Editorial

Windows 8: Microsoft's big hodgepodge on the desktop

Windows 8 marks one of the biggest transitions in Microsoft history. It brings the unification of their device platforms, mobile, gaming and desktop to one strikingly beautiful experience that is consistent regardless of device. However, it appears the company may have lost its way as it seeks to become fully-Metro.

If you've been using the Consumer Preview for the last week, you will have had one of two experiences. Either it went really well for you, and you've fallen in love already -- or -- things were great at first, and then it dawned on you that Microsoft is a long, long way from getting Windows 8 right.

Windows 8 is truly great, and revolutionary for the company, considering that the start menu has been around for over two decades in one form or another, but it seems Microsoft has forgotten its roots amongst this, and has forgotten that the large portion of their users are enterprise users, resistant to change or don't have a touch based device. It appears they are living in a world where only certain case studies matter, and are forgetting about how the majority of PC users use their machines.

After spending well over a week with the Consumer Preview (I foolishly did an in-place upgrade of Windows 7), I could almost praise or complain all day about Windows 8. It's really a love/hate relationship for me, but there are some massive issues that the company hasn't dealt with yet. I'm not talking about the preview applications in this article, because they are irrelevant and far from completed.

Metro at center stage, stuck in the past out back

There is no denying that Metro is sexy. From when we saw it fully implemented on Windows Phone, then the Xbox 360 many fell in love. Journalists proclaimed "this is the future" and "Microsoft has finally gotten it right" and there's no denying that's what Microsoft did there. The experiences on those devices is polished, beautiful and works flawlessly. Whilst I'm aware that Windows 8 is still unfinished, some things appear to be staying.

Pictured below is what Microsoft really wants you to see when you open the Metro interface. A sexy array of live tiles that constantly update you with the latest informatiion. That's true, to some extent. This is the front of stage.

Unfortunately, this isn't what happens at all with Windows 8 in the real world. Put it on a desktop PC, keep it for a few days or weeks, and then your Metro experience will look like a cluttered array of dog vomit once you scroll across.  Applications that install to the old start menu pin all their rubbish here. Backstage, behind the curtain is not what Microsoft wants you to see before you use the product.

It appears this behavior is by design to seperate Metro style apps from desktop applications as developers can't change their icons to look sexy and full-tile sized unless it's Metro based. On my corporate PC, I know this is going to be filled with manuals, ODBC connectors and rubbish that I'll never use, and the only solution is to manually unpin.

Less intuitive

Want to get to the Control Panel? You better have a shortcut handy, because it's bloody well hidden now. My initial impressions of Windows 8 were great... except I couldn't figure out how to customize it to make it my own past pinning things to the start menu.

If you follow your instincts like me, you'll go where you expect to find it. First of all, you need to get to "My Computer," but there's no longer an icon for that. Opening Explorer by pressing the folder icon will do that for you, and then navigating to "Computer" in the left pane will get you there.

Second, you have to actually find Control Panel. The ribbon, with all its useful tools for the "average user" is hidden by default, and the bar that showed the "Control Panel" link is now gone. Is a user going to know to open the ribbon to find it? Probably not. How will they know?

You could always consider the new route. Move your mouse to the upper right or bottom right corner of the screen for a second, wait for the charms to appear, then click the settings charm, then click Control Panel and you've made it.

Now that you've gotten here, you want to figure out how to change the color of the Start Screen. Easy enough, right? Well, that's not in this Control Panel. You'll need to go back to the charms, hit the settings charm again, then, at the bottom of the massive panel (that covers a good quarter of the screen) click "More PC settings" (not control panel or personalization, both of which are options that make sense) and you'll be launched back into some sort of Metro control panel that doesn't correspond to the traditional one.

It's almost laughable what comes next. Administrators who complained that things are slower, more confusing and harder were told that Microsoft has made it easier, just right click on the start icon that appears when you mouse to the lower left of the screen and you get power user options. Useful, perhaps, but how will anyone know they are there unless they read about it?

Windows 8 doesn't offer an easy way to discover or learn about these new features, it just throws you in the deep end, assuming you'll just figure it out. Your average office worker who wants to change the start screen color probably would have given up as soon as they realized it wasn't in the Control Panel, it's easier to assume you just can't change it then go looking for it.

The issues are just as deep when it comes to simple tasks such as shutting down. Paul Thurott wrote on the Windows Super Site today that "shutting down is easy" and that those who are claiming that Windows 8 requires more work are "silly." He claims that doing the below is easier than it was before:

Keyboard. WINKEY + I, UP ARROW, ENTER, U.

Mouse. Charms, Settings, Power, Shutdown.

Touch. Charms, Settings, Power, Shutdown.

How is that intuitive at all? How does the user even know to look there? Since when was shutting down a setting? Paul claims that "we aren't in the 1980's anymore, you shouldn't be shutting down" but unfortunately, that isn't the use case at all. Offices and homes alike around the world shut down their PC's at night save energy and the environment. My mother will just unplug the PC if she can't find the shut down option within thirty seconds, so Paul's argument is invalid.

For mouse users, how will they know the charms appear by moving to the top right or bottom right? This isn't explained anywhere. Perhaps Microsoft will add a compulsory tutorial, just like the ones that appeared in Windows 95 and XP. I feel that the best user experiences are those that are self-revealing. A user should be able to use the OS and just know where things are, or be able to discover new things and be excited by them, not feel like they have to work to figure it out. It could be a simple "just type" to imply search is built in to the start screen. 

Additionally, even when there is a tour (I'm pretty confident Microsoft's marketing department will make sure of it), will users be that enthusiastic to change their behaviour in one swift step like this?

The start key

This is perhaps the change that irks me the most. The start button has always done one of two things:

  1. Open the start menu
  2. Close the start menu if it's already open

That start button behavior has been changed in Windows 8, as one would expect, but now it behaves entirely unintuitively:

  1. Open the start screen
  2. Close the start screen if no Metro apps opened
  3. Cycle to previous application if Metro app opened

If Microsoft wants users to embrace the change, they need to understand that Metro will not be where the majority of desktop users want to spend their time. They should still be able to escape the experience the same way they know how, rather than searching for the desktop tile.

Apple is the master of incremental changes, introducing feature by feature, eventually creating something larger and ultimately less confusing than changing everything at once. Microsoft wants their users to love Metro and embrace it, but the reality is that average users want to get on with their work, be it in Word or Chrome, not in Metro. On a tablet, Metro makes sense, you work and breathe in it.

The future is beautiful, but scary

Despite the issues that Windows 8 has in its infancy, I love it. The changes are great for me, and I'm willing to embrace them, but it leaves me wondering how my mom would feel using Windows 8. Most of Microsoft's user base are the uninformed not-so-tech savvy users that just want to check Facebook, watch movies and be done with it. They don't want to learn something new, or are willing to, but only if it's simple and sexy. Unless somebody tells them how to use the new version of Windows, they'll probably just complain it's worse and more cluttered than before.

Microsoft has the sexy of Metro down, but it appears they don't have the simplicity there yet. When you sit in front of a Windows PC now, you understand to some extent how to use it because of the way Microsoft has consistently developed their UI until now. When you sit down in front of a Windows 8 PC right now, there's nothing that really indicates to you what to do, and self discovery isn't easy since there are no visual hints of where the start menu has gone.

I had pondered putting this to the test by putting a "average" user in front of a PC to really show how confusing and non-intuitive it is, but Chris Pirillo beat me to it. In the video below, he puts his father in front of the PC and asks him to use it as he normally would. The results are less than surprising.

This isn't a very scientific test, but nor is it something that is uncommon. I've done this on a few other friends, and they had similar issues locating basic functionality (such as the start screen) that should be easily discovered. On a tablet, it  truly is intuitive. With a mouse, that action isn't as simple or fluid so it's harder to discover.

Some may argue that the start menu being moved is a silly discussion as users will learn new behavior, such as charms usage or pressing the start key, which is true, however many of us know people who've never even used the start key on the keyboard. Users aren't as willing to make a big change in behavior, but little ones over time can usually change their overall behavior as their not forced into a completely new way of thinking.

The other side of the fence

Almost everyone will detest bringing Apple into the argument, but you really have to look over the fence to understand what Microsoft may have done wrong here. Apple recently announced it's latest iteration of OS X -- Mountain Lion -- which is an incremental update to their operating system. On the surface, Mountain Lion may not look like much, but it's easy to see the end game here. 

Apple is slowly bringing the feature set of their touch devices to the desktop, it's easy to see that they'll probably add touch to their desktops too in the future, but they're doing it in a way that users understand the changes piece by piece.

First, in Lion came the app store, inverse scrolling like on a touch device, FaceTime, LaunchPad and full screen applications. All of which are very similar to their iOS counterparts. Mountain Lion brings the notification center and messaging; both of which look exactly the same as their iOS counterparts and will eventually be very intuitive to use. A simple two finger swipe to the right will reveal the new notification center. 

Apple's approach is to change things completely -- but only over time -- and to not disrupt the user too much in one go. Mac commentators may complain that the interface is old and out of date, but the reality is that users really don't care, and care about consistency and new features, and Apple knows this. It's entirely unlikely you'll see them overhaul their interface until it's almost to the point where the incremental iOS additions are the entire interface, and users would have been trained how to use it over time, barely noticing when things change dramatically.

The end times?

It's clear that Microsoft's approach is the inverse. They are replacing what everyone knows with something that's big, and different. There are a few things that look the same, but navigating Windows 8 in general is not the same as getting around in previous versions.

I don't know if offering users guidance in the form of tutorials is enough here for users. As much as Microsoft wants everyone to embrace tablets, forcing such a big change without slowly slipping it past the users' nose might not work. It has to be easy, quick to learn and self-revealing. Microsoft may be pushing touch, hard, but not too many users have touch yet, and they won't even really consider it a "must have" this year. Somehow, Microsoft will need to make touch on a laptop sexy and attractive.

Users have taken two very extreme different sides on the topic of Windows 8, with one side saying that "this is the best thing Microsoft has ever done" and the others grabbing their oars and preparing to jump ship.

What no-one has presented is real world data, from the perspective of an actual consumer, which is the purpose of the preview. If the reactions I've seen from "average" people that I know is any indication, then it ranges from "Oooh, shiny" to "I don't know how to deal with this, give me the old one back." Technology enthusiasts seem to have a very different reaction, proclaiming the great things it can do.

There is no conditioning or easing into Windows 8, you're just thrown into a stone-cold Metro future.

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211 Comments

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Wow, so the author thinks there won't be a tutorial when the UI features are finalized?

Strange there always has been a getting started and tutorial for every version of Windows, strange that Windows 8 will be the only one that doesn't, just to confuse people... Right?

Idiot.


________
The world heard the same insane rants about Windows 3.0 and how it would never be used in a serious business environment, or how NT was crippled by a GUI on a server, and how Windows 95 would alienate all Windows 3.1 users, and the move to NT based XP would be too confusing for users and how Office 2007 would be too confusing and also how Office 2007 was too simple for power users.

In the technical side we also heard how the NT object OS model was not feasible in terms of performance, and how it had extraneous security with the object based token system and all the ACL objects, and how NT would fail because it didn't let software touch the hardware directly and how the kernel layers in NT were a waste of CPU cycles, and how how the kernel was silly to use a general architecture abstraction layer for portability and blah blah blah... (Yet these are highly regarded and coveted features today.)

So the cycle goes on and on and on...

And next week, there will be ANOTHER article about how PCs are dead and tablets and phones are replacing them, and Microsoft was stupid for not embracing it sooner.


_____________
Fear change, call it the devil and run back into the cave, and club to death anyone that doesn't agree.

The full UI interaction features are NOT in the consumer preview, just like the developer preview.

Additionally the ways to access things were purposely left unexplained for users to 'figure out' to test what was intuitive and what isn't.

So the author failed the test on many things, that is good information Microsoft will use.

Edited by thenetavenger, Mar 19 2012, 9:13pm :

I like Windows 8 just fine. I am sure it has been said already, but let me just echo it. If I am using it on a desktop, just let me have the option of seeing the desktop as default when I login.

