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Dated: Apr. 02, 2013

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Windows 7

We are bothered that there is no start button in the Windows 8 – we are looking for a way to return it. The Metro Start screen terrifies us and we don’t know what do with it – we are looking for a way to avoid it and go directly to the desktop. To transfer the part of the functionality of the Metro interface in older versions of Windows? That sounds like a good idea for an experiment, and with the help of the newest product of the Iobit company – the WinMetro, we will do it.

The authors of this free program say that by installing this program you will increase productivity, gain easier access to resources, be better organized... We will not go into if the PR service of Microsoft was writing the brochures, but the whole process can be interesting. If nothing else, then try it just for the possibilities, a marvel of programing code, and then later uninstall it as it never existed. There is one more thing. You can joke with your friends that you have a special version of Windows 8 that supports downloading Metro, it comes with Aero interface, and can look like the good, old XP.
 
And really, after installation and starting the program you have the feeling that you are in Windows 8. You are greeted by live tiles, the list of the most used programs, formed in a familiar manner. The tools that are behind the tiles are, logically, not Windows 8 complements, but they mimic them convincingly. You have the weather prognosis, the calendar, the latest news, image viewer, maps, etc. Some tiles are not active (Facebook, Twitter) and for now you can’t relocate the elements across the screen. You can see that it is the beta version of the program.
 
WinMetro BetaThe contours of the Metro interface are visible on the desktop as well. If you place the mouse pointer in the lower left part of the screen, a smaller display of the Metro Start menu will jump out. An if you put in the right bottom corner you see a transparent strip with settings, the search function and a clock – just like in the Windows 8.
 
The version of the program that we tested works as is. That means that you can affect or change very little things. The first thing that is missing is the possibility of adding and deleting programs from the start menu or the function to add specially written live tiles (for an obvious reason, the originally will hardly do). Also, it would not be bad if there was the possibility of deactivating the “hot corners”, that the Metro options don’t appear every time you are close to the Start and Show Desktop keys. A bit better program code optimization is missing too, that will make scrolling in the Metro menu smoother.
 
Still, there are not many reason to whine. For the first edition, the WinMetro does better than what we expected. We are sure that the authors will keep increasing the possibilities of the program and we care very much where it will all end. For now it is a cute little program that is a sort of proof of concept, a realization that shows that a piece of the Metro interface can exist outside of the WIndows 8.

M.B.

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