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I did not see this on the front page.

A recent article by former Neowin author John Callaham discusses some of the design decisions Microsoft has made with Windows 10 for phones. Callaham cites a recent Reddit session where a former Microsoft employee anonymously shares some of the thoughts that the company had during the operating system's design process

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Microsoft has such a hard on for Android, they're losing touch with themselves and their usual outstanding sense of creativity.

 

Windows 10 really feels like a dull, generic "me too" OS, and it hasn't even been released yet. Windows 10 is doing nothing to set it apart from the competition. With Windows 8, Microsoft really set themselves out to create a unique user UX, and along the way, we really got a good look at the reasoning for doing so.

So far with Windows 10, there isn't any of that. Nothing at all from Microsoft as to why they're doing what they are doing. No user studies, no design principles, nothing. All we have are apps that have a smattering of controls all over the place, hamburger menus that reveal hidden Charms, hamburger menus that reveal hidden settings, hamburger menus that literally don't do anything, and user feedback that is doing more harm than good. Touch features were inexplicably removed from the OS, in favor of a desktop-only paradigm which Microsoft thinks will work this time around (As if it did the last time - Stupidity is trying the same thing twice, and expecting different results). Legacy features that should have been removed by now, haven't. It's really hard to make sense of it all.

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@Dot Matrix: I'm a relatively new poster on the Neowin forum, and I took a couple of hours last night to read through several of the Windows 8 threads going back to 2012. I noticed your posts and your fondness for Windows 8 and really respect you for remaining consistent and knowing what you think is best and why. (I am a Windows desktop user, Android mobile user, by the way).

 

I agree with you 100% that Microsoft has made the same mistake twice. First it was a mistake to put a "touch first" interface on the desktop, and then try to put a desktop interface on mobile. No mistake, that these were both mistakes on Microsoft's part.

 

The people that work at Microsoft are no dummies, that's for sure. Any idiot, whether your a desktop user or mobile user can see the mistakes made. The only thing I can think of is that someone (or group) within Microsoft has been arguing to have the same interface on both form factors and twice they have won the battle. (At the companys expense).

 

I admit that after reading through the threads that I let a lot of the negative talk influence my decision not to use Windows 8 on a laptop that I bought. I now believe it would have been ok if I had done so. I am not sorry I stuck with Windows 7 (I was use to it after all), but I wouldn't have been bad off if I used Windows 8.

 

These next statements are not justifying making a mess of the mobile interface.

 

But I think what happened was that during the time that they were planning and released Windows 8, they viewed the mobile platform (Windows 8 mobile) as an extension of the ecosystem that they had on the desktop. In other words, they were going to put Office on Windows 8 and other apps there that consumers and businesses were used to, and that the consumers and businesses would come to Windows 8 because of that. A number of things obviously happened but one thing that hurt their cause was that they didn't have the "touch first" Office ready. They hoped that people would come anyway but, especially businesses, there was no way they were going to leave Windows 7/Office 2010 when there was no "touch first" Office. 

 

Why the consumers didn't come is up for debate. My guess is that it was because of the same reason that all of us Windows users stuck with Windows on the desktop for so many years. (decades?)

 

I had Linux users telling me 20 years ago that Linux was the superior operating system so therefore I was stupid to stay with Windows. But how would it benefit me to go with Linux? If I went to WalMart all the games were for Windows. All the sound cards were for Windows. Why would I want to go to Linux when it would be "hardware driver hell" if I went to Linux?

 

My guess is that the exact same thing happened on Windows mobile. People looked at it and said, "well heck, all the apps (programs in the desktop world) are on iPhone and Android so why would I want to go to Windows mobile? Again, Microsoft made a terrible blunder by not being able to come out with touch-first Office at the launch of Windows 8. I guess they thought that time was of the essence and they had to get Windows 8 out as fast as possible.

 

But if you step back from the Windows 10 screen and see what the landscape is now, I really think that this is it: Microsoft has shifted it's strategy. From Microsoft's perspective, they still are going to have the dominant ecosystem (which they have a real shot at), but they are going to do it by growing the ecosystem over all 3 dominant platforms. i.e.,  the "Microsoft user" can be on any of the 3 platforms.

 

If you go to Paul Thurrott's site (thurrott.com), he has an article on the Microsoft apps currently on the iPhone. I was shocked at how many apps that Microsoft has on the iPhone and the quality of those apps. (Thurrott is a Microsoft journalist). I have an Office 2013 Home Subscription and I have felt that the Android apps are great but the number of Microsoft apps on the iPhone make me wish that a few of those apps were on Android. My point here is that I think that Microsoft is now looking at things a lot different than they were the day they introduced Windows 8.

 

//rant

That doesn't excuse what they have done to the Windows 8 mobile users. The people on Windows 8 are, by and large, their most loyal customers. They are Windows enthusiasts. Yes, it's a business. Yes, the goal is to make money. But that's still no excuse. Microsoft's pockets are very deep and they could have done a much better job for these folks.

/ /end of rant 

 

Well, it's Saturday night. What else would I be doing but debating Windows user interfaces. :rofl:

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Well can't blame MS for this. They gave a beautiful and distinct yet functional OS with Windows 8 but look at how the general public reacted. They tried to fix things with 8.1 and still received a huge "no" from the majority of users. The reason, a vast majority don't like change. They are OK with subtle changes but not dramatic. OSX was well received despite bringing in many changes but it didn't look to interfere with the overall experience.

So naturally Microsoft's intention was to give something that looks good, works well with the design language they are trying to accomplish while maintaining the familiarity people are used to. Android is the reason for bringing Smartphones to the common man and almost all are familiar with it. Hamburger menus are common in it and it is useful. It also fits in the flat design of Modern and there's nothing wrong in it

As for the swipe up panel, MS thinks that its more of a touch feature and a mouse feature. I really like the swipe compared to the hamburgers and semantic zoom was very useful. Immersive file picker may have to go because it takes the users away from their work just to choose a file. It may be helpful for Tablets and phones but really annoys desktop users, well its actually good for photos imo.

 

So Microsoft is doing what people* want from Windows 10 ( * a majority of them ), a slow but sure change. So MS is altering itself a bit to remain familiar and then maybe deviate from this path to fully implement its ideologies.

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Why the consumers didn't come is up for debate.

 

I think a lot of users didn't come due to scare campaign, I admit Windows 8 was not a good OS, what they brought in with 8.1 was badly needed. I also think theirs a lot of people not developing Windows apps simply because they grew up in a period of MS not being "cool". That said Windows 10 is a mess on desktop, tablet and phone currently, I don't think their idea of seemingly gluing touch apps into the legacy interface has any chance of work they'd need to either keep the two separate as with Win 8.1 or make the legacy interface more touch friendly as can be seen in plenty of concepts in these forums.

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