Microsoft's goal is a 'lean and mean Windows running everywhere'

Microsoft's career website is often a treasure trove of information if you are willing to dig through the thousands of job postings the company currently has available. Often, through these postings, you can see the direction Microsoft is taking internally with its products and this helps the observer, better understand Microsoft's vision. 

On this edition of reading career postings, we can see that Microsoft's goal is to get a "lean and mean Windows running everywhere." More so, Windows Phone 8 is the first product that we know of that falls into this category. 

It's quite simple really, Microsoft is working to reduce the footprint of its OS so that it can be run on more devices and have better performance, with slower hardware. With Windows now being free on devices under 9 inches for OEMs, which undoubtedly will have lower specs, keeping a lean and mean Windows high on the agenda makes a lot of sense.

Additionally, with the company's new 'Windows on Devices' for the Internet of Things, Windows will have to be a lightweight product if Microsoft hopes to power the next generation of devices.

While these job posting don't offer any deep insights into the company, they do provide a framework of what the development themes are within the organization. Much like how Lotus coined that 'simplify, then add lightness' to a car is a feature, Microsoft is looking to do the same with Windows.

The result of this work, which may not be on the forefront of the marketing campaign, will benefit consumers in the long run as Windows, as a platform, will become more nimble and take up less of a footprint when installed. If you remember when the Surface originally launched, there was quite a bit of negativity surrounding how much space the OS occupied on a brand new device, and with this initiative, they are certainly addressing that feedback.

Source: Microsoft Careers 1 2 | Thanks for the tip h0x0d!

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Very funny. This is basically what I was asking to my Microsoft Account Manager for months already in 1998, specially after they showed us the first Windows CE and were advocating their ability to put a Windows capabilities in relatively less memory amount.

Windows Xp, Windows XP Tablet Version, Windows XP Embedded, Windows Mobile 5, Windows Mobile Smartphone edition and Windows CE..

-Microsoft, 10 years ago.

Brony said,
Windows Xp, Windows XP Tablet Version, Windows XP Embedded, Windows Mobile 5, Windows Mobile Smartphone edition and Windows CE..

-Microsoft, 10 years ago.

There was no "Smartphones" 10 years ago, nor was there a "Windows Mobile Smartphone edition"

It's about time. a 20GB base install for an OS is ridiculous. And that doesn't even include fundamental software such as an office suite, fully featured image manipulation, etc. I can install a GNU/Linux distro that includes a ton of software for less than a fifth of that. Talk about bloated.

simplezz said,
It's about time. a 20GB base install for an OS is ridiculous. And that doesn't even include fundamental software such as an office suite, fully featured image manipulation, etc. I can install a GNU/Linux distro that includes a ton of software for less than a fifth of that. Talk about bloated.

You do realise that almost half of that is due to drivers and another chunk due to hard links being counted as space being used when in reality it isn't. Honestly, do you even try to get informed about the situation with Windows? I'm no Windows fan (heck, I'm a Mac user ) but at least I inform myself on what the actual situation is in the world of Windows.

xdot.tk said,
They should leave drivers where they belong...on the DVD.

Don't even put them on the DVD anymore. Just make an online repository for them that can be accessed during setup.

Dot Matrix said,
Don't even put them on the DVD anymore. Just make an online repository for them that can be accessed during setup.

That is what they've started to do already with the printer drivers which makes up a huge chunk of the driver archive. What ever the case maybe you sometimes do need local drivers archive because you can't always get onto the internet.

margrave said,
Didn't they kind of do this sort of thing with Win RT?

No.
WinRT was porting to a different CPU architecture.
Now that effort has been done it's about making NT even more modular and ensure that on the smallest device it runs both the smallest install footprint possible as well as the lowest memory footprint possible.

Entirely different engineering goals than porting architectures.

neonspark said,
one has to wonder what their goal was before :)

Jim Achlin had a good interview a while ago where he talked about how Windows went way off track - from a gorgeously layered and modular code base to the mess we see today all due to a generation of coders throwing things at the wall hoping for something to stick resulting in the spaghetti code mess that the current engineers are trying to clean up.

It must be particularly galling for a company like Microsoft - a company dedicated to developing state-of-the-art software products - for a pathetic shambles of a product like Android to come along and gain serious global market share. It must also be galling that a brand-marketing company like Apple who produce shiny-but-thin software systems is even compared to their work.

Microsoft have always had the advantage that they can produce real software where their competitors can't - they only pretend they can. But the company has never fulfilled its potential.

Their problems started with Bill Gates at the helm. Bill understood programming, not software. As anyone who knows Bill will tell you the guy didn't know how to USE a PC. Ballmer was a slight improvement. He was a "user". But Ballmer didn't know the insides of how software was created. He didn't write code.