Based on what i've seen on the tablet offering with Windows 8, it'll clearly be the only real competition for Apple. Windows tablet mode looks awesome. What I do like is how MS is offering both modes. I know we'll definitely purchase a Windows 8 tablet.

My only complaint is MS' lack of ease of use. They really need to simply Windows 8 tablet mode a little more. One other shortcoming that MS has never really addressed is the inconsistencies in esthetics; too many scrappy looking icons and shoddy branding. If they can clear this up, polish up the look some, Windows 8 will soar.

It's funny how many people are so pro Apple, Apple can do no wrong, Apple is King. Sure, Apple makes some great products and offer some amazing style, but let's face it, most of Apple's success is the "cool factor". And it's difficult to compete with that. Google was the same way. In fact, most of Google's products seem unfinished and made in a basement. Though I own and iPad, I have to say it's pretty boring. It's pretty closed and really nothing special, but it's simple and it has an Apple logo on it.

I'll leave you with this- look around, think of all of your family and friends. Odds are, 90% of them use Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. In the real world, most people work and play on Windows, listen to music on their iPod and dick around on their iPad.

Edited by captainjy, Mar 17 2012, 11:27pm :


That start button behavior has been changed in Windows 8, as one would expect, but now it behaves entirely unintuitively:
1. Open the start screen
2. Close the start screen if no Metro apps opened
3. Cycle to previous application if Metro app opened

This is incorrect. The behavior of the Windows key is unchanged. It opens or closes Start. It will never cycle to previous applications (unless you mean Win+Tab or something).

The one thing that keeps annoying me is that if you like metro, all is fine. But when you dislike metro, you are wrong!

Imo metro is good move for touch devices, but is very limited for serious desktop use (non touch).

It is not a surprise for me to find MS using its market share in desktop pc's to force the consumer to accept a product.

DEVELOPERS!DEVELOPERS!DEVELOPERS!DEVELOPERS!DEVELOPERS!DEVELOPERS!DEVELOPERS!DEVELOPERS!DEVELOPERS!DEVELOPERS!DEVELOPERS!. Not living much to the hype eh buddy ?

"Mountain Lion brings the notification center and messaging; both of which look exactly the same as their iOS counterparts and will eventually be very intuitive to use. A simple two finger swipe to the right will reveal the new notification center."

LOL yeah. simple two finger swipe. you mean like the one finger swipe for win8? if the guy wasn't able to figure out win8, he'll not in a million years realize he's got to use 2 fingers. apple is idiotic if they think anybody will use that.

nice article. I totally agree with it. They better find a way to do a tablet OS and other to desktop or the ppl will move (if they need) to another OS.
The OS should be intuitive, like always was and by using the same interface (adopted in someway by gnome/KDE/etc) for so long, its pretty hard to find someone who is willing to waste months to use this PHONE interface on a 22 inchs monitor with a mouse.

ThePitt said,
nice article. I totally agree with it. They better find a way to do a tablet OS and other to desktop or the ppl will move (if they need) to another OS.
The OS should be intuitive, like always was and by using the same interface (adopted in someway by gnome/KDE/etc) for so long, its pretty hard to find someone who is willing to waste months to use this PHONE interface on a 22 inchs monitor with a mouse.

A "Phone interface" being used for laptops and desktops; what WAS Microsoft thinking?

There is a learning curve - but you can never win it when you are in MS' position. People complained about e.g. Win being slow - but they can't ditch all their legacy support for obvious reasons. Yet, if they don't implement enough changes they will be docked for being "stale".

Comparing MS to Apple is not fair as Apple can "ditch" legacy support "easier". Avid Apple users complain briefly but most seems to upgrade to it with little fanfare afterwards - just like with most Apple products. They also don't have the burden with enterprises. If memory serves right, when Apple went with OS X - they made huge changes too - it wasn't step by step as they are doing now - there was a learning curve too then.

Windows 8 is a big step away from traditional improvements to Windows. I'm not saying it's going to be a perfect release - I like it but I can see some of the challenges users could have. But I think after this, they will start doing incremental changes just like they did with e.g. Win 3.1, 95 etc... It is MS' platform of the future. Most enterprises will be on 7 for a while and other users will be on 8 - there's always going to be 2-3 classes of users, each using an older version of windows until the next one is released.

Lastly, comments that MS will fall behind Apple and Google because of Windows 8 (if it gets a cool reception), in respect to this area - no. Google and Apple are dominant mobile players but they are not in this traditional aspect. Google doesn't have an OS yet that is even viable for daily use. Apple OS isn't considered seriously enough for enterprise use and even as a consumer system they still have a general small fraction. Let's not forget, with Windows 8 one could say that Apple has the oldest desktop OS and mobile OS - they will hit a wall where they will have to make a big change just like they did before.

People when will you understand this is a BETA ONE OS, ms is being nice enough to show the progress so far with the public, there will be changes at the rc level compaired to the BETA ONE we have now, can we all remember what beta 1 of w7 was like or beta1 of win95 or beta1 of win98, I cant believe that so many people everywhere are treating this like its the final product.

korupt_one said,
People when will you understand this is a BETA ONE OS, ms is being nice enough to show the progress so far with the public, there will be changes at the rc level compaired to the BETA ONE we have now, can we all remember what beta 1 of w7 was like or beta1 of win95 or beta1 of win98, I cant believe that so many people everywhere are treating this like its the final product.

Microsoft does not have a good record of making major changes to an OS after a Beta has been released to the general public. Maybe some small tweakings; but any major changes? Hardly--too much has been set in hardened cement.

This is really what happens when you are so behind in pretty much everything, like Microsoft is, like tablets, smartphones, desktop OS enhancements and then they realize that 5 years has passed and they have no clue what to do to catch and then start to bang everything together trying to compress 5 years of gradual improvements from other platforms like Apple and Google did.

You get this convoluted, incomprehensible OS that looks nice in some aspects as they are trying to make it appealing but didn't have the strategy of how to move everyone from one way of thinking to the new one that Microsoft is so late in.

So they can go and slap everything together, make super radical changes that only make sense to Microsoft engineers and management and you get Windows 8.

After seeing Windows 8, I'm pretty sure they will fail miserably with this one and have no way of catching up to Apple and Google in any way. This will be worse failure than Vista judging from the way things look now.

Windows 8 is neither enterprise, professional user friendly nor it's consumer friendly. It's some kind of Frankenstein monster that was supposed to be hot but turned out to be an atrocity.

I thought the Windows 95 screenshot was funny as 'Click the startbutton and click the program's icon' is exactly what you do in Windows8. The start 'menu' is just a whole lot more organised and customisable now.

Honestly, I find the whole thing just too funny.. It reminds me of the UUencode<>yEnc wars from years back. And anyone remember the riots over the introduction of the Ribbon in Windows? It'll all blow over once the new becomes the established.

Hence the reason why I'm sticking to Windows 7, I like the bottom picture the best because I believe as well this is the death of Windows. In my professional view I think Microsoft have ruined Windows OS by turning the entire OS into an MAC. I just wish Steve Jobs was still here to see the Public Release version of Windows 8, I think he'd probably say t he same... Microsoft has moved into MAC territory.

I personally don't like METRO at all, I think it's horrible and a lot of people will be using the classic desktop view.

Jonessie said,
Hence the reason why I'm sticking to Windows 7, I like the bottom picture the best because I believe as well this is the death of Windows. In my professional view I think Microsoft have ruined Windows OS by turning the entire OS into an MAC. I just wish Steve Jobs was still here to see the Public Release version of Windows 8, I think he'd probably say t he same... Microsoft has moved into MAC territory.

I personally don't like METRO at all, I think it's horrible and a lot of people will be using the classic desktop view.

Not even close. Not in style or function.

I actually like Windows 8 with the new start screen. Does it take time to get used to? Yes. Did I get used to it? Yes. I was able to check the weather for tomorrow, calendar appointments, and new mail - all at glance in about 3 seconds. One press on WinKey shows the live tiles. Press again and I'm back on my desktop. And Windows 8 is much quicker and seems more responsive than Windows 7. My laptop with an ULV SU4100 on a 5400 rpm hard drive boots almost as fast as my other laptop with Windows 7 on SSD.

Even if I were to hate Windows 8 with the new start screen, then I would still get it purely because its performance is so much better. I can always install the ViStart program for the old orb.

One of your opening statements said it all, and why Windows-8 is not going to be a a big success. You mentioned combining mobile, gaming, and desktops into one platform. The needs and requirements for the first two platforms are significantly different from the third platform. Tying to cobble something for all three just means compromise after compromise, with no one platform being fully served (serviced?).

Now I haven't used the CP or DP, and I don't plan to till the RTM. But I can say this; the environment that Metro uses is not the environment windows/pc users have come to expect. PC Users I think are not traditionally a mobile environment user. We want to USE the pc, not do pretty stuff with it. Microsoft is trying to push the Pretty on us. I think this change is coming too early to our PC era; which very well could be at a end. It is defiantly a change that needs to happen. No one likes change. But we are still too dependent on a productive environment.

My thoughts are, Windows 8 will come, and it will pass with lack luster adoption. With typical MS release history it will take "Windows 9" for mass adoption. Can Windows 8 break the streak that 95, ME, and Vista have come to expect?

I'm not seeing it. We all may have skipped Vista due to the stability of the OS; but every OS has its vex. Can users overcome this?

Hey, if there's anything PC people can look forward to, its a booming Learning/Teaching market for Windows 8. I guess I should add that to my resume.

It's funny about what you said about all the icons that get loaded like ReadMe.txt and other icons that get installed by apps. I figured this would be a mess. Once you unpin them it would be fine but you would need to take the extra steps to do this. Seems like nothing is categorized.

As far as I can tell, only executable files are pinned to the start screen. I installed several programs that created readme text files, and they were NOT pinned to the start screen after the installation.

I used Windows8 beta last week. Ifound it easy to get on with, the apps were a 5 minute wonder, but, the big downside for me is thet i have a media pc and windows 8 does not support a tv car. so i will staying with windows 7.
shame innit.

pcOlly said,
I used Windows8 beta last week. Ifound it easy to get on with, the apps were a 5 minute wonder, but, the big downside for me is thet i have a media pc and windows 8 does not support a tv car. so i will staying with windows 7.
shame innit.

You must have used the Developer Preview - which did not include either Windows Media Player OR Windows Media Center (and therefore could not support TV tuner usage).

I have the ATI HDTV Wonder - supported natively by every version of Windows since XP MCE (including the Windows 8 Consumer Preview - in x64 no less) and that is despite it not even having been sold in retail since 2006. The Consumer Preview has nary an issue with it. Which TV tuner card are you having issues with? Have you downloaded the latest Windows 7 drivers for it?

pcOlly said,
I used Windows8 beta last week. Ifound it easy to get on with, the apps were a 5 minute wonder, but, the big downside for me is thet i have a media pc and windows 8 does not support a tv car. so i will staying with windows 7.
shame innit.

hrmm i have a tv card and setup windows 8 just fine withit

I don't even know how to feel about this editorial..
Are the positive bits just thrown in to appear open minded?

That completely misleading video makes me feel that's the case.

markizvonschnitzel said,
I don't even know how to feel about this editorial..
Are the positive bits just thrown in to appear open minded?

That completely misleading video makes me feel that's the case.


It's not misleading its the truth, Windows 8 is not user friendly at all for the average users.,
All I request is Windows Make a Special Windows 8 that only has desktop mode and it has a start menu. Windows Metro reminds me of Windows Media Center.. that fancy thing that no one used but was supposed to be the future of TV.

The video of the old guy trying to get back to the Metro UI was both hilarious and worrying at the same time. If someone like him can't use it, there's no chance for the majority of people.

Maybe I'm older than most kids here and I remember.

When the mouse was introduced, I had to teach people how to use it. They would move the mouse and run out of desktop space before the pointer reached their destination, and they would be completely clueless about what to do. I had to teach them that they could just lift the mouse and place it back in the desktop and continue moving. I remember how tense they got when they had to do it while dragging an object by maintaining the button down, lift, put down and continue. Even today many people has trouble remembering the purpose of the right and left buttons.

