Microsoft, please give us start screen backgrounds instead of skinned tiles!

It was a sad day when I found out that this is what Microsoft is planning for WP 8.1. I keep asking myself why and never get an answer.

Why I believe that skinned tiles isn't the way to go:

  • It would clutter the home screen.
  • Flipping skinned-tiles will make the background image look like a chess table with pieces on it!
  • How would they manage having a very tall wallpaper to cover up a long start screen? God please not by repeating the background!
  • It's just plain ugly and ruins the simplicity of WP.
Why I believe that background image is the answer (with tiles grouping + Semantic Zoom):
  • It's a step closer of unifying the experience between WP and Windows 8.
  • Users can choose from a pre-set of simplistic backgrounds (Just like Windows 8), which keeps the OS simple too.
  • Grouping tiles is a must, especially for people who have more than 50 pinned tiles on their start screen.
  • Semantic Zoom can be used to quickly jump between tiles on your start screen (it's the answer for Androids pinch out that brings all the different home-screens in a quick jump, small view list).
  • Grouping tiles creates gaps between them, so the background can show (this argument is for people that always say there is no point of having a background).
I have made some mock-ups (with interactive tiles which is not my subject today). Please check them out and let me know what you think.
1- Start With Background. 2- Semantic Zoom. 3- App List.

If you agree with me, please give me your vote on the feature suggestion page for Windows Phone. HERE