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Is Google going Metro/Tiles on us or are we seeing things?

A few days ago we reported on the KLM-Metro connection (yes, evidently we had it backwards, KLM has had that style for "years", forgive us, we don't fly Dutch). Regardless, it seems Google is liking this whole Tile/Metro approach to design as well (see the Windows 8 UI demo).

Last month, Google held their famous IO conference, where all-things-Google happens, including Android news. They have the "sessions" page up, where you can go watch all the keynotes and talks that went on during the meeting, which is similar to Microsoft's MIX.

Or how about this below, which looks like flat-out copying to us. The one of the left is from Microsoft's WP7 page, the right, Google Wallet. (Thanks, Spindel, in comments):

Now, this is all probably old news to some, but darn it those tiles and UI design look a little familiar. Then again, this too has probably been around forever and we're just becoming aware of aesthetic design in general, seeing tiles everywhere. All we know is we can't wait till Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox 360 all have this same UI design, t'is gonna be beautiful.

And Google? It's a good look for you. Heaven knows you need all the UI help you can get.

Source: Google IO; Thanks, Abhishek, for bringing this to our attention!

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Reader comments

Is Google going Metro/Tiles on us or are we seeing things?

25 Comments

I feel like Windows 8 looks better than Windows phone, probably because it's more colourful. I wish we get the option to personalize windows phone more one day, with more colours,...Anyway, it's true that the Google thing looks a lot like Metro, but I don't think they're ever going to really imitate the style. They seem to be doing fine right now, and people like the way Google looks (for some reason, I find it too empty but that might just be me and the fact that I've gotten used to Bing)Edit: After seeing Spindel's comment, I might be wrong.

"I feel like Windows 8 looks better than Windows phone, probably because it's more colourful." That's because so many WP apps carry the accent color, making the screen look monochromatic.

I think the UI is mainly for the hoping to be successful chrome book..... I don't think they will copy it.... They don't want lawsuit...

I wonder if they can actually sue for this, or as matter of fact if they want to sue at all... they can just come out and mock them for the similarities then say "we won't sue u because it makes us look good" may be that will attract more users lol XD

They are. On topic though, this just shows that Google hasn't had an original idea about anything since it made it's search algorithims. Name one thing that google came up with first that someone else wasn't already doing in some form?

This article is terrible. I'm an android fan sure... but to compare Windows tiles vs an event presentation is, as Tabe said reaching, if not just phishing for a news story. Not to mention, you have a picture of two phones, a WP7 and an Android phone. You are confusing readers into thinking that Android is ripping off WP7. Thats just bad editing. Rethink your takes on articles please because this was ill advised and terribly written.

@mike919 Sorry, not "rethinking" them. Article stays. Deal with it.I only mention Android in relation to IO not the ad, which Google clearly ripped off. And you give readers here too little credit, I think they're smarter than you imply and know we're not saying Android is ripping off Metro--we never insinuate that.Also, I think you can accept the travesty that is having to read an article that you don't deem "newsworthy" once awhile in your daily life--the world won't stop turning and there are more important things to vent on, imo.

they might not be COPYING the metro UI , because its been around for years ,, BUT!! they sure as **** COPY-ED THE ADD!!the little orange slide out thing saying *Saving made simple* that's a total ripoff lol . but w/e I dont get why there are so-many haters on this site. if you dont like articles then dont read it , you dont need to **** people out. this site has more android fan boys then wp7! lmao!

So, your actually getting upset that Ad's look similar, and I find it totally NOT newsworthy?? Get mad when someone rips off WP7 software or IP, not their Ad layout.How can i judge an article without reading it? Go back to playing Halo.

im not the one that's mad , i clearly wrote W/E!! as in i dont really care..people BASHING Mr. Daniel Rubino for his article .. you guys are the cone that are mad feeling like YOU ABSOLUTELY need to insult or bash people that support it and for the record ,, copying an Add like they did would get you SUED in my country so yeah this article makes SENS!! depending on your laws. so this article is NOT USELESS! you have to be ignorant thinking its the same every where and you guys CLEARLY jumped the gun thinking it was.go play Halo? lmao?? is that in insult or a invitation? ..... PS you know what he article is about just by reading the tittle or looking at the picture. but i guess common sens int for every one.

as a graphic designer my self...yeah, that is a total rip off from MS...it's especially bad when MS is their competitor selling similar products.With that said...I designed a brochure for XXXXX company back in 08 with tile design that MS came out 2 yrs later with WP7...but it probably just an coincident since XXXXX company is not that well know.http://www.flickr.com/photos/38835497@N04/5836117947/

The tile presentation could be iffy. Looks like it's semi metro inspired but could go either way. The advertisement is 100% ripped off though. Seems the graphic designers dig that look. Hey, MS should be flattered. :)

Metro UI is nice and all, but just because it's nice doesn't mean it hasn't been around for ages. Modernism was huge in the late 19th and up to the mid 20th century. Microsoft just (finally) did a good job designing a fresh UI that implemented elements of modernism. I don't see anyone calling them out saying they copied from Joseph Muller Brockmann, Vignelli, or Mondrian. All I'm saying is grids are a tool and a lot of people use them, so saying that Google or whoever is "stealing" the idea of grids is ridiculous. Just because the hammers been around for a while doesn't mean I need to use a teddy bear to put a nail in a wall just to be different. Tools are available for a reason, MS just was very effective in using this tool to their advantage.

It's wrong to steal branding especially when they are selling similar products. Branding is what differentiate them from other.

Not saying this to be rude, but Northwest Airlines (now Delta Air Lines) and KLM are partners. So if you're flying Delta, you're flying Dutch as well ;) On topic: I find it really stupid that Google is using Microsofts interface in their products/websites now. Guess they don't have any inspiration anymore? I never liked google, and now i don't like them at all, for certain!

I have to say, m$ did it first. Not literally, but in the technical world, they did. Google surely was standing by to see how it would hold up, and you know if google does it apple is soon to follow (if they dont have something brewing already). And because ios and google is so powerful in the mobile market, there customers would just go w/ it and probably say "we needed this change anyway."