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.