Windows 8 sales dissapointing


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+mram

They got moved, because that's just how it works. That's how things evolve. Also, that Start Menu was replaced because it was time for something better. The Start Screen is an introduction to an up and coming, dynamic world of computing. We have different PC form factors that are calling for a new OS, but at the same time, it's completely asinine to divide up our operating systems into a billion different properties. It's a support nightmare. Plus, it's been said there was technicalities supporting the old menu.

One thing never mentioned by detractors, is that ALL the Start Screen "replacements" are new code, and almost all don't support the live tiles Microsoft is trying to use. The old menu died because it needed updating, and didn't support Microsoft goals. They had to re-do the menu regardless if you think it needs saved or not. You certainly can't use it on tablets, or other touch hardware. You're never going to use the Kinect with it, and it was a pain in the ass to use on my HTPC, as I could never see the damn thing without increasing the DPI. The Start Screen changes all that. It's device neutral, finally allowing users to use their PCs without being hindered by archaic paradigms that should have died out years ago.

It's not coming back unless it can be used in a neutral way, across all devices, which it did not.

Tiles are a good thing, they combined gadgets, links, live metadata, etc. But obfuscating your entire desktop and presenting your start screen as a program-blocking gateway is not improvement. It's a great idea with shoddy implementation.

Try running a program and looking at live tile data at the same time. You can't. The reason is the start "menu/screen" is a data blocking implementation.

You can explain that none of this is metro-ized til the cows come home, but no matter what, I can have the best metro application ever, but I'll never be able to see the start screen AND that metro app at the same time. So for as cool as Start is, it's only fundamentally designed as a a viewport, something purely for tablets or phones, where you mostly single-task.

Now once you accept that nugget of truth, the rest of it breaks down. The OS is not designed for the device, or not adapted for the device. It's a shoehorn-fit. It doesn't have to be across all devices. Windows Server 2012 does not have IE10 metro-ized, it starts on the desktop, and it's the same code base. It most definitely does not need to be neutral across all devices.

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Dot Matrix

i don't know, i think this would work pretty well if something comes of it http://www.neowin.ne...t-menu-mock-up/

I wanted to help overcome some limitations of mouse/keyboard interface while keeping everything touch friendly and new.

HLI5N.jpg

How is this touch friendly?

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scaramonga

How is this touch friendly?

Why would we want it to be? We run 'Desktops' :s :huh:

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xWhiplash

How is this touch friendly?

Sigh....why does it need to be touch friendly on a standard desktop computer? It does not need to be the same damn OS on EVERY SINGLE THING.

And moving stuff around because "that is how things work". Really? So we could not have evolved AT ALL if the Shut Down button remained in the Start Screen somewhere? It HAD...HAD to be moved or else, computing would not evolve? It can be touch friendly for all I care, but it is really irritating watching people keep looking for the Shut Down button in the Start Screen. It should BE THERE.

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Dot Matrix

Why would we want it to be? We run 'Desktops' :s :huh:

Sigh....why does it need to be touch friendly on a standard desktop computer? It does not need to be the same damn OS on EVERY SINGLE THING.

And moving stuff around because "that is how things work". Really? So we could not have evolved AT ALL if the Shut Down button remained in the Start Screen somewhere? It HAD...HAD to be moved or else, computing would not evolve? It can be touch friendly for all I care, but it is really irritating watching people keep looking for the Shut Down button in the Start Screen. It should BE THERE.

I also run a desktop, and so does my room mate, who by the way, runs a touch enabled all in one. :) She's hates having to run hoops around the inefficient UI. You guys act like Start kills your mouse or something.

Perhaps you could try designing something that will be device neutral? The desktop-only stuff just doesn't work.

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+mram

How is this touch friendly?

With minor improvements it could be touch friendly.

