^^^ It's almost like it's an interface that was designed and built by Fisher Price. Sadly, this was the description I gave of Windows 8 when its screen shots started gracing our presence in online reviews.
I, too, think it's amateurish looking, but apparently it's all the rage now. One of my favorite online web mags (Smashing) just recently did an article on this, sadly, in favor of the practice, rationalizing all the things I mentioned above and then-some: Flat and Thin Are In
- blaming (or crediting) most of this "trend" on information over-saturation allegedly inherent within previous-generation interface designs. Something I disagree with. Many have confused "feature-rich" with "busy" over the years. I agree that some have blurred the lines and delivered bloated products to justify higher price tags, but if an interface designer knows what he/she is doing, an interface can effectively deliver a large amount of information without bogging the design down with perfunctory widget-mongering. Again, it seems to be a lost art.
Ugh. Well, since things like this seem to come and go in a pendulous manner, I guess I'll just have to wait for another 10 years for it to swing back.