The new version of Microsoft Windows – Windows 8 has come forth with an entirely new user interface which is being called Metro UI or Modern UI. Millions of people have downloaded and installed preview editions of Windows 8 just to see how this new Metro UI works. Even if you do not want to install preview edition of Windows 8 and are not yet ready to spend money to buy Windows 8, you can still enjoy Metro UI in your older versions of Windows using free IObit WinMetro.
IObit WinMetro is a free application for Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. WinMetro is specially designed to bring the newly introduced Windows 8 Metro UI to older versions of Windows. It offers an easy solution for users to try and enjoy the tile based Metro UI without having to upgrade to Windows 8. It displays useful information in tiles such as weather, calendar, news, stocks, and frequently used programs just like the original Windows 8 Metro Start screen.
You can download it from the IObit website. The download is around 6 megabytes and comes as an installer package. After the installation is finished, WinMetro starts to run. It also makes entries in the Windows registry to automatically start everytime you start Windows. The WinMetro screen is a true copy of the original Windows 8 Metro UI Start screen.
The WinMetro comes with a charms bar which opens up when you slide your mouse cursor to the right edge of the screen. It has some built-in widgets like a web browser, picture browser, facebook and twitter apps and calendar etc. It supports most of the hotkeys of Metro Start screen like Win+X (to show Start screen), Win+I (to open settings), Win+C (to open charms bar), Win+S (to open search) etc. You can also open WinMetro settings by clicking on the gear like icon on the top-right corner of the WinMetro screen. In the settings, you can choose to run WinMetro automatically at startup, run it in background even when closed and open Start screen automatically.
WinMetro is still in beta so you can expect many more features in the future. I personally would like to see option to add your own widgets or addons to customize it. WinMetro is a good news for all the users who are running older versions of Windows but still want to have a taste of what Windows 8 Metro UI feels like.
You can download it from the IOBit website at http://www.iobit.com/iobit-winmetro.php.