It has the advantages of also having the following UX consistencies:

1. Start button is still there, it exists in phones and tablets.

2. Tile based system across all devices

3. Desktop is still there and present for all environments, making corporate adoption easier

4. Live Tile data still present while applications could be running (unless they are those insane fullscreen-only metro apps)

If there is one thing that I hate more than anything else with W8/WS2012 it's the idea of hitting a corner for "Start" ... because I usually have these sessions in a window. So I overshoot, and frankly on a windowed system it becomes a precision activity to hit the 10px-by-10px micro-spot on the screen to "start". Removing an icon for an activity is the absolute most ridiculous myopic thing to do.

Again, another example of inconsistent behavior (even phones have a start button), and lack of ease-of-use or "we only expect you to interface with our OS in a particular way" mode of thinking.

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seta-san

Not everyone was born in this generation dude. You can't expect a 70 year old lady or man to understand something as technologically challenging as Windows 8.

it is confusing. And, no it's not because it's different. Every almost immediately understood iOS interface when it first came out with little to no training. The biggest problem with windows 8, and the start screen in general is that it's branded as a replacement for the start menu but it's functionally a second desktop.. or perhaps an eventual replacement for the desktop. Running two different paradigms in the same system makes it seem bi-polar.

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Lord Method Man

The desktop-only stuff just doesn't work.

Odd, it's worked great for me for 20 years.

Windows 8? Not so much. I tried it. I tried to like it. I really wanted to, but the truth is the touch interface sucks on a desktop, so I gave up.

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xWhiplash

Odd, it's worked great for me for 20 years.

Windows 8? Not so much. I tried it. I tried to like it. I really wanted to, but the truth is the touch interface sucks on a desktop, so I gave up.

Agreed, as I have said, I keep activating these damn hidden menus and bars when I work in Photoshop or am doing something productive. I will tell you, if Microsoft does not make it more desktop friendly again, businesses will start moving to a different platform or will stick with Windows 7 forever. It is just not friendly in a productive, business environment. Yes I use it on my computer and I am productive, but it is far from a friendly interface like Windows 7 is.

Again, for the millionth time, all (most) of us are asking is for some damn options. Microsoft should have kept the Start Menu for those that love it. And for people that like to use full screen development/design applications, there SHOULD be a damn option to turn off the stupid hidden menus and bars.

Just options....That is all I and everybody I know wants. If there are so many programs like Start 8 available, tell me why Microsoft could not develop their own, and have a check box IF THE USER WANTS TO USE IT, Why are options all of the sudden so horrible? When Apple does this, they are constantly being yelled at. But when Microsoft does this, it is okay?

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Dot Matrix

Odd, it's worked great for me for 20 years.

Windows 8? Not so much. I tried it. I tried to like it. I really wanted to, but the truth is the touch interface sucks on a desktop, so I gave up.

20 years ago, we didn't have tablets, touch, motion sensing input, or users driving for device unification.

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xWhiplash

20 years ago, we didn't have tablets, touch, motion sensing input, or users driving for device unification.

And why do productive computer users and businesses need the same UI as a phone or tablet? I still use a keyboard and mouse....why do I need to be forced (whether it is with Windows 8, 9, 10 ,11, whatever, I will eventually need to upgrade) into a UI that is designed for touch? Yes, I can use 8 with a keyboard and mouse, but it is not as friendly as Windows 7 is.

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+mram

20 years ago, we didn't have tablets, touch, motion sensing input, or users driving for device unification.

Yes, but we had tablets 10 years ago, I was one of the 12 people who owned the Compaq TC1000. And about 17 years ago Microsoft launched it's best-received OS ever, while offering wonderful transition tools. It was a radically different UI at the time with incredible work done on backwards compatibility and usability.

It was a time where Microsoft actually had a tablet-pc edition of their OS. What a wonderful concept.

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Dot Matrix

Yes, but we had tablets 10 years ago, I was one of the 12 people who owned the Compaq TC1000. And about 17 years ago Microsoft launched it's best-received OS ever, while offering wonderful transition tools. It was a radically different UI at the time with incredible work done on backwards compatibility and usability.