Now, it seems, Microsoft has a CEO who fits both bills - he knows how users think and he understands how coders code. I think he knows that Microsoft can use their ability to write great software in huge quantities to deliver exactly what users want. The jury has only just retired. But things are already looking up.

A Chrome OS-like version of Windows is probably something Microsoft are looking at quite seriously. Windows RT could be great if it were marketed as a device similar to Chromebooks.

A lighter version of Windows running just modern apps. No desktop mode at all. That is "Always On" and kept up to date would be great. Windows RT is great but it is horrible in how it works from a user interface point of view with the desktop still being there. Windows Explorer should be gone with just the OneDrive app used for local and OneDrive file and folder navigation. With universal apps coming it should be great. A solid OS with some great apps available for the more intensive things such as multimedia work and games and web apps that can be treated like native apps will be sweet :)

agreed. I think they started the right moves by making windows for free on small devices. But they really need to push it up to everything. After all windows revenue from the consumer space hasn't been their primary cash cow for ages.

bithush said,
A Chrome OS-like version of Windows is probably something Microsoft are looking at quite seriously. Windows RT could be great if it were marketed as a device similar to Chromebooks.

A lighter version of Windows running just modern apps. No desktop mode at all. That is "Always On" and kept up to date would be great. Windows RT is great but it is horrible in how it works from a user interface point of view with the desktop still being there. Windows Explorer should be gone with just the OneDrive app used for local and OneDrive file and folder navigation. With universal apps coming it should be great. A solid OS with some great apps available for the more intensive things such as multimedia work and games and web apps that can be treated like native apps will be sweet :)

Well, I like having the ability to use the desktop when my surface rt is "docked" (aka connected to a large monitor + mouse + keyb.). The desktop should appear as some alternate mode when a mouse is connected or maybe be listed as a feature that the user activates (kind of like the way we have to "turn on" telnet now).

The desktop in RT is useful for file management, if nothing else. The Onedrive app doesn't come close for ease of use to Explorer yet.

DConnell said,
The desktop in RT is useful for file management, if nothing else. The Onedrive app doesn't come close for ease of use to Explorer yet.

Agreed the OneDrive app is not good enough to replace Windows Explorer yet but in the future it could be and then the desktop could be removed fully :)

DConnell said,
The desktop in RT is useful for file management, if nothing else.

... and nothing else.
If they would sign the damn powershell_ISE for use in WinRT.

Enron said,
I think Windows will be embedded in shoes.
Can't wait! I have a few people in mind I'd like to toss those at.

DConnell said,
Or add the ability to run desktop programs in Metro and dump the desktop side.

It's about as likely, honestly.

Desktop is the real OS while Modern UI is a front-end. So, it is unlikely that MS will get rid of Desktop for a long while.

Does less foot print necessarily lead to better performance? SSD and DDR3 RAM both contribute significantly to Windows performance on modern devices already. Of course, slimming down Windows will certainly mean ability to store more files and apps, then again, when you look at the future of how computing will be done, will be storing a lot of your data locally? Personally I am working on moving all my files (photos, documents) to Cloud services such as OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive. The only thing I am not moving is music and videos for obvious reasons.

seeprime said,
IMO Windows RT should be touchscreen only, once Metro Office becomes a real thing.

Just unpin the tile

seeprime said,
IMO Windows RT should be touchscreen only, once Metro Office becomes a real thing.

Why? When I connect my surface rt to a bigger screen w/mouse and kb, I mostly use the desktop as if it was a "real computer" (which it is). There should at least be an "unlock/activate desktop" feature for power users.

pantera9 said,

Why? When I connect my surface rt to a bigger screen w/mouse and kb, I mostly use the desktop as if it was a "real computer" (which it is). There should at least be an "unlock/activate desktop" feature for power users.

Then use Surface Pro. That's what it was built for, plus you don't have to worry or not if some developer is going to recompile an app for the RT platform for you.

Dot Matrix said,

Then use Surface Pro. That's what it was built for, plus you don't have to worry or not if some developer is going to recompile an app for the RT platform for you.

I don't have a Pro, and I won't buy one just to use the desktop occasionally. It's great to have the opportunity to use it if I want to. I may buy the next version of Pro though.

I really think MS is going to end up dumping traditional windows as we know it. They'll make windows a service. Pay monthly, and you get the best windows you can possibly have PLUS a whole bunch of other goodies. They're already doing this for Office 365. If you subscribe, you get the latest and greatest office all the time, plus you can put it on 5 computers, plus you get 20GB of additional OneDrive space, PLUS 60 minutes/mo of Skype calling.

Imagine a windows that you can get and place on 5 computers. Plus you get 50GB OneDrive, plus you get Skype minutes, plus Xbox Music subscription. Wouldn't that be epic? Hell, let's throw in Xbox Video subscription too, because let's face it they're going to battle Netflix directly, one day.

