This question has bugged me for a while, I thought I might ask it.
In software, we say something "scales" if it's able to stay coherent and consistent over a long period of time, but more importantly, when the number of users exceeds any imagination, or the number of features does.
The best examples of this are ERPs, like SAP. We could call them "Integrated Enterprise Systems".
Basically, people of huge enterprises spend their entire workday using this single "application". In fact, apart from e-mail (which is usually a separate app), there are companies where people don't need any other applications to do their jobs, from logistics to HR to manufacturing.
Other examples would be CAD systems like AutoCAD, or, to stay at the Graphics Design domain, Photoshop, but not some light version of it: the "real" Photoshop. Not to do the "simple things most people do" but to have a tool which has to serve every special needs of experts.
Common denominators of these tools include:
- People use it all workday basically continously
- They cover more than 1000 known use cases
- Some of these cases aren't even remotely related
- They can be used in unanticipated ways otherwise they're felt as usability nightmares
- They're used both by high-end experts and people who only had a few hours (or minutes) of training
We know that the WIMP Desktop metaphor does scale to this level.
My question is: does Metro (or, to put it more bluntly: the Windows 8 GUI) scale to this level? Shall it do?
Can you imagine a visual language which is useable on a tablet device, is conform to the Metro UX guidelines, and is able to bear the complexity of SAP and/or Photoshop?
This is the business where Windows gained its momentum. Does Metro support them?