Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

Summary: The more I use Windows 8 , the more I realize what's missing: great apps. If Microsoft wants people to fall in love with their new OS, it needs a collection of killer apps. Here's my wish list. What apps are you waiting for?

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There's a myth, reinforced by the Windows Developer Preview sample apps, that Metro style apps have to be simple, stripped of complexity, scaled small, and incapable of doing anything except basic tasks. The reality is that a skilled developer using Microsoft's tools can build some pretty damn awesome Metro style apps.

Here's my wish list:

1. Music/video player

At the top of the list for me is a music player. If Windows 8 had a slick Metro style music player, I'd have a reason to visit the Metro side of Windows 8 every day. I'd probably end up with the player snapped to one side of the screen, dedicating the rest of the display (the fill pane) to my Windows desktop. There's no excuse for delivering anything less than a world-class music app here.

2. Office

This is a slam dunk. Microsoft needs to deliver functional Metro style versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint along with the public Windows 8 beta. At a minimum, you should be able to view any document in those formats, make basic edits, and share the results using e-mail or online services.

3. People hub

Social media clients make ideal demos of Metro style apps, which is why the Windows Developer Preview includes both Twitter and Facebook clients. With the Mango update to Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has done an amazing job of unifying information from social media streams, e-mail contacts, and instant messenger lists into the People hub. That same functionality should be in a Metro style app for Windows 8.

4. Mail

Windows 8 needs a great Mail app. It should be able to connect to any cloud-based service—Hotmail, obviously, but also Google Mail—and it absolutely has to support Exchange servers out of the box. Hey, if Apple can do it, so can Microsoft.

5. Calendar

Everything I just said about mail? It applies to calendars, too. You should be able to see a month-at-a-glance view in the full Metro style app window or snap your upcoming appointments and events to the side of the screen.

6. Skype / Lync

Now that Microsoft has got the thumbs-up from antitrust regulators to go ahead with the purchase of Skype, it's time to Metro-ize a Skype app. In fact, it should be able to outdo Google's Hangout feature from Google+. A slick, well-built Skype client that handles multiple simultaneous conversations would be a killer feature. Add an iOS and Android app and you've replaced Apple's FaceTime, too.

7. Photo viewer

Everyone loves digital photos. Here, too, this is an opportunity to take what already works on Windows Phone 7 and extend it to the PC. A great Metro style photo app should make it ridiculously easy for me to find photos on my own PC, plus those I've shared via online services, and then add the pictures my friends are sharing on Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, and other services. The Contracts feature in Windows 8 should make it easy to share or send those photos with other people. This is another amazing app opportunity that Microsoft has to deliver as a core part of Windows 8.

8. Flipboard

This is, in my opinion, the killer third-party app on the iPad. It should be a showcase Metro style app on Windows 8. Microsoft should be throwing money and developers at Flipboardto have this ready with the Windows 8 beta.

9. Angry Birds

If you don't have Angry Birds, you don't have a platform. I expect to see lots of Metro style games, but this is the big one.

10. Facebook

The iPad has been on the market for 18 months, and Facebook just released a native app for it. Given that Microsoft actually owns a substantial stake in Facebook, this app should be there early, and it should be a showcase for the platform.

So what's missing in action? Well, I don't expect to see a Metro style iTunes app, which means that syncing a Windows 8 PC with an iPhone or an iPad is still going to require the desktop version of iTunes.

I also suspect that Google Apps will be mostly unsupported. If you're a heavy Gmail/Google Docs user and you have a Windows 8 PC, you're probably going to spend a lot of time on the Windows desktop running Google Chrome.

That's my list. What's on your must-have Windows 8 app list?

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

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103 comments
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  • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

    Hopefully some Developers got their hands on the Developers Preview for just that purpose.
    bobiroc
    • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

      I'm just not with the masses, if I want a cell phone interface on my PC I'll buy a pad. Apps in a OS, yup great way to drive more people to Mac OS. Thanks MS; your really starting to suck now. The last real OS was XP.
      guitarest
      • RE: if I want a cell phone interface on my PC I'll buy a pad.

        @guitarest

        That is what Windows 8 is about in case you didn't notice. Only time will tell if Win8 will have an Opt out of the Metro UI for not touch enabled desktops/laptops.

        If you knew your history XP was hated at first too. This is the case with most OSes especially Microsoft's OS. People that fear change scream and yell and tell everyone their opinion on how the latest software sucks and the old one is so much better. Then you fast forward a few years and the same complaints continue except this time it is about the same software they said sucked before that they now like. It is a vicious cycle.
        bobiroc
      • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

        @guitarest A fantastic way of getting people to ignore your opinions about Windows 8 is to talk about how much better Windows XP is than Windows 7.
        RandomEngy
      • Windows 7 was the last real OS

        @guitarest

        Odd as it sounds, you're in the minority now, as many people are really giving MS thumbs up the last couple years on what they're putting out.
        William Farrell
      • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

        <i>Only time will tell if Win8 will have an Opt out of the Metro UI for not touch enabled desktops/laptops.</i><br><br>Well they don't have all the time in the world. They better make up their mind.<br><br><i>If you knew your history XP was hated at first too.</i><br><br>Until people discovered Classic mode and tossed the Fisher Price crap aside. Same principle with the Metro only there's no need to have it for desktops at all. <br><br><i>This is the case with most OSes especially Microsoft's OS.</i><br><br>Well what do you expect? When you have 90% of the desktop market locked up, it affects people's computing experiences greatly. That's the price you pay for being a monopoly.<br><br><i>People that fear change scream and yell and tell everyone their opinion on how the latest software sucks and the old one is so much better.</i><br><br>Some change is good, but if it's change for the sake of change then it's stupid ramming a phone-type GUI down on people's desktops is the ultimate in stupidity.<br><br><i>Then you fast forward a few years and the same complaints continue except this time it is about the same software they said sucked before that they now like. It is a vicious cycle.</i><br><br>Well it's true. You add more useless features (a relative term) then more things are bound to break. For example, Nero 6 was a great DVD-burning software. Then I used Nero 8 and got all sorts of error messages to the point that I finally had to abandon it for less intrusive alternative.<br><br>Check this out. I think it's applicable here.<br><br><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feature_creep" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feature_creep</a><br><br>It's about as fundamental as the Laws of Physics.
        ScorpioBlue
      • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

        @guitarest You need to get out of 2004 and come to 2011 because Vista and 7 blow XP out of the water..I think the problem is a lot of people try or tried to run Vista/7 on computers that don't have the resources to run them correctly. So they assume that XP is better because it runs better on a computer made 5-10 years ago..you can buy pretty decent computers that run Win7 way better than XP ran in 2004 for under $500 these days...
        ChrispyCritter
    • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

      People hub, Mail and Calendar metro apps are coming (and they all look ace)<br><br><a href="http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_live/b/windowslive/archive/2011/09/21/a-preview-of-windows-live-for-windows-8.aspx" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_live/b/windowslive/archive/2011/09/21/a-preview-of-windows-live-for-windows-8.aspx</a><br><br>I doubt we'll see Office metro apps though. Microsoft seems keen to keep Office a desktop app.
      bradavon
      • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

        @bradavon There is a version of Office for the Metro interface and it uses the cloud and Office 365 and Skydrive. There is also a music/video player and it is superior to Apple's offering it is called Zune. It looks more like the author looked at the Mango phone and decided he wanted its features on the desktop because everyone of his wish list is available in Mango except for Skype.
        Rndmacts
      • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

        @Rndmacts: Thanks I didn't know that about Office. Zune is a desktop app though.
        bradavon
  • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

    Netflix and Media Center would make it up there. Twitter too. Some others would include Rdio/Spotify, a really good IM client, and I'd like to see what Photoshop would look like in Metro. Also, I don't remember seeing a PDF reader, despite there being some screenshots on Paul Thurrott's website...
    Jeff Kibuule
    • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

      Give me an immersive experience for competitive events (ESPN / NBC Olympics / WSOP)!
      scH4MMER
      • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

        @scH4MMER
        I do think IE 10 is trying to focus on HTML5 exclusively. I think we'll see a lot of 'apps' delivered right within IE. MLB Gameday looks good by me in metro as an example
        casejoe
  • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

    Before catering to the casual tablet-centric user with all sorts of apps; when is Microsoft going to publicly talk about what Windows-8 is going to do for the serious PC-centric users, i.e., data entry oriented businesses?
    TsarNikky
    • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

      @TsarNikky

      My guess is around January, or whenever they release the public beta.
      Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

      @TsarNikky You mean besides the fact that you can still run and create "classic"-style Windows apps with Windows 8? Metro-style is mainly for the consumption of data via touch, not production of data--class-style is recommended for that.
      peterritchie
    • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

      @TsarNikky They have not talked much about it outside of //Build/. If you went there there were alot of "boring" sessions about building business applications accessing data, varous controls available, and they built a huge number of sample apps (not the ones on the start screen) that show you how to use various features. The UI elements work well for mouse and keyboard but they are different and will require you to re-think your design. (of course if you dont want a new design why would you build it). Still alot to be fleshed out but the basics of a story is there, certainly enough to start designing and building business apps.
      Without doubt the biggest missing piece is what the multi-tasking experience will be for the PC - Large Monitor - Dual Monitor user. Hard to imagine we will be limited to 2 apps on a Dual monitor set up.
      nanderto
    • RE: Windows 8 wish list: 10 Metro-style apps I want to see

      @TsarNikky
      WDP runs Office 2010 just fine.
      Also Firefox 8, Chrome, Windows Live Messenger, and pretty much every other Windows application I've tried.
      (Although, it does seem to dislike videos in Flash, but that probably has something to do with the video drivers being an "Engineering Preview". Oh, and IE10PP3 does have its problems too)

      But see this:http://www.zdnet.com/tb/1-105743-2089989

      It's a developer preview so developers can, um, develop Metro style apps now (and have them ready for the App Store when it opens).
      CarlitosLx
  • Good UI would be a start

    Have the Beta and it's [b]horrible[/b]. One minute you're in a desktop style app and the next you're in a completely different Metro app. They both look and feel completely different with no cohesiveness.

    It's just BAD, BAD, BAD.
    itguy10
    • You have the beta?

      How did you get hold of it?
      Michael Alan Goff