Microsoft has tweaked the Windows 8 interface following feedback from last month's developer preview. The company will let you customize the start screen in a move that'll likely favour the Metro UI-version of Windows 8 that Microsoft is targeting at fondleslabs, if we've parsed a lengthy blog post here correctly. The lengthy …
Cool. Program Manager for 21st century :D
Why not just release one big BSoD?
That Apps screen is ugly ...
... probably the ugliest Windows screen EVER.
Of course people react to changes. Good AND bad.
Modern computers are vastly powerful and can do almost anything that we want. So why are Microsoft and others dumbing down their products to the level of an uninterested child with an attention deficit problem. I don't mind Windows having the option to do everything automatically and quietly (anyone remember Windows BOB?) but please let those of who want to see the nuts and bolts actually be able use the damnded things!
"why are Microsoft and others dumbing down their products to the level of an uninterested child with an attention deficit problem"
Blame the "i" generation. iPhone and iPad users who love it because it "just works".
I'm with you. I'd prefer to see users who know what is happening and have some understanding of what they are doing.
"I'M SORRY DAVE. I CAN'T ALLOW YOU TO DO THAT.."
It looks exactly like the desktop full of crap that I've being trying to avoid all these years. I bloody hate it when programs spray shit all over the place when installed...it's so rude. If that's Microsoft's sales pitch then I can't say I'm impressed so far.
This doesn't really follow does it.
"Just works" doesn't in any way mean that people don't know what they're doing, just that they don't need to spend hours tinkering to get anywhere.
Next you'll be telling me that having to endlessly mess with the vertical hold on your TV set or having to spend every third weekend greasing endless grease nipples on your car and servicing it every 3000 miles were halcyon days.
Get with the programme guys, progress in a commercial OS should be a one way street easier//faster/cheaper or whatever. "requiring more technical knowledge" doesn't really make the cut does it?.
If you want to wrestle and don't mind the loss of productivity, I'd point you towards a Linux Desktop. You'll be happier there I promise. :)
Which is why I hate that infuriating gnome WM. I really could care less about all the crap visible on my 'Desktop'. Which is why I stick with either ICEWM or Motif/FVWM
First comment to make an irrelevant connection to Apple!
How about, I blame the UI designers trying to shoehorn a touch-based paradigm onto an controller- based hardware? Which, since this is all about Apple, apparently, is precisely what Apple have said they aren't going to do because it doesn't work!
When you say you prefer users who know what's happening, I take that to mean this is something you aspire to yourself one day?
The Metro UI for desktops and laptops is a daft idea. Saying that people fear change and don't know what's good for them is, to say the least, unwise and short sighted.
Apple made the "clusterfuck of icons in the background" popular, hence Microsoft copying the UI over. But true, it is more of a case of passing off the touch interface into non-touch devices.
But wait, Apple is *also* doing that in Lion: reverse scrolling.
I disagree. Some tech knowledge should be a requirement. You don't have to know how to build a car to be able to drive one, say a lot of users- those users, however, still have to know the rules of the road and pass a driving test.
Why can't they compromise?
Give an easy interface to get people moving quickly, then if you want to, hold ALT or flip a setting in the control panel and display all the gizmos for getting to the real meat more quickly.
The one thing that put me right off Vista and it's offspring was this bloody annoying need to hide anything that might frighten the users! Alright I have dealt with my fair share of users who cannot help but click everything in sight, piss up the box and need the profile flushing out but ensuring you have to jump through 7 screens to change the IP is just absolutely absurd.
Design is not just about look and feel, it's also about usability, which software manufacturers seem to forget these days.
I would say that this would work fine for apps designed for this interface. In terms of using legacy apps, this will be absolutely the worst idea. General users really do not need to know the difference between a CPU, RAM and GPU, and should be snadboxed so that they cannot break the system they are working in. This is why tablets and phones have replaced the pc for a great many people out there and users are clamouring to use iPad's and the like at work instead of their pc's (I see this every day and the ITP has been changed to allow personal iPads and iPhones on the network specifically hereand at the last company I worked for)
Sounds just like...