It was a time where Microsoft actually had a tablet-pc edition of their OS. What a wonderful concept.

You're calling Windows XP Tablet "Wonderful"? Are you serious?

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scaramonga

I also run a desktop, and so does my room mate, who by the way, runs a touch enabled all in one. :) She's hates having to run hoops around the inefficient UI. You guys act like Start kills your mouse or something.

Perhaps you could try designing something that will be device neutral? The desktop-only stuff just doesn't work.

The whole point of the post Brando212 linked to, was to offer an 'alternative' to the 'touch' interface for desktops, a sort of intermediate solution for all, and while the mock-up may not be to everyone's taste, it does at least look far better than what Microsoft has forced on us, with the much needed usability for us non-touch users.

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Dot Matrix

The whole point of the post Brando212 linked to, was to offer an 'alternative' to the 'touch' interface for desktops, a sort of intermediate solution for all, and while the mock-up may not be to everyone's taste, it does at least look far better than what Microsoft has forced on us, with the much needed usability for us non-touch users.

Why are you thinking that the Start Screen is touch only? Mouse operated screens don't have to be filled with tiny UI controls, barely visible anymore on today's high resolution screens.

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+mram

Yes, but we had tablets 10 years ago, I was one of the 12 people who owned the Compaq TC1000. And about 17 years ago Microsoft launched it's best-received OS ever, while offering wonderful transition tools. It was a radically different UI at the time with incredible work done on backwards compatibility and usability.

It was a time where Microsoft actually had a tablet-pc edition of their OS. What a wonderful concept.

You're calling Windows XP Tablet "Wonderful"? Are you serious?

I'll be clear here since you don't seem to understand. "What a wonderful concept" is in regard to the concept that Microsoft had a tablet-specific OS.

Microsoft, at the time, did not believe in merging the whole of the OS infrastructure together thus creating the mess which you see today.

You see, if they had a tablet PC version, or perhaps even a touch based interface feature to install on computers where this hardware is detected, they wouldn't have an entire legion of people NOT buying the hardware because they don't have a screen they can touch, have to fight to move a mouse to a small pixel space, swiping mice where finger actions are more natural, etc.

Windows 8 is what happens when you merge two ideas together ... poorly.

Windows XP Tablet PC edition was not a roaring success either, but you don't see WIndows XP (as a whole) suffering for it.

Lesson learned? I think not...

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Brandon H

How is this touch friendly?

it's called a "mockup" as in an idea

plenty of room for alteration

you really just seem to be complaining for the sake of complaining

what's wrong with wanting to combine the two worlds of the start screen and desktop?

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Dot Matrix

what's wrong with wanting to combine the two worlds of the start screen and desktop?

Device neutrality and unification dictate that is not possible anymore. The Desktop-only Start Menu so many desperately want to save isn't usable on other devices, or PC form factors.

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Brandon H

Device neutrality and unification dictate that is not possible anymore. The Desktop-only Start Menu so many desperately want to save isn't usable on other devices, or PC form factors.

so?

device neutral doesn't HAVE to mean that it looks exactly the same. as long as it has the same functionality, which the mockup does

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scaramonga

Device neutrality and unification dictate that is not possible anymore.

Yes. Isn't that the USA way? Utter nonsense! Anything is possible, more so if the foundations are already in place, which they are, and all they need to do is build on them, not obliterate ;)

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+mram

Device neutrality and unification dictate that is not possible anymore. The Desktop-only Start Menu so many desperately want to save isn't usable on other devices, or PC form factors.

Flatly not true.

The UX designer most directly responsible for the new UI said so. It was a choice to deviate, not a requirement. It was a "you're holding it wrong" moment for Microsoft... the problem is that Microsoft doesn't have the "fans" that Apple does. And the lack of sales speak volumes...

