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UMPCPortal: Windows 8 Metro Not a Perfect Match for Tablets (Video)

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Chippy at UMPCPortal has shared his view on the Windows 8 Metro UI in a tablet in words, as well as a video to demonstrate specifically the problems it faces with portrait oriented usage.

“Windows 8 Metro UI, Tablets and Mobility – Let’s talk about the Mis-Match” is the very accurate title of his post discussing tablet usage in Windows 8. While Microsoft is turning heads with their “touch-first” motto, the truth is touch-first does not mean tablet-first. Tablets are touch devices, but they’re also mobile devices. How you hold the device and interact with it varies greatly between what I call macro- and micro-mobility (or what Chippy calls “on-the-go and bum-on-seat activities”). He zeroes in on the usage in portrait mode, the subject of his video, as an example of where there’s a mis-match.

I believe Chippy is spot-on (as usual). I shared the same concerns about the discrepancy between touch-optimization and tablet-optimization, and have cited Microsoft’s suggested 16:9 screen ratio for tablets as a sign that portrait mode will get short-changed. I’m also not a fan of that wasted space when using the split keyboard and hope that gets changed to function more like the new iOS 5 split keyboard on the iPad 2. I’m less hopeful about changes to the screen size requirements, but I think automatic page resizing and/or reorganization of screen elements depending on screen orientation can address many issues raised.

Alleged Apple fanboi, accused Android apologist, and confirmed Microsoft MVP for touch and tablet Mark Sumimoto a.k.a. Sumocat dabbles in all areas of mobile computing with a focus on Windows-based Tablet PCs and pen input. A mobile computing enthusiast since 2004, he pioneered the field of ink blogging via his personal blog, Sumocat's Scribbles. His current tools include a Fujitsu Lifebook T900, TEGA v2, and iPhone 4. Email: sumocat [at] notebooks.com

2 Comments

  1. Willem Evenhuis

    10/14/2011 at 2:51 pm

    nice review of the current perspectives of the shortcomings of windows 8 for touch/tablets.

  2. Regan Anderson

    10/16/2011 at 3:23 pm

    It was a very good review and you brought up some good points. However, please keep in mind that Windows 8 isn’t even in beta yet, and if the way they handled the Windows 7 beta is any indication, they may very well fix everything you’ve mentioned are problems, especially if enough people try it out and say the same.

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