Editorial

Windows 8: A compromise for desktops users is needed

Before we start, this article explains why Windows 8 is on to a good thing with Metro, but not so for the desktop.

So I'll leave out repeating what is already explained very well and move onto what I think Microsoft should have offered. Not only as an option, but also as a gentle shove toward their ultimate goal for a uniform user interface of which we're seeing as a proposal across all Windows powered devices.


Remember me?

Active Desktop was a feature of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0's optional Windows Desktop Update that allowed the user to add HTML content to the desktop, along with some other features. This function was intended to be installed on the then-current Windows 95 operating system. It was also included in Windows 98 and later Windows operating systems until Windows Vista, where the feature was discontinued.

Users could add HTML both in place of the regular wallpaper and as independent resizable desktop items. Items available online could then be regularly updated and synchronized so users could stay updated without visiting the website in their browser.

Active Desktop worked much like desktop widget technology in that it allows users to place customized information on their desktop. (source: WikiPedia).

This was a great idea that was ahead of its time when it launched, it turned the native desktop into a live desktop and Microsoft could have revisited this concept with Metro for desktop PC's, leaving the Start orb, menu and taskbar intact.


Hello Metro for desktops!

But why?

As you can see, it's almost like Active Desktop, giving the user full control to launch Metro apps or switch back to the desktop easily with a click of the mouse. The charms bar would remain, but instead of just having a Aero Peek target area, Microsoft could add another visible target area above it that always shows on the Metro and native desktops.


Full screen Pictures Metro app.

The above screenshot demonstrates how I can browse my pictures library, but also see any alerts or easily switch to native applications with a click of the mouse.


Full screen Weather app.

For Metro apps, they could even go so far as to add a way to go full screen that hides the taskbar completely just like you already can with most browsers; you're then offering the best of both worlds. Simply allowing the taskbar and Start orb/menu to remain would appease a lot of prospective upgraders.

Switching to the desktop from the Metro start screen is easy as you can see, this is one thing I don't even have to explain or create a tutorial for because the Desktop tile -- in an ideal world -- would always appear in the same spot.

Switching from Metro apps back to the desktop or Start screen could then be achieved by hovering over the target area above Aero peek which then brings up the Charms menu with options to view the native or Metro desktop.

Lets forget about Winkey + letter and ensure these tasks can be achieved easily and quickly using a mouse.

It took Microsoft years to finally realize that people wanted to shutdown, standby, restart, log off or switch user directly from the Start menu and not some popup dialog that included a drop-down menu. Now it seems they are forgetting that with incremental versions of Windows, making things easier with less clicks was what everyone wanted.

Here's another idea; add an option to the Windows 8 setup asking if the device you're installing Windows to is a touch device or not.


Windows 8 Setup, for tablet or desktop?

The setup screen could include an option Type of setup: "For touchscreen devices" and "For Desktop PC's without touch capability"; the second choice would put the start menu and (always visible) taskbar back on the desktop.

I know what some people are thinking, that I won't embrace change. That is simply untrue as evidenced by my constant upgrades from Windows 3.1 right up to Windows 7. I even own a copy of Windows Millennium!

You can bet that this concept won't be enforced on Windows Server 2012 system administrators, because Microsoft knows how important native applications and the taskbar is for them, but it's equally important for the average and power user too.

Metro isn't ready for prime time, and even though some of our own forum users will state till they're blue in the face that it is, I can only agree with them to some extent. It is the future, but the future isn't here yet. Native applications aren't going to be replaced by the time Windows 8 is available in stores, and people won't want to be forced to switch all of their native applications to a Metro version for quite some time. Asking users to dump them for a concept that is still making baby steps just isn't going to work.

It will work though if it is implemented properly, just like it already is on Windows Phone.

I just hope I'm not forced to write another Windows 2003 as workstation type guide by the time Windows 8 and the Server version rolls around.

Images: WikiPedia, Tim Schiesser (Neowin).

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Afraid of CHANGE? Seems it's now of Epidemic Proportions here on Neowin and about every place else. Most likely due to a heavey dose of iCrAppleholism sweeping the world. You know.... RDF inebriated ignorance. Spawned by their total obsession with their Orwellian 1984 Doublethink Propaganda turning most humans into ordinary iDiot Proles unable to grasp the basics of a far faster and far easier Windows 8 OS to use than Apple's Heinz 57 mix of NeXT, some FREE-BSD all kind of wrapped around their archaic old hijacked Xerox's pieces and parts! ;-P .....sorry but I'll take a side scroll-able Start w/ large Panels over a bunch of lists n menus w/in menus or small icons with big gaps covering a Start Menu or Desktop any day. Windows8 is fast and extremely efficient!!!!

Frankly, coming from neowin I find this kind of honest candor refreshing. and wholly unexpected. Bravo on having the stones to tell it like it is.

Too much clutter. ****ty as idea.

2 articles bashing Windows 8? Even Vista didnt get much attention (Granted Vista was a great OS)

Please, every Windows 8 hater - read this carefully. I'm not justifying anything, I just think my input may help you realize the beauty of this change.

I for one like Metro for my desktop PC as well. I love the fact that the desktop is now a "box" that runs inside a fluid environment. I also like the concept of the immersiveness and the chromeless interfaces instead of having a taskbar being there.

Also, applications can use toast notifications to notify when things are done, or something requires attention - globally. There's no longer need for individual applications such as Skype and Messenger to use their own notification types, and these notifications will be able to be turned off at one central location - the control panel. This theoretically elliminates the need for the cool Windows 7 progress bar indicators in the task bar. While not offering itself as an alternative, it is indeed a nice complementary feature.

I don't see how Metro is not good for desktops actually - please help me understand. I've read this article entirely, and I still don't understand. You move your mouse to the lower-left screen, and voila - there's your start menu.

Finding apps has never been easier - do a search while in the Metro menu.

Don't want Windows 8 to start up in Metro? Turn it off. I like when my PC starts up in Metro, because then my PC isn't spending 99% of its resources on launching all kinds of apps in the background, when I know exactly what I want.

For instance, if I want to start Visual Studio to do programming as the first thing I do, I click my pinned Visual Studio icon on the Metro screen. It takes me to the desktop, and starts loading the application - even with full priority (allowing it to be priored over all the other program processes while it starts up).

I get the idea that people want some kind of "Default" state that their PC is in, but really, I believe people have become way too used to the old "inside the box"-way of thinking. Let's face it. You start up your PC anyway, and you always start out by launching 1 single app to do your primary purpose, isn't that right? You never start out by launching 20 apps at a time. These will be started automatically for you.

For those having issues finding the power button I can only ask "really?". Pressing your power button on the computer itself will shut down your PC as default in Windows 8, so why bother anyway? Isn't it more natural to hit the power button to turn something off? They just removed the noise that we thought was needed for centuries. If you're not happy with that, you can configure what happens when clicking the power button.

If you're on a desktop, hitting Windows + I to launch the Charm bar isn't that hard either, although, less intuitive.

Normal applications will be offered through the marketplace as well as Metro apps, so the app-store is still going to be awesome.

As a developer, I see clearly what Microsoft is doing here. The following is based on knowledge within the field, and common sense. However, some of it is based on beliefs and assumptions.

Microsoft will make Windows Phone 7 apps compatible with Windows 8. When these apps run, they will run in the docked mode (left or right) always for compatibility reasons, since that'll match the proper phone aspect ratio.

Windows 8 apps that are compatible with the docked (left or right) app format will run in that mode always when running in Windows Phone 8.

Scaling is no problem, since Silverlight (or WPF for that matter) is resolution independent, and uses vector graphics. Hence a much higher compatibility with larger screens.

Metro is a good UI......for touch screens and phones. I've seen Windows Phones and I like the way the tiles work and it has a good flow to it.

IMHO, after using Windows 8 for several days, the UI feels clunky and unintuitive on the desktop using a mouse.

I agree...give me an option to NOT use the Metro UI and I'll be interested in it. Better yet, give me a way to switch on the fly once more Metro apps come out and I'll make my decision then.

Basically, give me the option on what UI I want to use.

Can Metro's colours be more bright or vibrant? I think they look rather dark and dull.

I like the idea how Metro sits as an "Active background" instead of when you press the window button on the keyboard.

SierraSonic said,
Step 1: Add startorb back
Step 2: Click to hold = Start Screen; Click = start menu. (configurable option)

I think to stop all of this debate, Microsoft should just put the Start Orb on the lower left hand side of Windows 8 desktop. If one can launch it from the Start Menu, then one can go back to the Start Screen from the desktop by clicking on the Start Orb ...although clicking on the lower left will bring you back to the Start Screen.

RommelS said,

I think to stop all of this debate, Microsoft should just put the Start Orb on the lower left hand side of Windows 8 desktop. If one can launch it from the Start Menu, then one can go back to the Start Screen from the desktop by clicking on the Start Orb ...although clicking on the lower left will bring you back to the Start Screen.

