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Leaks show Windows 8, Office 2012 getting mobile Metro UI

updated 10:30 am EDT, Mon March 14, 2011

Windows 8 and Office 2012 to get Metro interface

Microsoft's plans to borrow from Windows Phone in Windows 8 were given confirmation in the new week turnover through a pair of leaks from Russia. New interface elements in a set known as Aero Lite would give Windows, and also Office 15 (likely Office 2012) the same transportation-inspired arrows and fonts as Windows Phone 7.'s copy of the styles file also showed newly revamped corner buttons that would show maximize, minimize, resize and help buttons with a similar look, hinting that Aero Lite would take over the whole look, though possibly only when a touchscreen device was involved.

Both Windows 8 and the Office shots supplied by Winreview showed interfaces that were still very much like their current versions that had mostly been kept the same in the pre-beta phase, but Office was already showing signs of integration. Outlook should go from attempting to integrate calendars, contacts and mail all on one panel to having a large, Metro-like strip at the bottom that would swap out the contents in the window on the fly.

The changes support notions that Microsoft is designing the interface more around touch. Officials have never directly commented on how Windows 8 or Office would change, but chief executive Steve Ballmer has hinted that the company was taking a huge risk with the next version of Windows. Its look has been relatively conservative since Windows Vista four years ago and in many ways is still closely related to Windows XP from a decade earlier.

The OS and its corresponding Office suite are are expected to be Microsoft's first real attempts at countering the success of the iPad, and potentially Android 3.0 tablets. Office 15's release date information isn't clear, but Windows 8 isn't believed to be entering early beta until near September and wouldn't be shipping until late 2012, one and a half years after the iPad first arrived. [via WinRumors]

By Electronista Staff


  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004


    DO NOT WANT. Stop listening to fanboys

    Stop s******* with regular users and stop listening to fanboys like Long Zheng. Fanboys like whatever you put out regardless of how it looks or functions. Stop listening to them. The Metro UI is c***. It is not usable and it is not easily localized. Go back to the drawing board and stop trying to make everything look like the Zune. This is getting ridiculous. We do not want that UI in MS Office.

    Get rid of the stupid ribbons. Everyday users hate them and want their menus and keyboard shortcuts back. The Office suite is supposed to cater to the power users and average user, not fanboys looking for more eye candy. Fire your UI staff.

  1. spyintheskyuk

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2009



    Either way looks c*** to me, reminds me of the old style Firefox from donkeys years ago... and amazing still a mess of unrelated graphical icons.

  1. not4thefaintofheart

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2010



    This is their idea of a next generation UI? With all the pastels they should add some ponies and unicorns to the icon list.

  1. ggirton

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    Huge Risk?!

    Look at me look at me look at me!
    You'll see You'll see You'll see!

    add it up. entering beta in September and shipping a year later.

    We are reading about this now .... why?

  1. PRoth

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2008



    Is that ever awful. At least they're testing the idea with these "leaks". It'll register on the barf-o-meter, and then they'll "leak" something else.

  1. dimmer

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Feb 2006



    The most amazing/appalling thing here is just how much the important stuff (the user information) is minimized to make room for the unimportant stuff (the UI, which I guess we could safely say is now the Ugly Interface). It's as if they took every possible menu item and made it into a button or control, replete with icon, side text, and no doubt float-over description. What a freakin' mess.

    But I'm sure the user will be able to customize 66% of it to their preference (despite this doing little to nothing to improve usability), so that when they have to use a guest computer (or have a guest use theirs) it just won't work.

    It's so sad to see this happen, and it does in most all platforms. It's like the idea that everything should have a Preference, when in reality nothing should. ("If you need a Preference, your UI has failed." to paraphrase Tog.)

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