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Windows 8 - Unintuitivity at its best

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code65536    40
In case you haven't noticed, the desktop hasn't seen substantial growth in the last few years
Maybe because, oh, everyone has one? You're comparing the growth of a saturated mature market to a new, still-evolving market. See: http://imgs.xkcd.com...est_growing.png
You're comparing a UX that's less than a year old, to one that's been established for the last 20+ years. Think about that. Win32 is pretty ancient in computing terms.
Why does it feel like I have to say this again, and again, and again. Older is not necessarily worse, and newer is not necessarily better. Yes, Win32 is older. Big whoop. That doesn't explain why it's worse for the use cases in question.
Newer technology is knocking at the door, and stealing market share daily.
Nonsense. New technology are filling niches that the old technology is not as suitable for. Take automobiles, for example. Imagine that the world is full of small cars. Now imagine that one day, a company starts selling big SUVs that can seat a lot of people and carry a lot of cargo. And it's a hot-selling product that takes a lot of market share. Does that mean that SUVs will replace cars? No, because not everyone needs a SUV. And because there are major downsides to SUVs, like space and efficiency.

Touch and touch devices are here to stay, yes. But they are not going to entirely replace desktop computing. They'll replace desktop computing for certain applications and use cases for which they are better suited, just as SUVs will replace cars in situations where a SUV makes more sense (large family of 7, e.g.). But it's ridiculous to point at the growth of an emerging market, compare it to a mature and saturated market, and blindly extrapolate that to "OMG! New emerging market product will entirely replace everything!". It is, frankly, defective logic.

And, oh, the auto industry did embark on a binge of SUV production when they saw how hot those products were. And that bit them back in the ass, pretty hard, in 2008.

Because according to +BrandonLive, you can't have both.

I just love how you take the words of Microsoft's spokesperson as canon. So young and naive you are. If it was so impossible, why has a third party (Stardock) managed to tack on a Start Menu with what appears to be quite a bit of success? Microsoft is full of smart people and good engineers. As a long-time developer who knows quite a bit of the technical internals of WIndows, I simply do not accept the explanation that it was a technical limitation. If they really wanted to, they could have. They say that it's a technical limitation, but I what I smell is an attempt to bootstrap the Windows touch ecosystem by tightly harnessing Metro to the large installed desktop base.
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VivM    25

But what happens when touch, Kinect, remotes, etc need to interact with a desktop PC? The Desktop GUI isn't going to cut it. I've laid out various examples of PCs where the desktop doesn't make sense anymore, and where the user can get away without going to it. The world has changed since this desktop GUI was developed, and has for the most part, out grown it. Sticking to it makes no sense at all if you expect future growth. In case you haven't noticed, the desktop hasn't seen substantial growth in the last few years, and killer apps are starting to fade away to other devices. Win32 is in its death knell.

The world has outgrown the desktop GUI?

How do you plan to design aircraft parts? Layouts for glossy print (or iPad) magazines? Administer a giant Facebook-style datacenter? Etc.

Hell, as I like to put it, if Steven Sinofsky's ass got fired tomorrow, HE COULD NOT APPLY FOR ANOTHER JOB USING METRO. There isn't even a basic WordPad/Write/MacWrite/etc-bundled thing that would let him put together a basic cover letter. His kids can't write a lab report using Metro. Etc. These aren't fancy industrial tasks requiring $2000/licence specialized software, either.

Yes, people are not coming up with many new desktop/Win32 applications. Why? Because it's difficult to come up with new productivity tasks that haven't already been revolutionized by computers two decades ago. The big productivity software was invented in the 80s, either on Macs (Photoshop, QuarkXPress, etc) or *NIX workstations (CATIA, FrameMaker, etc) or DOS (WordPerfect, Lotus 123), and gradually migrated to Win32 in the mid-late 90s, where it has continued to be refined since. (Photoshop is at version 13. AutoCAD is at 19)

You're making the same analytical mistake many MBAs are making, which is to focus on growth. Desktop computing is a mature market, you're not going to see a lot of growth. Doesn't mean the desktop is obsolete; it just means that when you've got one desktop/laptop PC per person at work, and close to one per person at home, and nobody invents software that requires better hardware anymore (have you seen the Office system requirements lately? 10 year old machines can meet them), then there's nowhere to grow.

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VivM    25

Hell, let me add to my previous post.

When Apple launched the Mac in 1984, they bundled MacWrite and MacPaint.

When MS launched Windows, there was Write and Paintbrush. Which later became WordPad and Paint.

