Microsoft's Metro makes for the perfect complimentary software

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| Published: June 16, 2012

I have a pretty firm belief that a device plays a specific, if not integral role in our lives. All things considered, most of the gadgets we use aren’t all that cheap, so when we put down our money to buy it, we expect it to fill a gap in our lives that was previously so apparent. The device is meant to help us, and it’s supposed to do so with its particular set of skills. That’s why those features are so important, and it’s one reason why people get so passionate about defending or attacking specific platforms. I’ve written in the past how I didn’t necessarily want a Windows 8 tablet, but a Windows Phone-like tablet. I can say that my view has changed.

And it’s because of the features and the way that they add to my daily life. Back when I wrote that initial article, about how a Windows Phone-based tablet would be a better bet, I was having a lot of fun with Windows Phone as my daily driver. Now that my view of the mobile platform has changed for smartphones, I am surprised to find that my view on the tablet has also changed.

Because Windows 8 is perfect for tablets.

Ironically enough, at least in my opinion, it’s because of that glance-and-go mentality that Microsoft has pushed for Windows Phone, and now installing within their Metro UI. Yes, Microsoft made it famous with Windows Phone, and they are even using it now on the Xbox 360, but I think it works the best on tablets. Actually, I’d go as far as to say that I think Metro UI works only on tablets.

I believe my smartphone, the thing that I carry around with me every day without questions, has to be able to keep my attention for longer than a few seconds. I don’t want to just glance at my phone, I want to use it. (Even Nokia believes you should use your phone, and has advertisements for the Lumia 900 that fly in the face of Microsoft’s “just glance” ads. I find that interesting.) But a tablet? I think Metro UI is perfect for the tablet, because there are times when all I want to do is glance at the tablet’s display and learn what I need right then and there.

Yes, widgets on Android-based tablets make this possible, but I like the way that Microsoft’s Metro UI does it more. The Live Tiles are fantastic, especially if I just want to see how many emails I have, or messages, or any notifications for Twitter and the like. Being able to glance when you need to, but dive into an application when necessary is well-suited for a tablet, I think.

Devices and their software play a specific role in our lives. We buy a smartphone, tablet, or whatever else because we are looking to use a gadget to fill a gap, or make life easier, or make work easier. While hardware plays a role, I think it’s the software that really bears most of the weight. Most of the burden. I believe Microsoft’s Metro UI is perfectly suited for a tablet that is used as a secondary device, placed next to you while you do work on your laptop. Updating you on Twitter, Facebook, or whatever else with just a glance.

Microsoft’s Metro UI looks to be the perfect complimentary OS, in my opinion. Yes, there are many who believe that Windows Phone is the perfect smartphone out there, due to the glance-and-go mentality, but I still feel like it gets boring fairly quickly. Using it on a tablet, though, acting as a complimentary unit to my main work machine? Almost perfect.

We don’t have long to wait to see what Microsoft is planning for this year, so stay tuned. Until then, though, let me know if you’ve started using Windows 8, and how you feel it can work as a complimentary OS on a tablet.