Depending on the value they provide in that subscription, I wouldn't mind grabbing it. I already pay for Office 365, and it's absolutely worth it.

warwagon said,
What legacy code would you remove?

I would also jump on the subscription model, if it's cheap enough. I'm using Adobe CC at the moment, and it's excellent value (at the discount price they offered last year and early this year.. not the standard amount though)

kidjenius said,
I really think MS is going to end up dumping traditional windows as we know it. They'll make windows a service. Pay monthly, and you get the best windows you can possibly have PLUS a whole bunch of other goodies. They're already doing this for Office 365. If you subscribe, you get the latest and greatest office all the time, plus you can put it on 5 computers, plus you get 20GB of additional OneDrive space, PLUS 60 minutes/mo of Skype calling.

Imagine a windows that you can get and place on 5 computers. Plus you get 50GB OneDrive, plus you get Skype minutes, plus Xbox Music subscription. Wouldn't that be epic? Hell, let's throw in Xbox Video subscription too, because let's face it they're going to battle Netflix directly, one day.

Depending on the value they provide in that subscription, I wouldn't mind grabbing it. I already pay for Office 365, and it's absolutely worth it.

I was JUST thinking about that before opening these comments. Widows, office, skydive, Xbox music, Xbox live, Skype all bundled together for a decent price is something I'd totally pay for.

Yes, I think this post makes the most sense in a while. It's also a very Satya-ish idea.

I think Microsoft is in a hurry though; I don't think they're in a situation they like to be in today. It could be that even something as early as Windows 9 will take the first steps towards this future, as its surprise feature. I can picture the vision being completed with Windows 10 and the presentation showing the "0" fading away to form "Windows 1" / Windows One.

I would be disappointed if Windows 9 only seeked to further alleviate the desktop/Metro issue. I think that problem has been solved well enough by Windows 8.1 Update 1. If there's a still a problem, I think it's a platform problem, not a user interface one.

They are not going to charge for the OS. That is their strategy. They are basically leaving that model for the more profitable free OS as a Trojan horse to services and advertisement.

kidjenius said,

Depending on the value they provide in that subscription, I wouldn't mind grabbing it. I already pay for Office 365, and it's absolutely worth it.

However, and it is a big problem, may be the CURRENT price of Office 365 is just a lurebait. For example some Google Apps moved from free to cheap then later to an expensive and finally it gets rid of the free service leaving a service that it is not quite convenient.

Did you mean "One Windows for each device?" In other words, a Windows optimized for the device on which it is installed--phone, tablet, laptop, desktop.

j2006 said,
Yessss... can't wait for a lighter yet more powerful Windows. One Windows for every device :D

Except the Xbox One. That's 3 Windows for one device! :p

TsarNikky said,
Did you mean "One Windows for each device?" In other words, a Windows optimized for the device on which it is installed--phone, tablet, laptop, desktop.

Yes.
With the changes is in the Microsoft server stack this is not nearly as impractical as it sounds.

dead.cell said,

Except the Xbox One. That's 3 Windows for one device! :p


2 actually, but even that is wrong as it's the same windows, just different superstructure ;)

TsarNikky said,
Did you mean "One Windows for each device?" In other words, a Windows optimized for the device on which it is installed--phone, tablet, laptop, desktop.

It's one windows for every device, but it's also one windows for each device.

Every device will have the same windows in that it will have the same new lean and mean optimized mini kernel. Then you have the GUI stuff on top which is optimized for each device and some variations in available APIs and the size of the APIs. Like DX12 for Windows and Windows Phone won't be exactly the same, the phone version won't have quite the full spec of the desktop version. And with universal apps even the top level stuff becomes more and more the same.

But at the core of it, it's one windows for every device

Maybe in Windows-9? We can only hope. On installation, the user will select the UI/GUI to use. Such an elementary concept! Why didn't Microsoft think of that for Windows-8?

HawkMan said,

But at the core of it, it's one windows for every device

With cloud delivery I'd say even "Add/Remove Windows features" will be customized at install time based on the hardware that is detected, thus certain subsystems could be eliminated from the base install, aka SMS support only for those devices with the proper SoC.

HawkMan said,
2 actually, but even that is wrong as it's the same windows, just different superstructure ;)

Wasn't being serious but thanks?

I've been saying this for a while now. Microsoft is starting anew with Metro - There's TONS of legacy code that just doesn't belong in Windows anymore. I know a certain one or two people will detest me for saying that, but it's the truth. It's been more than time to slim Windows down.

warwagon said,
What legacy code would you remove?

Start with the registry. Start streamlining the UI. Why does Windows 8.1 have two control panels? Streamline everything into the new one, and remove the old one!