Now, with Metro, you get 'Maps', 'News', 'Bing', 'People', etc. Not a single creation app I can think of. Hell, is there even a Metro calculator? Or an equivalent to the iPad's notes app?

Doesn't that say everything about where the focus is?

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Dot Matrix    7,437

Maybe because, oh, everyone has one? You're comparing the growth of a saturated mature market to a new, still-evolving market. See: http://imgs.xkcd.com...est_growing.png

Why does it feel like I have to say this again, and again, and again. Older is not necessarily worse, and newer is not necessarily better. Yes, Win32 is older. Big whoop. That doesn't explain why it's worse for the use cases in question.

Nonsense. New technology are filling niches that the old technology is not as suitable for. Take automobiles, for example. Imagine that the world is full of small cars. Now imagine that one day, a company starts selling big SUVs that can seat a lot of people and carry a lot of cargo. And it's a hot-selling product that takes a lot of market share. Does that mean that SUVs will replace cars? No, because not everyone needs a SUV. And because there are major downsides to SUVs, like space and efficiency.

Touch and touch devices are here to stay, yes. But they are not going to entirely replace desktop computing. They'll replace desktop computing for certain applications and use cases for which they are better suited, just as SUVs will replace cars in situations where a SUV makes more sense (large family of 7, e.g.). But it's ridiculous to point at the growth of an emerging market, compare it to a mature and saturated market, and blindly extrapolate that to "OMG! New emerging market product will entirely replace everything!". It is, frankly, defective logic.

And, oh, the auto industry did embark on a binge of SUV production when they saw how hot those products were. And that bit them back in the ass, pretty hard, in 2008.

I just love how you take the words of Microsoft's spokesperson as canon. So young and naive you are. If it was so impossible, why has a third party (Stardock) managed to tack on a Start Menu with what appears to be quite a bit of success? Microsoft is full of smart people and good engineers. As a long-time developer who knows quite a bit of the technical internals of WIndows, I simply do not accept the explanation that it was a technical limitation. If they really wanted to, they could have. They say that it's a technical limitation, but I what I smell is an attempt to bootstrap the Windows touch ecosystem by tightly harnessing Metro to the large installed desktop base.

Win32 is in for a change. Most of the coding in Windows is so ancient, that even Microsoft themselves don't know what it does. How is that any good? There's no need to continually drag that junk along release after release. Same story with the Start Menu, it was old code that needed to be ditched, in that case, they created a whole new menu for users - The Start Screen.

The world has outgrown the desktop GUI?

How do you plan to design aircraft parts? Layouts for glossy print (or iPad) magazines? Administer a giant Facebook-style datacenter? Etc.

Hell, as I like to put it, if Steven Sinofsky's ass got fired tomorrow, HE COULD NOT APPLY FOR ANOTHER JOB USING METRO. There isn't even a basic WordPad/Write/MacWrite/etc-bundled thing that would let him put together a basic cover letter. His kids can't write a lab report using Metro. Etc. These aren't fancy industrial tasks requiring $2000/licence specialized software, either.

Yes, people are not coming up with many new desktop/Win32 applications. Why? Because it's difficult to come up with new productivity tasks that haven't already been revolutionized by computers two decades ago. The big productivity software was invented in the 80s, either on Macs (Photoshop, QuarkXPress, etc) or *NIX workstations (CATIA, FrameMaker, etc) or DOS (WordPerfect, Lotus 123), and gradually migrated to Win32 in the mid-late 90s, where it has continued to be refined since. (Photoshop is at version 13. AutoCAD is at 19)

You're making the same analytical mistake many MBAs are making, which is to focus on growth. Desktop computing is a mature market, you're not going to see a lot of growth. Doesn't mean the desktop is obsolete; it just means that when you've got one desktop/laptop PC per person at work, and close to one per person at home, and nobody invents software that requires better hardware anymore (have you seen the Office system requirements lately? 10 year old machines can meet them), then there's nowhere to grow.

First of all, I hate when people yell. Knock it off. No need for it.

Second, he can to apply for a job, There's Evernote and OneNote MX that can do the job just fine. It won't be long before Word and other Office apps follow suit. Hell, Office 2013 isn't even Gold yet.

Windows 8 is looking to spur more growth in PCs, you wouldn't see otherwise from using the same old desktop GUI. I'm running all sorts of new apps on my desktop that have never had or will ever have a desktop equivalent, and they work just fine with my mouse. So far, the plan is working.

