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.
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.