Microsoft has released an updated design for the Microsoft Download Center. At the same time, the software giant made a point to reveal that it gets 1 billion unique visitors to the website every year.
The announcement was curiously made via Microsoft's Twitter account (via Neowin): "1 Billion visitors a year and it just got better: New version of the @Microsoft Download Center is now live: http://t.co/Oy4tqhI."
For the record, the 1 billion people per year number is equivalent to over 83.3 million people per month and 2.78 million people per day. That's a huge amount of users visiting a website that has just one purpose: offering up Microsoft content to download. It's thus no surprise that Microsoft wants to keep the website's look fresh, and frankly we feel this update could have come sooner.
Some say the new design shows that Microsoft is continuing to incorporate its Metro typography-based design language into its every property. I wouldn't say that it's the same as what we've seen for Zune and Windows Phone 7, but there are a few similarities, sure. Microsoft has, however, said that it plans to bring Metro to Xbox 360, and we've already seen early glimpses of it in Windows 8.
Metro was designed to consolidate groups of common tasks to speed up usage. This is accomplished by excluding graphics and instead relying on solid-color squares containing information, favoring larger hubs over smaller buttons. Page titles are usually too large and thus encourage the user to laterally scroll to discover more information. Transitions between pages often feature short animations and make up for the general lack of graphical images.