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code65536    40
Win32 is in for a change.
You're obviously not an engineer. Change for change's sake is absurd.
Most of the coding in Windows is so ancient, that even Microsoft themselves don't know what it does.
Now you're dabbling in hyperbole.
How is that any good? There's no need to continually drag that junk along release after release.
You must love Linux, then. People there never care about API stability or ABI compatibility. And look at desktop Linux today. Despite years of "Look at how much Linux has improved; it's going to pose a challenge to Windows!", Linux is now losing market share. I guess people actually care about things, oh, working?

Spolsky had something nice to say about this once (http://www.joelonsof...2006/12/15.html)...

People, for the most part, are not playing with their software because they want to. They?re using the software as a tool to accomplish something else that they would like to do. Maybe they are using a chat program to try and seem witty, in hopes that the person they are chatting with will want to spend time with them, so that, ultimately, they have a better chance of getting laid, so that, ultimately, their selfish DNA will get to replicate itself. Maybe they are using a spreadsheet to try and figure out if they can afford a bigger apartment, so that, ultimately, dates will be more impressed when they come over, increasing their chance of getting laid, again, benefitting the DNA. Maybe they?re working on a PowerPoint for the boss so that they will get a promotion so that they?ll have more money which they can use to rent a larger apartment that would attract mates, thus increasing their chance of getting laid, (getting the idea yet?) so the selfish DNA can replicate. Maybe they are looking for a recipe for goat cheese ravioli on the Internet, etc., etc., ? DNA.

Do you know why Windows is the most popular OS around? Because it works. Because it supports a rich ecosystem. Because a critical line-of-business application written in 1992 still works today, 20 years later. And how exactly has this so-called cruft held back Windows? How exactly has it hurt Windows? You make claims about it holding things back. How, exactly? What modern feature does Windows lack? Hm?

Compatibility isn't sexy. It's easier to throw things out the window and do something new and exciting. But that's the ADHD approach to development, and it fails miserably. People need things that work, and if it takes extra effort to make that so, then guess what, that's your fracking job.

Oh, and I should probably bring up .NET. That laughable thing. A decade into this whole .NET thing, and people still stick with good old native Win32. Sure, there are some programs written in .NET, but the vast majority of software (including all virtually all serious programs) are written in proper, classic Win32. If, a decade after its introduction, .NET is still largely sitting on the sidelines, I somehow doubt that there will be a flood of developers flocking to WinRT to escape Win32.

PS: Speaking of old, Unix and C date back to the 1970's, yet they serve as the underpinnings, architecturally-speaking, of shiny modern Android phones (and Cupertino's products, too). Guess they're all due for an overhaul, according to your impeccable logic.

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VivM    25

First of all, I hate when people yell. Knock it off. No need for it.

I'm yelling? Sorry, I looked at my Metro-style Office 13, and I saw all the interface items in ALL CAPS, so I thought, you know, ALL CAPS was the new fashionable way to talk.

Second, he can to apply for a job, There's Evernote and OneNote MX that can do the job just fine. It won't be long before Word and other Office apps follow suit. Hell, Office 2013 isn't even Gold yet.

Okay, you can write a cover letter in Evernote or OneNote, I suppose. What about putting together a proper resume?

And Office 2013 is one of those dinosauric pre-Metro apps you disdain. MS had no problem porting Office to Windows, then to Windows 95, etc. when they made previous (smaller) paradigm shifts. Yet this time, they don't have an Office for sale that showcases the new thing. Perhaps that means something.

Windows 8 is looking to spur more growth in PCs, you wouldn't see otherwise from using the same old desktop GUI. I'm running all sorts of new apps on my desktop that have never had or will ever have a desktop equivalent, and they work just fine with my mouse. So far, the plan is working.

So, in order to get growth, they introduce something that disorients hundreds of millions of their most loyal customers, and something that is less well-suited to those customers' work flow.

If you want growth, why not launch a new, separate, product geared to the growth area you've identified? That's what every other industry does (look at Boeing, or Ford, or whatever. They make different sizes of products for different needs.). And if the new product ends up displacing the old one such that the old one isn't profitable anymore, well, eventually you discontinue the old one.

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Active.    1,697
why not launch a new, separate, product geared to the growth area you've identified?

Probably because they'd have an immensely hard time competing against the (at this point) already quite established tablet ecosystems that are currently on the market. So they're launching...

an attempt to bootstrap the Windows touch ecosystem by tightly harnessing Metro to the large installed desktop base.

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code65536    40

I'm yelling? Sorry, I looked at my Metro-style Office 13 [sic], and I saw all the interface items in ALL CAPS, so I thought, you know, ALL CAPS was the new fashionable way to talk.