Today, people have learned how to use a mouse. Now the revolution is touch. Screen is touchable, borders are used to access UI features. It will need some training. The question is: after you give the small clue that borders and corners are hot, is it easy to discover more stuff without having to memorize? I believe it is.

You can discover task switch by playing with the left border, you can discover search, settings, share by playing with the right border, application menu with bottom border. Just tell USE THE BORDERS, or USE THE CORNERS and let them discover. And just like when mouse was introduced, if you prefer to memorize keyboard shorcuts then go ahead and do it.

I have already seen people discovering things by themselves in Windows 8, and I have over a year of seeying non-tech people discovering things in Metro in WIndows Phones. It is more discoverable than keyboard shortcuts and mouse operation, and the world learned to use those back in the dark ages. Now people is more exposed to technology and they probably have already a touch phone. Embrace touch; just like the mouse was, it is here to stay.

Let me get this straight: you guys are complaining because Microsoft has made a tablet OS that can do MORE than what the incredibly successful iPad and all their tablet competition can do, while maintaining full compatibility with legacy apps, and can work in both casual and corporate, and by providing developing tools that will allow same code to be run in devices from phones to PCs to tablets to game consoles, finally creating an OS that runs everywhere

Windows 8 is the most versatile and complete tablet/desktop OS ever created. If you only work in a desktop, you don't need it, but wait until you buy one of the new devices made for Windows 8 and use it as it is intended to be used, and you can take with with you and use touch, then dock it and use bigger monitor and keyboard. All your docs and apps with you all the time, everywhere, online or offline. You don't need to buy a tablet AND a laptop AND a desktop, this is just a marketing lie from Apple just because they could not do a tablet that does it all.

The video is misleading: first you are showing Windows 8 in a non Windows 8 machine. Give him a Windows 8 tablet and he'll see a single button with a windows logo. Click it, That's it. You compare with OSX. Ask your dad to find an app in OSX that is not conveniently docked already. Let's see if he finds it. Or tell him to go to the Internet and see if he'll figure out that he need to click on 'Safari', which is an icon in the shape of a compass... How is that intuitive?The training for Windows 8 will come from using Windows 8 devices, then he'll come to the desktop and be glad to find familiarity. Is the other way around.

You made very very good points.

Charles Keledjian said,
Let me get this straight: you guys are complaining because Microsoft has made a tablet OS that can do MORE than what the incredibly successful iPad and all their tablet competition can do, while maintaining full compatibility with legacy apps, and can work in both casual and corporate, and by providing developing tools that will allow same code to be run in devices from phones to PCs to tablets to game consoles, finally creating an OS that runs everywhere

Windows 8 is the most versatile and complete tablet/desktop OS ever created. If you only work in a desktop, you don't need it, but wait until you buy one of the new devices made for Windows 8 and use it as it is intended to be used, and you can take with with you and use touch, then dock it and use bigger monitor and keyboard. All your docs and apps with you all the time, everywhere, online or offline. You don't need to buy a tablet AND a laptop AND a desktop, this is just a marketing lie from Apple just because they could not do a tablet that does it all.

The video is misleading: first you are showing Windows 8 in a non Windows 8 machine. Give him a Windows 8 tablet and he'll see a single button with a windows logo. Click it, That's it. You compare with OSX. Ask your dad to find an app in OSX that is not conveniently docked already. Let's see if he finds it. Or tell him to go to the Internet and see if he'll figure out that he need to click on 'Safari', which is an icon in the shape of a compass... How is that intuitive?The training for Windows 8 will come from using Windows 8 devices, then he'll come to the desktop and be glad to find familiarity. Is the other way around.

Charles Keledjian said,
Let me get this straight: you guys are complaining because Microsoft has made a tablet OS that can do MORE than what the incredibly successful iPad and all their tablet competition can do, while maintaining full compatibility with legacy apps, and can work in both casual and corporate, and by providing developing tools that will allow same code to be run in devices from phones to PCs to tablets to game consoles, finally creating an OS that runs everywhere

Windows 8 is the most versatile and complete tablet/desktop OS ever created. If you only work in a desktop, you don't need it, but wait until you buy one of the new devices made for Windows 8 and use it as it is intended to be used, and you can take with with you and use touch, then dock it and use bigger monitor and keyboard. All your docs and apps with you all the time, everywhere, online or offline. You don't need to buy a tablet AND a laptop AND a desktop, this is just a marketing lie from Apple just because they could not do a tablet that does it all.

The video is misleading: first you are showing Windows 8 in a non Windows 8 machine. Give him a Windows 8 tablet and he'll see a single button with a windows logo. Click it, That's it. You compare with OSX. Ask your dad to find an app in OSX that is not conveniently docked already. Let's see if he finds it. Or tell him to go to the Internet and see if he'll figure out that he need to click on 'Safari', which is an icon in the shape of a compass... How is that intuitive?The training for Windows 8 will come from using Windows 8 devices, then he'll come to the desktop and be glad to find familiarity. Is the other way around.

Amen.

Let me add a few things. The video is misleading because he only shows you a snippet of the 30+ minutes his dad was using Windows 8. The video is about 1:30 hours long and the Win 8 bit starts at the 52 minute mark. At about the 1 hour mark his dad begins to figure it out and says that it's pretty easy once you learn it.

But, the guy has a bias or an agenda to push and posted that clip prior to posting the whole video.

Also, there's another video in which he has his dad use a Mac. He made this video in response to people saying to have him use a Mac too. The dad figures out the doc pretty decently but also has an ipad and iphone. He DOES figure out that Safari goes to the internet but he thinks Safari is a search engine "Apple's Google", he says.

Anyway... the clip is bogus. The full video shows that a new user, without any instruction, can figure it out in short order.

I also like the fact that the article stated that the Control Panel is bloody hidden, but then again, there is a screen capture in the article that when you right click on the lower left, not only that you access your admin tools, control panel is there as well.

I think what this article failed to inform is that with new things, there are defintely new things to learn, and eventually, these new things, people will learn how to use it as long as they get informed.

Exactly. The complaint isn't that things take longer - in fact the screenshot highlights how many advanced features are now much QUICKER to find - but that people will have to learn how to use the new features. Technical users will quickly discover the new functionality and if they don't... well, they're clearly not that technical. Win8 hasn't even been released and there are hundreds of articles explaining the new functionality. As for criticism for not being intuitive, it's no different than first using a mouse wheel, right-clicking the desktop, using jumplists, discovering Aero Snap, double clicking. Heck, double clicking is FAR from intuitive yet everybody takes it for granted once they've learnt it.

It's sensationalist nonsense. If you want an objective look at Windows 8 then check out AnandTech's in-depth preview.

Too much back and forth between pro-metro and non-pro-metro.

Ok, if the problem of Windows 8 is that no one can figure out how to swtich back to the Start Screen when you're in desktop mode, then petition to Microsoft to include the start button on the lower left hand of the screen. I'm sure that will solve this problem.

In addition, has anyone here tried to use Windows 8 on a regular basis, and I mean everyday use on a laptop or PC?

The reason for asking is because I use it everyday, and when I am in desktop mode, I am in there all the time. I don't bother going to the Start Screen because I've setup the apps that I use all the time on the taskbar by pinning. Has anyone even tried that?

... just wondering.

They have added some great new features in 8 - I would have happily paid for it if the Win 7 UI was there. I think a lot of us agreed that Win 7 was good - Its tagging features needed upgrading so they could work with any file and more customisation of tool bars was needed. In 8 we have seen Explorer enhancements and thats shown that MS is listening but they have mucked it up by giving us new features and then hiding we ones we know and love - or plain eradicating them.

Im still in the market for a good solid OS that I can control and don't have to resort to using keyboard shortcuts. I cant buy 8 in its current form, its just feels like the start of a new mobile OS and things aren't in place. I feel like Im going to need to link Windows 8 into Windows 7 in order to become productive in the same way you might plug an old mp3 player or symbian phone in.

It's not an article, it's an editorial. One is news (articles) and the other is opinion (editorial). I think what you mean to say is, "I don't agree with the writer's opinion."

Although I do admit there are a few spelling mistakes that I noticed, so maybe you're talking about that. It's hard to know when you don't provide an explanation as to what exactly you find terrible about it.

Intrinsica said,
... I do admit there are a few spelling mistakes that I noticed

Maybe he should have written this on Windows 8 with OS level spellcheck.

Apples incremental changes are fine and all... well at least when you have a fan base which updates each time you add a new button.

When you have a user base that's clinging onto XP, this may be the ideal opportunity to make a bit of a jump and a skip. Most XP users will eventually have to change to Windows 8, I don't see them holding out till Windows 9 (which will be incremental to 8 anyway). This jump means in another 10 years time that user base wont be using what could have been a Windows "7.9" which will be completely detached from where devices are in 2022.

lt8480 said,
Apples incremental changes are fine and all... well at least when you have a fan base which updates each time you add a new button.

except when you work for an ISP's tech support and each and every version of Mac Mail is setup in a slightly different manner.

Try keeping your staff trained for what is at that point an infinite amount of variety for 13% of the customer base.

Does the Windows 8 Consumer Preview say feature complete?
Does the Windows 8 Consumer Preview say release candidate?
Does Windows 8 have a definite release date yet?
Is Microsoft likely to refuse to put in a help file or instructional video in the finished product?

If the answer to all these is no, can we start treating the Windows 8 CONSUMER PREVIEW like beta software (which it is) and give meaningful feedback and suggestions instead of EPIC MARKET FAIL and WUSRE THAN TEH V1STA!!

Pygmy_Hippo said,
Does the Windows 8 Consumer Preview say feature complete?
Does the Windows 8 Consumer Preview say release candidate?
Does Windows 8 have a definite release date yet?
Is Microsoft likely to refuse to put in a help file or instructional video in the finished product?

If the answer to all these is no, can we start treating the Windows 8 CONSUMER PREVIEW like beta software (which it is) and give meaningful feedback and suggestions instead of EPIC MARKET FAIL and WUSRE THAN TEH V1STA!!

Regrettably, Microsoft in its arrogance has shown very little, if any, response to constructive consumer suggestions. It is a situation of "my way or the highway."

I love how loads of people were complaining that windows has not changed much with its UI in 20 years and that each new versions offers little which is new, and yet now when they try and change it all people complain again.

Good on them for attempting change. Shame they've got it just about as wrong as it can be

The whole shutting down thing is a farce. No way it should take that much digging to find that option. And having to go to the top right then to the bottom right for settings, ridiculous.

sila said,
The whole shutting down thing is a farce. No way it should take that much digging to find that option. And having to go to the top right then to the bottom right for settings, ridiculous.

Just press the sleep button on my keyboard.. done..

paulheu said,

Just press the sleep button on my keyboard.. done..

One of the first things I disable to prevent accidental hitting the power or sleep key from causing me to lose what I'm doing and/or data.

So with no sleep button via keyboard, what do you do then?

There shouldn't be only ONE way to do something.

Dear article writer: calm the fark down. You come across as angry and vitriolic and completely unreasonable. You sound completely closed to conversation about the OS because you've come to your conclusions and that's all you're willing to hear about it, and frankly, if that's the way you think, you shouldn't be writing articles. Opinions like yours are for comments and forum posts.

DaveBG said,
Who cares? In about a year everyone will be using Android if this continues.

chrome OS??? didn't that die already, and Android on tablets suck. Android will be getting a good knock down to planet earth soon.

I am really enjoying W8... but I can see how some might not. Perhaps they SHOULD do a W8D[esktop] and a W8T[ouch] version, keep them somewhat separate for now... yet not REALLY separate, just less metro on the desktop. Err... you know what I mean.

BTW Microsoft, your Metro apps look TOTALLY GREAT on my setup (Dual 2560x1600 monitors).

I'm so sad though... I should have kept my old 5:4 1280x1024 monitors, to be able to use this revolutionnary OS to its full potential and not wasting so much space on my screens!


No seriously, it's ridiculous... I can't stand the "dumbification" you're trying to shove down our throats with all this Metro non-sense Microsoft.