Why do people need a physical icon at all? Just move the mouse to the bottom left hand corner, you know where the start button used to be, and the start screen icon appears to click on.

The main reason for not doing that way comes down to the fact that it is not an extension to the desktop shell (explorer.exe). They are making a clean break from the desktop which means the taskbar cannot function on top of it.

They basically have to rewrite all of Windows UI including the taskbar, cascading menus, window manager, etc. They can't do it all in ONE release.

I agree they need to figure out how to make it work better, but please stop talking about this as if you are a newbie. This is a tech forum for crying outloud. Why are there no techinical people coming up with ideas that could work!

libertas83 said,

I agree they need to figure out how to make it work better, but please stop talking about this as if you are a newbie. This is a tech forum for crying outloud. Why are there no techinical people coming up with ideas that could work!

The problem is that the majority doesn't know the history and development of Windows 8, and the majority, if you noticed, doesn't even know that desktop and Metro are two separate piece of Windows 8 as you commented. Some of the people here probably didn't download CP, or if they did download it, either they didn't really understand Windows 8 or they already have preconceive notion about the OS.

RommelS said,

The problem is that the majority doesn't know the history and development of Windows 8, and the majority, if you noticed, doesn't even know that desktop and Metro are two separate piece of Windows 8 as you commented. Some of the people here probably didn't download CP, or if they did download it, either they didn't really understand Windows 8 or they already have preconceive notion about the OS.

That would be great for a discussion in the Wall Street Journal or some consumer magazine. I expected higher quality comments on Neowin than simply that it sucks, whine, whine, whine.

I'm so flippin confused. All metro is, is a replacement to the traditional start menu...Just press the windows button on your keyboard to get on and off metro. I don't understand what the fuss is all about. It's something new and different and it needs time to work out. It's not terrible looking in my opinion as well.

xXgreatestever said,
I'm so flippin confused. All metro is, is a replacement to the traditional start menu...Just press the windows button on your keyboard to get on and off metro. I don't understand what the fuss is all about. It's something new and different and it needs time to work out. It's not terrible looking in my opinion as well.

You are most definitely confused if you think that metro is just a start menu replacement. Metro IS Windows 8. The windows key merely switches between the last app you used and the start screen, it doesn't turn metro off and on lol. Open up a metro app and press the windows key, you go back to start screen, press it again, back to that metro app.

jimmyfal said,
One word to fix the whole thing. DISCOVERABILTY IS MISSING.

On desktop PCs you could make the Charms Bar and App Preview Pane to show by default with a visible toggle giving you the option to Auto-Hide. Now, there's no reason to look for it.

But, I fully expect MS, a company that has been making billions for quite some time now, to implement a tutorial, pop-ups, overlays or some such to aid the user in discoverability.

Microsoft are idiots.

They even removed the Classic skin from Windows 8. On a server you dont need some retarded glassy UI, you need productivity and low memory footprint.
You need to see things BLACK ON WHITE.

Thy could have added the effects like Aero Peak into the Classic look, since they could make the taskbar buttons slide with animation, but no. They want higher system requirements, so people can buy new hardware, this way both software/OS providers and hardware providers have their back scratched.

I have used Windows 7 since 2009. Now I have Windows XP and I can accomplish the same things I could in 7.

This whole idea of new versions is stupid. Windows XP was good (except the fact that all the latest Windows versions still use that old, outdated Windows NT Kernel... the Linux kernel gets updated literally every month, while those slackers at Microsoft probably even want to be paid for blinking), so why not update it and add new features as optional updates, so people can decide if they want to have those features or not, instead of buying a new OS and never use some of the new key features, simply because they don't need them. Two people I know have brand new computers and they use Windows 7 with the Classic skin, just because they don't need that shiny garbage that comes with 7 by default.

Windows doesn't worth it's money. I never payed for it and I never will. It would be against my principles to buy such a garbage. Acquiring pirated copies of Windows somehow gives a meaning to this flawed product - at least some people are smart enough to get that piece of garbage for free. Mac and Linux are so much more stable, but many important applications will probably never be native for both.

So I really hope that Microsoft keep Metro for the desktop, in fact make it worse, force the people to learn without tutorials and welcome screens. People will stay with Windows 7, then when they buy a new computer it will most likely have Windows 7 or Mac installed, others will go for Linux and the "reign of terror" will slowly come to an end.

Saex_Conroy said,
Microsoft are idiots.
Windows doesn't worth it's money. I never payed for it and I never will. It would be against my principles to buy such a garbage. Acquiring pirated copies of Windows somehow gives a meaning to this flawed product - at least some people are smart enough to get that piece of garbage for free. Mac and Linux are so much more stable, but many important applications will probably never be native for both.

So I really hope that Microsoft keep Metro for the desktop, in fact make it worse, force the people to learn without tutorials and welcome screens. People will stay with Windows 7, then when they buy a new computer it will most likely have Windows 7 or Mac installed, others will go for Linux and the "reign of terror" will slowly come to an end.

If all you do is pirate their software, you have right to complain in the least!

Saex_Conroy said,
Microsoft are idiots.

...snip...

Microsoft are far from idiots. They collect terabytes and terabytes of usage information from every computer around the world where the "provide anonymous usage statistics" option is turned on. Despite what some of the metrophobes here would have you believe, they know the truth about what the majority of people actually use their PC for, and what parts of the UI are important to them.

They know for example that the average windows user doesn't use much of the start menu in Windows 7 any more beyond the search box, and the shutdown button. Metro reflects that (albeit with Shutdown being somewhat hidden away which I hope they tweak).

There basically won't be any major compromise. MSFT has locked in their design (and to a certain extent I understand why they came to this conclusion, and it's not just marketing--some of it has to do with the way their mobile multitasking was implemented). But the bottom line is they are absolutely willing to sacrifice the satisfaction of some of their PC users in exchange for gains in the mobile department. This is not dissimilar from the way in which Apple has neglected some of their market ($2500 for a Mac Pro with only 3GB of ram, wow).

Why do you people want me to learn two ways of using windows dependent on my form factor?

Part of the reason I like windows is due to the consistancy across form factors.

Every arguement i've seen on here centers around *personal preference* as opposed to the *REAL* reason for MS introducing this dumbed-down edition of Windows aimed squarely at the Sheeple & their Apple-aping Tablets. It's all about monetarising the Desktop after you've already paid top dollar to purchase the upgrade. Its what IOS & Android already do on various handheld appliances. & MS understandably want a share of that Impulse-buying market.
Forcing the average desktop user to embrace such a paradigm change when they patently don't want such an OS will i fear result in yet another Windows ME/Vista debacle once Windows 8 is finally released. No, we don't have to "get over it" & learn to use it as passionately as most MS fanbois seem to insist we should. I fully expect to be roasted by those same fanbois - but in my defense i have installed the Win 8 consumer editions in both 32 & 64 bit configs & given them both a thorough test of capabilities. The end result was to realise that MS have gravely miscalculated the usefulness of Metro to the Desktop non-touchscreen user. It adds nothing that improves using my computer on a daily basis for a variety of tasks & entertainment.
Windows 7 has support built in until at least 2020. I believe that will keep most serious users from spending upgrade cash on something that offers no real advantages over the previous OS (Except the chance to continue to add to The MS revenue stream one micro-payment at a time!).
Neobonds suggestion is therefore the most sensible suggestion i've read yet that MS *could* implement before releasing the OS this year. I doubt they will though.

foonacha said,
....

There aren't any real apps yet.
Once the dev community start to contribute, Metro will find its place on the hardware that sits on your office desk, just as much as any tablet.

dotf said,

There aren't any real apps yet.
Once the dev community start to contribute, Metro will find its place on the hardware that sits on your office desk, just as much as any tablet.

That presupposes that any future "Apps" will add anything useful to my day-to-day computing that isn't already met by the various productivity software i already use on the Desktop. On present evidence provided by both the IOS & Android experiences;a variety of time wasting mini-games & Fart machines don't inspire confidence in Metro being installed on any serious desktop in the future.

foonacha said,

That presupposes that any future "Apps" will add anything useful to my day-to-day computing that isn't already met by the various productivity software i already use on the Desktop. On present evidence provided by both the IOS & Android experiences;a variety of time wasting mini-games & Fart machines don't inspire confidence in Metro being installed on any serious desktop in the future.

Sure there are fart machine apps a plenty on iOS and Android, but you conveniently omit the fact that there are some damned good non-useless and productive apps on both platforms too. Windows 8 is no different, in fact there are already some very good productivity apps in the store already. News360 for instance while clearly beta, is very promising.

In my opinion it should be the contrary : Do not bring metro to the desktop but bring desktop to metro. The schizophrenic experience with metro/desktop is really disturbing. At first glance Metro look really nice and is a great laucher indeed but the experience is way too much splited up.