LOL!
MS had no problem porting Office to Windows
Oh, I remember that. Using DOS-based word processors and then the first version of Word, back in the days of WIndows 3.1. Funny thing is, I had absolutely zero resistance to going from text-mode word processing to GUI word processing. Probably because it just made sense to use GUI word processing. It was better in every possible way.*

I'm not opposed to change when the change is unequivocally better. And I think that applies to most people. What really annoys me is this presumption by Metro defenders that anyone who complains about Metro is just some luddite who hates change. We have genuine problems with Metro that we have expounded on at length. The problem is that Metro is not better "in every possible way". It's better in a limited number of ways and worse in an arguably larger number of ways.

I mean, look at Windows 7 and the way it completely revamped the taskbar, eliminated Quick Launch, and changed much of how the taskbar worked. Did you hear many complaints about that? Where were all these change-hating luddites? When something is unquestionably better (like the Windows 7 taskbar), people are going to embrace that change, not resist it. Resistance should be a signal that you're doing something wrong, and Microsoft chalking this resistance up to ludditism is dismissing this warning sign at its own peril.

* But even to this day, there are still (a limited set of) things that I do with a text-based console because it just makes more sense to have a console interface. Just because a GUI works well for word processing doesn't mean that a GUI could replace the CLI in every single scenario.

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VivM    25

Probably because they'd have an immensely hard time competing against the (at this point) already quite established tablet ecosystems that are currently on the market. So they're launching...

Which brings us back to the problem: despite inventing a tablet OS almost a decade before Apple, they never managed to sell any. So now that they're facing 'an immensely hard time', they're ruining their most popular/dominant product in an attempt to artificially acquire an installed base.

Guess what, Steven Sinofsky. I already have an iPhone. I already have an iPad. The ship already sailed with those two - I don't see why I'd dump either, not when the ecosystem is how it is, and given how well both work. Now you've ****ed me off to the point that I'm starting to seriously think about OS X and a Mac (oh, retina displays...)...

(And yes, I'm bitter. For 17 years I dutifully adopted whatever Redmond shipped in the way that it was shipped. Never turned off Luna, always used the new-style start menu, used Vista pre-SP1, etc. And then they launch this monstrosity because they want tablet market share and realized they'd have an 'immensely hard time' acquiring it the old fashioned honest way.)

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andrewbares    110
(And yes, I'm bitter. For 17 years I dutifully adopted whatever Redmond shipped in the way that it was shipped. Never turned off Luna, always used the new-style start menu, used Vista pre-SP1, etc. And then they launch this monstrosity because they want tablet market share and realized they'd have an 'immensely hard time' acquiring it the old fashioned honest way.)

I'm in the same boat as you (but only for like 5 years, I'm only 19 years old total!) I've loved Vista and Windows 7 and thought every change they made was for the best. I loved the Superbar. I wanted to like Windows 8 just like the last ones, but nope, the changes they made are negative in my opinion.

I'm still going to run Windows 8, and eventually everyone will "accept" it since there's not much choice (yes, MS basically does have a monopoly over the desktop operating system). But that doesn't mean that Windows 8 was a good idea.

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.Neo    1,834

^ That's one of the things I HATE about Mac OS X. Commands that are specific to an app should be (in my opinion) *inside* the app, not randomly mixed with the operating system's UI.

If I wanted app-specific commands mixed with the OS's UI, then I would buy a Mac. But I don't, and I want my PC.

You don't seem to realize the Menu Bar is in fact part of the app interface and not a global operating system thing at all. If you were to quit all apps, there's no Menu Bar either. What you're saying makes little sense either since Windows has had "app-specific commands mixed with the OS' UI" for years. System tray anyone?

But yeah, I definitely see how having a wide range of different menu types, locations, layouts, wordings etc. is preferred. It's andrewbares in another episode of "Where to find the printing command?"! Who would want to miss that?

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andrewbares    110

You don't seem to realize how the Menu Bar is in fact part of the app interface and not a global operating system thing at all. If you were to quit all apps, there's no Menu Bar either. What you're saying makes little sense either since both has had "app-specific commands mixed with the OS' UI" for years. System tray anyone?

But yeah, I definitely see how having a wide range of different menu types, locations, layouts, wordings etc. is preferred. It's andrewbares in another episode of "Where to find the printing command?"! Who would want to miss that?

If you can't see that the top bar on Mac OS X is part of the operating system's UI and not the app's UI, then you also must not be able to see that the sky is blue.

On Mac's top bar, you have the Apple logo, you've got your Finder off to the right, clock, system settings, etc. Sounds a lot like Charms, eh? And yes, those are all part of the operating system and NOT the app's interface.

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.Neo    1,834

If you can't see that the top bar on Mac OS X is part of the operating system's UI and not the app's UI, then you also must not be able to see that the sky is blue.

In your case you're trying to claim the sky is red though. Fact remains the Menu Bar is generated by each individual app. No apps? No Menu Bar. That alone contradicts what you're saying. Just because an interface element isn't attached to an app's main window doesn't mean it doesn't belong to the app.

On Mac's top bar, you have the Apple logo, you've got your Finder off to the right, clock, system settings, etc. Sounds a lot like Charms, eh? And yes, those are all part of the operating system and NOT the app's interface.

Again, if you close all running apps there's no Menu Bar either; it disappears completely. The Apple Menu and Menu Items are merely constants on any Menu Bar but also disappear if you were to quit all running apps. Like how close/max/min buttons are generally a constant on every Windows window. Charms also don't seem to hold any app-specific commands which make them very different.

Anyway, you're going into technicalities here that don't really matter. My point is Apple provided all app developers with a method to create a consistent interface experience across the board. On Windows you're dealing with a wide variety of different menu types, ribbons, buttons and now Charms to do the same thing. The thing I was wondering: Can Charms even be utilized by desktop apps?

In the end I don't really care how a method of uniformity is being reached, be it through the Menu Bar as is the case on OS X or something else, as long as it's reached.

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PGHammer    1,502

Maybe because, oh, everyone has one? You're comparing the growth of a saturated mature market to a new, still-evolving market. See: http://imgs.xkcd.com...est_growing.png

Why does it feel like I have to say this again, and again, and again. Older is not necessarily worse, and newer is not necessarily better. Yes, Win32 is older. Big whoop. That doesn't explain why it's worse for the use cases in question.

Nonsense. New technology are filling niches that the old technology is not as suitable for. Take automobiles, for example. Imagine that the world is full of small cars. Now imagine that one day, a company starts selling big SUVs that can seat a lot of people and carry a lot of cargo. And it's a hot-selling product that takes a lot of market share. Does that mean that SUVs will replace cars? No, because not everyone needs a SUV. And because there are major downsides to SUVs, like space and efficiency.

Touch and touch devices are here to stay, yes. But they are not going to entirely replace desktop computing. They'll replace desktop computing for certain applications and use cases for which they are better suited, just as SUVs will replace cars in situations where a SUV makes more sense (large family of 7, e.g.). But it's ridiculous to point at the growth of an emerging market, compare it to a mature and saturated market, and blindly extrapolate that to "OMG! New emerging market product will entirely replace everything!". It is, frankly, defective logic.

And, oh, the auto industry did embark on a binge of SUV production when they saw how hot those products were. And that bit them back in the ass, pretty hard, in 2008.

I just love how you take the words of Microsoft's spokesperson as canon. So young and naive you are. If it was so impossible, why has a third party (Stardock) managed to tack on a Start Menu with what appears to be quite a bit of success? Microsoft is full of smart people and good engineers. As a long-time developer who knows quite a bit of the technical internals of WIndows, I simply do not accept the explanation that it was a technical limitation. If they really wanted to, they could have. They say that it's a technical limitation, but I what I smell is an attempt to bootstrap the Windows touch ecosystem by tightly harnessing Metro to the large installed desktop base.

The problem is that you are insisting that they have to remain separated. The question begs - why?

While it's not exactly cheap *today* to add touch support to desktop PCs, it's doable, and has been in fact doable since Windows 7 went RTM. Every month, the cost to do so goes down. (That sort of thing tends to happen as technology matures.)

Worse, you are also apparently insisting that Google is capable of doing something that neither Microsoft OR Apple are capable of - creating a multiple-input UX. Android is multi-input - it supports touch AND keyboards AND mice.

Win32 predates the birth of the touch-screen input method - adding support for it to Win32 may well be the technical limitation that Microsoft has spoken of; hence the need for a new API to support a new input method.

Multiple APIs aren't even new in Windows; most versions of Windows have, in fact, supported multiple APIs at once.

Even OS X (let alone iOS) is quite capable of supporting multiple APIs at once.

The API *stratification* is artificially created in the case of iOS and OS X - Apple is worried to an extent that iOS will steal sales from the low end of OS X.

Google has no such concerns for the understandable reason that there is no reason why Android can't go after the low end of Windows, iOS, *and* OS X with devices capable of using any UX that Android supports - which is all of them - even at the same time.

You are basically insisting that Windows' multiple-API approach - the same approach that it has used over the past two decades - is no longer workable.

Again, the question begs - why isn't it?

Nobody is saying - not myself, not most of us that are running Windows 8 today, and *especially* not Dot Matrix - that Win32 has no place.

What we HAVE been saying is that the Start menu *itself* is broken - not that the Win32 API is broken.

Windows 8's Win32 capability - despite the lack of a Start menu - is just fine; not even most of you are saying otherwise.

It is the users that are Start menu-dependent. The Win32 API compatibility in Windows 8 is not.

While the Start menu is - and has been for those same two decades - the most obvious sign of the Win32 API, the API itself doesn't depend on it.

In fact, the API predates the Start menu - remember, Windows NT 3.x didn't have a Start menu. (It used the Windows 3.x UI and UX, despite the Win32 API.)

In other words, there is NO connection between the API and the UX. None whatever.

That is why the Start menu's excision didn't bend, let alone break, Win32 application compatibility in Windows 8.

User compatibility is not the same as application/hardware/software compatibility - no less than Windows 7 is the biggest example of that. It had a far smaller UI/UX change than Windows 8 - yet it had far greater application breakage compared to Vista or XP, let alone Windows 8.

And let's tackle .NET - specifically .NET 3.0 and later. It practically took a grav-jack to pry developers into using it. Yet once they have, they have been able to create solid applications - and games - that use it. Even more surprising, .NET is cross-platform - .NET is no obstacle to cross-platform development (despite the naysaying of game developers at first). In fact, if you are going to leverage multiple input types, .NET is the best method for doing so today. The reason that is the case is rather easy - .NET is not API-restricted. (It leads to the following question - how many of the various "Start menu add-ins" are written in .NET, or leverage it?)

If any - or all - of those add-ins do, in fact, leverage .NET, then congratulations; they took advantage of a more modern toolkit than the original developers of the Start menu did. However, because all of these various add-ins are so new, we still have no idea whether they will have new issues that the original Start menu did NOT have (which could very well be why Microsoft chose to toss the Start menu entirely, as opposed to rewriting it).

The jury remains out on the various add-ins - I'll let their users evaluate them and give feedback.

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Dot Matrix    7,437

And yes, I'm bitter. For 17 years I dutifully adopted whatever Redmond shipped in the way that it was shipped.

And why is that? Are you afraid of change?

If you're that bitter, set up the OS the way you want it. Program Defaults is your friend. But let me tell you something, this is a screenshot of my current Start screen on the PC I am currently on. post-420821-0-86872800-1346677138_thumb. Where's the desktop? I'm working with nothing but Metro. I have survived two weeks of school on nothing but, save for Office use. And this is still the CP. This isn't RTM where there are more apps waiting in the marketplace that I don't have access to yet. SO what exactly is making you bitter here? Afraid of change? Afraid of loosing your skillset? What?

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kde    8

Good words. I made this hoping that someone at Microsoft would see it and realize that "Hey, maybe we made a mistake..."

I've needed consumer complaints to realize I made something worse in my own apps I developed, and I'm sure Microsoft needs that too. I once took Microsoft's approach for my homework planner app, thinking "Hey, people don't add classes very often... I could just hide that in the menu instead of using an always-visible contextual "+" button on the panorama. The "+" button will instead always add a homework, since 99% of the time that's what users are doing!"

But nope, that was a terrible idea. Got tons of complaints. Switched to the contextual "+" button and haven't heard a single complaint. Looking back, I agree that my idea was a dumb idea. I have a feeling that some of these changes in Windows 8 are identical to what I went through there.

And the number of people that have complaints about Windows 8 seems to be pretty large. What really gets me is that my parents don't even like it, and they're the ones it's really made for! Microsoft tried to make an iOS-like operating system, where you "can't break" anything and it's simple... well even my parents find it complicated.

Now, I think Windows Phone 7 is the most intuitive mobile operating system, so I know Microsoft can make things intuitive, I just feel like this is NOT intuitive. I believe WP7 is even more intuitive than iOS in a few areas! Android comes in last, but 4.0 is honestly quite good and they've really stepped it up.

I actually downloaded and used your app. Its pretty cool, but I could easily sit here and criticise it like you criticise Windows 8... so I will... but please keep in mind that this is my opinion

(I am not saying your app is un-intuitive as a fact as you are saying for Windows 8)

1. Takes way way too long to get set up, I could not be bothered to actually set up my study plan.

2. When you go to home work, it talks about adding an Assignment... bit confusing?

3. What if I am already 3 years into my degree? Can I enter my GPA up until now? I couldn't work it out anyway.

4. At a very general level, if I am a 'normal user' what makes you think GPA is an understood term? We do not use GPA's at our university.

