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MetroTwit app hits Windows 8 store

Already taking its fashion sense from Microsoft's Metro UI, MetroTwit has finally found a home in the Windows 8 store.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

The Twitter client MetroTwit is now a full-fledged Metro app available free through Microsoft's Windows store.

MetroTwit users who install the app in the Windows 8 Release Preview will find it similar in many ways to its Windows desktop counterpart.

The app starts off by displaying a column for your traditional Twitter timeline. Clicking on a tweet opens an app bar at the bottom of the screen with a variety of options. You can view the tweet full-screen, reply to it, retweet it, and mark it as a favorite. More options let you open the tweet at Twitter's Web site via your browser, block the user of the tweet, or report the person as a spammer.

Clicking on the author of the tweet displays the person's bio and other details along with a list of recent tweets, followers, and followees. Clicking on a hyperlink within the tweet opens the corresponding Web page in your default Windows 8 browser, which at this point is Internet Explorer.

The left pane displays thumbnail images of your timeline and other columns that constantly refresh themselves with ongoing items. You can manage your columns to display thumbnails for direct messages, favorites, your own tweets, tweets in which you're mentioned, and items that you retweet.

And given the hefty screen real estate, you can add more columns beyond your timeline, for a total of three. So, for example, you can view your timeline, your own tweets, and your direct messages in one screen, similar to the TweetDesk app.

Want to post your own tweet? Right-click on any empty area of the screen, and the app bar appears with an option to create a new tweet. You can include a photo uploaded from your Windows Pictures gallery or snap one with your PC's camera.

The app makes modest use of the Windows 8 Charms bar. Hover your mouse in the lower right hot corner to display the Charms bar and click on the Search charm. You can search Twitter by name, topic, and other items. Search results then pop up in the main window.

Finally, clicking on your own Twitter name in the upper left corner displays your bio, your tweets, the people you follow, and the ones who follow you.

MetroTwit offers some of the same pros and cons that you'll find in other Metro apps.

You can customize MetroTwit to show as much or as little information as you want. But unless you add multiple columns, part of the screen space is wasted.

The user interface is nicely designed. But people unfamiliar with Windows 8 will have to poke around before they figure out how to access all the features and commands. I can see the app working smoothly on a tablet, but navigating via a mouse proved effortless as well.

Like other Metro apps, MetroTwit is listed as being in preview mode. So I'm sure we'll see more changes and refinements along the way. But so far MetroTwit feels like a solid app for any tweeter using Windows 8.