I think that the best would be to find a way to incorporate desktop in metro a lot more. A kind of retro-compatibility with desktop app but that blend completly with the metro experience. The taskbar disapear completly and you find a way to incorporate system tray icon in metro. Metro will need better multi-tasking features but that's no big deal to do in my opinion.

I'm not sure how this could be accomplished. The only thing I'm sure of is that the this "schizophrenic" feel will have to be diminished to a minimum, one way or another.

I posted pretty much this same idea in the forums, but with a couple differences:

- By default, the taskbar would be visible on desktops / laptops and hidden on portable touchscreen devices. The taskbar could be shown by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
- I mentioned the need to redesign the taskbar to match the Metro interface. I suggested (optionally) replacing the taskbar buttons with thumbnails. When many tasks are open, you could scroll through the list by dragging or using the mouse wheel.

I really wish this is how Microsoft implemented Metro instead. It could blend in with the desktop beautifully, reduce the learning curve, and eliminate the need to jump between two interfaces. By hiding the taskbar by default on touchscreen devices, you'd still get the seamless Metro experience.

The setup screen could include an option Type of setup: "For touchscreen devices" and "For Desktop PC's without touch capability"; the second choice would put the start menu and (always visible) taskbar back on the desktop.

An interesting idea but I question the implementation. Since touch is enabled in the installer, how about touch centric is enabled by default when you install using touch.
no extra UI for something that can be inferred from use.
That's the whole point of windows 8 that people are forgetting.


How about just allowing users to setup their desktops the way THEY want. Microsoft has always tried to force people or make it inconvenient to stray from their goals, which in this case is to build the phone and tablet market.

I use a variety of apps from True Launch Bar to Nexus when working on projects and Directory Opus for navigating. I'm for more native options, even if I don't use them. Personally I find metro ugly and the colored blocks distracting, but that shouldn't mean others can't use it, but it shouldn't mean I HAVE to either.

People that want customisation can do so via third party applications, like those that Stardock provides. The problem is that if you allow too much customisation you diminish brand recognition, increase fragmentation and increase the complexity of the operating system. And the other issue is that the changes being made can actually considerably increase productivity when people become familiar with them. That's the reason why Microsoft refused to allow users to disable the ribbon. There are still people that disagree with that decision but it was hugely successful for Microsoft.

It remains to be seen what changes Microsoft will make to Windows 8 before release but we can certainly expect them to address some of the criticism. Enabling the traditional Start Menu won't be one of them and I can't see them implementing a bodge like the one described in this article.

I still don't understand why people have it stuck in their heads that the "metro" start screen is the new UI - it's not! It's the freaking start menu! START MENU!

You can change a policy to start back at the desktop instead if you prefer it that way. Then it's exactly the same as Windows 7 - just with a start menu that is no longer 400x600px - it takes up your entire screen. What's not to like about that?

Jimmy422 said,
I still don't understand why people have it stuck in their heads that the "metro" start screen is the new UI - it's not! It's the freaking start menu! START MENU!

You can change a policy to start back at the desktop instead if you prefer it that way. Then it's exactly the same as Windows 7 - just with a start menu that is no longer 400x600px - it takes up your entire screen. What's not to like about that?

That it takes up the entire screen is what we don't like. In doing so, it ends up shoving a lot of information (colorful, distracting tiles), that we don't want, into our face. And in the process making it hard to ignore.

Jimmy422 said,
just with a start menu that is no longer 400x600px - it takes up your entire screen. What's not to like about that?

Why the **** do I want the god damn start screen to cover up my entire screen (Everything I'm working on), how is covering up your work flow an advancement in UI design?

warwagon said,

Why the **** do I want the god damn start screen to cover up my entire screen (Everything I'm working on), how is covering up your work flow an advancement in UI design?

Why do people pin their apps on the taskbar? Why do people put links, application shortcuts, documents on their desktop? Isn't that taking up the entire portion of your desktop? So what is the difference between a Start Screen from a Desktop that is full of shortcut and links?

As for the Desktop, don't you use it on Windows 8? You know, 8 has a feature that allows you pin your frequently used app on the taskbar, and that Windows 8 Desktop (not the start screen), acts like your regular desktop.

Edited by RommelS, Mar 13 2012, 7:39pm :

Jimmy422 said,
I still don't understand why people have it stuck in their heads that the "metro" start screen is the new UI - it's not! It's the freaking start menu! START MENU!

Actually no. Windows 8 is Metro. The Start Screen is just that, the first screen you come to within Metro. It is not just a simple Start Menu replacement, it replaces the functions of many more UI elements than just the start menu. Also desktop is merely an application compatibility environment.

RommelS said,

Why do people pin their apps on the taskbar? Why do people put links, application shortcuts, documents on their desktop? Isn't that taking up the entire portion of your desktop? So what is the difference between a Start Screen from a Desktop that is full of shortcut and links?
Desktop (not the start screen), acts like your regular desktop.

There are people who don't use the desktop as a dumpyard for shortcuts and MFU/MRU files. In fact, I turn off desktop icons. The desktop for me is just an eye candy feature (a pleasing wallpaper that just sits there when no windows are open). All I need is a list of my most frequently used apps, for which the taskbar suffices. I want such a list to be always available, but tucked to a side of the screen so that it never gets in my face. For everything else, I search. To do that Iwant a small on demand screen, again subtle enough and not shoved down the throat. The start menu fits my preferences perfectly. I don't prefer/need/want any big-ass flashy icons, I don't need live tile notifications, I don't want any list of apps installed or any distraction of any kind. The way I prefer to work, the start screen is very different from the desktop environment I like.

People have very differing ways of working. The start screen should not be mandatory.

After being in the IT industry for 20 years now, I can say without a doubt that the real problem here is the fact there are marketing people behind this whole "post-PC" nonsense. Real computer users need an environment that takes advantage of the desktop with a UI that allows Windows to be what it was meant to be: a WINDOWED environment.

The jackwagons pushing this whole "mobile computing" crap can't seem to wrap their heads around this, and in the age of overprescription of legal amphetamines to counter what is obviously a problem of self-control, focus, and discipline, they have decided to pander to the lowest common denominator of computer users: the average idiot with the attention span of a hummingbird.

I hate to sound eliteist, but... how is it people have to be spoon-fed everything? Why can't people actually sit and learn something instead of having everything DUMBED DOWN to the point of uselessness on computers? IMHO, XP probably had the best user interface experience ever for real power users, second to Win98SE.

I could care less how "pretty" it looks, if the environment doesn't work the way people need it to, what's the point? How about they quit pushing everything towards mobile touch-based, user idiot interfaces, and toss REAL computer users a bone with the changes described in the article. I don't like the Metro UI, it's well suited for a small-screen touch-based device. NOT for a desktop environment with multiple monitors, and true multi-tasking environments.

This is a step backwards for desktop UI productivity, not a step forward. If you like Metro, you probably don't need multitasking at all, and should stick to mobile devices and leave the real computer use to the grown-ups.

WeezulDK said,
XP probably had the best user interface experience ever for real power users, second to Win98SE.

Exactly, for example in xp look at Network connections in the control panel then compare that to the conglomerate cluster **** of Vista and Windows 7. In their attempt to make it easier, I think they have made it take more clicks to do the same task.

After being in the IT industry for 21 years, I can say without a doubt that the real problem here is NOT the people behind this whole "post-PC" nonsense because regular users, unlike us, don't care about what's happening in the background or history of any product. Once it is out there, and it does what it does, people will buy it.

The jackwagons pushing this whole "mobile computing" is Microsoft; since they are behind in the tablet market, Microsoft is trying to kill two birds with one stone with Windows 8. Also, just to inform you, Microsoft did a study of the Start button, and from their studies, they found out that the majority of those users, that average idiot with the attention span of a hummingbird, don't even use the start button, rather than they pin their frequently use apps on the taskbar, or better yet, they're on the desktop. Kind of like Windows 8 Start Screen, where you pin the apps, shortcuts, and a few metro apps to access it.

I am not an elitest, but if you are in this industry, you should know by now that the majority of users doesn't have the same knowledge that we have on computers, and believe it or not, we IT peeps are out numbered by regular users. Just a reminder, without these people, we don't have a job, and you and I will be working on our own PCs in the garage right now.

It doesn't have to be pretty, but it is the job of IT to make sure that it works and make it work for the users if it is implimented into business. Basically, that means to toss your opinions to the side, and chop, chop, and make it work like it or not.

In addition, please get your facts right. The desktop IS STILL THERE, and you can still do the same thing from previous version of Windows on the desktop of Windows 8. What you see is the START Screen and that is not the desktop.

warwagon said,

Exactly, for example in xp look at Network connections in the control panel then compare that to the conglomerate cluster **** of Vista and Windows 7. In their attempt to make it easier, I think they have made it take more clicks to do the same task.

And how many "average users" EVER want to alter their network settings beyond connecting to a wireless network? UI should primarily cater for the average masses, not the extremely small percentage.

