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How would you fix Metro on the desktop? My list:

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#106 OP XX55XX

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 00:38

Dot Matrix, you still have failed to answer my basic question, even after all of these days: Why is this new paradigm of control more superior than mouse and keyboard on the desktop? Is there a nagging problem that the mouse and keyboard are failing to rectify? Besides offering a unified platform under one API, how is touch/motion controls on a desktop ergonomically superior to a mouse and keyboard?

You claim it's a the future, but the only change I've noticed going from Windows 95 to now is increased cloud synchronization and increased connectivity between devices.


#107 Dot Matrix

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 00:43

Dot Matrix, you still have failed to answer my basic question, even after all of these days: Why is this new paradigm of control more superior than mouse and keyboard on the desktop? Is there a nagging problem that the mouse and keyboard are failing to rectify?


Go back and take a look at the infographic I posted from ZDNet. It'll answer your question.

Also I never said touch was superior, the superior method is up to the user, but touch exists, and it's something that Windows 7 *could* do, but not too well compared with the iPad, but the point is touch exists on the desktop, at POS terminals, and tablets, and as such it's nice to have an OS that can cater to all input methods equally and not in a biased fashion as the past paradigm did.

#108 Wyn6

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 01:15

The rest of your post follows the theme laid out in the opening, change for the sake of change. There is no benefit to fostering change unless is actually brings benefits to the table that outweigh the cost of retooling for that change. Currently Metro doesn't bring that to the table, for desktops.

The wheel has been the same for thousands of years... Doesn't mean we need to start using square blocks just because it hasn't "changed" in a long time :|


I left the argument for a bit. But, I'm back now. Citing your example above... what was the point of bothering with the mouse? At the time of its introduction, it didn't currently bring benefits to the table that outweighed the cost of retooling for that change. The keyboard worked just fine for the computing environment it was used in. As a matter of fact, when the mouse was created, there wasn't a myriad of software which took advantage of it. So, was the mouse just change for the sake of change?

Somebody saw what the mouse COULD be and saw what it MIGHT/WOULD bring to the future of computing. Lo and behold, software developers began writing software which utilized the strengths of the mouse. And, here we are today arguing its merits and use for the future of computing. It has become a staple, a mainstay. Guess what? That will not always be the case.

Windows 8 and the Metro design language (design is a different discussion) and computing environment are merely the beginning, in my opinion, a step in the right direction. The potential benefits are enormous here. Once software developers begin writing software that utilizes the strengths of WinRT and different methods of input, we'll truly see what Microsoft has sparked here. It may seem to be, at this moment, change for the sake of change. But, there is a plan behind it.

I can see interfaces which can be overlaid on any surface or ARE the surface on which we work. Contextual touch controls, that is controls relative to which app/program we are using, would pop up including keypads. These would allow for granularity, macro to micro controls text and voice input. I'll expand on this type of input in some later argumentative post. This video is a good example of an early type of this interface:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzoXPav7uzs

That's only one example. Different software can be developed with different controls, voice and key input which would obsolete the mouse. You all keep saying "Metro" which, while we all know what we mean, isn't quite accurate. Metro is a design language and philosophy which includes Live Tiles and is written using the Windows Run Time environment. A Start/Home Screen from which you launch various applications isn't new anymore. It's merely an evolution of the icon-ridden desktop.

Microsoft is simply catalyzing a movement toward the future with Windows 8. It was once said that necessity is the mother of all invention. I would like to modify that statement saying that, necessity is the mother of all invention and desire its father. We don't simply change because we need it. Sometimes we bring about change because we desire it. Change born of need or want can either be good or bad.

I believe in 30 years when this discussion is upon us again, the mouse will have fallen by the wayside and we'll be arguing the newest paradigm shift. But, I ask all of you this who throw out the "change for the sake of change" argument. Since mouse and keyboard currently work just fine, should we never change? If something works well, must it stay the same for all time?

P.S. vehicles still use wheels because we haven't perfected magnetic propulsion yet. ;)

#109 OP XX55XX

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 01:43

Well, now that you put it that way, Wyn6, I am more open to the idea of multiple inputs depending the situation. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that Microsoft hasn't been communicating Metro very well with the consumer audience as a whole. Most people have spoken out harshly against Metro in Windows 8.

I don't hate Metro, personally. I want to see it improved. It's something new, and people harbor biases against new things. They venerate what is ancient, because what is old is trusted, and thus, respected. It's why you don't hear people saying that Dragon Age Origins was a better game than Baldur's Gate 2, because doing so would shatter the mythical quantity that supposedly was BG2.

#110 +LogicalApex

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 01:52

...snipped...


As mentioned in my post you quoted, Metro is weak on the Desktop, not on touch centric devices. The reality here is simple. Metro is a touch focused UI (touch first as Microsoft likes to call it) and is being shoe horned into a non-touch interface. The problems of touch, such as lack of percision, really don't work for the desktop where the tasks are geared toward high precision tasks.

It boils down to (in basic terms) touch UIs are for consuming and mouse and keyboard centric UIs are for creation...