Be serious, you're trolling us, right?

myxomatosis said,

No seriously, it's ridiculous... I can't stand the "dumbification" you're trying to shove down our throats with all this Metro non-sense Microsoft.

Be serious, you're trolling us, right?

You think this is dumbification? Dumbification was going from the splendour of Dos 6.2.2 to the outright nonsense that was Windows 3.1 - what the hell can you do in a GUI that can't be done so much easier at a command line interface?

My personal favorite on Win8 CP is the way the bottom left corner start screen access works. It's a ~ 20x20 pixel area you can click. But, the problem is that putting your mouse in that area pops up a screen that is somewhat similar to what you get if you hover over an open program on the desktop. But unlike the program window popups, you can't click the start screen popup. If you try it will disappear and have you clicking the taskbar shortcut you have pinned right under it, possibly launching a program you didn't want to start. It's so obvious and goes against the conventions we learned in Win7 it makes me lose hope in MS's UI designers.

Another gem is the fact you can't freely resize say a Metro browser window if it's set as partially viewed with the rest of the space being your desktop. It's either a generally useless strip spanning about 1/4 of your monitor space, or it takes whole screen or 3/4 your display area leaving you with another strip of uselessness. I've got a 2560x1600 display, this would be handy if it was freely resizable.

As it stands, I will not be buying Win8 because it offers absolutely nothing truly new to me as a desktop user.

Great article and it echos exactly what I've been saying everywhere else. Windows 8 is great for tablets, but not for the desktop PC.

Maybe they should have revisited the concept of a live desktop which they attempted with Windows 98 (called Active Desktop). The desktop could easily house the metro tiles/applications, even across monitors leaving the taskbar and traditional start menu intact.

Neobond said,
Great article and it echos exactly what I've been saying everywhere else. Windows 8 is great for tablets, but not for the desktop PC.

Maybe they should have revisited the concept of a live desktop which they attempted with Windows 98 (called Active Desktop). The desktop could easily house the metro tiles/applications, even across monitors leaving the taskbar and traditional start menu intact.

This. My thoughts exactly. Their ideas just need a little adjustment and they could be very Desktop friendly.

Vista had its issues (drivers, slow, unresponsive, memory hog, unexplainable hard disk activity, etc.) but nothing as bad as a flawed/bloated UI...

The "wake up call" Windows 8 will bring to Microsoft is probably even worse than Vista.

My prediction is that Windows 7 will live even longer Windows XP did, on desktop computers...

Awesome article! After using W8 for a few weeks, I turfed it. It's more annoying than anything, and makes me think this is purely for the 'dumb' computer users. Any kind of power user will detest this, as I did. W7 is awesome and they should have continued building on that. Screw this metro style. I suspect this could be the most hated version of the OS since Windows ME. Microsoft never gets it right these days and forcing people to be stuck with such a goofy interface WILL come back to haunt them. I'll be sticking with W7.

DJ Specs said,
Microsoft never gets it right these days and forcing people to be stuck with such a goofy interface WILL come back to haunt them. I'll be sticking with W7.

What do you mean? You're using Win7 aren't you? and the mobile OS is almost flawless. So where have they failed "these days"

Why was my comment removed Owen? Because I criticized you're inability to search? Like I said prior, on the start menu, simply type "C-O-N-T", then enter, and you're in the control panel. It takes less than two seconds. This article, however, goes out it's way to make it seem more complicated.

Great OP-ed piece, Owen - a really interesting read and I can't help but find myself in total agreement with you on everything.

Looking at the video of Chris Pirillo's dad trying to use Windows would be exactly how it would be for my parents... they'd be completely lost. Hell, I'm a Windows sysadmin and I've been using Windows since before Windows 3.0 so am not a newbie and I've found the change over to the Metro UI not entirely intuitive. I think it has potential but there is so much stuff that's just so badly thought out. I've had to resort to Googling for articles where you can find lists of key combo's and so forth just so you can get things done.

Worrying times for Microsoft. There's a lot of rampant fanboyism in here (as usual, sadly) and people seem to be arguing FOR the product by being insulting and acting like know-alls. The Enterprise is going to LAUGH at this product, and the majority of average home users aren't going to want to touch it with a 10ft cattle prod. This does reek of Vista all over again unfortunately.

Every OS needs some sort of training. All people praise OSX because it is so easy to use, but I had to train people to use it and trust me, is far from intuitive.
Take a simple OSX feature like Expose. How do you access it? To see all windows: F9. To see all apps only: F10. To see desktop: F11. But that if you have a older mac. Newer Macs moved the Expose to F3 to make space for rewind/play keys. To make it worse, you might have to hold the command key with F3. IF you have a multitouch trackpad you can access Expose dragging FOUR fingers down. And this is just for task switching.

Is that intuitive? Do you think someone could figure this out without training? Even after training, do you think non-tech people will remember all this?

In Windows 8 all you need to train is the fact that functions of the UI are accessed from the screen borders if you use touch or the corners if you use mouse. That's it. Then a person will play with the left border and discover task switching. He drags an app and is not the one he wants, he drags it back and what happens? The task bar appears with thumbnails of last used apps. You recognize the thumbnail and tap it. No training. You drag from the right border and you see search, settings, share. Same with mouse and corners. Task switching and all other functions can be discovered if only you give this small clue that all is in corners and borders. Compare that with training F9, F10, F11, F3, two finger drag, four finger drag, pinch, etc.

Chicane-UK said,
The Enterprise is going to LAUGH at this product, and the majority of average home users aren't going to want to touch it with a 10ft cattle prod. This does reek of Vista all over again unfortunately.

Until Enterprise Devs realize that the search and share charms will revolutionize their users lives.
Don't sell the consistant search/share short. This could replace complex server integrations with relative ease and better security.

Steven Sinfosky and Julie Green-Larson are going to get into real troubles if they don't fix Windows 8 up from the desktop perspective.

Great article and shows the real side of Windows 8.

I hope Microsoft reads this. If not please forward it to them. It is a valid concern.

x-byte said,
Great article and shows the real side of Windows 8.

I hope Microsoft reads this. If not please forward it to them. It is a valid concern.


Someone at MS reads neowin all the time.
They even posted the article about top html5 games on their fb page.

That old man in the video? yeah, he figured out Windows 8 in less than half an hour. Watch the full-length video before posting sh*t about it.

The people who worked on Windows 8 User Experience and UI need to be fired from their job or never again given a chance to work on UX.

Ricardo Dawkins said,

Keep using Windows XP and the sorry Start Menu..

Here is something really personal towards you... I have stopped reading the comments on the Building Windows 8 blog because of people like you... nothing good to add or learn from you (and the others) with the constant and incessant same old...same old bickering. Nobody does the level of community engagament MSFT is doing by allowing the general populace to test/review/participate in the development of their main OS to have ppl like you sour the development with the constant and nonsensical bickering, Like if the development of the OS move around. Get a life and...

Update your XP to SP3 and comeback in 10 years and then...and only then we can revisit if any future MSFT OS is approved by you. ok?


I'm about to stop reading comments in every blogs altogether.

Edited by AWilliams87, Mar 13 2012, 8:07am :

Ricardo Dawkins said,

Keep using Windows XP and the sorry Start Menu..

Here is something really personal towards you... I have stopped reading the comments on the Building Windows 8 blog because of people like you... nothing good to add or learn from you (and the others) with the constant and incessant same old...same old bickering. Nobody does the level of community engagament MSFT is doing by allowing the general populace to test/review/participate in the development of their main OS to have ppl like you sour the development with the constant and nonsensical bickering, Like if the development of the OS move around. Get a life and...

Update your XP to SP3 and comeback in 10 years and then...and only then we can revisit if any future MSFT OS is approved by you. ok?

Wow someone is really a fanboy here. It seems like you have been reading some different blog than the Building Windows 8 because the blog where I give feedback, I give credit where it is due and negative feedback whenever there's a regression in a new version. Looks like too much for you to understand that mere community involvement is not enough, shipping a product as a whole that's better than the older one without destroying existing features that worked well is just as important

Someday we will all have the opportunity to be flown around in a small efficient aircraft automatically and we will not need to drive cars anymore. But unfortunately for the majority of people they will say that they are not capable of letting a aircraft fly them around automatically and will choose to keep driving cars. Its too difficult. I do not like that it does not have wheels. I do not like the color. It is not like driving a car. I can't find the roads. I will get lost.

I am not really sure what you are trying to prove with the video of your dad. My parents and wife's parents rarely use a computer. So for them they are learning anytime they sit down at the computer. Your dad seams to know windows more than our parents. If you think your dad is having a hard time. Watch my parents. lol

A new OS means that people will have to learn it. So what is the big deal. Just learn it and stop being a dinosaur.

lol, I can imagine cave men trying to move heavy rocks. Then one of the caveman comes up with an idea to chisel the rocks so that they are round and can be rolled. So he starts to explain his idea to the other cavemen. The cavemen start scratching their heads and are confused. They watch the caveman chisel and then roll a giant rock around in ease. Then they start complaining to each other how hard it is to chisel a rock. How hard it is to learn how to make tools. How hard it is to use the tools. They then shrug their shoulder and decide to keep caring the heavy rocks. That is why it took millions of years for man to become what we are today.

I've been using W8 since feb 29, and I have yet to find a single feature that is easier to do in W8 compared to W7. Perhaps this Metro stuff is good on a tablet, but certainly not (in its current form) on a desktop PC.

I've been using Windows8 for a few weeks. The easiest way to the control panel: Hit the Windows Key to bring up Metro, type "Control Panel" and hit enter. I imagine we will see more tiles as time goes on, it is a cluttered mess at the moment if you do not unpin.

TechFX said,
I've been using Windows8 for a few weeks. The easiest way to the control panel: Hit the Windows Key to bring up Metro, type "Control Panel" and hit enter. I imagine we will see more tiles as time goes on, it is a cluttered mess at the moment if you do not unpin.

I find the easiest way is to right click on the start thumbnail to bring up that power users menu.

The whole point why people dislike windows 8 is "we do not know how to do things, therefore windows 8 is a failure", is in fact rubbish, sorry to say.

Mazhar said,
The whole point why people dislike windows 8 is "we do not know how to do things, therefore windows 8 is a failure", is in fact rubbish, sorry to say.

Ah no, the point is even when you know how to do things that from a useability standpoint things have gone backwards. Shutdown being a prime example amongst others.

Your comment is rubbish, sorry to say.

Walrush said,

Ah no, the point is even when you know how to do things that from a useability standpoint things have gone backwards. Shutdown being a prime example amongst others.

Your comment is rubbish, sorry to say.


So, I gather you want to shutdown your computer system in the most usable and fastest way....just follow these steps:
1st Step: PRESS THE POWER BUTTON! DONE!

Mazhar said,
The whole point why people dislike windows 8 is "we do not know how to do things, therefore windows 8 is a failure", is in fact rubbish, sorry to say.

Lots of things in Win8 simply make no sense. Yes you can learn them but wouldn't you rather have something you don't have to discover by accident or try to figure out what the **** the engineers were trying to accomplish.

Win8 really reeks of "design by committee" in the way the new features are anything but obvious.

Ricardo Dawkins said,

So, I gather you want to shutdown your computer system in the most usable and fastest way....just follow these steps:
1st Step: PRESS THE POWER BUTTON! DONE!

It seem like people don't understand that the power button does exactly the same thing as using the shut down button in Windows.

Walrush said,

Ah no, the point is even when you know how to do things that from a useability standpoint things have gone backwards. Shutdown being a prime example amongst others.

Your comment is rubbish, sorry to say.

This is pathetic.. Shutdown is so 1995.. People, Metro is a "live" experience, you let your PC sleep so it can wake and update your live tiles so when you NEED to use your PC its ALREADY UPDATED. Mobile devices sleep, my desktop and laptops have slept, GET OVER SHUTDOWN and for christs sake, i haven't bought a PC in the past 10 years that doesn't support ACPI shutdown which means you can hit the freaking POWER button to gracefully shutdown an OS as long as you don't hold it in (which forces immediate power off)

gah..

