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back to article Microsoft: It was never 'Metro,' it was always 'Modern UI'

After another long night at the whiteboard, the deep thinkers at Microsoft's marketing department have come up with a new replacement for the verboten word "Metro." From now on, it seems, the blocky, touch-centric user interface of Windows 8's new Start Menu will be known as the "Modern UI." Apps written to take advantage of the …

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Has anyone checked for patents on "Bag of shite"?

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Happy

Paul Calf-

http://www.dontmakemethink.co.uk/paul/

Strangely apt url- MS marketing should have grabbed it first...

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Sadly it's not even a bag of shite. It's a linearly arranged tiled list of shite. Being able to store shite in bags would be a major usability improvement.

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Anonymous Coward

Will the last person....

...who gives a shit about Microsoft's OS strategy please turn off the lights.

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Re: Will the last person....

Yup. That would probably be an improvement.

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Apple does

Those Metro/Windows8/Modern square icons look 'slavishly' like enlarged versions of those on an iPad.

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Keep digging

Keep digging that hole Microsoft and eventually you might find some classic UI in there....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Will the last person....

Not unless you turn off the PC as well. Otherwise it'll be the only thing you can see.

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Re: Keep digging

Keep digging? Or, perhaps, even better...

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Modern Scam they should call it instead...

...or Modern Fraud. Even beter.

At Microsoft they must be on crack.

Yesterday they were telling that the new MetroUI name would have been "Windows8" ... now it's "ModernUI" ??

Seriously?

Tons of people need to be fired at Microsoft. Bunch of useless employees. Whoever is behind the whole retarded flawed and unusable MetroUI design must be fired along with all the managers.

Microsoft is going to see that reality is not their fantasy on crack at all.

They seriously believe to be able to sell to everyone and force everyone to use such an unproductive childish interface.. that is the lamest thing ever.

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Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

Joerg hath spoken! Tremble all who disagree! Kneel before Zod Joerg!

Jesus, full of yourself, much?

For desktop users, the "Modern UI" is just a new Start Menu. That's it. It's not as if the Start Menu has never changed in the past. Everything else is the same—in fact, it's actually a bit better, smoother and faster in my experience.

For laptop users—i.e. 75%+ of the computer-buying public that isn't buying iPads and other "post-PC" devices—the Modern UI's design will finally be a step away from the ageing mouse, towards a closer integration with multi-touch track-pads that all laptops come with these days. (Yes, even Windows laptops have them now.)

And, for people who want a tablet that can do double duty as a PC, Microsoft will have you covered there too.

The mouse will become a niche input device sooner, not later. It would be moronic to continue with the anachronistic and obsolete WIMP desktop approach to GUI design.

Whether you like it or not, sir, you, and all your knee-jerking reactionary Luddite friends, are the problem, not the solution. It is your insistence on maintaining the status quo that is holding the IT industry back.

Microsoft are doing the right thing. Their "Surface" tablet may or may not succeed, but something inspired by it very probably will do extremely well in the business and enterprise markets. That's a market Microsoft know very, very well.

Even if Windows 8 doesn't quite manage to replicate Windows 7's sales, Microsoft aren't going to be waiting another 7-8 years before releasing its successor. Windows 9 therefore isn't that far away. Microsoft are very good at playing the long game.

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Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

"Microsoft is going to see that reality is not their fantasy on crack at all. They seriously believe to be able to sell to everyone and force everyone to use such an unproductive childish interface"

I've actually done counts on the number of clicks and mouse movements I need to accomplish the same things in Windows 8 as in Windows 7. A few things take longer (turning on a VPN is an extra two clicks). More things are quicker. A lot of it is the same. So I see no evidence that it is "unproductive" As to "childish", I can only guess that you see large, easy to click on and read icons childish. That's a matter of taste but it's not any usability problem. Don't you think that calling for "tonnes of people" to be fired is a bit extreme? Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

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Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

I only use my mutil-touch trackpad when I have no space (5inX8in) to put both the mouse and my hand.

Until a track pad will work with my fingers and give me the control, at high resolution, that my mouse gives me; I, for one, will keep using a mouse*.

* - when I can use my eyes instead of a mouse, I WILL SWITCH, otherwise, I'll keep my mouse.

