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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: A Call for Common Sense

windows 8 beta stop whining

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#1 BajiRav

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 15:13

This one pretty much sums up my feeling about forum reaction over last week...

source: winsupersite

I've been using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview for over a week now, and have been listening to the bitching and moaning on Twitter and via email since, oh, about 6:45 am PT last Wednesday. (You know, roughly speaking.) And as I write up front in my Windows books, maybe it's time I establish my expectations. For you.

Yes, I'm going on a rant here. And, yes, this time it's personal.

I'm sort of amazed I need to communicate this. After all, you're a power user, right? But I am distressed at the absolute lack of sophistication I see here. And it needs to stop.

All I'm looking for is a little common sense: Either test the Windows 8 Consumer Preview or don't. But if you're intent on using it as if it were Windows 7, please, I'm begging you. Stop wasting your time. And stop wasting mine.

A few maxims off the top of my head.

I will not help you get the Start button back. It's interesting to me how many people rushed out to download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and then, within minutes, suddenly needed a hack to get the old Start button back. Folks, it's time to grow a pair and actually test the new system, provide feedback to Microsoft, and see if you can actually learn to live with it. And you can't do that by installing a third party utility that puts an old-school Start button on the Windows 8 desktop. And no, I will not help you do this. Nor will I do it myself.

The desktop is not the OS. It's an app. Lost amid all the whining about not being able to boot into the desktop and not having the old Start button there either is a simple fact: The desktop is not the OS. In fact, while this isn't technically true, conceptually, the desktop is just an app. The Windows 8 OS is comprised of Windows Runtime (WinRT), the Start screen shell and its Metro-style environment.

And please, dear God, think about this for a moment: All of the system-level stuff--the full screen and toast-based notifications, the Switcher, the system-wide Back functionality, the Start experience and Start tip, and the Charms--are all Metro stuff. Even when you're using the desktop. Because THAT is the operating system. Now use it, deal with it, and figure it out.

Microsoft is not restyling Explorer/desktop. For a reason. Some huge crowd of people failed an intelligence test last week when some tech enthusiast posted a Photoshop-created image of what a Metro-like Explorer/desktop environment could look like to a tech blog, and they all swooned over it. "Microsoft should hire that guy!" one particularly clueless commenter added, pretty much summing up the feelings of the gullible audience. Folks, no. Microsoft is focusing on creating a brand new platform in Windows 8, not making the legacy platform that is the past look better.

And there's a very good reason why they are correct to do so: For those many, many businesses that will rollout Windows 8 alongside Windows 7, the existing desktop environment looks and works almost exactly like its predecessor, and has no compatibility or long-term testing issues. That's the goal for the Windows 8 desktop. All the exciting and new stuff is in Metro. Obviously.

They're called App Previews. For a reason. No more complaints about the Windows 8 App Previews, please. They are called App Previews for a reason and are limited in functionality simply because they are about 6 months behind the rest of the platform. Each of these apps has a Feedback button in the App Bar. If you have an issue, please--please--write Microsoft and let them know. And then install an acceptable alternative and use both side-by-side. You know, so you can get work done too.

Shutting down is not difficult. It's just different. The silliest waste of time argument I've seen about Windows 8 so far, and the one that is absolutely the furthest from a truly useful conversation, is that shutting down the PC is somehow harder, or "more mouse travel," or "more clicks" than it was in Windows 7. Folks, spare me. The people complaining about this are the same ones that were complaining until a week ago that, get this, shutting down Windows over the past 15 years actually required tapping the "Start" button. I mean, how silly is that? /chuckle

Sigh.

Shutting down Windows 8 is easy, and that's true no matter which input type you use:


Keyboard. WINKEY + I, UP ARROW, ENTER, U.

Mouse. Charms, Settings, Power, Shutdown.

Touch. Charms, Settings, Power, Shutdown.


But just so we're clear, it's a modern PC. Why the frick are you shutting down a PC? It's not 1989, people.

No one uses or cares about Media Center except for you. This one is going to hurt, sorry. According to Microsoft, only a tiny, tiny percentage of Windows users have ever launched Windows Media Center, and of those, the vast majority were miss-clicks or one-time uses. And yet I get a lot of email about Media Center, so these few people obviously care quite a bit about this program the other 99 percent has been willfully ignoring for years.

