Microsoft .NET components and controls company Syncfusion has released its Metro Studio 1 suite of more than 600 vector-based Metro icons. Free to use and freely customizable, this release of comes just days after the release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
Bemoaned by some industry observers who have accused Microsoft of trying to fit excessive tablet-focused styling into its new operating system, Windows 8 has frustrated many users at first touch due to its lack of "Start" button. Regardless, both Syncfusion and Microsoft call Metro "a fresh perspective on interfaces that have a simpler, more intuitive design" overall.
As developers now start building (and testing!) Windows 8 applications, Synchfusion's free icon offering may work to encourage this seemingly intangible intuitiveness that we have all been promised.
Syncfusion's Metro Studio 1 will allow programmers to quickly deploy test Metro applications in the Windows 8 Preview — and icons in Metro Studio 1 have been designed in accordance with Microsoft's guidelines for Metro user interfaces.
The icon suite contains images targeted to multiple industries including finance, and healthcare as well as general icons labeled as "essential" to all applications. The icons themselves are accessed through an interface (presumably an "intuitive" one) that allows icon color and size to be customized. Since all icons are vector based, modifications are said to be easy and output to various formats, including XAML, is described as quick.
"We strongly feel that this is an important package; we want to put it out there for the community to use," said Daniel Jebaraj, Syncfusion's vice president of product development. "When you're starting to develop Metro applications, you have to visually differentiate them. You need to have the right kind of Metro images to spruce up your app, and Metro Studio 1 will help you to do that," says Jebaraj.
In designing Metro Studio 1, Syncfusion felt it was imperative to provide it at no cost to the development community so applications could be quickly deployed and tested without calling on a graphic designer. By expediting application development, Metro applications are more likely to be ready and stable by the time the final version of Windows 8 is released.