One the biggest elements of Windows 8 is the new Metro interface. If you don’t fancy the idea of installing the Developer Preview version that can be freely downloaded, or using one of the various transformation packs, Metro Sidebar enables you to test drive one of Windows 8’s new feature with a minimum of fuss.
The app adds a new sidebar to the right hand side of your desktop which fairly closely mimics the tiled look of the up-coming version of Windows. In terms of functionality, the options offered by Metro Sidebar are a little on the limited side. The sidebar can be configured to always appear on top of other open windows so the information it displays is always visible.
The sidebar starts by displaying the date and time, and beneath this are the options to restart or shut down your computer as well as locking, logging off or switching user. These are handy as it eliminates the need to visit the Start menu, saving you a click, but it is not something that most people do all that often. Beneath this is an information panel that lists the version of Windows you have installed – not necessarily something you need to be reminded of constantly.
The next section of the sidebar enables you to monitor the state of your hard drive by showing you the capacity, as well as the amount of the free and used space. The final feature of the sidebar, and the only one that can be customised, is a link to the web browser of your choosing. That’s really all there is to it – Metro Sidebar is an attractive piece of software, but it really has little to offer.