Yes, Media Center is in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Yes, it's no different than the version in Windows 7. And yes, that's all the thought I care to give it. I know this is crazy, what with the "Future of Windows" stuff here, but I'm focusing on the new stuff, and, sorry, but the world has moved on: Most people now get TV and video entertainment services elsewhere. They will in Windows 8 too. Please. Stop asking.

Please.




#2 Wakers

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 15:17

Appealing for common sense in people in this day and age is also a waste of time. There isn't any left.

#3 bogas04

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 15:19

i wonder what will MS do after being @ say beta , while getting so much negative response. I think it would be better if they release it on tablets first and then work for Desktops , just to stay at safe side..

#4 Dot Matrix

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 15:20

Well said, Mr. Thurrott. :yes:


i wonder what will MS do after being @ say beta , while getting so much negative response. I think it would be better if they release it on tablets first and then work for Desktops , just to stay at safe side..


There's no going back. The future of computing is here!

#5 Mr Nom Nom's

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 15:25

I'm a Mac user but I have to agree with Paul - some people really need to grow a pair.

Windows 8 is the right mixture between moving forward whilst at the same time improving in modest measure the traditional desktop - I don't know about you but so far they've done a pretty damn good job at it so far.

If someone were to throw $10,000 at me and said, "buy a Mac or a PC" and Windows 8 was shipping I'd go for the Windows 8 machine - I wish folks here would actually read what they write but I swear almost no one re-reads what they write because otherwise they would never post it after reading it.

#6 johnporter29

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 15:26

I must say that is an excellent post, can we not make this a sticky :D

#7 Phouchg

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 15:33

Mr. Thurrott is hardly in position to propose a convincing argument here. He's been drinking Microsoft's Kool-Aid since 1997.

#8 Sadelwo

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 15:33

Most of the negative centers around the start screen changing the way people use Windows. I've found that once you get the hot corners its real easy

Upper left: App Switching/Selection
Lower Left: Start Screen
Upper Right: Charms Bar

I've had both technical and non technical friends try it and they love it. Just because the focus no longer centers on a start button doesn't make it an inferior windows. Sure the bundled apps need work but it has potential and it runs current software just fine. You can pin your folders (Documents, Pics), make groups and name them. Sure it requires a bit more initial setup than previous Windows but once it is, its beautiful. And just to add, I tend to snap metro apps to the right side of the screen while using the desktop on my 22" monitor just fine.

#9 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 15:35

Sounds like he's a little too butthurt that people aren't drooling over Win 8.

It's interesting to me how many people rushed out to download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and then, within minutes, suddenly needed a hack to get the old Start button back. Folks, it's time to grow a pair and actually test the new system, provide feedback to Microsoft, and see if you can actually learn to live with it.


After reading that blurb, I'd have to say that he's quite an ignorant as*hole. People aren't complaining like crazy for no reason. Plain and simple, it was stupid to make such drastic changes and completely overhaul the Windows we're come to learn over the past 20 years. Microsoft doesn't always know what's right. The users and developers determine that, and we can all see where their standpoint is thus far...

#10 Dot Matrix

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 15:35

Mr. Thurrott is hardly in position to propose a convincing argument here. He's been drinking Microsoft's Kool-Aid since 1997.


Go back and read the many critical articles he has written over the years. The man can be critical of the company when appropriate. But he speaks the truth, if you are taking the time to try out a beta OS, then use the friggin beta OS. Otherwise, you ARE wasting your time.

#11 Phouchg

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 15:46

Go back and read the many critical articles he has written over the years. The man can be critical of the company when appropriate. But he speaks the truth, if you are taking the time to try out a beta OS, then use the friggin beta OS. Otherwise, you ARE wasting your time.

And that is the only argument he should've written - testing it as it is. Opinions of type "**** needs to be changed (for the sake of it) are out of place in any journalism.