[quote=Walrush said,]
Shutdown being a prime example amongst others.
quote]

Do you remember all the fuss about "Why do I go to Start to shut down? IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!!!!"
People coped and it became second nature - for the massive part of Windows audience they'll have never known any different and would not even think to question it.

Walrush said,

Ah no, the point is even when you know how to do things that from a useability standpoint things have gone backwards. Shutdown being a prime example amongst others.

Your comment is rubbish, sorry to say.

Plus you can just press the power button once and it initiates a shutdown. Don't HOLD it, just press it once quickly.

People will complain about anything.

After Windows 8 failure there will be lot of rumble in MS Headquarters. There will be whole room of people being fired, i am not gonna put the names i have on my list which should gtfo Microsoft and change profession.

Blah blah blah, nothing new to see here. Windows 8 isn't finished yet and this review just hypes everything that's in preview right now - things are going to change even more dramatically before the RC and RTM builds are let loose later this year, big huge changes.

Don't focus on what it is now, wonder what it's going to be in a few months. Once it's finished, then reviews matter. This one?

Not so much at all.

br0adband said,
Blah blah blah, nothing new to see here. Windows 8 isn't finished yet and this review just hypes everything that's in preview right now - things are going to change even more dramatically before the RC and RTM builds are let loose later this year, big huge changes.

Don't focus on what it is now, wonder what it's going to be in a few months. Once it's finished, then reviews matter. This one?

Not so much at all.


For what it's worth, the consumer preview is "feature complete"

Owen W said,

For what it's worth, the consumer preview is "feature complete"

Only in your head.. its far from feature complete. The OS API / WinRT may be frozen, but how it ends up after polish is far from feature complete.

Owen W said,

For what it's worth, the consumer preview is "feature complete"

Given such a huge change between 7 and 8, I find it hard to believe it's feature complete. Even most of the apps say "preview". It isn't finished. This is merely put out to get people used to it and for people to write editorials.

I am using Windows 8 on my laptop full time, and at home using Windows 7. Haven't upgraded yet, but I'm considering it. I'm so used to mousing into the corner's that I forget that I'm not using Windows 8. Kind of weird, but as I read the comments, I kept thinking mentally to go back into Metro for something. I'm used to the jumping in and out of things. Not everything I do is in Metro, but when I need to use it I can easily jump in. Same goes with the desktop. I spend most of my time there on a daily basis. I like having a choice. I choose to stay in the desktop on the laptop, and if I had a decent touch device (Acer Iconia W500 is not decent...) then I would use the Metro interface, in the same was as I would use my iPad. Of course I like having the Metro interface so I can play Wordament!

I've been trying to get the feel of Metro down. Just can't do it. Part of it is because it is some weird hybrid with the old desktop mode still there and Metro glued on top, with neither working particularly well.

I appreciate that MS is pushing for programmers to stick to making apps under Metro to bolster their tablet sales, and as a developer I will eventually have to kowtow to that.

But... I'm not going to hate. Just not going to use it outside of VM mode. Win7 meets all of my needs and Win8 doesn't have a killer app element to it. I am planning on being in the market for a tablet in Q4 this year, and I won't rule out a Win8 choice for that.

Which is semi-ironic, since I always wonder why people refuse to upgrade from XP.

18% of computers will be desktops in 2013..

So why build an OS completely for desktops and forget about everything else..

I would rather have an OS that works well on everything but its just ok on the desktop.. Instead of being great on a desktop and useless on tablets, laptops

That is BS because comparing a tablet to a desktop or office workstation is barmy! I'd wager that the percentage is probably even offset by smartphones as well, because for some people that's a "pc in your pocket" as well or so we're led to believe.

Everyone I know that owns a tablet, also has at least one PC in the household and there's a reason for that.

Neobond said,
Everyone I know that owns a tablet, also has at least one PC in the household and there's a reason for that.

Instead of accepting your reality as fact, ask yourself, does it NEED to be that way. Is the Reason still valid?

Great article which I think gives quite a good summation of why Windows 8 just doesn't feel right. The only thing I'd disagree on is the statement that "There is no denying that Metro is sexy." To my eyes Metro reminds me of pre-school books which teach kids shapes and colours with huge brightly coloured blocks. I find it a very infantile and dumbed-down UI. Ever since it hit Xbox I knew it wouldn't work in Windows - even on the console everything I need to get to is now buried under more layers than before and hidden behind hideous tiles.

King Lizzle said,
Great article which I think gives quite a good summation of why Windows 8 just doesn't feel right. The only thing I'd disagree on is the statement that "There is no denying that Metro is sexy." To my eyes Metro reminds me of pre-school books which teach kids shapes and colours with huge brightly coloured blocks. I find it a very infantile and dumbed-down UI. Ever since it hit Xbox I knew it wouldn't work in Windows - even on the console everything I need to get to is now buried under more layers than before and hidden behind hideous tiles.

agree with you Metro is damn ugly

Im using the Consumer preview. But right now I have to say - some changes need to be made to make this work better on the desktop.
Ill have to wait and use the final version to make final judgements, but right now I would stick with w7 (not upgrade) and buy a tablet.

I had pondered putting this to the test by putting a "average" user in front of a PC to really show how confusing and non-intuitive it is, but Chris Pirillo beat me to it. In the video below, he puts his father in front of the PC and asks him to use it as he normally would. The results are less than surprising.

The results are a huge cluster FAIL that shows the Pirillo dude (& you?) has an AGENDA against Windows 8. Looks like his father doesn't use that specific computer for his daily routine...the old man can't find anything on the desktop, look how he tries to follow the mouse pointer. Mr. Pirillo is an IDIOT....He could have done the sensible thing of lowering the resolution or increase the size of the mouse pointer / icons so his disabled father could move around better in the computer. And I bet the real computer of his father has many icons for programs thrown on the desktop.

My day job is IT admin....just recently we moved a few of of users from XP to Windows 7 and they could not work with Windows 7 because the icons for starting their work programs where not readily available on the DESKTOP!!! We have to place icons for folders, email & writing program, our custom in-house software & even IE favorites on the desktop because they could not find it on the START MENU!!!

Totally hear you man, IT admin here and we have the same issues. It's the older generation (no offense anyone) that is the issue. The younger people have no problems with Windows 7. Office 2007 was the worst though, people just couldn't handle that ribbon...but look at it now. Metro on the desktop is here to stay, and people that don't like it will adapt and get used to it. We all will or I suppose you can all go Mac. Beacause they don't change stuff...oh wait...

Ricardo Dawkins said,
I had pondered putting this to the test by putting a "average" user in front of a PC to really show how confusing and non-intuitive it is, but Chris Pirillo beat me to it. In the video below, he puts his father in front of the PC and asks him to use it as he normally would. The results are less than surprising.

The results are a huge cluster FAIL that shows the Pirillo dude (& you?) has an AGENDA against Windows 8. Looks like his father doesn't use that specific computer for his daily routine...the old man can't find anything on the desktop, look how he tries to follow the mouse pointer. Mr. Pirillo is an IDIOT....He could have done the sensible thing of lowering the resolution or increase the size of the mouse pointer / icons so his disabled father could move around better in the computer. And I bet the real computer of his father has many icons for programs thrown on the desktop.

My day job is IT admin....just recently we moved a few of of users from XP to Windows 7 and they could not work with Windows 7 because the icons for starting their work programs where not readily available on the DESKTOP!!! We have to place icons for folders, email & writing program, our custom in-house software & even IE favorites on the desktop because they could not find it on the START MENU!!!

Agreed, the video is "fake", you can just hear it in the little kid's annoying voice.

thefonz said
Why the Paul Thurrott hate?

People think that he's a Microsoft fanboy.

Personally I can't seem to find good Windows 8 coverage anywhere (even here on Neowin), so I like Paul Thurrot, he's one of the few people out there that covers what we all actually use and not what we're going to buy in the future.

Almost all of the so-called 'coverage' about Windows 8 here on Neowin is criticism against it.

If it were to be an apple product, people probably wouldn't criticize it. Hell, people are analysing the reasoning behind why apple decided to call it 'the new iPad' instead of 'iPad 3'. But people will never ever analyze why Microsoft isn't mixing the Desktop and Metro.

For the record, Paul Thurrot has the answer on why the Desktop and Metro interfaces are being kept separate. http://www.winsupersite.com/ar...tro-desktop-dont-mix-142375

In fact, before Paul Thurrot got the answers, he himself criticized on why Windows 8 doesn't look like this: http://www.winsupersite.com/bl...ws8/doesnt-windows-8-141886
He isn't a Microsoft fanboy.

Of course, no one seems to give **** about this, all I see is whining and more whining as if Microsoft is our b*tch.

Edited by FalseAgent, Mar 13 2012, 7:26am :

FalseAgent said,

People think that he's a Microsoft fanboy.

Personally I can't seem to find good Windows 8 coverage anywhere (even here on Neowin), so I like Paul Thurrot, he's one of the few people out there that covers what we all actually use and not what we're going to buy in the future.

Almost all of the so-called 'coverage' about Windows 8 here on Neowin is criticism against it.

If it were to be an apple product, people probably wouldn't criticize it. Hell, people are analysing the reasoning behind why apple decided to call it 'the new iPad' instead of 'iPad 3'. But people will never ever analyze why Microsoft isn't mixing the Desktop and Metro.

For the record, Paul Thurrot has the answer on why the Desktop and Metro interfaces are being kept separate. http://www.winsupersite.com/ar...tro-desktop-dont-mix-142375

In fact, before Paul Thurrot got the answers, he himself criticized on why Windows 8 doesn't look like this: http://www.winsupersite.com/bl...ws8/doesnt-windows-8-141886
He isn't a Microsoft fanboy.

Of course, no one seems to give **** about this, all I see is whining and more whining as if Microsoft is our b*tch.


I'm not complaining, just pointing out that perhaps there are some issues here

thefonz said,
Why the Paul Thurrott hate?

You mean apart from him drinking the Microsoft Kool-Aid way too long?

It's almost laughable what comes next. Administrators who complained that things are slower, more confusing and harder were told that Microsoft has made it easier, just right click on the start icon that appears when you mouse to the lower left of the screen and you get power user options. Useful, perhaps, but how will anyone know they are there unless they read about it?
Any worthy IT administrator knows to run the Control Panel applets instead of using a mouse pointer. Just press the Windows key and type for example: compmgmt.msc or services.msc for Computer Management and Services applets.

BAHAHAHAHAHHA...THAT OLD MAN CAN BARELY SEE THE MOUSE POINTER. WHAT A FAILURE IS THAT VIDEO!

Come on, that video with the old man is just rubbish. The man doing the recording of the video is an IDIOT. Windows has features for people with disabilities like his father...heck he could not even lower the resolution or increase the size of the mouse pointer. Look how the old man is trying hard to pick where the f$ck he left the mouse pointer.

BTW, Windows 8 is the next Windows 7...suck it on...haters XD

Ricardo Dawkins said,
BAHAHAHAHAHHA...THAT OLD MAN CAN BARELY SEE THE MOUSE POINTER. WHAT A FAILURE IS THAT VIDEO!

Come on, that video with the old man is just rubbish. The man doing the recording of the video is an IDIOT. Windows has features for people with disabilities like his father...heck he could not even lower the resolution or increase the size of the mouse pointer. Look how the old man is trying hard to pick where the f$ck he left the mouse pointer.

BTW, Windows 8 is the next Windows 7...suck it on...haters XD

This "old man" is the average PC/Windows user.

You'll be old one day, and you'll look like him

Ricardo Dawkins said,
Come on, that video with the old man is just rubbish. The man doing the recording of the video is an IDIOT. Windows has features for people with disabilities like his father...

And how would this elderly gentleman know how to change the Accessibility settings?

Zagadka said,
And how would this elderly gentleman know how to change the Accessibility settings?

The bestbuy employee worth his commission would set it up for him.