Yup, they shouldn't bury the desktop in Metro for the desktop PCs.
Put Metro in the desktop, something like the Omnimo Rainmeter suite.

Its best if Metro apps can run windowed on desktop as well and show up on the superbar.
Then the user can multi-task easier.
Well, theres that hidden Alt-Tab panel at the side but its not intuitive.

With all the radically new changes, Windows 8 will need a lengthy user manual.
Like the previous article says, MS should bring it in piece by piece like Apple.

Or does doing it the current way makes it easier for MS to get into other platforms like the ARM processor stuff and tablets?
Common code or something.

1000% agree with neobond on this. during installation it should give you options to install or not to install metro. this needs to be submitted to microsoft. metro should only be for touchscreens not desktops or servers.

Windows design from 1.0 to XP or even Vista wasn't this way. Every feature was preserved for backward compatibility. Those who liked Program Manager and File Manager could run it on XP till SP1 at least. (Not that they were better). But there was choice. Ever since Sinofsky, Julie Larson Green and team have taken over, they approved the removal of two Start Menus in two releases - Classic menu in Windows 7 and Vista-style Start menu in Windows 8. Leaving the Start Menu in and allowing users to use whatever they please won't do any harm, especially when the Start screen doesn't do many things the Start menu did. It was Julie Green who again yanked the customizable menus and toolbars from Office and replaced them with the non-customizable ribbon in Office 2007. And it was her who took out customizing the Windows 7 taskbar as much as earlier versions. This new team makes everything less and less customizable. I remember this rant someone came up with after Vista: http://www.vistaheads.com/foru...t-charge-windows-7-gui.html And yes we are forced to *eventually* upgrade when older version runs out of security support or driver support.

Mugwump00 said,
Out of curiosity, what got the chop?

Many little features (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...emoved_in_Windows_7#Taskbar) but mainly the ability to disable grouping was gone. You can still disable "combining" but two Notepad windows e.g or two Explorer windows are always grouped. Then another one is, there is no separation of running and non-running apps (the pinned icon is re-used when the app starts) so if you have one app pinned on the extreme left and another on the right, switching between them using the mouse requires the cursor to travel from one end of the taskbar to the other repeatedly. Pre-Windows 7, all running apps were placed next to each other, so switching was "close by". Another one, you can't hold down Ctrl and group close or group maximize/minimize two or more apps. There's a utility called 7 Taskbar Tweaker that lets you configure the taskbar exactly the way you want: http://rammichael.com/7-taskbar-tweaker but it hooks into Explorer.exe so that's not very good.

Steven, you're wasting your breath. Microsoft won't change their minds.


Also, to all you metrovangelists:
Just because it's new doesn't mean it's "innovation".


So, screw you Metro.

rpsgc said,
Steven, you're wasting your breath. Microsoft won't change their minds.


Also, to all you metrovangelists:
Just because it's new doesn't mean it's "innovation".


So, screw you Metro.


so what is innovation? Android tablets? Slow OEM updates for Android? Incremental iPad upgrades? Incremental OSX upgrades (with features from iOS)?
The rest of the industry is just as bad. We're all just used to this ****, and thus, looking past it.

In many ways, Metro will enable creativity in PC design, and then, we'll see some true innovation. You guys want innovation, you're getting it now. Stop complaining.

rpsgc said,
Steven, you're wasting your breath. Microsoft won't change their minds.


Also, to all you metrovangelists:
Just because it's new doesn't mean it's "innovation".


So, screw you Metro.

amen brother!

rpsgc said,
Steven, you're wasting your breath. Microsoft won't change their minds.


Also, to all you metrovangelists:
Just because it's new doesn't mean it's "innovation".


So, screw you Metro.

Wow, what a well thought out intellectual way to put across your opinion. Attack the opponent rather than advocate your own position. You sound like a politician. Bravo.

Subhadip said,

One more thing - taskbar moved to the left and autohide by default. (Like Ubuntu Unity)

And then people will complain about Microsoft copying Linux / Ubuntu..

Cøi said,

And then people will complain about Microsoft copying Linux / Ubuntu..

I get what you mean, but Unity's taskbar is a blatant knock-off off Windows 7 (big pinnable icons with thumbnails on mouseover replacing text - hmm, where have we seen that before?) and the idea of putting it to the left and auto-hidden comes from a blog post during Windows 7 Beta too. Many Windows 7/8 users already do that anyway.

There is really no need to go to Windows 8, you guys wont miss a lot by staying on Windows 7 therefore let's wait for Windows 9. The latest is not always the greatest.

Agreed. It probably will be a solid upgrade for the folks that are finally brave enough to walk away from XP, but for the rest of us, I see no good reason to drop $200 on a redesigned Start menu. Windows 7 has been great to me and I doubt I'll change anytime soon.

techguy77 said,
There is really no need to go to Windows 8, you guys wont miss a lot by staying on Windows 7 therefore let's wait for Windows 9. The latest is not always the greatest.

Agreed. Some people are so venomous in their replies about Windows 8 daring to be critisized that it's almost like they're trying to convince themselves that 'It's new, the number is bigger, so it MUST be better'.

It's not. It's Vista 2.0. Wait for it.

techguy77 said,
There is really no need to go to Windows 8, you guys wont miss a lot by staying on Windows 7 therefore let's wait for Windows 9. The latest is not always the greatest.

Metro isn't going anywhere. Windows 9 will just be an evolution of Windows 8. You need to get used to the fact that the 17 year old desktop/taskbar/startmenu paradigm ended with Windows 7.

That charms bar is ugly and distracting, it NEEDS to be transparent, why are we going back to Windows 2000 again? I mean ****, at least Windows 2000 had gradients....

BumbleBritches57 said,
That charms bar is ugly and distracting, it NEEDS to be transparent, why are we going back to Windows 2000 again? I mean ****, at least Windows 2000 had gradients....

Yep and watch the charms icons become invisible on light coloured backgrounds. Not a sensible suggestion.

oh...no another editorial from someone that developed some OS eons ago....wait NO!

Your recommendation about adding an option for choosing UI is plain stupid. That feels like the stupid way Linux got on the desktop by telling you to choose between Gnome & KDE some years ago.

Do you know that MSFT is trying to ease / speed the setup of Windows? Why add more stupid options?

Ricardo Dawkins said,
oh...no another editorial from someone that developed some OS eons ago....wait NO!

Your recommendation about adding an option for choosing UI is plain stupid. That feels like the stupid way Linux got on the desktop by telling you to choose between Gnome & KDE some years ago.

Do you know that MSFT is trying to ease / speed the setup of Windows? Why add more stupid options?


I just hope Microsoft don't listen to people. Techies are the worse group of people when it comes to truly understanding use needs.

AWilliams87 said,

I just hope Microsoft don't listen to people. Techies are the worse group of people when it comes to truly understanding use needs.

Indeed. This is the same "power-user" crowd which bashed iPhone for not having a 'real' keyboard. Now they say the completely opposite thing.

Tech world is an extremely unpredictable thing. Just look at the (older) reports from IDC, Gartner and Ovum. Inaccurate as hell!

Îf Microsoft dont do this, i hope that someone or a company like Stardock can make that Concept come true

For the experts in programming here, can be possible to force a specified part of a Window to become Always on Top ?

Asking for specified because if indeed Desktop is a App, it can only be the Bar bring up to Top

It seems in common RDP/Citrix ICA/VDI type scenarios, the full-screen transitions & hot-corners are somewhere between awkward to totally unsuitable.

I'm hoping one or more ISVs, e.g. VMWare or Citrix, step in and suggest to MS an option for a more agreeable operating mode, that can be leveraged so that those of us who aren't LEET NEOWINIANS, (and are just "***ing stupid") in our multi-desktop roles might not advocate against Windows 8 (with it's light footprint and universal compatibility) as an option.

Edited by Mugwump00, Mar 13 2012, 2:48pm :

i for one am really enjoying the change and the learning curve, it isnt that hard and ive only played with it for 30mins, just randomly clicking crap an dmoving thisngs around to see what it does

"people wanted to shutdown, standby, restart, log off or switch user directly from the Start menu and not some popup that included a drop-down menu"
You are misremembering how to restart windows 7. Click the start button, POPUP, and then pick a shutdown operation, DROP-DOWN menu. Whenever someone complains about how hard it is to shutdown win8 CP, I know they are really stretching for things to whine about.