Dot Matrix said,

Start with the registry. Start streamlining the UI. Why does Windows 8.1 have two control panels? Streamline everything into the new one, and remove the old one!

Replace it with what? Little INI / INF files?

As far as the control panel, they better do a job with the Metro Control Panel then they are currently doing. I much prefer the old control Panel. Although what they should remove is that stupid Category View. How worthless!

warwagon said,

Replace it with what? Little INI / INF files?

I never said replace it, but there's tons of code in there that can be removed.


The Metro Control Panel has finally given Windows users what they have asked for for years - unified access to settings. The Category View was needed for organization. I much prefer that to the crappy "classic" view.

warwagon said,
Replace it with what? Little INI / INF files?

Oh God no.. we left that back in the 90's for a reason. Chasing down text files in random layouts and conventions scattered throughout the file system? No thanks. I'll take the easy to use database with a consistent interface and a proper security mechanism any day, I'll leave .ini's to those with a time traveling DeLorean.

Dot Matrix said,
Start streamlining the UI. Why does Windows 8.1 have two control panels? Streamline everything into the new one, and remove the old one!

Because programs that add control panel items that weren't written for the Modern UI won't work with it?

Dot Matrix said,

Start with the registry. Start streamlining the UI. Why does Windows 8.1 have two control panels? Streamline everything into the new one, and remove the old one!

For once I agree, the registry is ancient and needs to go, I prefer the classic control panel but wouldn't mind something better however the modern control panel needs a lot of work before I would prefer it over the old but that's just my personal taste.

category view isn't worthless if you learn where things are from any view, I prefer category view because its less cluttered and can still get to the options I need just as fast because I took the time to learn where everything is listed...and honestly w/ global search now in the os, the control panel itself becomes unnecessary if you really want to get down to it

Dot Matrix said,


Start with the registry. Start streamlining the UI. Why does Windows 8.1 have two control panels? Streamline everything into the new one, and remove the old one!

I swear the reason MS invented the registry was because of piracy.

Not that I am an Apple fanboy. I am surely not and do not own a mac. However, it is SO NICE when when imaging a mac or getting a new one. That 40 gig World of Warcraft install? Just copy DONE. No re-install required. On a PC with 5 dvd and 3 years worth of 40 gigs of patches can take up to 2 days on Windows!

But since I do professional IT let me tell you the registry at this point CAN NOT go away. A standard procedure for GPO (group policy objects) lockdowns are built in registry templates. Redirects and all other settings are stored in the registry.

I was a fan of this until last month during the XP migration which is why I did the hate posting of leaving XP if it worked. These things are nice and supposed to be easy. However when you have 15 inheriented group policy objects and 20 created for each different OU that all do different registry things it can be challenging troubleshooting.

But so much of this is a pillar on all that is corporate IT is based on it will be hard to ever replace. The registry is like English. A terrible bastard language where dyslexia shows its other head. Latin languages in comparison are so elegant that people need to be tested for dyslexia unlike the US. But it is standard at this point.

I fought category view for a while, and now use it exclusively because it really is the best and easiest way to get to things. That, plus the search box in the upper right is all you need.

Tegument said,
category view isn't worthless if you learn where things are from any view, I prefer category view because its less cluttered and can still get to the options I need just as fast because I took the time to learn where everything is listed...and honestly w/ global search now in the os, the control panel itself becomes unnecessary if you really want to get down to it

list view isnt worthless if you learn how things are named, I prefer list view because its much less cluttered and can get to the options I need much faster than any other view because I took the time to learn how everything was named...and honestly w/ global search now in the os, the control panel is still faster, because you obviously dont know all the names and its very quickly accessed through the startmenu as a menu entry.

Dot Matrix said,

Start with the registry. Start streamlining the UI. Why does Windows 8.1 have two control panels? Streamline everything into the new one, and remove the old one!

You just have demonstrated that you understand nothing about Windows NT. Stop talking about it, please.

Dot Matrix said,
I've been saying this for a while now. Microsoft is starting anew with Metro - There's TONS of legacy code that just doesn't belong in Windows anymore. I know a certain one or two people will detest me for saying that, but it's the truth. It's been more than time to slim Windows down.

I've been saying this since the Windows 8.0 / RT betas. There is too much legacy code. dism on rt? why? do it at server yes, client...no

Dot Matrix said,
I've been saying this for a while now. Microsoft is starting anew with Metro - There's TONS of legacy code that just doesn't belong in Windows anymore. I know a certain one or two people will detest me for saying that, but it's the truth. It's been more than time to slim Windows down.

Metro does start anew in so many regards. What are you missing?