My biggest concern is that they tried to create a unified experience, but in the end we are left with two different operating systems that don't talk to each other. Do we really need 2 versions of IE, 2 control panels, mail in metro and mail on the desktop? What makes it worse is none of these programs communicate with the others. My favorites don't sync between the two IEs. What sense does that make? Why would I ever use the metro version when the desktop version does everything and a whole lot more? Why are some settings only in the Metro control panel, and the rest in the regular control panel? Anyone who uses Outlook or Windows Live Mail desktop now will probably not make the jump to the Metro versions that have far less features and are actually harder to use with a mouse. What purpose do they even serve on a desktop?

How can anyone actually think that ANY power options are easier now? Start>Whatever. 2 Steps. Now thats gone.

When I open a picture from the desktop, who would want that to open in a full screen Metro viewer every time. What a pain.

What makes me the most upset is how everyone keeps saying the corners are soo easy to use. What about us that have a dual or even tri monitor setup? I can't just go to the corner, the cursor will go into a different screen. I have to carefully navigate to the corner, its a pain.

I don't mind Metro. Some of the apps and functionality are even rather appealing. The issue is that it seems in the quest for Metro, we've just said forget everything else. I see that as a major problem with Windows 8, and a major hurdle in the way of its success.

Great article, and probably the best editorial I've seen on this site. It highlights all the issues that I have with Windows 8 (CP), apart from the one stated by Chrono951.

Chrono951 said,
My biggest concern is that they tried to create a unified experience, but in the end we are left with two different operating systems that don't talk to each other.

Any one who can't pin control panel on desktop taskbar or can't use the search to find it... don't deserve to use the control panel at all... perillio spoilt his dad's mind by making him suffer... if he had showed him the start from the beginning he would have loved using it... my sister can use xp till I should her how to get through stuffs... I know many people are familiar with the start button but they just feel every new thing should be the same…

Some continue to suggest to search for Apps. ( Rather then Look for it in Start Menu )

Everyone can use mouse to Find / Look for Apps from an easy to access menu.

Not everyone are capable to find what exactly they want. Not to mention typing it in. Reminder, the world, the real world, not just your "US Only" world has MANY other languages that do not belongs to Latin or any character on your everyday keyboard.

iwod said,
Reminder, the world, the real world, not just your "US Only" world has MANY other languages that do not belongs to Latin or any character on your everyday keyboard.

Well it's a damn good thing MS are supporting even more languages at launch and making it even easier for end users to install their preferred language packs.

iwod said,
Some continue to suggest to search for Apps. ( Rather then Look for it in Start Menu )

Everyone can use mouse to Find / Look for Apps from an easy to access menu.

Not everyone are capable to find what exactly they want. Not to mention typing it in. Reminder, the world, the real world, not just your "US Only" world has MANY other languages that do not belongs to Latin or any character on your everyday keyboard.

We've actually done extensive work in Windows 8 to improve the search experience for customers using IMEs. For example, we now support searching as you type even before you commit a composition (where the search will be conducted using the set of alternatives generated by the IME). We also have an integrated IME UI in the Search Pane which integrates with the search box and typeahead UI. And the APIs for Metro style apps to integrate with the search contract give them the ability to do the same searching over IME alternatives (or to provide typeahead/autocomplete suggestions using them).

What can Windows 8 do that Win 7 or even XP can't do? That is the question that the people who really matter--those who control enterprise budgets--are going to ask, and really sorry, but the answer is not damn much. And, completely breaks the efficient, intuitive desktop by those who actually *use* PCs day to day rather than tinker with games and desktop themes like the fanboys.

Expect Apple and Google to keep growing and dinosaurs like MS to keep shrinking.

Benda said,
What can Windows 8 do that Win 7 or even XP can't do? That is the question that the people who really matter--those who control enterprise budgets--are going to ask, and really sorry, but the answer is not damn much. And, completely breaks the efficient, intuitive desktop by those who actually *use* PCs day to day rather than tinker with games and desktop themes like the fanboys.

Expect Apple and Google to keep growing and dinosaurs like MS to keep shrinking.

agreed

Benda said,
What can Windows 8 do that Win 7 or even XP can't do?

Boot a corporate image on any computer from a USB key so Enterprise admins know every OS touchpoint for their corporate data.

As Owen Williams pointed out..... when you installed win95 it told you to click the start button for eveything. we don't need that now !!
I think windows 8 comes down to one thing .....and that is that Microsoft no longer spoon feeds the user, but I do feel that there should be an accompanying book with windows for referrals.
I myself started to learn from "PC for dummies", therafter I didn't need any help knowing about my computer. The gentleman in the video didn't know hardly anything, but I am sure that if he was pointed in the right direction he would have had no troubles at all.

To quote the writer:

"Most of Microsoft's user base are the uninformed not-so-tech savvy users that just want to check Facebook, watch movies and be done with it. They don't want to learn something new, or are willing to, but only if it's simple and sexy. Unless somebody tells them how to use the new version of Windows, they'll probably just complain it's worse and more cluttered than before."

Herein lies the problem... Just over a decade ago, if someone wanted to use a computer, they would go out and educate themselves at a school or seminar of some kind, so they could use the machine properly. If they didn't, then they wouldn't pretend to know something they didn't, and just wouldn't use the PC themselves and leave it to people who did. This was true for both the PC and Mac.

Nowadays, people think they don't need to learn how to use anything, and that it should just work for them however they see fit, and if doesn't fit their expectations (these days, stupid expectations), then they whine and complain about it.

If we were to extend this mind state to cars and their drivers, it would go something like this... "I want to drive this car, but I don't want to learn how to do it really. If it goes off the road while I'm driving, I'm just going to blame the car and not myself for being a dumb jacka-- and not learning the difference between the gas and break pedals.".

People need to stop being lazy, dumb little dip $h!t$ and remember they have brains, and they need to start using them a little more often, not just expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter.

BTW, I just tried the Consumer Preview of W8 on a Dell Vostro 2320 AIO multi-touch PC, and I have to admit, it was 15 seconds of partial "awe" at Metro, then 20 minutes of cursing, culminating with a wipe of the drive. Microsoft has developed the proverbial train wreck with Windows 8, especially where the corporate world is concerned, and if they don't put it back on-track and start listening to their corporate clients, they're heading for another Windows Me / Vista debacle.

I'm all for people using their brains, but the modern paradigm is like a toaster. Nobody reads instructions for a toaster per se, nor do they need to. They drop the bread in the slots and pull the lever down. Computers SHOULD be that intuitive, but historically have not been.

The lack of any kind of iconography to guide users to know where to click or move the mouse is a definite downside. Even the Mac's dock is generally still visible when not in use, just shrunk.

Maybe they should just call this "Windows Tablet Edition". Would make things easier. Very disappointing, as I despise the model of tablet specific OSes that has emerged, where I can't really manage my content or install the software that I'm after, but maybe that's the way it's going to have to be

Windows 95 was for "novice" users and I think that we have moved on a lot since then, I applaud Microsoft for doing away with this system, as win95 'spoon fed" the user for everything. All people nee to know is about the "Charms" Bar ......once they the above video showing the gentleman (of around my age) becomes irrelevant.
With win95 microsoft got people to use "Start" to do everything, nowadays it is not needed, the apps are there ready to be used, why would anyone need the start button, it is just because you are used to it being there, microsoft is trying to get away from this and treat us like idiots.

What a LOT of people think:

"I like Metro and WILL use it with joy on my tablet. But DON'T force me to use it on my desktop computer, it doesn't work"

And the fanboys reaction:

"You hate Metro 'cause you're unable to adapt. You don't "get it", you're stuck in the past. Metro is the greatest invention since sliced bread, deal with it bitch"

I hate to say it but I pretty much agree. I use w8 on 2 laptops, one desktop and a tablet as the only os and agree that w8 is a mess on laptops and somewhat desktop. Tablet provides best experience but still a split brain between metro and desktop is very apparent

As I'm seeing, the main screen with no start up menu was on purpose. This is to allow OEM to load up their bloatware for the start up menu. It is incomplete now, but once OEM installed their start up menu..it will be there.

And it'll be so MUCH EASIER to remove. The beauty of the Metro app is that you can just right-click on the tile and select "Uninstall," and the app disappears in about 1 second..

Put it this way: If you were to take a sample of 200 people who have never used a desktop before and give them a month to learn how to use both Windows 8 and Windows 7 for the first time, they would find Windows 8 much easier to navigate and than Windows 7.

AWilliams87 said,
Put it this way: If you were to take a sample of 200 people who have never used a desktop before...

If only one could find such users. But in the real world, everyone I know (except my 91 year old grandma) has used and is used to a desktop interface.

It seems like people are at least mildly criticizing the potential for the Start screen to turn into a hideous mess of icons. It isn't meant to be used that way. It isn't the Program Files folder. It is more like the Taskbar, Desktop, or Start Menu, where you pin your most frequented programs and files, except that now the icons have been replaced by more informative tiles.

Relativity_17 said,
It seems like people are at least mildly criticizing the potential for the Start screen to turn into a hideous mess of icons. It isn't meant to be used that way. It isn't the Program Files folder. It is more like the Taskbar, Desktop, or Start Menu, where you pin your most frequented programs and files, except that now the icons have been replaced by more informative tiles.

Except all legacy software automagically pins stuff on there. Annoying :-/

Owen W said,

Except all legacy software automagically pins stuff on there. Annoying :-/

this is my one problem with windows 8 (other than that i like it). when new programs are installed they should only show up under "all apps" and in the search, let the user pin the ones they want.

dafin0 said,

this is my one problem with windows 8 (other than that i like it). when new programs are installed they should only show up under "all apps" and in the search, let the user pin the ones they want.

I'm sure as desktop apps are updated they will add a switch to not pin to the start screen just like they have "don't add shortcut to the startmenu" in existing installers now. Or I would hope they do.

To assume that microsoft will just throw Windows 8 on pc's and in front of users without some kind of guide, tutorial or without an extensive educational campaign is ridiculous. Sad that we're now resorting to staged videos to bash Microsoft.

efjay said,
To assume that microsoft will just throw Windows 8 on pc's and in front of users without some kind of guide, tutorial or without an extensive educational campaign is ridiculous. Sad that we're now resorting to staged videos to bash Microsoft.

I think you missed the point of the article. What I was getting at is that perhaps they shouldn't need an extensive educational campaign? If they took others' lead and used small, incremental changes and perhaps rapid releases rather than a big bang approach to the OS, users would understand the changes over time, eventually coming to a point where the product gets to where it would be now and users can't really tell the difference because things happened incrementally.

Changing everything in one swift move isn't necessarily the answer, if you can 'trick' users by doing it over time, their perception of you may be better.

Time will only tell.

Owen W said,

I think you missed the point of the article. What I was getting at is that perhaps they shouldn't need an extensive educational campaign? If they took others' lead and used small, incremental changes and perhaps rapid releases rather than a big bang approach to the OS, users would understand the changes over time, eventually coming to a point where the product gets to where it would be now and users can't really tell the difference because things happened incrementally.

Changing everything in one swift move isn't necessarily the answer, if you can 'trick' users by doing it over time, their perception of you may be better.

Time will only tell.

Why is a two finger swipe to the right in OS X to bring something up "Simple" but expecting users to move their mouse to the bottom right or left in Win8 is too much?

And is it really better to migrate slowly? Why dont users just learn something once? Seems like it could be easier than constantly changing smaller things. Its not black and white like you make it.

I dont think Win8 is set up the best way right now, but this is actually a terrible editorial IMO.

95% of people's learning can be taken care of by saying "Stuff happens when you move your cursor to the corners and click or drag down the side."

The other stuff you mention? They wont worry about that if they are too dense to understand the corners.

BoyBoppins said,

Why is a two finger swipe to the right in OS X to bring something up "Simple" but expecting users to move their mouse to the bottom right or left in Win8 is too much?

And is it really better to migrate slowly? Why dont users just learn something once? Seems like it could be easier than constantly changing smaller things. Its not black and white like you make it.

I dont think Win8 is set up the best way right now, but this is actually a terrible editorial IMO.

95% of people's learning can be taken care of by saying "Stuff happens when you move your cursor to the corners and click or drag down the side."