5. Average GPA means Average Grade Point Average? What does that mean? Ever seen Dodgeball?

6. I saw a 'what if?' somewhere but didn't know what that was about.

7. How come you cant add a duration for exams?

8. How come you cant add a 'made available' date for homework?

9. Overall, you have geared the application to absolute retards with the amount of help popups that appear, yet there are still parts in the application where there is no help.

If you wanted Microsoft to hear your complaints, there are proper channels for that to happen. Bitching and moaning on Neowin is not going to get you anywhere.

I wonder if hundreds of millions of users will use your tiny little app? Do you think they will all like it? Windows 8 on the other hand...

You have made changes to your app has to meet the feedback of your own users. Do you think Microsoft is completely blind that it cannot discern the average Windows user? Do you really think you know better than Microsoft, considering you yourself are talking about how good feedback is for your app... I will bet you a lot of money that Microsoft has had a LOT more feedback for Windows 8 (and Windows in general) than you have for your app. Yet you know better than Microsoft, with absolutely zero data.

Maybe the average Windows user is actually pretty smart, maybe you are not a very smart person, maybe your parents are less smart. How do you know that you are the 'baseline' ? Microsoft has the right to draw a line in the sand and say "anyone dumber than this, cannot use our software" - I do it all the time... I work in web development... I always get into arguments about people being able to know that they have to click a button to achieve something... yet this is on a page that if they couldn't work out how to click on a similar button, they would not be looking at it in the first place due to not getting there.

Keep in mind also that 5 years from now, every PC will be touch screen. Maybe sooner. So everything you say is irrelevant anyway.

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andrewbares    110
1. Takes way way too long to get set up, I could not be bothered to actually set up my study plan.

2. When you go to home work, it talks about adding an Assignment... bit confusing?

3. What if I am already 3 years into my degree? Can I enter my GPA up until now? I couldn't work it out anyway.

4. At a very general level, if I am a 'normal user' what makes you think GPA is an understood term? We do not use GPA's at our university.

5. Average GPA means Average Grade Point Average? What does that mean? Ever seen Dodgeball?

6. I saw a 'what if?' somewhere but didn't know what that was about.

7. How come you cant add a duration for exams?

8. How come you cant add a 'made available' date for homework?

9. Overall, you have geared the application to absolute retards with the amount of help popups that appear, yet there are still parts in the application where there is no help.

It sounds like you're not from the United States. My app is definitely aimed at US students (for now). I haven't had time to work on localizing it to other countries (but it's on my list). I'm not blaming you for that, it's my fault for not localizing :D It just takes more time and I haven't had the time yet :p

You can add durations for exams... type in "3:30 - 6:00" in the details and it appears in the main screen when looking at your whole list! That's actually faster for the user than using Microsoft's time pickers. No clue what a 'made available' date is for homework, maybe that's something specific to your country? Help popups are very common in many apps, I would disagree that any of my help popups are geared for absolute retards though.

But yeah I'm sure Microsoft uses a lot of feedback. It seems like they also make decisions based purely on statistics though, which I'm not so sure about. They love to quote things like "Only 0.5% clicked on...." to justify their actions. Statistics don't always match up with what people want. And it seems like a lot of people aren't happy with Windows 8. Even hardcore Microsoft fans I've talked to say "There's no way Windows 8 is going on my desktop. Tablet? Definitely. But not my desktop."

In your case you're trying to claim the sky is red though. Fact remains the Menu Bar is generated by each individual app. No apps? No Menu Bar. That alone contradicts what you're saying. Just because an interface element isn't attached to an app's main window doesn't mean it doesn't belong to the app.

Fact remains that the top bar is the operating system meshed with some application-specific commands, which means it's part of the operating system (with app commands mixed in). I've never seen Mac OS X without the top bar... how is that possible? Would you have to somehow force close their file explorer to get that to happen?

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phailyoor    32

And why is that? Are you afraid of change?

If you're that bitter, set up the OS the way you want it. Program Defaults is your friend. But let me tell you something, this is a screenshot of my current Start screen on the PC I am currently on. post-420821-0-86872800-1346677138_thumb. Where's the desktop? I'm working with nothing but Metro. I have survived two weeks of school on nothing but, save for Office use. And this is still the CP. This isn't RTM where there are more apps waiting in the marketplace that I don't have access to yet. SO what exactly is making you bitter here? Afraid of change? Afraid of loosing your skillset? What?

Hmmm... I wonder what programs you use a lot in school???Word???Outlook???I wonder if any of the "metro" apps have anything to do with actually getting something productive done.??Heck, I could "survive" two weeks of school with a chewed up pencil and a stack of paper if I had to. Oh, and I can't forget the candle and flint to light up my late night study sessions.