The mouse wasn't lauded when it arrived, but its intergration into the computing landscape took something in the range of 20 years. Its balance into UIs was also very limited and gradual for a very long time. No one is arguing that touch will go away and play no role in computing. The issue really is how fast touch is being integrated into the desktop with Windows 8. It isn't being done in the gradual manner that a change as large as this needs to be done (so workflows can slowly be adjusted to the new paradigm and to allow the paradigm to adjust to reality).

#111 BeerFan

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 13:42

"How would you fix Metro on the desktop?"
I'd get rid of Metro and call it 'Windows 7 SE..


This. 1000 times, this.

#112 .Neo

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 13:44

He's showing that Metro is complimentary... not a replacement. It works with the desktop - not designed to eliminate it.

If anything the desktop is now complimentary to Metro instead of the other way around: At startup you're immediately confronted with Metro - as the primary interface - while you can choose to load the desktop. The latter is there so you're still able to run traditional applications since the switch to Immersive won't happen over night. It's not how you make it out to be.

#113 Mordkanin

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 13:51

I decided to use it for a bit before making up my mind, and I like it.

However, the biggest problem is multimonitor support.

It needs the ability to drag metro apps between monitors, and the start menu shouldn't close when the desktop becomes active on one of my other monitors.

I have three monitors at both work and home, so I think it's actually quite awesome in that setup if they fix the multimon support.

As it stands, I want my primary monitor and the monitor the start menu pops up to be different. In my particular setup, it'd be better if the notification area was on Monitor two, while the start menu always popped up on one.

However, that isn't to say that I might not want to launch the music app on Monitor 3, etc.

#114 Dot Matrix

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 13:56

Heads would roll if Microsoft released a "Windows 7 SE", and charged people for it. The shareholders wouldn't stand for that, and the tech press would have a field day, claiming Microsoft's irrelevance in light of the iPad.

#115 jordanspringer

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 14:00

I think the Shutdown options are perfect how they are tucked away. You don't see an easy way to shut off an iPad. Microsoft doesn't want you shutting off your device. It will have low power "always on" sleep mode (like the iPad) which you will use instead. There really isn't a way to turn off the iPad in the OS. You need to use the hardware button. This is what Windows will do too.

#116 Hum

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 14:00

I'd remove it.


Plus 100.

Windows should be as customizable as possible.

Those of us who don't want to use Metro should have an easy option to revert to a Start menu.

Safe to say that there will be a big market for third parties to sell software to gut Metro.

#117 Deactivated.

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 16:29

I think the Shutdown options are perfect how they are tucked away. You don't see an easy way to shut off an iPad.

Just goes to show that Windows 8/Metro was designed for devices like an iPad.



If anything the desktop is now complimentary to Metro instead of the other way around:

Exactly. As some people around here like to remind us, the Desktop is a (Metro) app now. Or that's how MS wants you to think of it.

#118 BajiRav

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 16:56

Web pages go up and down. That way scrolling is better. Or better yet M$ better give us a touch screen with every purchase. Lol.

This is a good argument http://www.thinkingf...g/archives/5469

Exactly. As some people around here like to remind us, the Desktop is a (Metro) app now. Or that's how MS wants you to think of it.

and what is the problem with that?

#119 Wyn6

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 18:44

This is a good argument http://www.thinkingf...g/archives/5469


This is something I've always wondered about. Why do web pages scroll up and down as opposed to sideways which is the way we read everything EXCEPT web pages? And, the whole back button paradigm too. I always thought, there should be the ability to swipe the direction you wish to go on a web page. Swipe right to go back, swipe left to go forward. I tried to think what the logistical issues would be with this type of navigation.

Looking at Windows 8 on touch, for example. MS has instituted this very thing. On a web page you swipe one way or the other to go backward and forward on the page. This, to me, is brilliant even though the back button is still there. That's more of a weaning process I suppose. But, looking at the page dhan referenced, the first thing I thought about when reading was "flow". And sure enough, the author mentions flow of the eye is better when reading left to right or right to left in some Asian cultures. Either way, it's horizontal and not vertical.

I can certainly see more pages being set up this way as opposed to how they are now with the ability to swipe between pages. What would be even better is if we could somehow negate the need to load pages. If we could simply swipe over to the next page to have a seamless, less disruptive web reading experience, I think that'd be the bees knees.

Let's look at how we do now. This thread has 8 pages thus far. To get to the next page from a current page or the previous page from your current page you click one of the small numbers at the bottom left. However, if there was no loading of the page, we could simply swipe left from our current page to get to the next or swipe right to get to the previous. This, along with pages that scroll horizontally, in my opinion, flows considerably better and makes for a more nominal reading experience on the web.

I wonder if this post is as incoherent as I believe it to be?

#120 Salutary7

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 23:38

This is something I've always wondered about. Why do web pages scroll up and down as opposed to sideways which is the way we read everything EXCEPT web pages?

Vertical scrolling is IMO the more natural way to go. Headings and other dividers serve to separate text by its content, whereas pages separate text in ways that may not reflect anything intrinsic to the document. Obviously, using pages on a physical document is necessary because the medium it's printed on should be convenient to use--and you can specify page breaks in CSS just for the purpose of converting to physical media.

On the flip side, people have been putting out horizontal scrolling webpages for some time now (well before the advent of Metro), but I think they've mostly been for novelty rather than practicality. Who knows, though? Maybe we'll see a lot more people putting the concept to use after they've been exposed to Win8.