- WinRT: A new development platform, streamlined for modern demands.
- User interface: A new user interface paradigm, streamlined for modern demands.
- Windows Store: A new distribution model, streamlined for a modern "app" model.

Slim down? Metro doesn't include anything besides Metro... You seem to be getting at not Metro, but everything *except* Metro? The Win32 platform still there for desktop development, the whole desktop interface, and so on? That's where you find your legacy stuff. Metro is the least of all legacy code here... I'm not sure why we even bring up Metro. For once, Microsoft is being progressive.

I often get the impression that people going on about "there's too much old cruft!" don't really know much about the topic at hand. For any sensible discussion to take place: Please be much more specific. Which aspects of the code neeeds to be reworked? Remember that reinventing everything will lead to tons of new bugs that need to be ironed out as well as a very long development time. The project will likely crash into the ground when a company takes on too much at once; just watch the Longhorn disaster. You need to present specific, quite massive benefits for that to be worth it.

The Windows 8.1 kernel is modern and it's running faster on more hardware than in a very long time (much better than Vista and even Windows 7 in some cases), as well as being very mature and rich in features. It also runs well on ARM architectures so there's not that hardware reason either.

Edited by Northgrove, Apr 22 2014, 8:00am :

Northgrove said,

Metro does start anew in so many regards. What are you missing?

- WinRT: A new development platform, streamlined for modern demands.
- User interface: A new user interface paradigm, streamlined for modern demands.
- Windows Store: A new distribution model, streamlined for a modern "app" model.

Slim down? Metro doesn't include anything besides Metro... You seem to be getting at not Metro, but everything *except* Metro? The Win32 platform still there for desktop development, the whole desktop interface, and so on? That's where you find your legacy stuff. Metro is the least of all legacy code here... I'm not sure why we even bring up Metro. For once, Microsoft is being progressive.

That is what I was talking about. The Win32 side is the biggest. What I was hinting at is that someday, Microsoft would remove the Win32 side all together, and just leave the new Metro environment.

sinetheo said,

I swear the reason MS invented the registry was because of piracy.

The Registry was formed as a "Central Nervous System" for Windows, used to clear up the profusion of .INI files of older programs.


Guys, I'm *NOT* saying to remove it! Just clean it up a bit. Microsoft has even admitted there's code in Windows they don't even know what it does, or what it's for.

warwagon said,

I much prefer the old control Panel. Although what they should remove is that stupid Category View. How worthless!

+1! And thank god there were GPO's you could set List View as default!!

sinetheo said,

That 40 gig World of Warcraft install? Just copy DONE. No re-install required. On a PC with 5 dvd and 3 years worth of 40 gigs of patches can take up to 2 days on Windows!

But since I do professional IT let me tell you the registry at this point CAN NOT go away.

Since you do professional IT, surely you know that even in Windows you can simply copy-paste the World of Warcraft folder from one system/drive to another, without the need to re-install it again.

Dot Matrix said,

That is what I was talking about. The Win32 side is the biggest. What I was hinting at is that someday, Microsoft would remove the Win32 side all together, and just leave the new Metro environment.

Again, you still don't get it. Outside of 'install base', having additional 'subsystems' or legacy support doesn't COST the OS anything in terms of performance.

NT is NOT Linux nor OS X, nor does it behave like other OSes where support systems must be running to keep legacy code enabled and usable.

Microsoft can keep Win32 aka the WinSxS subsystem until the end of time, and if they choose, it would cost 0 CPU cycles and 0 RAM unless an application was using the WinSxS subsystem.

Again, what you keep talking about is just borderline silly, and you do no understand NT. PERIOD

As for the article, extraneous code does exist that can further be layered to not be active and yes there are more optimizations that can happen, but that doesn't mean you have to gut the OS to accomplish this, especially with the banal things you bring up as suggestions that 'YOU' think are bad for the OS.

The work on WOA and from the optimizations for WP and tablets has brought a ton of battery and performance improvements to Windows NT, that even Server gains the benefits. This will continue, but doesn't mean Microsoft has to remove key design features or legacy code, NT just doesn't work that way.

Odom said,

+1! And thank god there were GPO's you could set List View as default!!

Since you do professional IT, surely you know that even in Windows you can simply copy-paste the World of Warcraft folder from one system/drive to another, without the need to re-install it again.

That is true of WoW but many programs simply won't work properly or at all if you move them and will require a reinstall (or editing the registry) to fix them.

sinetheo said,

I swear the reason MS invented the registry was because of piracy.

Not that I am an Apple fanboy. I am surely not and do not own a mac. However, it is SO NICE when when imaging a mac or getting a new one. That 40 gig World of Warcraft install? Just copy DONE. No re-install required. On a PC with 5 dvd and 3 years worth of 40 gigs of patches can take up to 2 days on Windows!


