One of the very few choices we have left in this world is the ability to put a picture of family, friends or favourite frags on our desktop backgrounds, but even that facsimile of free will is being withdrawn. According to an interview over at our sister site TechRadar , customisation of Windows 8's new Metro interface will be limited to decisions about the solid colour background.
The reason given is that a photograph wouldn't scale and slide as the icons shift beneath your fingertips – although as the owner of an Android tablet I'm pretty happy with the way Google's got around this issue. Android simply makes the desktop smaller than the image, so that it moves in the background as you scroll.
Thanks to iOS, though, desktop customisation is going out of fashion fast and it's not surprising that Metro introduces more limits. Even Linux is becoming more proscriptive by the day. Still, there's hope yet. I don't think I'm not alone as being able to say that early Windows' backgrounds enhanced my vocabulary, as simple as they were. I'm not sure I knew what 'teal' was until offered it as a choice of shade, and if I remember rightly I could spot a houndstooth background pattern long before I understood its sartorial significance. I certainly owe 'cyan' to the keyboard of a ZX Spectrum.
Perhaps Microsoft could liven up the options with language? Maybe a simple niveous, or a subtle leuchroic backdrop would help Metro icons stand out. If the default smaragdine doesn't appeal, perhaps you'd prefer a sorrel or porraceous alternative?
For those curious to find out more about Metro, the full Windows 8 beta is planned to arrive at the end of next month. It's worth holding off until then to make up your mind.