Microsoft's Metro UI has been rightly praised as a breath of fresh air in the interface design world. The last decade of websites and apps has been highly influenced by Apple, whose skeuomorphism has been both ridiculed and praised.

Picture of Microsoft's Windows Metro UI

Microsoft's designers created a minimalistic but responsive and colorful design language inspired by the stark modernism found in public transit hubs.

I've yet to play with a Windows Phone, which featured the first iteration of this design. Nor do I think I'll use a Windows 8-powered tablet regularly in the future. But I think I'll be using quite a few apps that draw heavily from its influence:

Scorekeeper XL

Clear for iPhone

There's a lot of emotion behind these apps. The stark visual design heightens the effect of the unique sounds and animations. Watching these videos and using Scorekeeper XL (Clear is not out yet) is delightful in the Pixar sense of the word.

Microsoft's designers deserve credit for their innovation. Too bad it won't come in the form of Windows Phones flying off the shelves.