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Denis W.

Windows 8: The Boldest, Biggest Redesign in MS's History

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Split screen should have been in there to begin with.

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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.

If we are talking about the future, obviously those limitations will be dealt with before Desktop goes away, as grayscale points out. There have been several changes deep in the WinRT API between the Developer Preview and RTM, and there's no reason to assume that there won't be dramatic improvements to WinRT in the coming years.

Like Paul Thurrott suggests, this is a new beginning, it is more like WinRT 0.8 and Microsoft is continuing to develop WinRT at a furious pace. To be fair, it is a much more capable environment than OS X 10.0, iOS (then iPhone OS) 1.0 or Android 1.0.

In the meantime, the Desktop is not just there but greatly enhanced over Windows 7. If they had removed Desktop altogether then all of these "But Metro cannot do X" complaints would have some serious weight.

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Like Paul Thurrott suggests, this is a new beginning, it is more like WinRT 0.8 and Microsoft is continuing to develop WinRT at a furious pace. To be fair, it is a much more capable environment than OS X 10.0, iOS (then iPhone OS) 1.0 or Android 1.0.

How did you reach that conclusion? Functionality-wise the OS X Cheetah desktop in itself didn't have any serious limitations compared to the Mac OS 9 desktop. You're also comparing a mid 2001 operating system to a late 2012 one. I doubt that's an excuse you'd really want to use, nor is it something to be really proud of for a company the size of Microsoft.

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That's not a very high bar is it? DOS is usable.

DOS is usable. Remember, we're talking about the term 'usable' in regard to how it is used when describing software.

No one can reasonably state that Windows 7 isn't usable because it doesn't cook them breakfast in bed. That feature wasn't intended and wasn't implemented because it wasn't intended. Likewise, someone cannot state that Windows 8 isn't usable because the "Metro" experience doesn't allow for two app windows of equal size side-by-side?that feature wasn't intended by Microsoft and it wasn't implemented because it wasn't intended. Similarly, a GUI was clearly not intended for DOS. DOS was completely usable. An improved operating system was released that included a GUI, but DOS was and still is usable.

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Windows 8 desktop is perfectly useable. Even with the start screen. Windows 8 metro, though, is completely and utterly unusable. Basically, the desktop, and the tweaks done to it are mostly good, but the ENTIRE new part(metro) is utterly unusable, worthless, and confusing. Yes, Windows 8 is good. No, Metro is not.

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Windows 8 desktop is perfectly useable. Even with the start screen. Windows 8 metro, though, is completely and utterly unusable. Basically, the desktop, and the tweaks done to it are mostly good, but the ENTIRE new part(metro) is utterly unusable, worthless, and confusing. Yes, Windows 8 is good. No, Metro is not.

I remember that Win32 was hardly usable when Windows 95 went RTM (despite being mostly application-compatible with the out-there-for-years Windows NT) and the reason then is the same one that ModernUI is suffering from now - lack of quality applications (apps in ModernUI's case).

In a way, it almost doesn't help the case for developing ModernUI apps that the Win32 compatibility (with Windows 8) is actually better than that of Windows 7, for the most part. (No - I am not kidding, so get your jaw off the danged floor. I'm running software (older Win32 software) in Windows 8 that I either needed compatibility settings for in 7, or couldn't run *at all* - and straight up.) If I were a developer, why would I write ModernUI apps now, when all that is out there that can run them is Windows 8, as opposed to Win32 applications, which can run on 7, Vista, or even XP in addition to 8?

Patience, folks - remember, WindowsRT isn't out in the wild yet!

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I remember that Win32 was hardly usable when Windows 95 went RTM (despite being mostly application-compatible with the out-there-for-years Windows NT) and the reason then is the same one that ModernUI is suffering from now - lack of quality applications (apps in ModernUI's case).

In a way, it almost doesn't help the case for developing ModernUI apps that the Win32 compatibility (with Windows 8) is actually better than that of Windows 7, for the most part.??(No - I am not kidding, so get your jaw off the danged floor.??I'm running software (older Win32 software) in Windows 8 that I either needed compatibility settings for in 7, or couldn't run *at all* - and straight up.)??If I were a developer, why would I write ModernUI apps now, when all that is out there that can run them is Windows 8, as opposed to Win32 applications, which can run on 7, Vista, or even XP in addition to 8?

Patience, folks - remember, WindowsRT isn't out in the wild yet!

Metro isn't unusable because of the lack of apps.??Metro is unusable because of fundamental design idiocy, like the idea that apps have to run in full screen(or with one app snapped in a thin sliver along one side of the screen), there's no real multitasking, no file management, UI controls are hidden, selecting multiple items is hard, right click context menus aren't properly allowed or supported, etc.??These things are ALL by design, and make metro a system that is hopelessly unusable.??No amount of developing and maturing can fix these issues unless MS decides to reverse some of the fundamental design decisions behind the "Modern UI."

