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Common sense fixes to Windows 8

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#196 +warwagon

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 16:56

The whole point of Metro is to eliminate clutter. These things don't need to be visible on screen every second. It's nice to have my screen space available to my content and work, and not cluttered with every single control known to man.


Do you autohide your taskbar?


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Posted 20 March 2013 - 17:02

The whole point of Metro is to eliminate clutter. These things don't need to be visible on screen every second.

Except that the task bar can't be revealed at all when you're in Metro, let alone be made permanently visible. Also, I wouldn't necessarily consider the task bar to be "clutter"...

It's nice to have my screen space available to my content and work, and not cluttered with every single control known to man.

Yeah, but that's kind of a non sequitur in this context...

#198 Dot Matrix

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 17:13

Do you autohide your taskbar?


Yes. I do.


Except that the task bar can't be revealed at all when you're in Metro, let alone be made permanently visible. Also, I wouldn't necessarily consider the task bar to be "clutter"...


Yeah, but that's kind of a non sequitur in this context...


What? There's a taskbar at the top right corner...

#199 Davo

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 17:23

I'd say the only true common sense fixes are:

1.) Make the Charms Bar not a piece of ****. If all you use is Modern UI, it's fantastic until it kicks you back to the desktop. If you use the desktop, it's incredibly useless and worse, also very easy to bring up. Ambiguous titles, important tasks being under layers, etc.

2.) Make Search, ironically, modern. If you pin a shortcut of the shell extension for searching from File Explorer, it works incredibly well. If you use the abomination that is Modern UI search, good luck. It's almost like asking the laziest person you know to find something. If they need inspiration, look at "Google Search" on Android phones.

3.) Just because someone might be using Windows 8 on a touch-only device, doesn't mean they don't want customization. Even if they have to do something annoying like Apple does (small link at the top left or top right of the app) to access a useful number of options, it would be extremely helpful.

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 17:37

What? There's a taskbar at the top right corner...

You mean in my screenshot? Yeah, that's ModernMix doing its job, a commercial 3rd party hack (that admittedly works rather well all things considered). Metro apps aren't even listed on the task bar by default. If you include advantages ModernMix brings with it in your argument, then you can hardly argue that Microsoft have made prudent out-of-the-box decisions? Guess what though, I agree with you on the following:

"These things don't need to be visible on screen every second."

But that's not the same as saying, these things shouldn't be visible at all whenever you're in a Metro app. A user's decision for or against using a Metro app doesn't necessarily correlate with the wish for a distraction-less single-tasking environment. Unless Microsoft specifically wants to exclude everyone else from using Metro apps, in which case, fine, I guess it's not for people like me then, I already have an iPad, no need for such an environment on the Desktop.

But what about letting users put an app in a "no distraction" mode (and back again), or actually letting users customize the amount of "clutter" that they want to have removed from the screen. No? ok. :(

#201 Dashel

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 17:57

It's nice to have my screen space available to my content and work, and not cluttered with every single control known to man.


That truly is hilarious. On one hand, you clearly are still rocking a small screen so its unsurprising you try to maximize your limitations. On the other, I'm quite skeptical that any 'work' you are doing is complex enough that you need the screen space for content and not controls.

A user's decision for or against using a Metro app doesn't necessarily correlate with the wish for a distraction-less single-tasking environment...

But what about letting users put an app in a "no distraction" mode (and back again), or actually letting users customize the amount of "clutter" that they want to have removed from the screen. No? ok. :(


QFT. I'm still optimistic though. If MS shows uncharacteristic fortitude on this, it is possible that we are mistaking its smell for the fact that it isn't potty trained yet.

#202 Dot Matrix

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 18:28

You mean in my screenshot? Yeah, that's ModernMix doing its job, a commercial 3rd party hack (that admittedly works rather well all things considered). Metro apps aren't even listed on the task bar by default. If you include advantages ModernMix brings with it in your argument, then you can hardly argue that Microsoft have made prudent out-of-the-box decisions? Guess what though, I agree with you on the following:

"These things don't need to be visible on screen every second."

But that's not the same as saying, these things shouldn't be visible at all whenever you're in a Metro app. A user's decision for or against using a Metro app doesn't necessarily correlate with the wish for a distraction-less single-tasking environment. Unless Microsoft specifically wants to exclude everyone else from using Metro apps, in which case, fine, I guess it's not for people like me then, I already have an iPad, no need for such an environment on the Desktop.

But what about letting users put an app in a "no distraction" mode (and back again), or actually letting users customize the amount of "clutter" that they want to have removed from the screen. No? ok. :(


Top left corner. Sorry. It's hidden, but Metro still has a tasbar, and the desktop can be found on it.

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 19:06

Top left corner. Sorry. It's hidden, but Metro still has a tasbar, and the desktop can be found on it.

Oh, I see. Well, then I guess we're now down to semantics as to what makes a task bar. I see the switcher on the left side as a listing of your workspaces, with Metro apps each listed under separate workspaces, and all Desktop apps living in one single workspace. (and by the way…why not more than one?) Now arguably for most people, some if not most of their work will be done in the single "Desktop" workspace whose apps are not individually listed on Metro's "task bar" at all. The only way to utilize the app switcher on the left in the same way that you would use the task bar is by abstaining altogether from Desktop apps.

#204 Dashel

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 22:28

Dot, Metro has an app switcher, not a Taskbar. That's like calling the Dock a taskbar.

#205 Ian W

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:09

Has anyone else seen Paul Thurrott's Fixing Windows 8? He currently has six articles regarding the subject.

I discovered it yesterday and I believe that he has some nice ideas.

#206 Davo

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:25

Thurrott has always been annoying at best...

to the businesses who may be your only viable customers in a few years.

and full of Microsoft doom-and-gloom at worst.

#207 Dashel

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 15:53

Has anyone else seen Paul Thurrott's Fixing Windows 8? He currently has six articles regarding the subject.

I discovered it yesterday and I believe that he has some nice ideas.


Yep, some good ideas there. More importantly he addresses the culture issue that Davo apparently just wants to ignore.

Bring back NT!

#208 Dot Matrix

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 18:40

NT? Dear God, why? :wacko:

NT was great back in the day, but it's outdated now.

#209 BajiRav

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 18:42

NT? Dear God, why? :wacko:

NT was great back in the day, but it's outdated now.

I think he meant the brand not the NT4 kernel :p

#210 Dashel

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 20:30

Um, the transition of WP8 was to the NT kernel from CE smart guy.

Read the Thurrott article, its about culture/brand, not tech, which is MS's greater issue and why their decisions have the potential to make Win8 such a make or break risk for them long term. It doesn't threaten the consumer darlings in iOS/Android but it does make business nervous because MS doesn't even have a strategy yet. The identity crisis of Win8 is MS saying we don't know what the future holds.

"The people who can’t stand Windows 8 are the same that used to gravitate to NT, power users, IT pros, and developers, and they would have happy-ecstatic, really—to give up the Fisher Price silliness of Metro for a desktop-only version of Windows 8 that is actually optimized for the hardware they really use...Something that’s necessary to remind customers that Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about the doers in its mad rush to satisfy the fat content consumers who only care about playing Wordament and checking Facebook with their fingers. This silliness needs to stop. And NT is the answer."
http://winsupersite....e-bring-back-nt