The new (default) Windows 8 interface is something that Microsoft has spent a lot of time rethinking, and will drastically shift the way we use computers. The good news is that the classic Windows 7-style interface is still buried underneath for those that want it, but you won’t be able to move completely away from the Metro-style UI.




One good example of that is with the notification system. There are all kinds of reasons that you’d see a popup notification on a Windows system. For example, if you insert media into the DVD drive you’ll see a popup like this:

Windows 8 metro notification 1

That is a slick little popup that doesn’t feel obtrusive, and it fits in extremely well with this new design. If you go ahead and click on that notification you are given a few different actions you can take:

Windows 8 metro notification 2

In this situation those actions will take you back to the classic desktop interface, but that’s understandable considering the type of media I inserted. What’s interesting, however, is how the notifications look when you’re already on the classic desktop. Instead of the balloon notifications we’re used to seeing in Windows 7 the design is now exactly the same as what we saw above with the Metro-style UI:

Windows 8 desktop notification 1

And then going on to click on the popup reveals the actions:

Windows 8 desktop notification 2

Considering the fact that this is a developer preview Microsoft still has plenty of time to refine the desktop UI, but I’m hoping they don’t try to force some of the Metro-style elements onto the desktop where they may not work as well. I do prefer these style of popups to the old ones, but the color scheme and overall design should conform to the Aero theme that is being used when they are displayed on the desktop.

Download the Windows 8 Developer Preview