I'm a huge fan of Windows 8 but it's not unfair to criticise the new shut-down procedure. In Win7 it involves very little mouse movement and is quite exposed functionality; on the desktop in Win8 you have to access Settings via the Charm bar (which is itself awkward on multi-monitor systems) and then complete a further two steps to shut-down. However, the best way to shut-down your computer remains to be simply pressing the power button on your case.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Microsoft address this criticism before release. One possible solution would be to add shut-down options to the Charm bar or Metro Start.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I'm a huge fan of Windows 8 but it's not unfair to criticise the new shut-down procedure. In Win7 it involves very little mouse movement and is quite exposed functionality; on the desktop in Win8 you have to access Settings via the Charm bar (which is itself awkward on multi-monitor systems) and then complete a further two steps to shut-down. However, the best way to shut-down your computer remains to be simply pressing the power button on your case.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Microsoft address this criticism before release. One possible solution would be to add shut-down options to the Charm bar or Metro Start.

Or just press the power button on your PC. These have triggered a clean shutdown sequence and have not been physical power switch for about 20 years. Nothing beats a single key press.

That said, I do agree that some metro features need to be expose a little more. Hiding shutdown within a settings panel is a bit odd.

I'm not "misremembering" anything. Older versions of Windows required you to click Start > Shutdown > (Screen went dark) a popup dialog appeared which you could then choose what to do. Now you can do it all right from the Start menu. It was one of those things requested for ages, they finally got it right and now they have made the process more complicated again

Don't like Windows 8? Well stay with 7 and stop crying. I don't understand why people are too dumb to remember the start button is still in the same place it was in Windows 7. And once you figure it out you should remember it for the rest of your life because that's how learning works.. Unless you are ****ing stupid

PmRd said,
Don't like Windows 8? Well stay with 7 and stop crying. I don't understand why people are too dumb to remember the start button is still in the same place it was in Windows 7. And once you figure it out you should remember it for the rest of your life because that's how learning works.. Unless you are ****ing stupid

How hard is it for people to understand its NOT that we don't like Windows 8. We like Windows 8, we just don't like the full screen start screen (and to a much lesser extent, full screen metro apps).

All they need to do is bring the start orb and start menu back. The start screen can stay as it is, triggered by the start button in the charms bar. And give the option of users choosing what the start orb triggers - the start menu or the start screen (the other is automatically assigned to the charms bar start button). The windows key follows the start orb assignment. Or better, make that too configurable.

soumyasch said,

How hard is it for people to understand its NOT that we don't like Windows 8. We like Windows 8, we just don't like the full screen start screen (and to a much lesser extent, full screen metro apps).

As dotf said above, you need to invert your thinking. Your acting like the start screen is some kind of app that pops up from the desktop. This isn't the case, the opposite is true. The start screen IS the windows 8 OS. The desktop is just a compatibility environment within Metro.

TCLN Ryster said,

As dotf said above, you need to invert your thinking. Your acting like the start screen is some kind of app that pops up from the desktop. This isn't the case, the opposite is true. The start screen IS the windows 8 OS. The desktop is just a compatibility environment within Metro.

Why should I do change my thinking aka change what I prefer? How does it benefit me? I dislike the big colorful thing thrown onto my face. I prefer a clutter free environment, the start screen is the polar opposite to that. The desktop serves my purpose. Why should I bend over backwards to accept a style that I don't like? Why should I not be allowed to use MY computer the way I want to?

You also have to consider the target audience for this redesign. While most of us on Neowin want some measure of control over our computers, the average user might be happy with a screen that tells them the weather, how many e-mails they have, and which of their friends are on Facebook.

Many people use their computers for only websites these days, many mobile applications are just those websites made native. It's not too hard to see how mushing those websites into tiles would catch on with the public.

Well, people screamed about the changes to the start menu from 2000 to XP as well... And know they scream again...

People don't like changes, but most people just go with it. And that is what will happen here in the end.

This was i was always hoping for & i am sure if not windows 8, windows 9 would definitely see this. It keeps the best of both worlds. To add to the concept, make this as the "Desktop", simply put instead of having icons to launch, we have tiles. it serves both purpose. For users with mouse & keyboard add minimize, close button as well, just like Zune player. Then no body will complain.

Actually if they allowed the taskbar to remain in Metro apps, I believe more people would warm up to it. No need to do some weird gesturing just to switch between apps, just click the bloody button on the taskbar! I don't think pressing a big button on the taskbar is hard on a tablet? Saves your fingers from making unnecessary movement too. With Full HD screens eventually becoming prominent on tablets, I don't see how a taskbar would take up much precious screen estate (or, you can hide it and make it appear by swiping up from the bottom since Microsoft is obsessed with the swiping craze).

Metro Snap is pretty silly. Aero Snap is/was much more versatile in the sense that you can resize windows both horizontally and vertically. People who want Windows on ARM are sold on the idea of being able to run conventional Windows (yes, with windows and all) on their tablets, and not being restricted to some dumbed down interface. Yes, I know, there's desktop mode on WoA, but current applications won't run anyway, so I believe 80% of apps developed for WoA will be on Metro...

Please, make Metro into a window! If not why bother calling the OS Windows...

dotf said,

Desktop is a Metro app.
invert your assumptions.

Indeed. Although not technically true, that is the intent. Windows 8 is a Metro OS. Don't like Metro? Don't buy Windows 8, or at least don't buy Windows 8 and complain that it doesn't work like Windows 7 did. It's not supposed to.

I don't mind Windows 8 in it's current form, but I agree something needs to be done to add a bit more to desktop users.. the PC will never die, and Microsoft needs to give a little TLC to desktop users..

All microsoft has to do is add the orb back to the desktop app of windows 8. it does not have to be on the metro start screen just on the desktop app. that is all.

well im the I dont like Metro camp.. it just there is two user experiences going on both fighting for attention... i prefer the desktop experience.. So my Windows 7 is sticking around probably has long as my XP did...

Let face it.. W8 is Vista all over.. more than likely people are going to skip this and see what W9 brings.

And as for the Corp, we will go has far as Windows 7, but will certainly not certify our software for W8... any customer saying trying to run in on W8 will be told.. "you're not supported" end off.

kazgor said,
well im the I dont like Metro camp.. it just there is two user experiences going on both fighting for attention...

No there isn't. Windows 8 is primarily a Metro OS. Desktop is there purely for application compatibility until the Metro app ecosystem has evolved. The average user who uses Windows 8 as intended (remember it's a new platform, not an evolution of 7) will never see the desktop.

I'll cope with whatever stuff they cram into Windows 8, but god forbids I think about all the average/basic users out there that will see this shiny new OS and want to upgrade to it.

I work with and know a lot of average/basic users who are going to ask me if Windows 8 is worth while upgrading to. Just to save myself the hassle, I would be insane to not take their computer skill level into consideration and just say no when they ask.

The last thing I want to hear from these kind of users is them laying blame on me for suggesting it in the first place. If that doesn't happen then I'll just be absolutely swamped with questions on how to navigate around Windows 8.

I've been working with computers for a long time now. Microsoft has had it's users addicted to the start button/menu for 17 YEARS. You can't completely yank out things people have been hooked on for that long and just expect them to adapt to such a radical change.

Every other version of windows has just been bleh, and unfortunately if Windows 8 doesn't change from the way it is now, it will follow in Vistas footsteps. Even if you want to bury your head in the sand and you can learn and accept these changes MS has made to the OS....there are going to be a lot of users who remembered how Vista was and will just say "I will wait till Windows 9"

I disagree with this suggestion. Metro and the desktop are meant to be two different entities. Even on desktops. The thing about metro on the desktop AS IT IS NOW, is that it gives you the option of not using the fullscreen apps, and continue working on Windows as you have before. The way you are suggesting clutters up my screen with a whole bunch of nonsense. Why is the start button there if I can pin apps to Metro?

Technically you could setup computer such way to stay on Desktop all the time by avoiding Metro Start Menu. Of course i would suggest to remove any Metro App because they do not bring anything to PC.

techguy77 said,
Technically you could setup computer such way to stay on Desktop all the time by avoiding Metro Start Menu. Of course i would suggest to remove any Metro App because they do not bring anything to PC.

Oh yea? Do you know how to do this?

techguy77 said,
Technically you could setup computer such way to stay on Desktop all the time by avoiding Metro Start Menu. Of course i would suggest to remove any Metro App because they do not bring anything to PC.

Why are you so daft?

I've installed the Windows Server "8" beta and they have gone for the "Metro" Start Screen there as well ! Why oh why MSFT ??

StevenNT said,
I've installed the Windows Server "8" beta and they have gone for the "Metro" Start Screen there as well ! Why oh why MSFT ??

I've heard there's an option for it to be disabled by default, not sure if it's true or has been implemented yet. I'm thinking of leaving my WHS alone until Server 8 has been out a while

Pygmy_Hippo said,

I've heard there's an option for it to be disabled by default, not sure if it's true or has been implemented yet. I'm thinking of leaving my WHS alone until Server 8 has been out a while

WHS is a product built on server technology. It won't even be available when Win8 is launched.

Imagine ReFS for WHS!!!!!
hope that group is working close to release asap.

I actually am hearing positive feedback from many desktop users... Ya everyone has feedback suggestions (hence why this is a consumer preview). The desktop experience is quite nice except for a few minor things, I find it's the people who don't like change or like big clunky icons like Macs that have the major issues.