The other stuff you mention? They wont worry about that if they are too dense to understand the corners.

I found it interesting that it mentioned a tutorial for Win8 because the older gentleman could not figure it out. OSX is simple and intuitive but the video is a tutorial on how to use it. Maybe it is me but any new OS put before an older person that is used to one way of doing things will not find the new OS intuitive. Win8 is ok and the new OSX is ok. Different route same destination.

Owen W said,

I think you missed the point of the article. What I was getting at is that perhaps they shouldn't need an extensive educational campaign? If they took others' lead and used small, incremental changes and perhaps rapid releases rather than a big bang approach to the OS, users would understand the changes over time, eventually coming to a point where the product gets to where it would be now and users can't really tell the difference because things happened incrementally.

Changing everything in one swift move isn't necessarily the answer, if you can 'trick' users by doing it over time, their perception of you may be better.

Time will only tell.


Why they should follow others with that nonsense incremental updates???
Big Bang approch have worked before.
Fifteen+ years ago Windows changed paradigms from the Program Manager to the Start Menu ... oh wonder what happened to those still using DOS & CLI...they either adapted or died along the way.

And please, don't reply back with the Vista nonsense.... that OS got hampered by the likes of nVidia and intel with the embarrasing driver/chipset support. This time all the OEM, chipset & SOCs makers are onboard working directly with MSFT.

BoyBoppins said,

Why is a two finger swipe to the right in OS X to bring something up "Simple" but expecting users to move their mouse to the bottom right or left in Win8 is too much?

Because the motion to move fingers to the right isn't a) essential to the core operation of the OS, b) something that interferes with their traditional way of carrying out tasks.


The other stuff you mention? They wont worry about that if they are too dense to understand the corners.

Until now, use of the corners wasn't really considered in Windows. Sure, you can argue that clicking on the lower left corner in Windows 7 brings up the Start menu, hovering on the lower right shows the desktop temporarily, and clicking on the lower right minimizes all windows. Except both have visual cues in the form of buttons.

Without making it obvious via tutorials or visual cues, how would new users know? And if you do need said tutorials, it shouldn't be for demonstrating tasks that, once again, are core to an operating system's use.

Ricardo Dawkins said,

oh wonder what happened to those still using DOS & CLI...they either adapted or died along the way.

Actually they're still here.
PowerShell: sure you heard of it before, you know the CLI that MS released a few years back as no one uses CLIs…
BSD/UNIX/Linux: essentially all big servers are CLI only and without them there would be no internet as we know it today
Tools: Development tools, codecs/coverters,…

Owen W said,

I think you missed the point of the article. What I was getting at is that perhaps they shouldn't need an extensive educational campaign? If they took others' lead and used small, incremental changes and perhaps rapid releases rather than a big bang approach to the OS, users would understand the changes over time, eventually coming to a point where the product gets to where it would be now and users can't really tell the difference because things happened incrementally.

Changing everything in one swift move isn't necessarily the answer, if you can 'trick' users by doing it over time, their perception of you may be better.

Time will only tell.

Oh please. Was the iPhone an incremental change to what had come before? Not really no, was entirely different to all the non-smart phones that came previously. Was Windows 95 an incremental evolution of Windows 3.11? No it wasn't, it was completely different. The only similarity was that you opened windows and had close, mini and maxi buttons in the corner. Everything else was entirely different and needed to be learned.

My only problem right now is that windows 8 is super buggy with mouse without borders. It makes it so that the start icon in the left corner and the buttons on the right only show up 25 percent of the time

I'm sure Microsoft will invest a lot in a educational program to teach users how to use it. Once people start seeing TV commercials with people using the basic functions, the unknown will become known

daniel_rh said,
I'm sure Microsoft will invest a lot in a educational program to teach users how to use it. Once people start seeing TV commercials with people using the basic functions, the unknown will become known

I'd rather see them spending money on a few great designers. Win8 metro makes me sick (but Zune and X360 are beautiful).

This article provides a rather realistic breakdown of Windows 8 on the desktop in contrast to the usual "Use it or get lost!" and "Metro is the worst" comments that we've seen recently. A good read for sure.

Owen, you're wrong on the charms on the right. You don't have to move the cursor to the upper right corner; moving the mouse to the bottom right part does it too. *sigh*

And not all offices shut down PCs at night. We leave ours on for updates, backups, and software pushes. In fact, every company I've been with does that as well.

That made it so much more easier! It's so intuitive.... Just throw your mouse around the screen and see what happen, a new way to discover the features of Win8.

briangw said,
Owen, you're wrong on the charms on the right. You don't have to move the cursor to the upper right corner; moving the mouse to the bottom right part does it too. *sigh*

And not all offices shut down PCs at night. We leave ours on for updates, backups, and software pushes. In fact, every company I've been with does that as well.


That's cool, it's still similar behaviour though. I'll be sure to clarify that. In terms of companies, its true, many leave them on, but I've worked for quite a few that don't anymore. Economic times are changing behaviour

Owen W said,

That's cool, it's still similar behaviour though. I'll be sure to clarify that. In terms of companies, its true, many leave them on, but I've worked for quite a few that don't anymore. Economic times are changing behaviour

Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way in IT companies and IT departments. IT, for one, needs their PCs on to remote in for server, app, developer, etc. support. While working at Kroll Ontrack (the Data Recovery company), no PCs were ever shut down. I can see smaller companies but I just don't see larger organizations shutting down PCs at night. But then again, all I've ever worked for was an IT company, a Financial company, and and an electronics reselling company.

Owen W said,

Economic times are changing behaviour

err nope you have it all wrong, it's clearly MS is chasing the tablet market full force. Since they failed in there push of Windows 7 destop OS on windows 7 phones and tablets so now they are forcing Metro onto everything.

briangw said,
And not all offices shut down PCs at night. We leave ours on for updates, backups, and software pushes. In fact, every company I've been with does that as well.

Every company I've worked for in the past 12 years made you shut down your PC when you left the office.

Adamodeus said,

Every company I've worked for in the past 12 years made you shut down your PC when you left the office.

Every company I've worked for in the past 12 years made us leave our PC's on when we left the office.

Tender Foot said,

err nope you have it all wrong, it's clearly MS is chasing the tablet market full force. Since they failed in there push of Windows 7 destop OS on windows 7 phones and tablets so now they are forcing Metro onto everything.

Actually WM OS pushed MS to control almost 50% of the smartphones market; unfortunately MS believed the iPhone and its new paradigm was a joke and dismissed it, after that WM market share started shrinking.
It seems to me that MS is unable to offer a great GUI (WP OS) with a fully functional OS (WM OS).

Owen W said,

That's cool, it's still similar behaviour though. I'll be sure to clarify that. In terms of companies, its true, many leave them on, but I've worked for quite a few that don't anymore. Economic times are changing behaviour

You know there is a dedicated single key on every computer that you can press that triggers the shutdown sequence (or sleep depending on how you have it set). It's called the power button.

The power button stopped being a physical button that cut off the power to the PC about 20 years ago you know

TruckWEB said,
That made it so much more easier! It's so intuitive.... Just throw your mouse around the screen and see what happen, a new way to discover the features of Win8.

There are 4 corners. Bottom left does the same thing it's always done. 3 new ones.

Adamodeus said,

Every company I've worked for in the past 12 years made you shut down your PC when you left the office.

It depends on what desktop management software you have installed within the environment. Most of my customers require them to stay on to have updates pushed to them using SCCM. It basically comes down to whether the company is running an enterprise level network or just a small business.

The better be some major changes (for good) in next RC or RTM or this Metro crap is going to bounce very hard in front of Microsoft. The CP only made our lives harder than the DP.

sanke1 said,
The better be some major changes (for good) in next RC or RTM or this Metro crap is going to bounce very hard in front of Microsoft. The CP only made our lives harder than the DP.

That made little sense. The CP is waaaaaay beter then the DP any way you look at it

sanke1 said,
The better be some major changes (for good) in next RC or RTM or this Metro crap is going to bounce very hard in front of Microsoft. The CP only made our lives harder than the DP.

Sorry but your ass talking there, I use it daily on my laptop and love it, things flow very well once you know what the corners do (to the point where you dont have to think about it), its very fluid.

duddit2 said,

Sorry but your ass talking there, I use it daily on my laptop and love it, things flow very well once you know what the corners do (to the point where you dont have to think about it), its very fluid.


But sometimes my ass talks better than what your hands type. Good luck with your fluid corners experience once you set up dual monitors. Your corners do not remain corners any more.

I like Metro, it offers more customization than the Star Menu ever could, but it does need some work, and I was quite surprised Microsoft didn't streamline more from the DP to the CP. Outside the Start Screen needs a lot of work as well, to unify the different UIs. I like that some of the taskbar icons bring up Metro menus, but then again, some don't which provides an inconsistent UX.

It appears the desktop will still need some visual cues as to what is what, just like in the Windows 95 picture or better yet, have visual cues on the desktop itself.

Edited by Dot Matrix, Mar 13 2012, 2:18am :

Dot Matrix said,
I like Metro, it offers more customization than the Star Menu ever could, but it does need some work, and I was quite surprised Microsoft didn't streamline more from the DP to the CP. Outside the Start Screen needs a lot of work as well, to unify the different UIs. I like that some of the taskbar icons bring up Metro menus, but then again, some don't which provides an inconsistent UX.

It appears the desktop will still need some visual cues as to what is what, just like in the Windows 95 picture or better yet, have visual cues on the desktop itself.

am I the only one who thinks Aero will be gone by RC? Haven't tried win8 server but I remember at Build that a lot of feature programs were zune like and now new browsers will use Metro on the Desktop.
Why do you go through all that trouble of finding the control panel when you can right click where the start menu used to be - seems to me that you are just looking for reasons to hate on win8. I enjoyed exploring this things on my own and many other people would. People are not in the dark anymore, you know they are computer awareness lessons this days and most users have been using computers since high-school.

Am happy with win8 for the most part but they are still some things they can tweek, maybe un-bury the power button from the charms and add it as part of the charms.

Metro isn't meant for touch devices, its meant for all devices. I have been using Zune before win8, now metroTweet. Enterprises don't like their users to work on a beautiful environment? Why wouldn't they allow it? It has way better performance than windows 7.

I do agree with the writer that they need to device better tiles for desktop apps and bury the useless stuff

mr lefleur said,

am I the only one who thinks Aero will be gone by RC? Haven't tried win8 server but I remember at Build that a lot of feature programs were zune like and now new browsers will use Metro on the Desktop.
Why do you go through all that trouble of finding the control panel when you can right click where the start menu used to be - seems to me that you are just looking for reasons to hate on win8. I enjoyed exploring this things on my own and many other people would. People are not in the dark anymore, you know they are computer awareness lessons this days and most users have been using computers since high-school.

Am happy with win8 for the most part but they are still some things they can tweek, maybe un-bury the power button from the charms and add it as part of the charms.

Metro isn't meant for touch devices, its meant for all devices. I have been using Zune before win8, now metroTweet. Enterprises don't like their users to work on a beautiful environment? Why wouldn't they allow it? It has way better performance than windows 7.

I do agree with the writer that they need to device better tiles for desktop apps and bury the useless stuff

Nah. AERO will still be here (After all why would Microsoft provide auto color to a feature they're removing?)

Don't get me wrong, I love what they've done so far, Windows 8 has been nice to use on my laptop, but Microsoft has a lot of work to do yet it to make it usable by Joe Public. The fact the Apple fanbois on YouTube slamming it left and right don't help either.
But the power options is what needs work, I agree, they're scattered all over the place in the user tile, and settings charm. Why, Microsoft, why????

Edited by Dot Matrix, Mar 13 2012, 12:12pm :

Sure they still have work to do. I like Metro but they just need to address some of the major concerns regarding switching between Metro and the desktop. Besides that, it's pretty good.

"Besides the biggest UI addition to the OS, it's good." That's what you said, in a nutshell. Does anyone hear their selves speak?

KSib said,
"Besides the biggest UI addition to the OS, it's good." That's what you said, in a nutshell. Does anyone hear their selves speak?