...Windows 3's Program Manager.
Re: Program Manager
Co-incidentally, PM was designed to be usable on sub-VGA resolution displays on 12" monitors. Perhaps this is what passes for "targetting devices" over at Microsoft.
a lot of the flexibility to arrange your icons and groups. MS-DOS Executive, maybe.
re: ms-dos executive
It always amused me that part of Windows was named after dos :)
well, not totally correct
this Win8 hater hates Win8 because it's Windows
No, I hate the changes because they just aren't good. I don't like Unity, because the changes aren't good. I liked 7, because the changes were decent, XP and 2K also passed the test. I tend to early adopt Operating Systems, and have done so with every MS OS that's worth it... so far I'm not sure about Windows 8. There are things to like, Copy Dialogues, and things to really dislike, like Metro, and Ribbon in Explorer
Why do I want a full screen worth of applications, when I can type two to three letters and find any application I need from the Start Menu?
Please don't condescend me by saying that I don't know what's good for me, because I know how I use my computer better than a suit does.
Well, I've moved to Unity, and get on fine - very little difference in usage performance once you get used to it. Couple of problems I have I think are being sorted in the next release, so they are taking on criticism..
And on top of that...
"No, I hate the changes because they just aren't good."
And on top of that the disable or choice option seems to have been ruled out by Microsoft.
I'll (generally) tolerate any old crap Microsoft wants to put into Windows if I can avoid it or ignore it, but when I'm forced to have to confront it or use it I feel I'm perfectly entitled to complain about it and say they've got it wrong.
It seems Microsoft's response is "tough shit" and that it's me who's wrong not them, and would rather spend time telling me that than addressing my concerns. Fine; I won't upgrade then. Another lost sale and it's not even launched yet.
After moving through Unix, Apple ][,..bit of a gap... dosshell, Win3.11, CDE, 95, 98, iceWM, Win2K, Win XP (yuck), KDE, Gnome (which has been great), I've not got Unity on one laptop after an upgrade.
And I'm really impressed with it - better use of widescreen monitors, fast, easy to get at apps, remembers the common apps used etc.
How can that previous poster say he doesn't like unity - and say he likes windows current way of starting apps by type the first few letter in a box - it's what Unity does.
This Windows interface as presented looks to me like Win311 and that they've run out of ideas.
I like titles
"I'll (generally) tolerate any old crap Microsoft wants to put into Windows if I can avoid it or ignore it,..."
Having looked at the developer preview it is possible to hide the metro interface altogether leaving you with just the changes to the windows 7 desktop interface to deal with. I suspect this will happen in almost every enterprise/business deployment of Windows 8 in the world.
"It seems Microsoft's response is "tough shit" and that it's me who's wrong not them, and would rather spend time telling me that than addressing my concerns. Fine; I won't upgrade then. Another lost sale and it's not even launched yet."
Microsoft isn't saying "tough shit", truth is they're completely indifferent to your disgust. They're also indifferent to your threat's to not pay for it. As far as Microsoft is concerned people don't pay for Windows. OEM's pay for windows, Enterprises pay for windows, but the number of people who pay for Windows is so close to zero for them as to be indistinguishable. And you can be assured that OEM's and Enterprises will pay for Windows 8 regardless of its interface.
Microsoft have an idealogical goal with windows 8 and that is to create an OS that can be as comfortable on a tablet as it is on a PC. And getting onto tablets will be worth much more to them than any loss of tech elitists they incur on the PC.
"And you can be assured that OEM's and Enterprises will pay for Windows 8 regardless of its interface"
Seem to recall that didn't happen when Vista came along as the Corporate world didn't see any benefit from moving away from Xp. There has been a gradual move to Win7 but MS should have BIG banners in every reminding themselves of the takeup rate for Vista, sometimes your reliable cash-cow says NO.