Even if ALL the apps available on desktop were ported properly to metro(they won't be, at least not soon), I would still choose to use the desktop, because metro is fundamentally unusable.

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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.

Your definition of usable is completely useless... By your definition then only unusable software is unstable/broken software. As, every program every written is usable by people, since it was written by people, for its intended purpose, unless the code (logic) is broken.

Most people have a far more realistic definition of usable. If it allows them to accomplish their intended task without much friction. Usable is defined a lot like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder.

Computer Definition of Usability: How easy something is to use.

Source: Answers.com

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I still stick by my opinion that Windows 8 in its entirety is perfectly usable for me. I hadn't used Windows for anything proper in years so came into w8 with an open mind and put any old functionality out of mind and I just adapted to how it works. So for me, its perfect, I know how to do things quickly because I'm used to it.

At the start I got myself involved in lots of arguments regarding w8, and it was a case of me thinking "wtf is the problem, it is perfectly usable, deal with it" but that was normally in response to people complaining about lack of a start button etc which is rediculous. But I do understand some peoples opinions regarding it.

I'm torn tbh. I am totally behind Microsoft getting rid of the desktop and doing everything via modern UI in the future but I also think that they should give an option to boot directly to desktop mode.

I also think that if they had desktop mode but the modern UI was like a massive gadget(like a full screen sidebar) that could slide out with all the apps in it would be suitable.

Only reason I say that is because of all the abuse windows 8 has got, meh I still think Modern UI is the way forward and i love it

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Metro isn't unusable because of the lack of apps. Metro is unusable because of fundamental design idiocy, like the idea that apps have to run in full screen(or with one app snapped in a thin sliver along one side of the screen), there's no real multitasking, no file management, UI controls are hidden, selecting multiple items is hard, right click context menus aren't properly allowed or supported, etc. These things are ALL by design, and make metro a system that is hopelessly unusable. No amount of developing and maturing can fix these issues unless MS decides to reverse some of the fundamental design decisions behind the "Modern UI."

Even if ALL the apps available on desktop were ported properly to metro(they won't be, at least not soon), I would still choose to use the desktop, because metro is fundamentally unusable.

That is because (and I've stated this time and again) Modern UI was NOT written with larger displays in mind - it is not meant as a straight-up Win32 replacement.

Modern UI apps are just as multitaskable as Win32 applications (in fact, both types can be cycled using the same maneuver - Alt+Tab).

For large displays, Win32 makes better sense because of features it offers that Modern UI (and WinRT) deliberately lack (such as being able to run in a window, or having child windows - both of which are not allowed in Modern UI apps).

It's also entirely possible that the 2.0 version of the Modern UI (WinRT 2.0) could fix one or both.

The same thinking applies to both developers AND users of Windows 8 going forward - use what application (using what API) works for you.

Note that games (which normally run full-screen) work just fine with the WinRT API - even on large displays; it's the sort of content consumption and gaming that normally run in a window (same with content creation) on desktops that Modern UI (naturally) has issues with. Answer me this - for the type of content consumption/creation/etc.- the same stuff that you complain is unsuitable for Modern UI - do you use Win32 applications that run windowed, or support child windows - features that Modern UI apps lack? (For me, that is indeed the case, which is why I stuck with Win32 applications for these exact usage cases.)

For once, it's NOT one OR the other (regarding Windows) - use what works. (Arguably, that hasn't been the case since Windows 2000 Professional.)

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Your definition of usable is completely useless... By your definition then only unusable software is unstable/broken software. As, every program every written is usable by people, since it was written by people, for its intended purpose, unless the code (logic) is broken.

Most people have a far more realistic definition of usable. If it allows them to accomplish their intended task without much friction. Usable is defined a lot like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder.

Source: Answers.com

No, my definition of usable is the same one you quoted. But what you quoted doesn't consider the absence of entire features as something that makes the software unusable. As I mentioned, an operating system isn't unusable just because it doesn't make you breakfast in bed. Or would you disagree with that sentiment of mine?

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No, my definition of usable is the same one you quoted. But what you quoted doesn't consider the absence of entire features as something that makes the software unusable. As I mentioned, an operating system isn't unusable just because it doesn't make you breakfast in bed. Or would you disagree with that sentiment of mine?

Again, usable is defined by the end user. If the user doesn't think the software is usable then it isn't usable. Since what is usable is defined by the user you have a sliding scale of what constitutes usable software.

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Metro isn't unusable because of the lack of apps. Metro is unusable because of fundamental design idiocy, like the idea that apps have to run in full screen(or with one app snapped in a thin sliver along one side of the screen), there's no real multitasking, no file management, UI controls are hidden, selecting multiple items is hard, right click context menus aren't properly allowed or supported, etc. These things are ALL by design, and make metro a system that is hopelessly unusable. No amount of developing and maturing can fix these issues unless MS decides to reverse some of the fundamental design decisions behind the "Modern UI."

