Windows 8.x and the future of the desktop
Where I'm coming from...
I've seen a lot of concepts around how to fit the metro and traditional desktop UI's together and all of them, I believe, have one fundamental flaw... they have used the desktop as a starting point and tried to merge metro into it.
My position on the desktop is that I believe the features of the desktop are a requirement for a lot of productive workflows, however I don't have any specific attachment to the desktop as it exists today.
I also see metro as the "new" Windows that Microsoft are moving toward.
With that in mind I think the logical step for Microsoft is not to merge metro into the desktop, nor to remove the metro environment or the desktop completely, but to enhance the metro UI with the functionality that users require from the desktop.
Keep in mind I've got no talent at all with graphics (I did this in Paint.Net!) and considerable work could be done to make this idea flow better.
As usual, click for a closer look.
Launching a "desktop" app would make it appear on the Task Switcher (in the same way it appears in the Task Bar on the desktop now) on the metro UI. Desktop apps would launch in full screen by default.
A final note
My idea isn't so much to replace the desktop (I think the desktop will continue to be available for years to come) but to move more and varied workflows into the "new" Windows.