Yeah, that's one program. Mac is also fragmented and has many different places configuration files are stored, believe me, it is an absolutely pain in the arse trying to find some of them. If you like the files approach though, iOS does it much better, each app is sandboxed with it's own local folders for configuration, so you can just drag the main app folder to another (compatible) device and have the same settings there, assuming they aren't locked by a UUID key or whatnot.

Dot Matrix said,
What I was hinting at is that someday, Microsoft would remove the Win32 side all together, and just leave the new Metro environment.

That would be the day most people stop using Windows. The last thing people want is for Windows to move to a closed-ecosystem where Microsoft gets a 30% cut of everything sold and has complete control over the approval of software, where you can't run apps in windows and which lacks the flexibility or power of the desktop. I mean the idea that Windows wouldn't allow you to run apps in windows is just... hysterical.

Metro, in its current form, is virtually unusable on the desktop. For tablets it's great.

Dot Matrix said,

What I was hinting at is that someday, Microsoft would remove the Win32 side all together, and just leave the new Metro environment.

Thank god you don't work for microsoft.

Dot Matrix said,

I think it's time to push boundaries, yes.

You mean it's time to "force" things onto people that they want nothing to do with?

Order_66 said,

You mean it's time to "force" things onto people that they want nothing to do with?

There are very few who have been vocal against the changes. A little more refining, and you'll see resistance go away. It's a new era of computing, and Windows is changing to meet these new trends.

Dot Matrix said,

There are very few who have been vocal against the changes. A little more refining, and you'll see resistance go away. It's a new era of computing, and Windows is changing to meet these new trends.

You forgot to use the word "Experience"

Dot Matrix said,

There are very few who have been vocal against the changes.

LOL, say what? No offense but it is like you are living in your own little bubble. Deserved or not Windows 8 was a disaster in the market, the vast majority HATE it. That's the main reason why its market share is still dismal compared to Windows 7. Saying very few have been against it is absurd.

Dubstep Nixon said,

LOL, say what? No offense but it is like you are living in your own little bubble. Deserved or not Windows 8 was a disaster in the market, the vast majority HATE it. That's the main reason why its market share is still dismal compared to Windows 7. Saying very few have been against it is absurd.

Don't confuse hate with aversion to change. At the end of the day, no matter what form it takes, Windows 8 is here to stay, and the technology shows no signs of going away. Metro applications, Windows Store, and Live tiles are kickin' strong.

Dot Matrix said,

Don't confuse hate with aversion to change. At the end of the day, no matter what form it takes, Windows 8 is here to stay, and the technology shows no signs of going away. Metro applications, Windows Store, and Live tiles are kickin' strong.


Actually metro apps, the store and live tiles are fine where they are on WP8 and tablets but windows 8 is already failed legacy and is gradually being replaced by 8.1 and now 8.1.1.

Windows 8 is not here to stay at all.

Order_66 said,


Actually metro apps, the store and live tiles are fine where they are on WP8 and tablets but windows 8 is already failed legacy and is gradually being replaced by 8.1 and now 8.1.1.

Windows 8 is not here to stay at all.

And you call me delusional? Metro apps are evolving into Universal apps (and that's a HUGE deal), and the Store + Live Tiles are still very much the center of attention in Windows 8.1.

Dot Matrix said,

And you call me delusional? Metro apps are evolving into Universal apps (and that's a HUGE deal), and the Store + Live Tiles are still very much the center of attention in Windows 8.1.

Yes indeed the store and live tiles are the center of attention for WP8.x and rt devices.

They are also the center of attention when realizing the reasons windows 8.x.x has completely failed on the desktop.

Dot Matrix said,
Don't confuse hate with aversion to change.

It's arrogant to dismiss all criticism as aversion to change. I have upgraded on day one to each new version of Windows for the past fifteen years, testing the pre-release versions, and while Windows 8 is a decent desktop operating system it is let down by the Metro integration. The Charm Bar, PC Settings, the Metro Switcher and the Hot Corners are all unnecessary on the desktop and impede the usability. The apps themselves are even worse, as you have to either run them fullscreen (which precludes any multitasking) or pinned (which limits their functionality).

Thankfully Microsoft has recognised a lot of the criticism and will be introducing a new Start Menu and will allow Metro apps to run on the desktop, which goes some way to addressing the usability issues. We don't see Microsoft dropping the desktop any time soon - in fact its prominence is going to be increasing.

theyarecomingforyou said,

The Charm Bar, PC Settings, the Metro Switcher and the Hot Corners are all unnecessary on the desktop and impede the usability. The apps themselves are even worse, as you have to either run them fullscreen (which precludes any multitasking) or pinned (which limits their functionality).

That isn't the case at all. I love having access to each of those bits on my desktop. The Charms Bar is a wonderful addition. It's nice to be able to use that to multitask.

