4. Webfork said on June 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Microsoft to date hasn’t been very shrewd with the Internet. Their core business is Office and Windows and they don’t seem to be able to see past that. But assuming for a moment they (or someone else) hits it out of the park, it will never take over the way Gartner expects.

    Anything “server-based” is sort of a pendulum swing: there is a push for personal and self-contained, and then server-based, and then back to personal. The “cloud” has quite a bit in common with the old mainframe model that IBM pushed back in the 60s for the same reasons: centrally managed hardware, dynamically allocated resources, and more efficient backup. IBM had no idea why everyone want their own separate processor and hard drive.

    That’s why cloud terminology sounds familiar to a lot of people who have been in computers since then. Thin clients, server-based operations, and I think I recently heard someone say “dummy terminals”.

    At the same time, we’re seeing a strange push in cell phones — which started out almost entirely network-dependent — towards radically more personal computing system. I can only imagine a cell phone manufacture’s disbelief a few years ago if someone suggested a dual-core cell phone.

    I think this will continue to shift back and forth, and I really don’t expect the cloud model to ever fully take over for Microsoft or anyone else. Until networks become — not just very reliable — but constantly available, its a difficult sell. From experience, as soon as the plug gets pulled or the connection gets slow, the clouds look like thunder.

    1. Roman ShaRP said on June 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm


      The cloud model is very lucrative for the corporations, wanting user to pay all time he or she uses something. That SaaS approach, pay-as-you-go and subscription models like that in Office 365.

      On the other side there are users who don’t want to pay at all, or want to pay only once and be free then.

      So cloud is not way everybody goes – as not everybody wants to pay subscription fees for software they use.

  5. Peterx said on June 27, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Seems to be not generally known that Microsoft or Bill Gates owns shares in Gartner. of course Gartner claims no influence …..

    1. Roman ShaRP said on June 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      > Seems to be not generally known that Microsoft or Bill Gates owns shares in Gartner. of course Gartner claims no influence …..

      Some years ago Gartner predicted failure to Windows Vista.

  6. Azzo said on June 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    The first impression that is left by WINDOWS 8 applications is that they intelligently make use of the fact that we have two differently working hemispheres of the brain.

    The concept of right brain and left brain thinking goes back to the 1960s, when the American psycho-biologist Roger W. Sperry discovered that the human brain has two ways of thinking: the right brain way and the left brain way.

    Each brain hemisphere must be addressed and stimulated in a different way.

    With pictures and symbols we address our right hemisphere. Symbols and pictures carry significant information directly into our consciousness. So do the tiles of a Windows 8 Start screen.

    Digital communication like letters, words, numbers transport information to our analytical left brain hemisphere. When we work on our PCs we are usually dealing with or producing digital information that engages mainly the left half of the brain.

    It is a relaxing experience to switch back to the tiles and colors of the metro style Start screen. Our analytical left brain hemisphere can rest for a while – until we are drawn into another application.

  7. Morely the IT Guy said on June 27, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Gartner has a track record of “predicting” every possibility, with whatever their latest client wants to hear being the current “wisdom.”

    Fact is, Metro is crap, and our business, at least, won’t be using it on anything other than Windows phones. Less than half our employees have company mobile phones, so it’s not going to happen.

  8. Dan said on June 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Metro will go the way of Vista.

    1. Midnight said on June 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      Yea, it sure will, as will Windows8!!

  9. Anomaly said on June 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Why would anybody in their right mind want to use Metro? I don’t just mean the stupid start screen but the whole technology of Metro. IE in Metro mode makes IE6 look good. It’s a stripped down useless browser. I feel crippled using it. The whole Metro thing just doesn’t make sense on the desktop.

    I predict Metro will be a great thing for Linux and Mac.

    1. Midnight said on June 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      No it won’t. Just about everything works with LINUX and MAC! :)

      1. Anomaly said on June 28, 2012 at 5:50 am


        When I say Metro will be good for Linux and Mac I mean Metro being so bad will result in many Windows users switching to Linux and Mac to get away from it.

  10. Nebulus said on June 27, 2012 at 10:12 am

    The prediction is plain wrong. First, I don’t think Windows 8 will be a success (I don’t want to use stronger words), so Metro will remain just an experiment for desktop PC, but will probably be partly adopted on tablet market. And second, cloud based (or other form of server based) computing will not replace traditional desktops – they will coexist, but there won’t be a definitive “winner”.

  11. ilev said on June 27, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Gartner analysts are wrong. Long before 2020 Microsoft will be bankrupt and obsolete by the hands of Ballmer :

    Forbes :
    Without a doubt, Mr. Ballmer is the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company today. Not only has he singlehandedly steered Microsoft out of some of the fastest growing and most lucrative tech markets (mobile music, handsets and tablets) but in the process he has sacrificed the growth and profits of not only his company but “ecosystem” companies such as Dell, Hewlett Packard and even Nokia. The reach of his bad leadership has extended far beyond Microsoft when it comes to destroying shareholder value – and jobs….

    ..he has bet the company on Windows 8 – as well as the future of Dell, HP, Nokia and others. An insane bet for any CEO – and one that would have been avoided entirely had the Microsoft Board replaced Mr. Ballmer years ago with a CEO that understands the fast pace of technology shifts and would have kept Microsoft current with market trends….


    1. Roebie said on June 27, 2012 at 10:17 am

      Having a bad CEO doesn’t mean the company has to go bancrupt. Microsoft has such a tight grip – sometimes close to mob-like practices – on so many parts of the world economy that they even can afford to have the bigger part of the world’s computers run on an operating system that basically sucks.
      Not the CEO decides on the future chances of a company. Its marketeers do.

      1. silat said on June 30, 2012 at 12:10 am

        MS does not control any of the worlds economy. LOL

  12. ComicHippo said on June 27, 2012 at 9:56 am

    What is NT & RT ? Searched the whole web . Couldn’t get a simple clear definition . Help Please .

    1. SubgeniusD said on June 29, 2012 at 8:45 am

      Why is anyone responding to this joke post?

      “Searched all over the web” – yeah right…..

      First search links go here


      and here


      which provide clear, detailed explanations and do not require an engineering background to understand.

    2. Krishna said on June 28, 2012 at 9:14 am

      In those days NT meant New Technology. RT means Run Time.

      1. Tom said on June 29, 2012 at 12:01 am

        Though they are two different things as NT is an operating system kernel platform while RT is a gui platform on top of the (still NT based) kernel. Martin must have been meant Win32 and RT.

  13. SubgeniusD said on June 27, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Well if you’ve got some time to spare you can check out this detailed analysis from a tech writer I personally have a lot of respect for. Plus a very long comment thread from a tuned-in, technical readership.


    Personally I doubt enterprise will ever shift their local usage completely to a cloud server. Neither will I.

    1. Roebie said on June 27, 2012 at 10:11 am

      I’m even starting to see more and more companies moving away from the cloud again. The cloud might be a nice idea, but in practice there are so many problems, limitations and (security) issues it just doesn’t work. While all those things might get solved in the following years it will prove hard to get those early adopters that turned away again back to the cloud.
      So is the cloud there to stay, probably yes. Will all home users shift to the cloud: probably not. I expect the security and privacy sensitive users to never go to the cloud. Will all companies shift to the cloud: absolutely not. There are far too many companies whose data is the fundament of their existense. They will never risk their data to leave the walls of the company and be in the open in a cloud, no matter how well protected that cloud is.

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