#12 AJerman

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 15:56

Wow, Paul Thurrott is still around and people still listen to him? He sounds pretty much like he always has. Like someone who really doesn't know what he's talking about half the time but tries to sound like an expert. News flash genius, not everyone has to follow Microsoft like a sheep. If the ENTIRE WORLD doesn't like the new UI, why should they all just deal with it? If Windows 8 comes out anything like the consumer preview is now, it will be an instant failure. You can barely change the visual style without confusing the hell out of people. Do you really think this Metro crap is going to take hold? It goes against every advancement in computing we've made to this point. Why would we go backwards to a point where multitasking is made more difficult (argue all you want that it's not, even if you can have metro apps side by side, i assure you you will come to a time where you want to flick between 3 or 4 windows, or have them stacked a certain way, and you won't be able to, or at least not as efficiently)? Why would we want a giant full screen, touch optimized start screen, when 95% of the people using it won't have a touch screen, and with increasing screen resolutions, it's just more wasted mousing around to get to something. Sure, there are ways to do things differently, you can adapt to what's changed, but WHY has it changed? There's not one thing that I can see in Metro that seems like a useful change to the desktop computing environment. Is it to make it look better? Because I haven't seen any part of Windows 8 that looks better than Windows 7 yet. Sure it's an opinion, but I'm far from alone in the opinion. I have absolutely no objections with it for a tablet, but that's why Apple has a desktop OS and a tablet OS, because making them the same would be absolutely stupid, as seen here. The tablet OS can even be a full Windows with Metro on top, like Win 8 is, but the desktop really has no need for a huge Metro start screen. And again, it comes back to the same thing, people won't have a clue how to use it. As simple as it may look, and as easy as you may think it is to learn, if you think everyone will just have no issue, you are sadly overestimating the general public's knowledge of computers. Anyone who works in IT supporting non-IT people in any way knows how mind blowing this will be to people and how hard it will be for so many people to grasp, but to me it all comes back to the pointlessness of it. Even if it does work, and even if it does work well, it's just not necessary on a desktop.

Paul is as he always has been. A Microsoft sheep who is more journalist than computer person. He's the last person I'd take any type of computing advice from. I can understand what he's trying to say, but people ARE giving feedback. They are saying Win 8/Metro/the new start screen is garbage. Innovate the traditional desktop that works well because we did years of testing to get to that point and find it's most efficient and works best. I don't care how many shortcut keys you can learn to make using the new system faster, I assure you they are still slower than all the shortcut keys I knew in the previous system.

#13 winlonghorn

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 16:04

A lot of nonsense in this article.


This my friends is a great example of a logical fallacy (Ad Hominem). The definition can be seen here: http://www.merriam-w...nary/ad hominem Don't attack a person's character just because you don't agree with them. ;)

#14 Dot Matrix

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 16:05

And that is the only argument he should've written - testing it as it is. Opinions of type "sh*t needs to be changed (for the sake of it) are out of place in any journalism.


Again this change isn't "just for the sake of it". Look at what has happened since Windows 7's release: we have iPads, Droids, Kinects, ultrabooks, etc.... The consumer market pretty much rejected Windows 7 based tablets. Why would Microsoft then try to shoehorn a desktop-only Windows 8? The results would be no different.

They were forced to change to compete with the tablet market. What they're doing here opens up the 90% market share they have to new and exciting things - Metro apps written for ARM will work on Windows desktop, and vise versa. They also intend to be fully compatible with Windows Phone shortly as well.

Upscaling Windows Phone, like many say they should do, wouldn't have worked due to it's currently small market share and wouldn't have given Microsoft a leg up on Apple.

#15 Guest_glyfz_*

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 16:06

If you work for the majority of the time on the desktop then a start menu makes sense, but as long as someone offers that option, which is 100% certain, then it's fine. Even if you are happy with no start menu then I still think a button to return to the home page is more intuitive than a hot spot.

No one shuts their computer down these days, really, that's news to me? I would have thought most home owners do as do many companies, my last place had policy that computers were shutdown overnight. As to how easy it is (or not) then it's not obvious as things stand and might be easier to find if it were in the users avatar menu.

MS may want to go completely metro and kill off the desktop completely but obviously there are plenty out there who don't want this. And as it is part of Windows 8 then a more metro look would have made sense just to unify things, but I'm really not bothered.

Agree about media centre, but that's just me.