I like that they tried to do something different. I think that a metro-only phone is great. I think that a metro-only tablet is great (except that it tries to do the desktop, badly). I think that a desktop only Windows 8 is shoddy. And Microsoft chose to make it that way -- for what? The holier-than-thou stance of "it must all be the same"?

I'm sorry, the lack of income has proven the point wrong, many times over. People like choice. I've said it before in another thread -- they could have put in a start button, but not made it default. They could have provided a choice of launching to desktop or start screen, but defaulted to start screen, but they chose start screen. And for all of their choices, they forced the options off. Even in Windows 95 they included the Program Manager.

Choice and usability has to come with an eye for utility, function and intuitiveness. I'm playing with Windows Server 2012 right now in a virtual window, and I have to move the mouse to the lower left corner 10 pixels, then move the mouse carefully to the lower right corner just to shut down. And that's one feature. Like the UX guy said ... attention to detail ... if that's the first thing I see, I'm already getting turned off by this.

I live in Microsoft's world, I earn my keep by their stuff, and I'm just really annoyed by this myopic thinking. 20 years ago when people saw Windows 95 they weren't nearly as turned off by it... and that's what Microsoft is comparing this launch to. Windows 95 this ain't. That was radical at the time but well thought out. This is not.

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Marshall

Thread Cleaned

Come on people, let's stay on topic. If you don't like a persons opinion, please ignore them.

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+LogicalApex

Device neutrality and unification dictate that is not possible anymore. The Desktop-only Start Menu so many desperately want to save isn't usable on other devices, or PC form factors.

Explain why not? There is no other company attempting to put the exact same UI on all of their devices... Apple has the largest footprint in the mobile market and they haven't tried this. If it were the only way then why is Apple still so successful? Why aren't we reading news everyday about the extreme shortage of any and everything Windows 8 related? Really, you're just spouting nonsense. Microsoft is hoping this unified experience will be accepted by the marketplace as it will allow them to leverage the Windows monopoly in the mobile space; something that has consistently failed to date.

The reality is, Windows Phone has been an abysmal failure for Microsoft and they are afraid of the same thing happening to their tablets. Microsoft isn't concerned for consumers, as I've said in the past, they are concerned with developers. If Microsoft is going to win against Google and Apple in the mobile space they need developer passion to be on their side and that is what's been missing. Windows Phone failed to sell well because developers largely ignored the platform. Microsoft wants developers writing apps for Windows devices first and, if possible, nothing else. The monopoly they have on the desktop is played this way. The bulk of software is on Windows and nothing else.

Windows 8 is a mess because it is being used as a pawn in a chess game. "Metro" is 100% the same as it is on the tablet for a very solid reason. Microsoft can dangle the millions of Windows desktop users as carrots in front of developers to mask their poor install base in tablets. They hope the Windows install base will help them ramp up very fast against Apple in the app space and potentially become the leader very quickly. This isn't all that different in the way they played the war against Netscape really.

I just wish we can stop getting these statements from people like you, Dot Matrix, that Windows 8 had to be the way it is. It did not and was done this way for a very straightforward reason. To really pull developers back to the Windows fold in a serious way.

That's why we lack options. If we could opt out of the new Start Screen we would be opting out of Metro if we could opt out of Metro Microsoft would lose the carrot it is danging in front of developers.

My opinion? Microsoft overshot this time. They really didn't bring anything to Metro for desktop users while introducing a slew of inconsistencies and problems for them. In reality, they should have pushed hard with a strong link between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 RT (the phone and tablet OS should be the same). They should have added bridges to to desktop where it makes sense and slowly pulled the link closer where it makes sense to do so (like syncing photos as you take them, for instance).

The real gauge of Windows 8 success to watch over the next year is how it affects developer interest. If developers are still primarily focusing on iOS and Android in the mobile space in a year and Windows 8/Metro/Whatever they call it is a distant after thought then they have failed miserably.

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Joni_78

I think that the decision to make one UI for Tablet and Desktop was the reason Sinofsky had to go.

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