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Windows 8 Perspectives - The power user and the teenager

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#1 Denis W.

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 21:38

Was linked by the Building Windows 8 Twitter account. Interesting perspective, though it seems like another example of younger generations being faster adopters than their older siblings and parents.

Windows 8 has been criticised quite a bit in the press for some of the decisions Microsoft has made around user interface. As more and more criticism has surfaced, a negative spiral seems to have been created, and it has now become fashionable for pundits and techies to write off Windows 8 as a failure, even before it has hit the market commercially.
I have to say that a lot of the complaints I have seen have left me scratching my head. It's almost as if the critics are talking about a totally different piece of software to the one I have been using. My own experience of Windows 8 has been generally pretty positive, and I wonder whether a lot of the negative judgements made are based on either hearsay or very limited hands on time, rather than any level of in-depth use.
During this post I am therefore going to provide a couple of different perspectives based on the use of Windows 8 on more of a continuous real world basis for a reasonable length of time. I'll start out with my personal experience in a hard-core business context, but for a completely different view, I'll also provide some feedback gathered from one of my teenage kids, who has also been using Windows 8 for some time.


Continued at: http://www.cio.co.uk...d-the-teenager/


#2 +warwagon

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 21:44

In the article it says she likes windows 8 on a tablet. Of course she likes it on a tablet, it's made for one. I wonder if she ever tried it on a desktop and if so has she ever used windows 7 to compare it to?

#3 Dot Matrix

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 21:55

I saw this too, and read it earlier. I agree whole heartedly with the bit about dual monitors and the Start Screen.

The first and most obvious advantage is being able to access the start screen and system shortcuts from any monitor. Another important feature is the option of having independent task bars on each screen. The idea here is that the task bar on any given monitor reflects the application windows placed on that monitor.

Such changes might seem trivial, but they translate to a lot less mouse movement and head swivelling, which is both faster and physically more comfortable. Once you get used to the new way of working, going back to the old Windows 7 approach of all menus and task management being driven from one 'main monitor' seems very awkward and inefficient.

The usability benefit on the laptop when used in keyboard/mouse mode is not as great, but is still worthwhile. The combination of the new start screen and various shortcut mechanisms, e.g. right clicking in the bottom left-hand corner to bring up all systems functions, means that you that you can do pretty much everything on Windows 8 with fewer mouse clicks and less mouse movement than you need with Windows 7. I did find it took me a little while to get used to the corner/edge activated menus, but after a few hours of just getting on with work, it all became very natural.

On a controversial aside, I personally think Microsoft was right to do away with the old start menu, which to me now seems cramped, clumsy and inefficient when I go back to a Windows 7 machine. Being a typical lazy human being that gravitates to the familiar when given a chance, if the start menu was there I probably would have continued using it and failed to take advantage of the more efficient navigation mechanisms designed into the Windows 8 desktop. Now I wouldn't want the start menu back, even if I could have it, as it would be totally redundant, arguably even counterproductive.



In the article it says she likes windows 8 on a tablet. Of course she likes it on a tablet, it's made for one. I wonder if she ever tried it on a desktop and if so has she ever used windows 7 to compare it to?


Considering the article mentions Windows 7, I would assume yes.

#4 BajiRav

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 05:15

I hope every "power user " around here who is concerned about "normal/average users" read this part at least,

Thoughts on the Learning Curve
The interesting thing in all of this is that never once has my daughter commented on the Windows 8 user interface. Looking over her shoulder, she happily flits between desktop and touch mode, and just gets on with it. This further confirms to me that UI related concerns commonly expressed by reviewers are more to do with lack of familiarity (perhaps sometimes accompanied by an unwillingness to make the effort) rather than inherent usability issues.
Having said this, familiarity among existing users is obviously an important consideration in a business context. Hitting a mixed ability workforce with replacement tools that are new and unfamiliar can lead to friction, productivity issues and a spike in calls to the help desk if users are not prepared for the change.
Given the usual lag between consumer and enterprise adoption of new Windows releases, the good news is that there are likely to be at least some members of the average workforce familiar with Windows 8 by the time it is rolled out, and the availability of co-worker support is not to be underestimated. There's then always the option of end user training, even though this is something that often gets overlooked.

So as I have said repeatedly, the only problem normal people will have with Windows 8 will be the know-all power users around them.

In the article it says she likes windows 8 on a tablet. Of course she likes it on a tablet, it's made for one. I wonder if she ever tried it on a desktop and if so has she ever used windows 7 to compare it to?

Did you even read the article? The author presents two views. He himself used it mainly on a dual monitor desktop and presented his daughter's reaction because he didn't use it much on a tablet. I guess both sides are well covered.