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Metro7 1.0 (beta)

Get the Windows 8 Metro interface on your Windows 7 desktop

by Mike Williams

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Based on 1 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit)
Requirements:

 

Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 06 February 2012
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 11394
Developer: Metro7
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Metro7 1.0 (beta)
Get the Windows 8 Metro interface on your Windows 7 desktop

Metro7 is a free tool which brings the Windows 8 Metro interface to your Windows 7 desktop.

And a very good recreation it is, too: colourful ties, calendar and weather widgets, Facebook notifications, a Twitter tool and so on. Clicking the Metro7 "Store" icon provides more options - Video Weather, Hotmail and Gmail tiles, a Control Panel link and more - and clicking the arrow icon top-right allows you to pin your own applications and internet shortcuts to the panel.

While this is all free, Metro7 is clearly set up to try and sell things. During setup it'll ask if it can install a trial of a commercial Registry cleaner, for instance. And more annoyingly, the default display includes tiles labelled "Online TV" and "Free PC Speed Test", which users may assume are somehow features related to Metro7, but are in fact just marketing links to a couple of websites. (Fortunately they're easily removed: right-click the tiles, select Remove and you won't be hassled again.)

Metro7 is also fairly heavy on RAM use (it had a couple of processes consuming around 180MB on our test system). And the program's a genuine beta. That is, there's no way you'll mistake it for a finished product: we found the program crashed on a regular basis.

Nice visuals, then, and if you just want an easy way to get the feel of Windows 8 on a Windows 7 system then Metro7 is worth a look. Whether you'll want to use it for long is another question.

Verdict:

A good-looking but unreliable recreation of the Windows 8 Metro interface. Watch out for the embedded marketing tricks, too

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.5

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

Version 2.12.5 brings:

• Per chat custom notification settings and mute
• You can now include videos in your chat backups in Settings > Chats and Calls > Chat Backup
• Mark chats as unread or read with a swipe to the right
• Better support for VoiceOver
• Directly share contacts from the Contacts app and locations from Apple Maps to WhatsApp
• Lower the data usage used during WhatsApp calls in Settings > Chats and Calls 
• Earlier messages now load automatically as you scroll chats
• Improved design for cropping photos and videos
• Location messages now use a large map thumbnail

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: