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Posted

Was looking at a handout for one of my courses, and there was a link to a webpage. On the same webpage was this link to an article about Windows 8. If you look past the oft-repeated generalizations at the top and read the entire article, there are some interesting tidbits inside about how Windows 8 came to be.

For instance, a nickname for an early mockup of Windows 8 was "Pocahontas."

Read here: [url="http://www.fastcodesign.com/1670705/microsoft-new-design-strategy"]http://www.fastcodes...design-strategy[/url]

edit: whoops, didn't see this on the FP: [url="http://www.neowin.net/news/first-windows-8-mockup-from-2010-was-called-pocahontas"]http://www.neowin.net/news/first-windows-8-mockup-from-2010-was-called-pocahontas[/url]

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Posted

This is a pretty insightful read. And I couldn't agree more about the iCal part :p

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Posted

Very interesting. Thanks.

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Posted

http://www.neowin.net/news/first-windows-8-mockup-from-2010-was-called-pocahontas :p

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Posted

[quote name='jakem1' timestamp='1348039860' post='595188909']
Very interesting. Thanks.
[/quote]

And the point of the post is, in fact, dead-on - Windows 8 is, quite literally, a step in quite a different direction for Microsoft.

And while a lot of the detractors - albeit grudgingly - admit that such a step HAD to be taken, they would still have preferred that Microsoft in general, and Windows in particular, NOT take it.

After going through three Previews (Developer, Consumer, and Release) and then having thrashed the RTM bits since almost a month ago, here's my takeaway on Windows 8.

1. As different as the UI is from the direction set by the past decade-plus of Windows, you wouldn't know it from how solid the application, game and hardware compatibility is. (That, in and of itself, is remarkably different from previous versions - one of THE biggest issues with upgrading Windows - software backward compatibility - is a non-issue.)
2. As opposed to Windows 7, which tended to hide the keyboard under the mouse-biased Start menu that Windows has had since 9x/NT4, the Start menu's excision meant an improved focus on two areas that even Windows 7 was lacking in - keyboard-friendliness and touch-friendliness. (The lack of keyboard-friendliness of Windows XP/Vista/7 frankly bugged me - especially since it was by design.)
3. It's a shame that it's not as easy to get users more open-minded about what you can do with the admittedly-wildly-different UI - without changing applications. (Practically *all* the angst and criticism is about the UI being so different. I've seen more FUD about Windows 8 than I have about Vista - which had far greater issues with backward compatibility - especially in terms of applications.)
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Posted

It says Ballmer provided the team no guidance or direction on the UI and met the UX people just once or twice! :s No wonder.
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Posted

Good little read that, cheers.

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Posted

[quote name='MsftGaurav' timestamp='1348041818' post='595188967']
It says Ballmer provided the team no guidance or direction on the UI and met the UX people just once or twice! :s No wonder.
[/quote]

No wonder indeed. Because he is simply not expected to provide any insights or inputs on UX front.
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Posted

[quote name='MsftGaurav' timestamp='1348041818' post='595188967']
It says Ballmer provided the team no guidance or direction on the UI and met the UX people just once or twice! :s No wonder.
[/quote]
Ballmer isn't a design guru, nor is he a design professional; his job is to run the company and make decisions about what happens in the company. He obviously had faith in the professionals he hired to design a brilliant product, and he probably would have checked out the design throughout the development process and been happy with it. The article says he provided the team with no guidance or direction; it doesn't say he wasn't in on deciding "yes" or "no" to proposals from his team. The former is not his job; however, making decisions for the company is his job.

This is probably how many software companies work. The professionals in the field of design propose the direction and the CEO (or the person running the company) decides whether he or she believes that's a good direction or not.
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Posted

Thank You for posting. It was fun reading the article.

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Posted

Windows 8 is utterly crap. I want an OS I can use, not a damn design showcase!
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Posted

[quote name='The King of GnG' timestamp='1348050224' post='595189129']
Windows 8 is utterly crap. I want an OS I can use, not a damn design showcase!
[/quote]
So you can't use something that is usable and designed well; does it have to be poorly designed in order for you to feel you can use it?
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Posted

[quote name='The King of GnG' timestamp='1348050224' post='595189129']
Windows 8 is utterly crap. I want an OS I can use, not a damn design showcase!
[/quote]

Huh? I've been using it for almost a year and a half. How is it unusable?
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Posted

I have to disagree with the title.

Windows 95 was the boldest/biggest redesign in Microsoft's history.
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Posted

[quote name='Calum' timestamp='1348050542' post='595189135']
So you can't use something that is usable and designed well; does it have to be poorly designed in order for you to feel you can use it?[/quote]
Clever reply.

Does Metro in Windows 8 RTM allow me to split screens 50-50 so I can see two apps at the same time?
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Posted

[quote name='.Neo' timestamp='1348051686' post='595189175']
Does Metro in Windows 8 RTM allow me to split screens 50-50 so I can see two apps at the same time?
[/quote]

Doesn't in Windows Server 2012 and the one I have is final retail.

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Posted

[quote name='.Neo' timestamp='1348051686' post='595189175']
Does Metro in Windows 8 RTM allow me to split screens 50-50 so I can see two apps at the same time?
[/quote]
No. But that has nothing to do with whether the operating system is usable or not. I'm talking about the agreed definition of 'usable' as it relates to software development; that definition revolves around whether the software can be used by people for its intended purpose, not whether users will want to use it or not due to the features it contains. I perhaps didn't make my question in that post clear, but that is what I meant.

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Posted

Use the desktop version of the app and stop bitching like little girls.