Whilst I appreciate Unity is a work in progress, they shouldn't have made it a default option in it's half arsed state. I'm still looking to move away from Ubuntu, to either Linuxmint or Debian in the longer term. I find Unity a bit too OSX for my liking though, not a fan of the sidebar, or, at least from what I remember, a distinct refusal (like OSX) to properly full screen something, though... I'm prepared to be wrong on that one.
If I was afraid of change MS, like I mentioned in my initial post, why would I be using the new style Windows Start Menus each time, in fact I applaud the Win 7 ones, I find XP a little bit alien now. Still, I heard there was a way to disable Metro, and maybe I can hide the fugly ribbon
@James Hughes 1
"once you get used to it"
Yeah but I don't want to have to get used to something. I've spent years working out a way that works most efficiently for me and my way of working. Some developer/graphic designer decides that's not "fancy" enough and I have to spend ages tweaking and installing plugins to get back to where I was.
"OK, so don't upgrade then!", I hear people cry, but I want the underlying bug fixes and important performance improvements, why should I have to sacrifice my way of working to get them?
Design is about usability, not just the look and feel.
Uptake and licenses are different things
Enterprises still paid for Vista in most cases. Either via either OEM licenses on purchased hardware, which was then reimaged with XP, or via Software Assurance on their client licenses. Of course, the risk for MS with the latter is that when SA comes up for renewal, enterprises may not see the value if they skipped the last upgrade anyway. But besides keeping the SA racket going, Microsoft's main financial interest in having people upgrade is not so much upgrade payments as it is cutting costs by reducing support requirements for the old versions.
""And you can be assured that OEM's and Enterprises will pay for Windows 8 regardless of its interface"
Seem to recall that didn't happen when Vista came along as the Corporate world didn't see any benefit from moving away from Xp."
The corporate world may not have moved to Vista for the most part (my employer is only now considering the move from XP to 7), but that doesn't mean they didn't pay for it. every time a new HP or Dell pc was deployed with a Vindows Vista licensce key stuck on it the business paid the OEM who then paid Microsoft for that license. Even if the business then downgraded to XP.
Screen looks a bit as if. . .
I took five or six random colored (coloured) paintballs; loaded them into my wristrockett slingshot and fired them at an albino mime.
Not that there is anything wrong with that.
It also looks like the sort of screen that in all recent versions of Windows would have provoked the wrath of the Desktop Clean-up Wizard. They can't have it both ways. Either every previous UI from MS was rubbish, or this one is. (Yes, that's probably an inclusive OR.)
It used to be easy, we had Linux haters, Apple haters and MS haters, now we have Linux haters, Apple haters, MS Vista haters, MS Office Ribbon haters, and MS Windows 8 haters.
I can't handle this! Too much... ;)
Don't forget in the Linux world, whereas previously you had two major desktop camps: KDE (who hated GNOME) and GNOME (who hated KDE), you've now got GNOME 3 and Unity to provoke ire from people who were perfectly happy with GNOME 2.
It would be interesting to know if the "market share" (a bit of a strange concept with free software!) of Xfce and LXDE is increasing as a response...
Two Tribes ...
One can group these UIs into two. What I regard as "classic" window managers that make good use of a 1920x1200 screen or multiple screens, and (to be kind) "tablet" window managers that work better on a device that fits in your pocket. Unfortunately, fans of the latter seem hell-bent on forcing the tablet interface on those of us with a big monitor (or in some cases, two or even four of them).
"Classic": Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 7, Gnome 2, XFCE. The Linux ones have workspaces, which makes them N times better in my book (N = number of workspaces you use).
"Tablet": Windows 8 (judged from above), iPhone, iPad (OK, these two *are* tablets!), Gnome 3, Unity.
I've missed out the various versions of KDE and Macintosh UI on purpose, they seem to straddle the divide somewhat (I don't much like either, but I'd take them if the only other choice was "tablet").
In the Linux World Red Hat Enterprise 6 still uses Gnome 2, so that's another five years minimum of support for it. Centos and Scientific Linux are free-beer clones. I'll be very surprised if a Gnome-2 fork doesm't emerge soon, that can be installed as yet another alternative window manager on Fedora and Ubuntu, leading to peace between the "classic" and "tablet" fans in the Linux world.
