RetroUI ditches Windows 8 Metro in favor of ‘classic’ Windows desktop

by David Needle

September 5 2012

RetroUI gives Windows 8 users the option to run Windows "classic" desktop
RetroUI gives Windows 8 users the option to run Windows "classic" desktop

Microsoft’s stylish Metro interface is designed for a new generation of Windows 8 touchscreen apps but not the thousands of business apps designed for prior versions of Windows.

It’s the proverbial pain point developers look for, to find a need and offer a solution.

Thinix says its RetroUI is just such a solution. The $4.95 program lets users log in to the  “classic” Windows desktop (with the familiar Start button of Windows XP and Windows 7) to use legacy apps on a Windows 8 computer.

You can still return to the Windows 8 Metro UI as needed and the company says RetroUI doesn’t alter any Windows 8 security settings.

Thinix claims Microsoft’s decision to require PCs to load the Metro desktop after login has caused many organizations to delay or even cancel a migration to Windows 8 because they don’t want to deal with having to train users in how to use Metro.

(Although it's still widely used to refer to the Windows 8 interface, Microsoft recently dropped the Metro name in favor of Modern UI). 

RetroUI lets companies move to Windows 8 and maintain the traditional look and feel of Windows for as long as they want to or for particular situations. Thinix says RetroUI can also be configured to more permanently lock-out the new Metro features in Windows 8 (Charms Bar, Hot Corners, and Metro Switcher) where an enterprise might want to restrict task workers to the classic Windows desktop.

"Only specially written Metro-Apps run on the Metro desktop in Windows 8. So, in order to run thousands of ordinary business applications, users need to leave the Metro desktop and run the application from the classic Windows desktop," said Anthony Clark, VP of Business Development at Thinix.

"RetroUI eliminates this inefficient back-and-forth problem by providing a way for users to login directly into the classic Windows desktop – skipping over all the unneeded Metro features."

The $4.95 price for RetroUI covers up to three PCs for personal use or per PC for business use. A 14-day fully functional trial is available that covers up to 3 devices.

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