Lockergnome takes on Microsoft's Metro UI

Continuing the ongoing change in tech-media attitudes (see here, here and here) comes a good read from the folks at Lockergnome, run by Chris Pirillo. Pirillo is one of those guys you either find fascinating or extremely annoying--we're actually in the former camp as we appreciate his geeky observations and dedication to the field, but we digress.

The post, written by Robert Glen Fogarty, deals with a novice's experience with Metro UI specifically on the new Xbox 360 dashboard update. While many of us take Metro for granted, reading the perspective of someone new to it can be quite informative.  Fogarty's take on it is from using the new Netflix app and he seems impressed:

"At long last, the little status bar filled and I was surprised at the very different-from-expected interface that greeted me. At first I was puzzled, and hoped that learning to navigate wasn’t going to be a counter-intuitive experience...As it turned out, everything was just as easy to find as it was with the last design; in fact, I think the new interface utilizes space with better efficiency so that features are more easily accessible than they were before. (In my experience so far, it seems that there’s much less aimless scrolling necessary)."

Pirillo takes on the question “What do you think of Microsoft taking Metro to PCs and Xbox? I would love to know how Metro works with a keyboard and a mouse.” and moves on to the benefit of Microsoft bringing over Kinetcimals, Bing and My Xbox Live to iOS--a controversial move that has left many of you furious at Microsoft. For the record and setting ourselves up for some, ahem, negative feedback, we totally agree with Chris here because lets face it, porting over Kinetimals to iOS is not going to damage Windows Phone.

More importantly, spreading the gospel Metro UI seems to be a much more wise endeavor for Microsoft in the long run. With Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone, Metro UI really is more than the sum of its parts. Either way, positive tech-media coverage for Metro UI is a great thing for Microsoft and seems to be a growing trend these days.

