If there’s one thing I like about Windows 8, it’s the Start screen. I don’t care for it as a replacement to the Start Menu, mind — but as a tablet-style “home screen” I think it is fantastic. I like the concept of Live Tiles, which are essentially the combination of an app shortcut and a widget. If “live information” is supported by the respective app, these little tiles present data to the user in a generally clear and concise way, making them great for weather updates, new emails or messages, the “word of the day” and news stories, and so on. At a glance, you can generally feel better-informed, and I like that.
It needs to be said, the Start screen is an evolution of a design that began with the Zune interface. Metro truly began to develop as part of the Windows Phone OS, making something like Live Tiles not exactly “new” … though exposure to it has been limited. No one I know owns a Windows Phone. Very few have even heard of a Zune. Windows 8, however, will be something Microsoft will be pushing going forward.
I believe iOS needs to get on the bandwagon here. The “app icon grid” layout is dated. Android has its widgets and Windows Metro has its Live Tiles — where are you, Apple?