Personally, I've used the preview since it came out, and at first didn't like it but now I love it. You don't get to appreciate the hard work and efficiencies until you've used it fulltime in your day to day life. Some things like shutting down, the right click menu and horizontal scrolling still need tweaking... but i have no doubt those will be improved. I do think there should be an option for a start button for the whiners, but I understand why they removed it (to maximize toolbar space when you have a metro app snapped to the side). Overall, I think it's heading in an awesome direction and can't wait for the next release.

j2006 said,
I actually am hearing positive feedback from many desktop users... Ya everyone has feedback suggestions (hence why this is a consumer preview). The desktop experience is quite nice except for a few minor things, I find it's the people who don't like change or like big clunky icons like Macs that have the major issues.

Personally, I've used the preview since it came out, and at first didn't like it but now I love it. You don't get to appreciate the hard work and efficiencies until you've used it fulltime in your day to day life. Some things like shutting down, the right click menu and horizontal scrolling still need tweaking... but i have no doubt those will be improved. I do think there should be an option for a start button for the whiners, but I understand why they removed it (to maximize toolbar space when you have a metro app snapped to the side). Overall, I think it's heading in an awesome direction and
can't wait for the next release.

Having a similar experience to yourself, I couldn't get to grips with the Developers Preview, and it's taken me a bit of time to get used to the Consumer Preview but I can see it's much improved.
I've installed it as a vhd alongside Windows 7 and have been dipping in and out for the last fortnight - I think what is starting to help is that i'm now getting braver at customising Metro and the Desktop, not just trying to use it in the current default state. Since doing this I feel far more productive and able to get on with things. I certainly haven't used any previous OS on the default settings - i'd imagine most folk on Neowin are the same when first booting a new OS, even if it's just installing favoured programs or reordering the start menu or taskbar to make them feel more at home

j2006 said,
I actually am hearing positive feedback from many desktop users... Ya everyone has feedback suggestions (hence why this is a consumer preview). The desktop experience is quite nice except for a few minor things, I find it's the people who don't like change or like big clunky icons like Macs that have the major issues.

Personally, I've used the preview since it came out, and at first didn't like it but now I love it. You don't get to appreciate the hard work and efficiencies until you've used it fulltime in your day to day life. Some things like shutting down, the right click menu and horizontal scrolling still need tweaking... but i have no doubt those will be improved. I do think there should be an option for a start button for the whiners, but I understand why they removed it (to maximize toolbar space when you have a metro app snapped to the side). Overall, I think it's heading in an awesome direction and can't wait for the next release.

Agreed!

I too have used the Consumer Preview since release and haven't been back to Win7 since. It is certainly an improvement over the Developer Preview, which broke most games (couldn't maximise them; couldn't scroll left in RTS games, etc). Obviously it takes some getting used to and takes you out of your comfort zone but it's a good operating system, even for non-touch systems (like mine).

Like the ribbon interface, it will initially take you longer to do the tasks you could previously do without even thinking about but when you adapt it makes you more productive. Metro Start gives you: more programs on screen, easier to select tiles, colour for quick identification, dynamic content at a glance, the ability to easily customise the screen, quick access to uninstall apps, etc. I never liked the constrained Start Menu that Vista introduced, so for me Metro Start is a huge improvement. There's definitely room for improvement but I think the criticism is hugely overblown.

They'd still need to remove the Start orb/button as you've got two UI features that have the same purpose. To be fair, it wouldn't be that bad if there was no Start orb with this Active Desktop/Metro mash-up because you could just use the Show Desktop button to get to the Start Screen.

i really hope that no one from Microsoft read this "suggestion" and if by accident someone does i sure hope that he will not even remotely consider to take it into account.

0nyX said,
i really hope that no one from Microsoft read this "suggestion" and if by accident someone does i sure hope that he will not even remotely consider to take it into account.

And I hope they read your followup to this "suggestion" and if by accident someone does, I sure hope that there is a fatal exception error and someone at Redmond presses the reset button.

Neobond said,
Why?

Because you and others are acting like Microsoft somehow owe you an evolution of Windows 7 rather than something radically different like they have produced. Windows 8 isn't an evolution of 7, it's a new platform; a metro platform (with a desktop compatibility environment). The concept of desktop/start menu/taskbar is gone and you need to get used to it. If you and others refuse to adopt Metro, then it wouldn't be logical to buy a metro OS.

To be clear though... I do not think that metro is perfect. Microsoft has a lot of work to do to improve functionality and expose some hidden elements, not mention produce some kick-ass tutorials and quickstart guides.

TCLN Ryster said,

Because you and others are acting like Microsoft somehow owe you an evolution of Windows 7 rather than something radically different like they have produced. Windows 8 isn't an evolution of 7, it's a new platform; a metro platform (with a desktop compatibility environment). The concept of desktop/start menu/taskbar is gone and you need to get used to it. If you and others refuse to adopt Metro, then it wouldn't be logical to buy a metro OS.

To be clear though... I do not think that metro is perfect. Microsoft has a lot of work to do to improve functionality and expose some hidden elements, not mention produce some kick-ass tutorials and quickstart guides.

Plus one!

Microsoft is trying to create a shift in workflow, and force users to interact with the Live Tile system. However, if Microsoft does not craft a better desktop experience Mac OS X will officially be a better desktop environment.

They force the interaction with the Live Tile system so developers can solely focus on that development end, but really Microsoft could of launched a desktop app store, improved the interface by removing Aero or shifting it a bit, and adding in further tweaks (Multi Monitor support). Thats really all they needed to do, better and quality apps is the biggest downside of Windows at the moment.

revisionzero said,
Microsoft is trying to create a shift in workflow, and force users to interact with the Live Tile system. However, if Microsoft does not craft a better desktop experience Mac OS X will officially be a better desktop environment.

We still have Windows 7 so, no Mac OS X will not officially be a better desktop environment.

revisionzero said,
Microsoft is trying to create a shift in workflow, and force users to interact with the Live Tile system. However, if Microsoft does not craft a better desktop experience Mac OS X will officially be a better desktop environment.

Not at all. Can you run Autodesk Civil 3D on a Mac? How about ArcGIS or Visual Studios? OSX will be changing things up as well. A smarter approach is that Windows 8 will flop with business as they will stick to Windows 7. I can't see the majority of serious power users upgrading to this crap.

UndergroundWire said,

I can't see the majority of serious power users upgrading to this crap.

I will. And when I want to access the Services console, I always, press Windows key + R and type "services.msc"

or change my startup programs...msconfig.exe

este said,

We still have Windows 7 so, no Mac OS X will not officially be a better desktop environment.

OSX has long been a superior operating system as far as user interfaces go. It's easier to use, more coherent and uniform across applications. Sure, it has plenty of issues too but overall I find it much nicer to work on because it doesn't try throwing poor user experience at me at every turn. Win8 CP does nothing but that with the Metro UI. Even when operated with a tablet it would have many things that simply don't make sense.

Win 7 is MS best effort so far and they got a lot of things right by actually listening to their users whereas with Win 8 they gave us stuff nobody really wanted. If you look at any of the "user interface task force" sites for Windows there are hundreds of things they could have improved but instead for the desktop user we only got minimal improvements to the file browser and a better task manager. Hardly enticing to upgrade because of that.

revisionzero said,
Microsoft is trying to create a shift in workflow, and force users to interact with the Live Tile system. However, if Microsoft does not craft a better desktop experience Mac OS X will officially be a better desktop environment.

They force the interaction with the Live Tile system so developers can solely focus on that development end, but really Microsoft could of launched a desktop app store, improved the interface by removing Aero or shifting it a bit, and adding in further tweaks (Multi Monitor support). Thats really all they needed to do, better and quality apps is the biggest downside of Windows at the moment.

There is no desktop experience in Windows 8. Windows 8 IS Metro. The desktop is merely an application compatibility environment for legacy apps that don't have a metro version. This is why the desktop UI is limited. Windows 8 is not just an evolution of Windows 7, it's a new platform. Part of me thinks they should've given it a new name, like MetrOS or something like that.

yowanvista said,
Windows 8 will be a flop on PCs

I understand and respect people explaining why they don't like the new Immersive UI, but not people who go spout everywhere that it's certainly going to fail / flop. So please act mature and explain why YOU don't like it instead of wishfully thinking the impossible .

Cøi said,

I understand and respect people explaining why they don't like the new Immersive UI, but not people who go spout everywhere that it's certainly going to fail / flop. So please act mature and explain why YOU don't like it instead of wishfully thinking the impossible .