Even if ALL the apps available on desktop were ported properly to metro(they won't be, at least not soon), I would still choose to use the desktop, because metro is fundamentally unusable.

Sounds like you're trying to use Metro like Win32. Here's some help: Don't.

UI controls are hidden by design.

To select multiple items, simply right click.

Right Click menus have been replaced by the app bar, again by design. Metro doesn't need those. The Charms and App Bars are more functional when used on different devices. To activate it, simply right click or drag up from the bottom on a touch device.

It's a new paradigm for a new era of different devices.

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People who say Windows 8 isnt usable, has never used it.

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Again, usable is defined by the end user. If the user doesn't think the software is usable then it isn't usable. Since what is usable is defined by the user you have a sliding scale of what constitutes usable software.

So wouldn't you design software that the majority of the users found useable? You have to have some scale in there someone.

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So wouldn't you design software that the majority of the users found useable? You have to have some scale in there someone.

Of course, the job of the UI designer is to figure out what the target customer will find useable. That doesn't mean the majority of people will find it usable.

To tell the user that their opinion on what is easy to use to them is wrong is illogical. They can't ever be wrong about their subjective viewpoint. Only their viewpoint can differ from yours.

To the UI designer they can be ignored only if they aren't a target user.

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Sounds like you're trying to use Metro like Win32. Here's some help: Don't.

UI controls are hidden by design.

To select multiple items, simply right click.

Right Click menus have been replaced by the app bar, again by design. Metro doesn't need those. The Charms and App Bars are more functional when used on different devices. To activate it, simply right click or drag up from the bottom on a touch device.

It's a new paradigm for a new era of different devices.

I know exactly how to do the things you described.??I also know EXACTLY how much MORE time, clicking, and mouse movement it takes when compared to the desktop alternative.??Call that usable.

It's all by design, and I said so in my previous post. Unusability by design.

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I know exactly how to do the things you described. I also know EXACTLY how much MORE time, clicking, and mouse movement it takes when compared to the desktop alternative. Call that usable.

It's all by design, and I said so in my previous post. Unusability by design.

So then what's any different? You make it sound like you open an app just to sit there right clicking... Try the keyboard shortcuts, if you don't want to click. Win+Z to open the App Bar, Win+C to open Charms.

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So then what's any different? You make it sound like you open an app just to sit there right clicking... Try the keyboard shortcuts, if you don't want to click.

What's your point. For each of the things you described earlier, the metro implementation is inferior to what would be seen on the desktop. It's worse. I can prove it. Do you want me to count exactly how many extra pixels I have to more the mouse, and how many extra clicks I have to make, and then time it to prove that it takes longer? It works. It's worse. Measurably and provably worse.

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What's your point. For each of the things you described earlier, the metro implementation is inferior to what would be seen on the desktop. It's worse. I can prove it. Do you want me to count exactly how many extra pixels I have to more the mouse, and how many extra clicks I have to make, and then time it to prove that it takes longer? It works. It's worse. Measurably and provably worse.

Such a chore.

Again, Metro is designed as an all around UI. Mouse, touch, Kinect, remote. You cannot have a mouse only UI and expect a touch, Kinect, or remote users to be able to use it. Case and point: my HTPC. It's cumbersome to use with my remote that I had to connect a mouse and keyboard to it when it was running Windows 7. With Metro, all that goes away.

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Such a chore.

Something tells me you would defend Microsoft to the death even if they made getting to the Control Panel a 15 step process that also involved moving the mouse cursor all over the screen.

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Such a chore.

Again, Metro is designed as an all around UI. Mouse, touch, Kinect, remote. You cannot have a mouse only UI and expect a touch, Kinect, or remote users to be able to use it. Case and point: my HTPC. It's cumbersome to use with my remote that I had to connect a mouse and keyboard to it when it was running Windows 7. With Metro, all that goes away.

Ah. Sacrifice an accept suffering for the greater good. I cannot have a better experience on my computer using my mouse! ALL input methods must be regarded as EQUALS! NONE shall be better than any other. And after you overthrow all of the bourgeois MB+ mouse users, we shall have a leadership of the 10'' proletariat. We must sacrifice for the mother UI! We are all soldiers of the tablet army!

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Something tells me you would defend Microsoft to the death even if they made getting to the Control Panel a 15 step process that also involved moving the mouse cursor all over the screen.

Which would never happen, so why ask it?

Ah. Sacrifice an accept suffering for the greater good. I cannot have a better experience on my computer using my mouse! ALL input methods must be regarded as EQUALS! NONE shall be better than any other. And after you overthrow all of the bourgeois MB+ mouse users, we shall have a leadership of the 10'' proletariat. We must sacrifice for the mother UI! We are all soldiers of the tablet army!

Touchscreens are found on more than just tablets. There is no sacrifice here. No one is telling you to use the Metro apps.

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