re: 10 Great Windows 8 Apps
"...and avoiding the Desktop like the compromise solution that it is"
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding this, but since when did the Desktop all of the sudden become a "compromise solution"? There has been decades of UI development, experiment and refinement that has led to the current desktop metaphor as the optimal way to interact with a computer. Likewise, the mouse and keyboard have also proven to be optimal, efficient and relatively ergonomic input methods.
I'm afraid I simply don't understand this latest trend of forcing the UI conventions of a 4 inch screened telephone onto a full-on desktop computer. The smartphone UI truly is the compromise solution - touch input is extremely imprecise, imparts wear, tear and fingerprints on the same screen you have to view, and the 4 to 5 inch size necessitates apps running in full-screen only, as there simply isn't enough room to display anything more than a single, relatively simplistic app's UI at a time. THAT truly IS a compromise. It's one we accept for the convenience of a handheld device with so much utility and capabilities, but make no mistake, the smartphone UI is a compromise.
This is why I'm having trouble seeing the logic in forcing all the limitations of the smartphone UI on a full desktop computer, and not only disregarding all the resources the typical desktop system provides (ample screen space, ample memory and processor resources, precision pointing devices, etc), but in addition, going to far as to now claim that the traditional desktop is the compromise solution that the touch-UI solves.
I'm sorry, I have no desire to touch my desktop monitor. I don't want it covered in fingerprints, I don't want to reach across my desk to do so, and I need more precision than my finger can provide. And as with most people, my work requires a fair amount of multitasking, be it between several full desktop apps, or a single one and a combination of contact apps - e-mail, skype, etc. On a desktop, a touch-first, full screen only UI negatively and dramatically impairs productivity. Sure, there are a few specific use scenarios where it can be preferable (a specific, primarily single use system like a media PC attached to a television, for example), but for the general use desktop computer, it's just a very poor fit.
It's really concerning today when so many in general, and journalists especially, are so willing to jump on a bandwagon, buying into, endorsing and promoting an idea riddled with obvious contradictions, falsehoods and plain old failed logic. The smartphone UI is the compromise solution even when it's on a smartphone, and exponentially more so when it's slapped, without change, on a full desktop computer. That people not only blindly accept that compromise, not only endorse and promote the idea, but then claim the traditional desktop is actually the compromise is, quite frankly, frightening and bizarre.