Windows 8 is a massive gamble for Microsoft, and right now I can see the potential for it to fail harder than Windows Vista did. Why is Microsoft is pushing a touch-based operating user interface onto systems that people are going to be driving with a keyboard and mouse? That doesn't make any sense unless they want to push people towards Touchscreen devices. imho they should have developed a 'Classic' Windows 8 version for regular desktop and notebook systems and a separate 'Metro' version for touch-enabled hardware.

yowanvista said,

Windows 8 is a massive gamble for Microsoft, and right now I can see the potential for it to fail harder than Windows Vista did. Why is Microsoft is pushing a touch-based operating user interface onto systems that people are going to be driving with a keyboard and mouse? That doesn't make any sense unless they want to push people towards Touchscreen devices. imho they should have developed a 'Classic' Windows 8 version for regular desktop and notebook systems and a separate 'Metro' version for touch-enabled hardware.

Why do people keep banging on about it being a "touch based" interface like the tiles jump out of the way when you move a mouse point near them? Sure it's designed to make touch a better experience to what it has been in the past, but not at the expense of keyboard and mouse. The touch aspect is nicely done, but touch and kb/m are not mutually exclusive concepts.

Taskbar cannot be and will never be on top as it is part of Desktop and Desktop is an app while Metro is the Shell of Windows 8, so sorry to those who hope to have something like that.

Neobond said,
This is why I suggested they should have taken the Active Desktop idea and made that better instead.

Active desktop failed miserably though. There's no going back to it.

i like the idea of the Start Menu becoming a Metro screen, they just need to fix a few things up with it yet. Then it's on to easing the public user into it.

Neobond said,
This is why I suggested they should have taken the Active Desktop idea and made that better instead.

Metro + Desktop use far more resources than just Metro, and that's a very important part not only for tablets, but also notebooks/netbooks

Well, everyone I know and who tried Windows 8 absolutely hates the desktop experience. From what I read everywhere, most people feel the same, Metro is NOT suited for mouse and UXGA+ screens. So either Microsoft listens to all those potential buyers, or they will indeed see how Windows 7 outsales its successor even after its release.

If they are really smart they make a double setup, one for tablets and one for desktop computers. And from there on, everything optional, so people can choose how to use their system. Metro is for tablets, not for computers.

Islander said,
Well, everyone I know and who tried Windows 8 absolutely hates the desktop experience. From what I read everywhere, most people feel the same, Metro is NOT suited for mouse and UXGA+ screens. So either Microsoft listens to all those potential buyers, or they will indeed see how Windows 7 outsales its successor even after its release.

If they are really smart they make a double setup, one for tablets and one for desktop computers. And from there on, everything optional, so people can choose how to use their system. Metro is for tablets, not for computers.

You, and all the other Windows 8 haters don't speak for everyone. This is just a vocal minority making a lot of noise as they control a platform to air their view. Until its released the only ones who have had exposure to Windows 8 are geeks, who it appears don't want to change the way they work. The general populace is unaware of Windows 8 so it's hard to understand how so many are able to speak for them. And no, staged videos don't count.

That's not true, there are equally enough people supporting the whole concept. The fact it's almost split down the middle has to say something. Even Microsoft is defending the fact that a lot of people are actually happy with the direction of Windows 8.

efjay said,

And no, staged videos don't count.

You mean the video where the guy asked his dad to try Windows 8 for the first time and he found it frustrating and couldn't use it?

Of course that video doesn't count, it goes against your argument


Also I just want to note that he later on let his dad try Mac OS X Lion - Also for the first time. His dad could use it easily and afterwards he asked his dad which he preferred Mac OS X Lion or Windows 8. Again both he had never used before that day, he is a long time Windows user for over a decade. His response? Mac OS X Lion.

Islander said,
Well, everyone I know and who tried Windows 8 absolutely hates the desktop experience. From what I read everywhere, most people feel the same, Metro is NOT suited for mouse and UXGA+ screens. So either Microsoft listens to all those potential buyers, or they will indeed see how Windows 7 outsales its successor even after its release.

If they are really smart they make a double setup, one for tablets and one for desktop computers. And from there on, everything optional, so people can choose how to use their system. Metro is for tablets, not for computers.

I have it on my laptop, my girlfriends laptop and her 12 year old daughters laptop, we all like it. Its something to get used to at first but I can honestly say I enjoy using it on my laptop. Yes it needs refinement but this is a beta with months of dev work remaining.

What gets me is the whole reference to how confusing it is, like rembering what 4 corners of a screen does is confusing (I know its not obvious, but once told you know it and its simple).

My girlfriend took a day or two to 'get it' and shes very non IT litterate, her daighter loves it and the only gripe is Metro IE now flash (she plays flash games) but once I said this is the case on the fashionable iPad as well she was ok with the compromise, go figure!

Islander said,
Well, everyone I know and who tried Windows 8 absolutely hates the desktop experience. From what I read everywhere, most people feel the same, Metro is NOT suited for mouse and UXGA+ screens. So either Microsoft listens to all those potential buyers, or they will indeed see how Windows 7 outsales its successor even after its release.

If they are really smart they make a double setup, one for tablets and one for desktop computers. And from there on, everything optional, so people can choose how to use their system. Metro is for tablets, not for computers.

Also, I truely believe MS is well aware this is going to cause a marmite reaction, love or hate, and windows 7 will be the mainstay for a while. A new OS shift like this isnt something they should expect people to go out and upgrade to. It will be on new PC's and some will upgrade, businesses will mainly wait for the dust to settle like they do anyway, by then who knows what options will be available.

The metro experience needs good apps, and at the momnent there arent really any compelling apps. I expect this to slowly change over the CP period, with skydrive becoming more prominent and the other services going live etc.

There are little thinsg that need refining and it needs to be generally higher quality, but most of the gripes I've seen I simply cant agree with based on my experience, I love gestuing to the top right to see a list of running apps, simply typing to find an app on the start screen, click the bottom right pixel for desktop/start screen, it feels very natural if you allow yourself to get used to it and not think negative from the start.

efjay said,

You, and all the other Windows 8 haters don't speak for everyone. ... Until its released the only ones who have had exposure to Windows 8 are geeks, who it appears don't want to change the way they work.

Find an average user, family member, etc. that already uses Windows. Let them have a go at Windows 8 and watch what happens. Trust me, it's not pretty.

Design changes are good, shifting work-flow is good but some key elements of a concept become so ingrained that they simply cannot be changed and still expect to see wide-scale consumer adoption.

For example, every car has a steering wheel. However with any drive-by-wire system out there, you could easily remove the steering wheel (something manufacturers would love to do so they wouldnt have to make left and right cars) and put a joy stick in the middle of the console that would drive the car. There have been prototype cars that have done this, etc. But you know why the steering wheel is still there? Large scale consumer adoption rate demands that it's there.

Not only the longevity of the design but the beautiful simplicity and refined ease-of-access the steering wheel provides makes in near a ubiquitous element. Much like the Start button/menu.

I really dont mind the metro level of applications, but other than playing a little game or something I cant envision a way it would improve my ability to work (currently have 16 different programs open and overlapping in such a way across multipe monitors that allow me an ease of access to them. And if I hit Start my screen doesnt blank out, I just get a small start menu and get the next app open.

I never understood why that is a negative thing. "Windows 8 hater"? It's not like we are a Microsoft haters. A Microsoft hater really is a hater. Just like a Google hater or an Apple hater are just haters. But I think the voices of Windows 8 hater hold some weight. They have used and are running a Windows operating system.

I've been using Windows for quite sometime now. I have had Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98/SE, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. I've never ran Windows NT in a home environment but worked with it at my job at the time. Windows Me was so bad that I downgraded to Windows 98 SE. I eventually upgraded to Windows 2000. Windows Vista was so bad for me because I was running it on a Core 2 Quad processor with 8GB RAM. It wasn't horrible like Windows Me.

Fast forward to today. Windows 8 is just horrible for the desktop environment. It's childish looking, it's counter productive. It is almost as simultaneously running 2 different operating systems on your machine. I will not be upgrading it to it at all. I will be sticking to Windows 7 unless Microsoft makes some serious changes.

Are you going to call me a Windows 8 hater now to try to make me look stupid so you can win a childish argument? So unless you are in love with it, my voice doesn't count (even though I've been a life-long Windows user. Now that is pretty dumb.

duddit2 said,

I love gestuing to the top right to see a list of running apps, simply typing to find an app on the start screen, click the bottom right pixel for desktop/start screen, it feels very natural if you allow yourself to get used to it and not think negative from the start.


You mean left, right? (No pun intended)

AmazingRando said,
Find an average user, family member, etc. that already uses Windows. Let them have a go at Windows 8 and watch what happens. Trust me, it's not pretty.

The same is true of every single other new platform when it gets released though. It takes time and plenty of educational material like walkthrough videos, educational adverts and quickstart guides for people to pick up a new interface. The Windows 8 UI isn't hard, it's just not immediately obvious how to do certain things. The quickstart videos and education adverts will sort that out though. Very few "average users" or "family members" who'd been using Windows 3.11 instantly knew how to operate Windows 95 either, but soon learned and now that interface is widely accepted as the norm.