"Metro is terrible because I can't use 2 apps at a time.. While using Metro.. Instead of the desktop that lets me do this"

No sympathy for idiots.
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Posted

[quote name='Calum' timestamp='1348051903' post='595189181']
No. But that has nothing to do with whether the operating system is usable or not.[/quote]
My question was separate from Windows 8 being in any way usable or not.

[quote name='articuno1au' timestamp='1348052328' post='595189185']
Use the desktop version of the app and stop bitching like little girls.

"Metro is terrible because I can't use 2 apps at a time.. While using Metro.. Instead of the desktop that lets me do this"

No sympathy for idiots.
[/quote]
Honestly thinking I'm not aware of that option doesn't really testify of much intelligence either, nor does immediately referring to people as "idiots". I'd like to think that at some point Microsoft would want to move away from the desktop, perhaps keeping it for legacy purposes only, and invest fully in their Metro interface. Hence the reason I wonder how they're going to address this issue. If I'm unable to have a future Metrofied version of Word and Excel side-by-side it's going to have a serious impact on usability. For me at least. Performing a multi-touch gesture after each line is going be undoable when working on certain administrative tasks.

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Posted

[quote name='Calum' timestamp='1348051903' post='595189181']No. But that has nothing to do with whether the operating system is usable or not. I'm talking about the agreed definition of 'usable' as it relates to software development; that definition revolves around whether the software can be used by people for its intended purpose, not whether users will want to use it or not due to the features it contains. I perhaps didn't make my question in that post clear, but that is what I meant.[/quote]
For me anyway, it's totally usable... but not always convenient or as productive as the desktop versions. Needs a bit of refinement yet. The split screen thing being a great example.. needs some more functionality added to it. Something along the lines of AwesomeWM on a *Nix box if that makes any sense.. I totally get the full screen thing, but sometimes it sure would be nice to be able to bring up a few more apps and have them all displayed at the same time.. obviously needs to take screen size into account, if you're on a little tablet this isn't going to fly, but on a system that has a ginormous resolution, why not?

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Posted

[quote name='remixedcat' timestamp='1348051849' post='595189179']
Doesn't in Windows Server 2012 and the one I have is final retail.
[/quote]
We're all aware that ModernUI apps are designed to be run full-screen; however, what is stopping you from running Win32 applications side by side (identically to Windows 7)? Absolutely nothing.

If anything, I can run *more* Win32 applications at once on the same hardware compared to Windows 7.

That's REAL usability - at least to me.

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Posted

[quote name='.Neo' timestamp='1348052384' post='595189189']
My question was separate from Windows 8 being in any way usable or not.
[/quote]
But I was questioning his claim that it isn't usable. So I'm not quite sure what you're asking me. From my experience, and the experience of many, Windows 8 is fully usable.

[quote name='Max Norris' timestamp='1348052539' post='595189193']
For me anyway, it's totally usable... but not always convenient or as productive as the desktop versions. Needs a bit of refinement yet. The split screen thing being a great example.. needs some more functionality added to it. Something along the lines of AwesomeWM on a *Nix box if that makes any sense.. I totally get the full screen thing, but sometimes it sure would be nice to be able to bring up a few more apps and have them all displayed at the same time.. obviously needs to take screen size into account, if you're on a little tablet this isn't going to fly, but on a system that has a ginormous resolution, why not?
[/quote]
That's what I was getting at :) Thanks. It's usable, regarding the features it has and what was implemented, but the features they've added may not be better than what was previously available and some may feel the features could be greatly improved.

Personally, I'm happy with how limited Windows 8 is, but I would be interested in how they could implement your suggestions in a way that keeps me happy. If they can, that would be great, because it's giving us more functionality (and it would be functionality that I wouldn't have to use if I didn't want to).

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Posted

[quote name='Calum' timestamp='1348052777' post='595189197']that definition revolves around whether the software can be used by people for its intended purpose, not whether users will want to use it or not due to the features it contains.
[/quote]
That's not a very high bar is it? DOS is usable.
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Posted

[quote name='.Neo' timestamp='1348052384' post='595189189']
I'd like to think that at some point Microsoft would want to move away from the desktop, perhaps keeping it for legacy purposes only, and invest fully in their Metro interface. Hence the reason I wonder how they're going to address this issue. If I'm unable to have a future Metrofied version of Word and Excel side-by-side it's going to have a serious impact on usability, for me. Performing a multi-touch gesture after each line is going be undoable when working on some administrative tasks I have to do from time to time.
[/quote]

The thing about the point you're raising is that, you're asking about the ability to adjust the snap feature on Metro [b]now[/b] (while Desktop is still there) because you're considering what they're going to do [b]in the future[/b]. Can't we cut them off some slack and see how they adjust or adapt based on how users use this new way of presenting apps? We don't know if this 1/3|2/3 snap feature will still be present on the next version of Windows.

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Posted

[quote name='grayscale' timestamp='1348053361' post='595189209']
The thing about the point you're raising is that, you're asking about the ability to adjust the snap feature on Metro [b]now[/b] (while Desktop is still there) because you're considering what they're going to do [b]in the future[/b]. Can't we cut them off some slack and see how they adjust or adapt based on how users use this new way of presenting apps? We don't know if this 1/3|2/3 snap feature will still be present on the next version of Windows.[/quote]
On itself that's fair enough. The thing is though that these limitations in Metro could have a serious impact on the switch towards the new interface. Beyond that the solution is so simple: Allow us to drag that separation bar around on screens with a resolution larger than X. I honestly have no idea why I'm "forced" into this 80-20 concept.

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