The Charm Bar is utterly unnecessary. Settings should be available through the Control Panel; Devices has no use on the desktop; the Start Button already exists on the desktop; Sharing is only for Metro apps, as desktop apps already have such functionality; Search is available through the Start Screen.

You seem to have an unhealthy obsession with Metro. To use terms like "wonderful" and "love" to describe the Charm Bar is verging on fanatical. You lack any objectivity.

theyarecomingforyou said,
The Charm Bar is utterly unnecessary. Settings should be available through the Control Panel; Devices has no use on the desktop; the Start Button already exists on the desktop; Sharing is only for Metro apps, as desktop apps already have such functionality; Search is available through the Start Screen.

You seem to have an unhealthy obsession with Metro. To use terms like "wonderful" and "love" to describe the Charm Bar is verging on fanatical. You lack any objectivity.

So, basically instead of going one step to do things, you'd rather go ten instead? It takes one click to open Personalization, now you want me to make 5 or 6 clicks? Same with network settings. The new Settings area is much better than the Control Panel, and has a cleaner layout.
I use the Share Charm daily. It's nice to be able to share things without having to even have Facebook or Twitter open. Reading list is also a must have for me. Also, I guess you don't have devices connected to your desktop? Nothing at all?

I have a printer, scanner, HDTV and mobile phone connected to my computer but have found no use for the Devices function.

As for Personalisation, it takes two clicks on the desktop (right-click > Personalise) versus two clicks on the Charm Bar (Settings > Personalisation) - the difference is that the Charm Bar requires a lot more mouse movement and is less efficient according to Fitt's Law. PC Settings is even worse, as it takes up the entire screen despite 90% of it being wasted space (that figure is accurate, I'm not exaggerating). Here is a screenshot: http://postimg.org/image/rnfdz8moj/

It would be better for Microsoft to improve the Control Panel rather than forcing people to use PC Settings.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I have a printer, scanner, HDTV and mobile phone connected to my computer but have found no use for the Devices function.

As for Personalisation, it takes two clicks on the desktop (right-click > Personalise) versus two clicks on the Charm Bar (Settings > Personalisation) - the difference is that the Charm Bar requires a lot more mouse movement and is less efficient according to Fitt's Law. PC Settings is even worse, as it takes up the entire screen despite 90% of it being wasted space (that figure is accurate, I'm not exaggerating). Here is a screenshot: http://postimg.org/image/rnfdz8moj/

It would be better for Microsoft to improve the Control Panel rather than forcing people to use PC Settings.

Amen!

theyarecomingforyou said,
The Charm Bar is utterly unnecessary. .

Except the Charms bar is context sensitive to whatever app you're using.
You expect every app dev to write their settings into control panel applets?

You don't understand the charms bar and what it means on the Modern side. Just because the legacy desktop remained relatively unchanged doesn't mean that a new touch first paradigm can't fix things going forward for people wanting to brave this new world.

deadonthefloor said,

Just because the legacy desktop remained relatively unchanged doesn't mean that a new touch first paradigm can't fix things going forward for the incredibly tiny, minuscule number of people wanting to brave this new world.

Fixed that for you.

deadonthefloor said,
Except the Charms bar is context sensitive to whatever app you're using.

And all it does is replace functionality already available on the desktop, like drag & drop. If I want to share a picture from File Explorer to Photoshop all I have to do is click and drag it. Can I do that in a Metro app? Nope.

In principle the idea of universal functionality that apps can hook into is great. In practice it does nothing to improve usability or productivity. It's far quicker for me to click & drag between apps on the desktop than it is to share content between Metro apps.

deadonthefloor said,
Just because the legacy desktop remained relatively unchanged doesn't mean that a new touch first paradigm can't fix things going forward for people wanting to brave this new world.

Putting touch first only disadvantages non-touch users. We saw that with Windows 8, with Microsoft having to make major changes to improve usability for mouse and keyboard users. Modern operating systems have to support touch but that shouldn't be at the expense of non-touch users. I have a Leap Motion which allows me to use my 30" monitor as a touchscreen. Do I choose to do that? No, because a mouse and keyboard is more practical. It is incredibly impractical having to reach up and touch the screen all the time, not to mention physically exhausting.

Touch makes complete sense on mobile devices like phones and tablets but it just isn't practical on desktop computers. Microsoft's problem is that it tried to force a unified interface upon desktop users at the expense of usability. The Charm Bar makes complete sense on a tablet and is indeed very useful - on the desktop it is a nuisance and completely unnecessary.

theyarecomingforyou said,

And all it does is replace functionality already available on the desktop, like drag & drop. If I want to share a picture from File Explorer to Photoshop all I have to do is click and drag it. Can I do that in a Metro app? Nope.