I am definitely considering XFCE, but as long as Gnome 2 is usable I'll be using it.
Nobody likes change?
Microsoft said that's why users won't move to iOS/Linux...
Now M$ changing the interface that's so familiar, it's a different story :-D
"just scared of change, "
Yep, that I am...
Ever since I saw what happened after I upgraded my old and trusty 3.11 for Workgroups, ever since I had to let go of MS Word 2.0, I have been afraid to discover WHAT NEW STUPID HOOPS I'LL HAVE TO JUMP THRU TO ACHIEVE THE SAME THING AS YESTERDAY.
And no, I didn't reach 40 yet. And don't get me started on ribbon menus and Windows Me....
Re: new stupid hoops
I think the assumption is that the limiting factor on your productivity is the clunky old computer running what, at the time, was described as the best UI ever. Therefore, you will rejoice at the opportunity to learn a whole new way of getting your work done.
For the 99% of the population who use a computer because they have to, rather than because they have no friends, this assumption is completely bogus. However, it does seem to be the driving force behind every UI revamp we've seen since the 1980s. (I'll classify Win95 as merely a case of MS catching up with the rest of the industry. Everyone else had arrived at a document-based desktop metaphor before then.)
I pity MS battling to stay relevent here in the face of declining sales and influence on both business and consumer habits. People increasingly want environments where programs don't crash and which they can't break simply by deleting a system file. In short, they want iPads and iPhones, because they see themselves doing exactly what they used to do, be it email or browsing the web. The huge explosion of Apps is a reaction to £400 Office suites and £60 console games which are too complex for the majority of people to use, and whose system requirements are difficult to gauge against the Dell Studio POS you bought 2 years ago. Sadly, as goo as this might be when it eventually gets released, Business will laugh at the idea of rolling it out and consumers will be reminded of the bad old days of XP and Vista and BSOD and constant security threats.
I know where I've seen this before.....
Gnome 3 and Unity on Ubuntu.
Actually, I quite like it, but I am using Unity [toying with Gnome....].
Are you allowed to talk about toying with gnomes, in polite company?
Toying with Gnomes
It's OK, no-one could mistake an El Reg comment forum for polite company...
Windows 3 was the first thing I though too :-(
"The personalization of the Start screen is one of the features that we want to make great," Dukhon wrote.
wonder if that means we can set it back to the classic start menu as used in 2000(and which XP, and vista had the option of), and the server editions which was lacking in 7 is my biggest gripe(but oddly was in the beta...).
Currently have 7 set as close as possible to look, and function like 2000 without installing those start menu replacements(which I find lacked the settings, and crashed a lot)
Not all change is bad but change just for the sake of change that doesn't improve a damn thing isn't good in my books.
I'm glad i'm not the only one stuck on the classic start menu.
I certainly noticed it was absent from 7. Are we luddites then?
My biggest problem with start menus of Vista and 7
Is the stupid search box, so I can't press Windows, U to bring up the shutdown box
I find Classic Shell (http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/) to be rock solid and function exactly as I would expect.
Installing it was the best thing I did to Win 7.
30 seconds ...
From reading your post to installing ...
No, we are not Luddites
We just have better things to do with our lives than to stroke Steven Sinofsky hyperinflated, paternalistic ego.
Not exactly luddites but close...
...I jest of course, I too was a fervent 'classic menu' lover mainly because of its cascading menus. I used to bung XP into 'classic' mode on every PC I commissioned, and when I bought a Vista rig as my main machine, I really hated being forced to use the new style start menu.
After a while I came to love the very fast get-at-a-bility of damn near all the functions you need, all just a click away - printers, control panel, docs, pics, Run etc (the default start menu settings do need a tweak though to get it just right). I still dislike the tiny scrollable area that installed progs appear in, but somehow the 'classic' menu looks well dated to me now!
erm.... Vista has the option for the classic start menu, it's Windows 7 that doesn't
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