I have setup a PC at work with Windows 8. Sure you get people saying "how do I get back to the start menu?" for example, but once they're told they don't ask again. As I said, none of this is hard to learn.

TCLN Ryster said,

The same is true of every single other new platform when it gets released though. It takes time and plenty of educational material like walkthrough videos, educational adverts and quickstart guides for people to pick up a new interface. The Windows 8 UI isn't hard, it's just not immediately obvious how to do certain things. The quickstart videos and education adverts will sort that out though. Very few "average users" or "family members" who'd been using Windows 3.11 instantly knew how to operate Windows 95 either, but soon learned and now that interface is widely accepted as the norm.

I have setup a PC at work with Windows 8. Sure you get people saying "how do I get back to the start menu?" for example, but once they're told they don't ask again. As I said, none of this is hard to learn.


spot on. I had to show my parents how to use windows 7 (first ever pc), it took time and I still get asked how to do simple stuff. This is no different!

I had to teach my parents Windows 95. I've upgraded their computer to each iteration of Windows. They still knew how to use it. I came by the other day with my netbook (which has Windows 8) to show it to my parents, they had no idea how to log in. I had to do it for them. They had no idea what to do next.

efjay said,

You, and all the other Windows 8 haters don't speak for everyone. This is just a vocal minority making a lot of noise as they control a platform to air their view. Until its released the only ones who have had exposure to Windows 8 are geeks, who it appears don't want to change the way they work. The general populace is unaware of Windows 8 so it's hard to understand how so many are able to speak for them. And no, staged videos don't count.

Actually, it is the rabid fanboi's like yourself who are in the minority....

UndergroundWire said,
I had to teach my parents Windows 95. I've upgraded their computer to each iteration of Windows. They still knew how to use it. I came by the other day with my netbook (which has Windows 8) to show it to my parents, they had no idea how to log in. I had to do it for them. They had no idea what to do next.

Well yeah, duh! its a massive shift in UX, no one is denying that. But like you did with 95, you'd show them and then they'll know for the next x iterations of windows. Why is this a hard concept to grasp - New = people need to learn, this is not rocket science and neither is taking a little time to learn a new OS. Once you know the way it works its a very fluid experience.

duddit2 said,

Well yeah, duh! its a massive shift in UX, no one is denying that. But like you did with 95, you'd show them and then they'll know for the next x iterations of windows. Why is this a hard concept to grasp - New = people need to learn, this is not rocket science and neither is taking a little time to learn a new OS. Once you know the way it works its a very fluid experience.


So the UX is not intuitive. Point achieved.

Nothing is easier than having "Start" or the windows orb always visible at the bottom left of your screen. This is now not the case, granted when you start windows you see the "Start screen" but once you open a Metro app, or a native app you are either forced into full screen (with no obvious controls on using the app) or back on the desktop; and it's not immediately clear where you go from there.

intuitive? I think not.

daniel_rh said,
The taskbar on top is a very good idea

Indeed. Very, very good, and I hope Microsoft will seriously consider this option. And then also add running Metro apps to the taskbar of course.

This type of suggestion has been commented time and time again on Building Windows 8 blog, but I don't know if they proposed this exact idea.

A compromise for business users is needed the most. I don't totally dislike Metro but fear business will not embrace Metro easily.

Depicus said,
A compromise for business users is needed the most. I don't totally dislike Metro but fear business will not embrace Metro easily.

Business users are not going to be upgrading to Windows 8. Some of us are still on XP, and those on 7 will be quite happy to stay there for a while.

threetonesun said,

Business users are not going to be upgrading to Windows 8. Some of us are still on XP, and those on 7 will be quite happy to stay there for a while.

200+ machines here and we still downgrade most to XP. Most have no email or internet access and run LOB software from the 1980's. Tell me why we need Metro.

Depicus said,

200+ machines here and we still downgrade most to XP. Most have no email or internet access and run LOB software from the 1980's. Tell me why we need Metro.


You dont, your happy using XP, this article isnt for you.

Depicus said,
A compromise for business users is needed the most. I don't totally dislike Metro but fear business will not embrace Metro easily.

They don't embrace anything. Even AERO, which they love switching off for some damn reason.

Dot Matrix said,

They don't embrace anything. Even AERO, which they love switching off for some damn reason.

Mostly disabled for performance issues.

Dot Matrix said,
Actually, PCs run better with AERO on, rather than off.

Actually, that depends completely on the GPU.

MiukuMac said,

Actually, that depends completely on the GPU.

Agreed. It makes good use of hardware acceleration, but if the GPU is old/rubbish, then turning it off improves performance.

JustinN said,

Agreed. It makes good use of hardware acceleration, but if the GPU is old/rubbish, then turning it off improves performance.

Most businesses running Windows 7 are doing so on new hardware. For many, disabling aero is nothing more than a "placebo" effect.

Depicus said,
A compromise for business users is needed the most. I don't totally dislike Metro but fear business will not embrace Metro easily.

I guess it would depend on the business. For those that have numerous locations and a suite of applications, the Metro start screen could be a great portal if the corporate apps are moved to the Metro interface. Live tiles could also be beneficial since many business users are required to multitask and need to be aware of many things throughout the day.

Again, it depends on the business and if/how you look at the new start screen as a valuable tool.

duddit2 said,

You dont, your happy using XP, this article isnt for you.

until 755 days time then the article will be. Although I suppose us business types will have done most of our W7 migrations by then. Some of us business users have no choice, esp if software validation and 21CFR are an issue in our fields (im still supporting W2k pro and W2k server cos of this ) oh and NT4 workstation (and yes before you all state upgrade upgrade upgrade, you tell that to our OP director that a £250,000 machine that will only run on NT4 should be binned) and replaced due to a bit of software worth £100/ manufacturers want to sell the new machine makes any financial sense (a wee clue, it doesnt!) does the old PC with Nt4 do the job,.......Yes, then why change?

Mando said,

until 755 days time then the article will be. Although I suppose us business types will have done most of our W7 migrations by then. Some of us business users have no choice, esp if software validation and 21CFR are an issue in our fields (im still supporting W2k pro and W2k server cos of this ) oh and NT4 workstation (and yes before you all state upgrade upgrade upgrade, you tell that to our OP director that a £250,000 machine that will only run on NT4 should be binned) and replaced due to a bit of software worth £100/ manufacturers want to sell the new machine makes any financial sense (a wee clue, it doesnt!) does the old PC with Nt4 do the job,.......Yes, then why change?

Then who ever is running your IT is not doing a good job. A good IT Director can give a proper cost-benefit analysis on to prove the cost will be cheaper to purchase new equipment than to mantain older equipment.

You have to be able to speak in the business language and good IT folks know that.

P.S. that 250,000 machine is what is called a sunk cost and is already depreciated in accounting. There is xx cost that they pay now for mainteance that will exceed the value of a new machine.

Depicus said,

200+ machines here and we still downgrade most to XP. Most have no email or internet access and run LOB software from the 1980's. Tell me why we need Metro.

because your android WoL doesn't sell very well - weird cause it's the nicest one (off topic)

because eventually xp won't be supported & vista + have tighter security - but that's about the main reasons

Dot Matrix said,

Most businesses running Windows 7 are doing so on new hardware. For many, disabling aero is nothing more than a "placebo" effect.

Not so. For low-end hardware such as netbooks, the Aero is off by default ( but can be turned on). And even if a capable computer sometimes is giving a bad-performance, Windows automatically alerts the user, that to improve the Windows performance they should turn off the Aero.
And turning of Aero does improve the performance -and battery life.

Mando said,

until 755 days time then the article will be. Although I suppose us business types will have done most of our W7 migrations by then. Some of us business users have no choice, esp if software validation and 21CFR are an issue in our fields (im still supporting W2k pro and W2k server cos of this ) oh and NT4 workstation (and yes before you all state upgrade upgrade upgrade, you tell that to our OP director that a £250,000 machine that will only run on NT4 should be binned) and replaced due to a bit of software worth £100/ manufacturers want to sell the new machine makes any financial sense (a wee clue, it doesnt!) does the old PC with Nt4 do the job,.......Yes, then why change?

Business evolves with the times or it dies...That is the reality of everything in the modern world. That machine "that will only run NT4" has to have depreciated greatly by now, simple technology paradigm...so you have greater problems. So long as you take into account how much MS charges for support of NT now, or you support it on your own, that is all well and good. I remember a few years ago working for a multinational financial firm when they got the bill to continue supporting NT...the number of zeros involved moved them off very fast.

With your logic, we should not use VMware because we have servers that cost a lot of money to buy initially, so they retain that value idefinitely??

Most desktop users will not adopt metro either - if Microsoft release it without the option to turn Metro off and go back to the standard desktop/start button, it'll be another windows vista failure.

In fact metro should be an OPTION if you want it, NOT the default.