Yes, you CAN drag and drop in Metro. I drag and drop all the time in the Mail app.

Dot Matrix said,
That's by design. Metro apps are sandboxed for better security.

Metro is all about compromises. Apps can't interact with each other for security reasons; apps can't run in the background for power reasons; apps can't be installed from outside the Microsoft store for profitability reasons, etc. It's less powerful and flexible than the desktop. It simply isn't a viable replacement.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Metro is all about compromises. Apps can't interact with each other for security reasons; apps can't run in the background for power reasons; apps can't be installed from outside the Microsoft store for profitability reasons, etc. It's less powerful and flexible than the desktop. It simply isn't a viable replacement.

It's a new way of working. I've been waiting a long time for sandboxed applications, and now we have them. As for power management and the store, I'm sure you see apps that can break out of that as WinRT progresses.

Dot Matrix said,
It's a new way of working. I've been waiting a long time for sandboxed applications, and now we have them.

You've been waiting for applications that are more limited and have less functionality? Bizarre. Most people want more features, not fewer.

Dot Matrix said,
As for power management and the store, I'm sure you see apps that can break out of that as WinRT progresses.

Not unless Microsoft changes the design specifications. Microsoft has complete control over the apps released and if any apps exceed the Metro specifications they can and will be rejected. This isn't like the desktop where developers are free to innovate.

Metro is a simplified experience aimed at casual users.

warwagon said,
Just remember not everyone has a touch screen!


And ? Are we still on this metro can only be used with touch and start screen isn't better with a mouse than the start menu BS?

deadonthefloor said,

Where Windows is going, there are no screens.

Exactly, this is part of the Windows IoT (Internet of Things) stuff they talked about. Basically Windows embedded for even smaller devices.

George P said,

Exactly, this is part of the Windows IoT (Internet of Things) stuff they talked about. Basically Windows embedded for even smaller devices.

I don't think that's what he meant. But what he mean has no basis in reality so that's just as well.

clearly they know this. They also know if they want to remain a force in the consumer space, they have to act as if EVERYBODY has a touch screen. By creating a half baked OS which doesn't even get its own software first (office touch), they are basically reaping the results of their bad choices.

xankazo said,
Yet another "metro sucks on the desktop" kinda post?

Metro DOES suck on the desktop.

But Metro doesn't HAVE TO suck on the desktop.

Hence the major redesign coming.

HawkMan said,
I don't think that's what he meant. But what he mean has no basis in reality so that's just as well.

Exsqueeze me?
That IS exactly what i meant and there is plenty of basis in reality when you watch the IoT talks from //build/.

They show using C# to talk to embedded controllers and talked extensively about using Intel's new SoC and others to buld smarter embedded systems.

deadonthefloor said,

Exsqueeze me?
That IS exactly what i meant and there is plenty of basis in reality when you watch the IoT talks from //build/.

They show using C# to talk to embedded controllers and talked extensively about using Intel's new SoC and others to buld smarter embedded systems.

then you shoudl have written that, because the way you wrote it, it sounded like you where trolling and windows was going to go away., probably because everyone hates the new "touch windows"

HawkMan said,
then you shoudl have written that ....

Agreed, however I had Doc's quote from Back to the Future running through my head when I thought of it, so never thought to expound upon it.

Crimson Rain said,

You use your desktop/laptop (touchpad; poorman's mouse) without one? Cool story.
No, but most touchscreen devices don't have a mouse or even touchpad. So I don't know where you get the idea that everyone has a mouse.

Andre S. said,
No, but most touchscreen devices don't have a mouse or even touchpad. So I don't know where you get the idea that everyone has a mouse.

mouse is more or less like basic input for computers you deny the fact that the mouse is needed is denying a basic part of the computer.

Since the gestures on touchscreen are basically the same as you would do on a mouse/keyboard setup.

My opinion about the mouse/keyboard bit.

Geranium_Z__NL said,
mouse is more or less like basic input for computers you deny the fact that the mouse is needed is denying a basic part of the computer.

Since the gestures on touchscreen are basically the same as you would do on a mouse/keyboard setup.

I'm saying nothing more than that phones and tablets generally don't have mice, which doesn't imply that these devices don't have analogous or equivalent input controls. If you read the post I was replying to you would see that this point was clear.

Andre S. said,
No, but most touchscreen devices don't have a mouse or even touchpad. So I don't know where you get the idea that everyone has a mouse.

Do you know what context is?

Crimson Rain said,

Do you know what context is?
That's exactly what makes your analogy invalid; the use of two different implicit contexts: "everyone will have a touchscreen" - implied universally, i.e. for users of all devices - "just like everyone has a mouse" - implied in the specific context of desktop PCs. My reply to you was pointing out the incoherence.