Source: Lockergnome

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I wonder what our usual idiots will have to say against this.
  • I really dont like him. but at least he talked good about Metro UI and Microsoft. and its good to know microsoft is looking to unify UI across their products like xbox, wp7, windows 8, websites.
    and Metro UI with mouse and keybord works good, i have been using WDP since release, of course i need win7 for some software but most of the time im on win8. and yeah it needs tweaks (microsoft is doing) and it needs more time since its not even beta. we also need more metro style apps to really be able to use metro UI and not desktop. but it works good on Win8. and microsoft is making a really nice work with metro UI.
    yeah sometimes i wish a little of gradient, shadows or something like that but Metro still looks good.
    sometimes i even think how i wish some developers would take care more about Metro UI than they do, but we cant have a "perfect metro ui" in every wp7 app.
  • You sound like every Metro ui is absolutely the same. But it isn't. They are actually quite different from platform to platform.
    Metro doesn't mean there shouldn't be gradients (see Media Center and Zune) and what they have done with Windows 8 up until now is really disappointing, to say the least. It isn't as fluid as it is on Windows Phone (doesn't run on 60fps) and it isn't as cool and emotional as it is on the Zune brand.
  • I don't even think win8 is in beta yet and ur already idiotically judging it.
  • ehmm maybe because im talking about something like the application bar? Windows 8 has something like that. so i think some apps should have gradients and shadows in that. not about the content which obviously can be pretty much anything.
    this is why i said i think/wish some Developers SHOULD CARE MORE ABOUT UI. because if an App doesn't have a good UI, it will look bad like whatsapp, but if you look at something like seesmic, its beautiful.
    "Windows 8 up until now really disappointing" well thats what DEVELOPER PREVIEW means, so obviously its not a finished product, and OBVIOUSLY it needs fixes, changes and tweaks. and Microsoft is making those tweaks, fixes and adding new features, etc...
    anyway... who are you? you aren't someone like Canouna who has used and leaked images about Windows 8.. you just sound like an ignorant person who cant take a preview as preview.
    and yeah last post Canouna said "its sexy". so yeah i would rather listen to someone like him. than you and your "isn't as cool and emotional" ... because again, he has used it and you dont.
    and I LIKE IT, i have used win8 more than win7... if you dont, its not my problem.
  • I'm with you. I don't dig him either. He used to be quite the professional back in the day but since he discovered the Mac he has become lazy and pretends to be the Martha Stewart of what an operating system should and shouldn't be.
  • The old dashboard already used a Metro interface! But they have now introduced live tiles to the Xbox. Everybody is screaming and talking about Metro even when they don't have any clue what it is.
    If you look closely they even moved away from some core fundamentals that were essential for all the Metro navigation since it was introduced way back with Windows XP Media Center Edition: the 2-dimensional lists. Filtering lists of content now is more old fashioned with menus in the new Xbox dashboard. You no longer just move up or down to sort games or movies but you have this ugly tiles like menu. So, I would say that the new dashboard is less Metro as we know it from Media Center, Zune HD and the Pivot apps from Windows Phone but it does focus very much on Live Tiles even when it doesn't make a lot of sense like where they used tiles as simple buttons inside menus.
  • You say that people talk about metro, and don't seem to have a clue what it is, but you seem to ironically sit in the same boat. I've read through Microsoft's metro style guide pamphlet, and they have a very clear purpose, direction, and beauty with this design philosophy. The last iteration of the Xbox's UI was NOT metro.
    It was Leonardo da Vinci who said, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication," and that's what Metro does. I think any UI or graphic designer would agree with that statement, and seek to adhere to it, however old fashioned it may seem.
    I don't know how anyone would approve of the previous UI over the current metro one. My biggest gripe with the previous is that you had to scroll up just to see what the menu options even were! Now, you can see all the root menus at a single glance of the TV, and quickly flip between them at the click of the left or right bumper. Tell me how this is not an improvement? Then once you're at the right menu option, you have a beautifully displayed array of options, in the form of tiles. 
    I think a lot of people have problems with the Xbox UI update simply because they're not used to it, even if it has improved on some things.
  • Far from ugly,sorry that u can't understand it.
  • Can you really support anyone who thinks the new Netflix interface is better? The Netflix update has to be one of the worst software updates I've seen. Losing functionality and adding features I don't want? What is this, a MAC? :)
  • First off I see were these comments are going so I would just like to say I am not a developer by any means, just an avid user with high interest. I have used every OS out there with the exception of RIM (becasue I think it flat out sucks) and have to say WP7 and the metro UI is the best. I cant wait to see what Microsoft has in store for us in the comming years. As far as the xbox UI goes...the same applys. It looks better, feels better, and is plain out easier to use. Microsoft has really changed it up since the introduction of Windows Phone and I LOVE IT!!!! Kudos to Microsoft and all the developers for making this possible. Every time I find something I dont like about the OS/UI, which is very seldom, I just tell my self "Hey this OS has only been on the market for 2 years (if that) its completly ok." Its not like the other OS's which have been around for several years and still have the same falts. As Ronald McDonald would say, "I'm lovin it." 
  • I dunno. I don't mean to be a troll but it really seems like throwing in the towel in some ways. Microsoft was all about exclusivity. The only phone with Xbox Live, Office, etc. And it still is the only one with Xbox live achievement earning games, but they just recently started that website that lets people preview Metro on their iPhone and Android device. They are obviously are trying to increase WP7's marketshare, and frankly I don't think that porting once exclusive apps to other platforms is going to help "spread the word" about metro. Is it money smart? Yes, because there are more owners of other devices and thus more revenue from these apps. I don't think it's a drastically poor measure, but I really don't see any good that could come from it.
  • Sorry for sounding like a troll but I simply hate this guy and I won't even bother hiting the play button. Metro simply rocks that picture on top of the article sums it up rather well for any nay-sayers.
  • Mr. Guakala said it best. But addressing Mr. Rtotheich...I understand your point and it is clearly valid. But in the postion that Microsoft is in I would not consider the move that bad. Yes they are providing an exlusive option to other OS's (including there arch rival IOS) but why not if it may bring the prospect of more interest to WP7 and WP8. If there is one thing I can say for sure, it is not for the money...Microsoft has plenty of it and we both know that. I am going out on a lime here, with not data to back me up, but I would say Micrsoft has made very little money on WP7 thus far, if any. The main goal as of this point is marketshare which they don't have. By allowing other OS to use certain apps it can and will increase interest in WP and the OS. Consumers are scared of WP becasue of the title "Microsoft." Overall it will take time but I know that if they keep up with the work they have done so far they will only gain more interest. At first from BlackBerry and then slowly, year by year, from IOS and Android.  
  • I agree that the influence should be spread, but I really find it hard to believe that having apps like kinectimals and Xbox Companion on iPhone with a sorta-metro interface would help "increase interest in WP7". The only app I could see working in this situation would be bing. It's nice that MS ported that to iOS for instance, because if people get hooked on its services and enjoy it, they might move to WP7 when it comes time for an upgrade. That's only because bing is so well integrated in WP7 that it's a standard feature and a selling point. But if they buy kinectimals at whatever price it's going to cost or use Xbox Companion that looks kinda metro-ish on iOS, I find it very doubtful that they'll think to themselves "hm. I like this. Think I'll get a Windows Phone." They're third party apps made by microsoft, popular ones that iOS users will soon realize they don't need a Windows Phone to use.
  • You are right, the impact wont be signifanct. But if it dosn't hurt why not. It can only help.