How Microsoft could integrate Desktop and Metro Windows 8

Windows 8 has two faces: the desktop ui and the Metro ui(I know that now it’s called Modern UI, but I still call it Metro). The desktop is better for PCs/laptops and the Metro is better for tablets/PCs with touchscreen. These two worlds don’t integrate well in Windows 8, but I had an idea that could improve that.

As I’m not so good with Photoshop and I don’t have Windows 8 installed right now to make the base screenshots, I will only describe my idea. I would appreciate if anyone who is good at Photoshop could make some pictures illustrating my idea.

When installing Windows (or after in the Control Panel) would have an option to choose between desktop mode or touch mode. If the user chooses the Touch interface nothing would change from what Windows 8 is now, but if the desktop interface is chosen my idea would take place.

In desktop mode the Metro apps would run on windows. Imagine the notepad, now imagine it without the menu bar, and now imagine it with a metro app instead of the white space. It’s basically it.

The right buttons in the tile bar would go from three to four, instead of minimize, maximize and close it would be minimize, maximize, full screen and close. It’s like the Mac OS full screen button.

In the left side, next to the app icon, would have three icons (like the icons in Word, for example): one to open the top charm bar, one for the bottom and one for the right. These icons could be arrows for the top and bottom charm and a gear for the right charm. But the developers would be able to personalize these icons. For example, if a music app has the music controls in a charm, this charm icon would be a control. All charms would show up in the horizontal at the top part of the window (like if every charm were a top charm, but inside the window).

The app icons would show up at the start menu bar (instead of the left charm). In fact the left charm (and the others charms) would be disabled. All the open apps would be in the menu bar together with “legacy” apps.

The point in my idea is to make the system more consistent. You would use the Metro apps in windows, the same way you did all these years. But if you have a tablet, you would use the same apps you already use in your PC, but with a tablet environment. This integration could incentive developers to make Metro apps more powerful and fully functional. At time goes by we would stop using “legacy” apps and only use Metro apps.