You're probably one of those people who thinks an iPad is a computer. Well, technically, it is, but then again, my old nokia dumbphone "brick" is also a computer.

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Dot Matrix    7,437

Hmmm... I wonder what programs you use a lot in school? Word? Outlook? I wonder if any of the "metro" apps have anything to do with actually getting something productive done. Heck, I could "survive" two weeks of school with a chewed up pencil and a stack of paper if I had to. Oh, and I can't forget the candle and flint to light up my late night study sessions.

You're probably one of those people who thinks an iPad is a computer. Well, technically, it is, but then again, my old nokia dumbphone "brick" is also a computer.

I can tell you exactly what I use. I maintain my notebooks using both OneNote and Evernote (which both have Metro apps), I can e-mail professors and students easily in Metro, I can make appointments in Calendar, leave myself quick notes in Quick Note, and upload to SkyDrive anything I need to. Again, in Metro.

I can guarantee it won't be long before Word, Excel, and other Office apps are ported to Metro which will further solidify the UX.

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phailyoor    32

I can tell you exactly what I use. I maintain my notebooks using both OneNote and Evernote (which both have Metro apps), I can e-mail professors and students easily in Metro, I can make appointments in Calendar, leave myself quick notes in Quick Note, and upload to SkyDrive anything I need to. Again, in Metro.

I can guarantee it won't be long before Word, Excel, and other Office apps are ported to Metro which will further solidify the UX.

Wow! You're such an advanced windows user. It's not like other mobile operating systems can do all of these awesome tasks like

taking notes-https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.office.onenote

email

calendar

skydrive-https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.skydrive

Maybe you should have saved yourself a few bucks and gotten and android/iPad, because you don't seem to need a real computer.

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Munroe    11


  1. Switching tabs in IE Metro
    It's absolutely painful. You have to right click to bring up the tabs... but you have to right click on something that isn't a link or an image.
    Bringing up the bottom and top options bar in apps
    Just like in IE Metro, you have to right click somewhere. That means you have to find an empty spot on the screen to right click.. seriously? It just becomes annoying after a while.

For these two points, just right click at any of the sides of the screen, no need to try and find an empty space

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Dot Matrix    7,437

Wow! You're such an advanced windows user. It's not like other mobile operating systems can do all of these awesome tasks like

taking notes-https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.office.onenote

email

calendar

skydrive-https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.skydrive

Maybe you should have saved yourself a few bucks and gotten and android/iPad, because you don't seem to need a real computer.

8 posts in, and you're already borderline ad hominem. I still use the desktop pretty heavily on my home PC. There's somethings I do there that Metro has not replaced yet. But for out-and-about use, Metro has replaced my need for the desktop, and it's only going to get better from here.

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.Neo    1,834

And why is that? Are you afraid of change?

If you're that bitter, set up the OS the way you want it. Program Defaults is your friend. But let me tell you something, this is a screenshot of my current Start screen on the PC I am currently on. post-420821-0-86872800-1346677138_thumb. Where's the desktop? I'm working with nothing but Metro. I have survived two weeks of school on nothing but, save for Office use. And this is still the CP. This isn't RTM where there are more apps waiting in the marketplace that I don't have access to yet. SO what exactly is making you bitter here? Afraid of change? Afraid of loosing your skillset? What?

Who are you trying to impress here and with what exactly? You managed to do some basic stuff within Metro but at the end of the day you still had to switch to the desktop to get any serious work done in Microsoft Office. There's absolutely nothing special about what you did, so excuse me for not pinning a medal on your chest just yet.

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Dot Matrix    7,437

Who are you trying to impress here? You managed to do some basic stuff within Metro but in the end you still had to switch to the desktop to get any serious work done in Microsoft Office.

I'm not trying to impress anyone, really. I'm simply trying to show how Metro works for some people, and why it's on the desktop in the first place (besides the obvious 3 screens and a cloud mantra).

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.Neo    1,834

I'm not trying to impress anyone, really. I'm simply trying to show how Metro works for some people, and why it's on the desktop in the first place (besides the obvious 3 screens and a cloud mantra).

You did absolutely nothing in Metro we haven't been able to do for years on the desktop. It's not even easier or more convenient. Really it's not. Overall Metro simply stands for less functionality. Why? When you have to get any serious work done you still end up using the desktop, something you just admitted doing yourself. Windows 8 actually makes things less convenient when you continuously end up switching between two completely different interface paradigms.

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