Can you read? I said they need to work on the transition between the two.

I hated the Developer Preview, so I was kinda worried about the Consumer Preview, but it turned out that I like it. I must say that the OS is a bit confusing at first, the strange behavior switching from desktop apps to metro apps, like opening a picture on your desktop will bring you a full screen metro apps with no many options. The idea of Windows8 is good but I think it needs some tweaks. I guess it will work great on a tablet or even a laptop, which is in where I'm using it now, but on my desktop I don't think it's a good idea, I haven't tried it yet on my desktop though

daniel_rh said,
I hated the Developer Preview, so I was kinda worried about the Consumer Preview, but it turned out that I like it. I must say that the OS is a bit confusing at first, the strange behavior switching from desktop apps to metro apps, like opening a picture on your desktop will bring you a full screen metro apps with no many options. The idea of Windows8 is good but I think it needs some tweaks. I guess it will work great on a tablet or even a laptop, which is in where I'm using it now, but on my desktop I don't think it's a good idea, I haven't tried it yet on my desktop though

I don't hate it by any means, I just have some genuine concerns about their target market here.

Owen W said,

I don't hate it by any means, I just have some genuine concerns about their target market here.

Says the man writing an editorial in a blog so buried in the internet that no real life mom would visit. ;-)

Owen W said,

I don't hate it by any means, I just have some genuine concerns about their target market here.

ditto. anyone thinks I hate it is off the planet. I just don't think it's going to go over well. That and maybe the 1000 page manuals will be back... Obviously I figured out how to run Windows 8, but it's harder to use than 7. or Vista or XP . Shouldn't things get easier to use as time goes by?

I never been a big fan of Metro since it as been announce but after trying it with the consumer preview I can say that I like it and can use it in future. I think it only need some place to customization maybe some transparency in Metro and round edge or some thing more elaborate, but I can get use to it. But till now I like what I see in the preview, only want a tab explorer.exe

I'll tell you how your mom will use Windows 8. She'll buy a tablet and use all metro apps only and will love it. She'll never have to use desktop mode for anything and probably will never know she has a desktop mode. Don't worry about non advanced users: they don't upgrade old pcs, they only buy new ones, and all they do is browse the net and check emails and photos and all those have already metro apps. There is no reason to go to desktop mode. you may as well unpin the tile.

Charles Keledjian said,
I'll tell you how your mom will use Windows 8. She'll buy a tablet and use all metro apps only and will love it. She'll never have to use desktop mode for anything and probably will never know she has a desktop mode. Don't worry about non advanced users: they don't upgrade old pcs, they only buy new ones, and all they do is browse the net and check emails and photos and all those have already metro apps. There is no reason to go to desktop mode. you may as well unpin the tile.

Until mom opens her old games, and gets thrown into a world of hurt.

I don't know about your mom, but mine does more with a PC.... And Win8 is not gonna help her in anyway. It's just going to give ME more job. Win8 is a fail if you need to roam from Metro to Desktop or try to do both at the same time.

Charles Keledjian said,
I'll tell you how your mom will use Windows 8. She'll buy a tablet and use all metro apps only and will love it. She'll never have to use desktop mode for anything and probably will never know she has a desktop mode. Don't worry about non advanced users: they don't upgrade old pcs, they only buy new ones, and all they do is browse the net and check emails and photos and all those have already metro apps. There is no reason to go to desktop mode. you may as well unpin the tile.

I guess you live in a world of rainbows and unicorns

Owen W said,

Until mom opens her old games, and gets thrown into a world of hurt.

Maybe if you (him) dont fail to show mom her old games under new colors (Metro Apps)

or do you mom play Crysis?

I bet there will be so many Scrabble & Bingo games under the Windows Store that your (his) mom will install all the free ones. ;-)

Ricardo Dawkins said,

Maybe if you (him) dont fail to show mom her old games under new colors (Metro Apps)

or do you mom play Crysis?

I bet there will be so many Scrabble & Bingo games under the Windows Store that your (his) mom will install all the free ones. ;-)


My dad is still playing Anno Domini - will there be a Metro version? Otherwise your point is just plain wrong…

Charles Keledjian said,
I'll tell you how your mom will use Windows 8. She'll buy a tablet and use all metro apps only and will love it. She'll never have to use desktop mode for anything and probably will never know she has a desktop mode. Don't worry about non advanced users: they don't upgrade old pcs, they only buy new ones, and all they do is browse the net and check emails and photos and all those have already metro apps. There is no reason to go to desktop mode. you may as well unpin the tile.

I tell you what your mother will do. She will buy iPad.

myxomatosis said,

I guess you live in a world of rainbows and unicorns

If what I'm saying is not true, then why the iPad is so successful? All it's good for is to browse the net, check emails, watch photos and videos and play games, and all these functionalities are currently very well implemented in Win 8 Metro interface.

TruckWEB said,
BRAVO! One great editorial that is going to get flamed by MS Fanboy or just people "who understand the need for change".

This isn't change. This is MS saying no more desktops or laptops.. only tablets.

PatrynXX said,

This isn't change. This is MS saying no more desktops or laptops.. only tablets.

Please quote me a source where they said this

Probably one of the best editorials I've read about Windows 8 yet. I think Microsoft is definitely onto something with the Metro UI, but they need a way to run Metro apps from the desktop, and give users choice as to which UI they want to use.

Couldn't agree more with you... A person wanting to use Aero should not have to leave the desktop... period. perhaps they could come up with a way to allow metro apps to run in windows if a user wants. After all... the OS is "Windows" and not "Window"

greenwizard88 said,
Probably one of the best editorials I've read about Windows 8 yet. I think Microsoft is definitely onto something with the Metro UI, but they need a way to run Metro apps from the desktop, and give users choice as to which UI they want to use.

psreloaded said,
Couldn't agree more with you... A person wanting to use Aero should not have to leave the desktop... period. perhaps they could come up with a way to allow metro apps to run in windows if a user wants. After all... the OS is "Windows" and not "Window"

Windows 8 IS Metro. There's no distinction. Desktop is there purely for non-metro app compatbility. If you dont like Metro and don't want to use it, then it would be illogical to purchase a Metro OS.

I hope this forced Metro on desktop comes back and bites them harder then Vista failure did, sure it's fine of you have a tablet.

Tender Foot said,
I hope this forced Metro on desktop comes back and bites them harder then Vista failure did, sure it's fine of you have a tablet.

But Vista was completely fine, just ask the MS fanboys, they will tell you.

Don't you know WHY Microsoft is pushing this on us? They're not crazy. The article does not talk about it.

You see, to compete with the iPad, MS needs Windows desktop developers to switch to metro style so they make lots of tablet apps. They removed the start menu and made the desktop-metaphor obsolete so developers think they have to go metro. When everyone uses the metro-style start menu, they can't just ignore metro, or ignore tablets.

This makes mousing less efficient, period. But MS decided it's a post-PC era so they're willing to mess with traditional PC productivity users. I don't know about you, but it's not a post-PC era for me.

Edited by Denis W., Mar 13 2012, 6:50am :

Order_66 said,

But Vista was completely fine, just ask the MS fanboys, they will tell you.

Nah, vista, as you said, is fine and windows 7 is just an improvement of it... but metro, is an VERY improvement on the internals of windows 7 with a downgrade in right in the face to win 3.1 (because windows 95 still has start menu and it rocks)

Tender Foot said,
I hope this forced Metro on desktop comes back and bites them harder then Vista failure did, sure it's fine of you have a tablet.

windows 8 will be the biggest disaster in microsoft history. new xbox 360 nerds will like it, but 90% of users will hate it.

a1ien said,
Don't you know WHY Microsoft is pushing this on us? They're not crazy. The article does not talk about it.

You see, to compete with the iPad, M$ needs Windows desktop developers to switch to metro style so they make lots of tablet apps. They removed the start menu and made the desktop-metaphor obsolete so developers think they have to go metro. When everyone uses the metro-style start menu, they can't just ignore metro, or ignore tablets.

This makes mousing less efficient, period. But M$ decided it's a post-PC era so they're willing to mess with traditional PC productivity users. I don't know about you, but it's not a post-PC era for me.

You know, if Windows ran tablet/Windows Phone 7 apps, I'd probably use some of them, but without Metro, I don't want that crap, given those options I wont use it or them, period, end of story.

Tender Foot said,
I hope this forced Metro on desktop comes back and bites them harder then Vista failure did, sure it's fine of you have a tablet.

I don't consider Windows 8 an OS for a desktop or laptop. Maybe a convertable laptop, but this is purely a Tablet OS. Like Vista was more for laptops than desktops. Hence how we got Windows 7. Windows Vista worked fine for me on a laptop. Windows 7 is just fine on a desktop. I don't think Windows 8 will be Windows Vista, or Windows ME. More like Windows XP 64bit. As in such a disaster that people tend to remember there was a 64bit XP. Too bad they couldn't port Microsoft Surface to Windows 8. So unless Bill takes Microsoft back like Steve Jobs and Michael Dell did with their companies. MS is going down the tubes. and I really wish it wouldn't.. and this is no upgrade OS at all. But then again since it's an OS purely for tablets. If they stop selling Windows 7 I guess there'll be more linux around..

a1ien said,
Don't you know WHY Microsoft is pushing this on us? They're not crazy. The article does not talk about it.

You see, to compete with the iPad, MS needs Windows desktop developers to switch to metro style so they make lots of tablet apps. They removed the start menu and made the desktop-metaphor obsolete so developers think they have to go metro. When everyone uses the metro-style start menu, they can't just ignore metro, or ignore tablets.

This makes mousing less efficient, period. But MS decided it's a post-PC era so they're willing to mess with traditional PC productivity users. I don't know about you, but it's not a post-PC era for me.

And with metro apps there is an opportunity for big $$$

a1ien said,
Don't you know WHY Microsoft is pushing this on us? They're not crazy. The article does not talk about it.

You see, to compete with the iPad, MS needs Windows desktop developers to switch to metro style so they make lots of tablet apps. They removed the start menu and made the desktop-metaphor obsolete so developers think they have to go metro. When everyone uses the metro-style start menu, they can't just ignore metro, or ignore tablets.

This makes mousing less efficient, period. But MS decided it's a post-PC era so they're willing to mess with traditional PC productivity users. I don't know about you, but it's not a post-PC era for me.


I think we should just show ms how post-pc era it really is. "I'm a PC" and I'm still alive.

Order_66 said,

But Vista was completely fine, just ask the MS fanboys, they will tell you.

Vista had a rocky start but after SP1 was completely useable, we're talking like 98%+ app/driver compatibility here at LEAST. I hopped onto the Vista bandwagon just a few weeks before SP1 came out and had significantly LESS blue screens then XP ever gave me, always stable and very rarely had app compatibility issues (I can count the number of issues on one hand)

but sure paint me as an MS fanboy for divulging my own user experience, whatever

The Teej said,

Vista had a rocky start but after SP1 was completely useable, we're talking like 98%+ app/driver compatibility here at LEAST. I hopped onto the Vista bandwagon just a few weeks before SP1 came out and had significantly LESS blue screens then XP ever gave me, always stable and very rarely had app compatibility issues (I can count the number of issues on one hand)

but sure paint me as an MS fanboy for divulging my own user experience, whatever

I never understand why people bash Vista so much. It had it's problems, but most were technical and not related to the GUI. Most of the technical problems were corrected with SP2. Vista laid the ground work for the much beloved Windows 7. BTW I also hated Vista in the beginning.

a1ien said,
Don't you know WHY Microsoft is pushing this on us? They're not crazy. The article does not talk about it.

You see, to compete with the iPad, MS needs Windows desktop developers to switch to metro style so they make lots of tablet apps. They removed the start menu and made the desktop-metaphor obsolete so developers think they have to go metro. When everyone uses the metro-style start menu, they can't just ignore metro, or ignore tablets.

This makes mousing less efficient, period. But MS decided it's a post-PC era so they're willing to mess with traditional PC productivity users. I don't know about you, but it's not a post-PC era for me.


Blah Blah Blah. Even Macs work better than this.