For example, we adopted Metro's simple list of individual panel groups, so it's easy to change panels. Those panels organize their controls in panes, similar to OS X's System Preferences, so you won't face a clutter of settings windows as happens in the Control Panels of Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Also as previously mentioned, we ended the jumping back and forth between apps and the Charms bar by eliminating the Charms bar and moving the search, sharing, devices, and settings functions into the apps themselves.
We also dropped the Running Apps bar in Windows Red Pro, even though Windows 8 had it. After all, the task bar serves the same function, so there's no need for a duplicative Running Apps bar in Windows Red Pro.
All versions of Windows Red provide a visual cue for each pullout tray. Today's Metro requires users to know to swipe or click in one of the sides to open basic controls such as the App bar, Control bar, and Running Apps bar. These features are too fundamental to be made part of a hide-and-seek game.
In Windows Red Pro, the handle for the Live Tiles tray is always visible, so you know something's there. In Windows Red Mobile, there's a handle each for the Running Apps bar, the App bar, and the Control bar, so you know they're present.
Finally, we adopted the innovation in Stardock's ModernMix app as part of Windows Red Pro, providing users a way to group items -- folders, files, and apps -- however it makes sense to them. These items continue to reside in their folders, but the groups exist independently of the folder hierarchy, so you can have all manner of collections that make use of aliases to those resources.
In Windows Red Mobile, we enhance the Snap View function that lets two apps run side by side by letting users adjust that division through a slider. Windows 8's Metro environment fixes one app to 75 percent of the screen width and the other to 25 percent, which aren't always the best divisions. Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8.1 "Blue" also provides an adjustable slider for Snap View, which we're glad to see. But we're dubious about its splitting of the screen into four windows -- on a tablet, those windows are simply too small to be useful. So Windows Red doesn't do that.
Tablet users get a real Microsoft Office, Desktop users get the People app
Rather than create a tablet-savvy version of Microsoft Office for Metro, Microsoft made a few tweaks to its existing Office version, such as a full-screen mode. It's a really bad experience on a touchscreen. To make Office run on Windows RT tablets, Microsoft essentially created a runtime version of Office that exists outside of the RT operating system.
It's not clear why Microsoft has no true Metro version of Office. Perhaps it's afraid that a Metro version -- which would be priced much cheaper, as mobile apps always seem to be -- would undercut its highly profitable Office sales and staunch one of Microsoft's big income flows. But the lack of a realistic mobile version of Office only depresses demand for mobile Windows, which will depress Office sales as people adopt other mobile OSes running other office productivity apps like Apple's iWork or Google's Quickoffice. Microsoft needs to bite the bullet and build Office for Metro. On the Windows Desktop, Office 2013 is great; Office for Metro needs to be great, too.