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The ‘Bandwagon’ that’s not for everyone

The ‘Bandwagon’ that’s not for everyone

Apple’s strong marketing campaigns, amazing hardware and great software have definitely been stealing the technological spotlight almost to the extent where (and I don’t mean to start arguments about this) people seem to be forgetting all about Microsoft and what they have been up to. So I would like to take the time to talk about something that hasn’t even been rated enough to be under-rated, if that makes sense!

While we have all been staring or drooling at the pretty screens of the new iPhones or iPod Touch or iPad, we as consumers, and Apple’s competitors have had the blinkers pulled over our eyes. Apple’s icon-driven user interface on their iOS devices works. And it makes sense. It helped them sell their products in the volumes they have and it has also inspired their competitors to follow the trends they are setting. Google’s Android operating system jumped on the bandwagon and followed with very similar core design principles. With two of the major mobile operating systems choosing to go down this path, it’s not surprising that we’re seeing a lot of the same things carry over interface designs, but what about Microsoft? Have they fallen off the radar, stuck in user interface dark ages of the old desktop metaphor or will they jump on board the bandwagon and give us some more of the same?


They have actually done something completely different! Their approach to the touch screen user interface for smart phones is actually very cool. I like it because of their clever use of typography and iconography. It’s subtle, simple and clean. Take a look at these screenshots:

Windows Phone 7 Start Screen - Source: Microsoft

Windows Phone 7 Music Player - Source: Microsoft

They call the design language behind this user interface “Metro”. Its key principles are the fact that it’s incredibly clean and modern, it’s all about typography and all about doing something authentic and original. If you’re interested to see its slick animations or play with its incredibly responsive menu system or just look at something different, the next time you get a chance to, pick up a Windows 7 phone and see that no everyone has to follow the crowd.

Yours in technology,


Belinda Vesey-Brown About the author
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