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Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

@Sean: I think you might be overreacting to the overreacting. :-)

I've been following the W8 posts and comments here and while there certainly are a number of people who might fit your idea of a Luddite, many others seem to simply be having a bit of light-hearted fun -- most of the alternate names posters, for example.

And even with the people who are Luddites today, what counts is what they will do and think once there is a real system on their desk, rather than mere talk in the air. I'll agree with the Luddites that many of the descriptions sound quite bad, but I don't think that means much. I'm writing this on Ubuntu Unity, which has similarly horrible stuff written about it, and it's currently by far my favorite UI.

Similarly, with W8 there's going to be people who will be absolutely tickled with it (and some of them will be among the current Luddites); there's going to be people totally turned off by it (and some of them will be among the current staunch defenders) and there's going to be the majority that goes, "Meh, another version of WIndows. So what?"

The only tricky question is what the proportions of these groups will be, and I think only time will tell.

Peronally, I'm happy that after 15 years of warmed-over W95, things are starting to move again. First KDE, then GNOME and Unity, now Windows. Some of these are or will be duds, but that's the way progress is made. Even if W8 bombs, Microsoft should be complimented and respected for having the guts to try.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

>"whoever thought of this Metro should be sacked"

why pick on them, when we can all think of a shed load of crap MS decisions? : D They will only be sacked if they lose MS money... it would seem that not many people would buy Win8 anyway- they have only just moved from XP to Win 7, for crying out loud- so MS might as well experiment. Just as the chief complaints against Vista were addressed, there is a good chance that lessons learnt from Win8 will be implemented in Win9.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

Sean Timarco Baggaley hath spoken! Tremble all who disagree! Kneel before.........

Jesus, full of yourself, much?

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@Sean Timarco Baggaley

"It is your insistence on maintaining the status quo that is holding the IT industry back."

It is your insistence on maintaining the status quo that is stopping the IT industry fleecing you again (and again) every few years. - so that's fixed !

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Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

"It would be moronic to continue with the anachronistic and obsolete WIMP desktop approach to GUI design."

It would be moronic to abandon the productive and well-tested WIMP desktop approach to GUI design. - fixed that as well

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Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

"Whether you like it or not, sir, you, and all your knee-jerking reactionary Luddite friends, are the problem"

What problem ?

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Happy

Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

No. Perhaps Slashdot 3, Metro Slashdot, or Modern Slashdot... 'New' anything is sooo old...

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Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

If by 'El Reg is the new Slashdot' they mean the presence of pro-Microsoft shills (you know who they are, some are regulars here) who furiously astroturf for their beloved company's products and direction, then yes, El Reg is the new Slashdot.

It's to be expected actually. Obviously not all of the massive marketing budget from Microsoft goes to flashy/cheesy ad campaigns (smartphonebetatest dot com, generationapp dot com, browseryoulovedtohate dot com). A lot of the money goes into paying shills. Some are well-known (Paul Thurrott), most are anonymous commenters.

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Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

I see a lot more anti-Microsoft shills hitting their voting buttons than the converse.

Including you, Barry.

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Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

The number of clicks might be the same, but I bet scrolling through page after page of initially-unordered non-hierarchical tiles might take up a wee bit more time.

You know, they put directories in MS-DOS 2.0 for a reason...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

"I see a lot more anti-Microsoft shills hitting their voting buttons than the converse."

The DIFFERENCE would be that no-one is paying them

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Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

The DIFFERENCE would be that no-one is paying them

Oddly, that makes it worse.

Compare against AnandTec or TechRadar or even Engadget or the Verge and the Reg comments suddenly looks like a collection of fake user accounts created by all 45 users of linux on the desktop and probably funded by Google.

Observe reactions to stories about -

Apple :- About 60/40 anti-Apple vs pro-Apple. This is normal, fanbois are obsessed.

IBM - Little but love except when somebody mentions a Lotus product or any of the Rational suite.

Facebook - universal derision

Google+ - disinterest except for the few regulars who insist on how much better it is than Facebook

Google advertising/Wifi slurping etc - Overall negative to count by individual accounts but massively unbalanced by pro-Google types. Barry is a fine example.

Android - By individual account, about 80% overwhelming love. You do get a few tenacious Apple fanbois insisting it's a crap copy though. And one or two programmers (I include myself) who think it has glaring faults but generally wish it well.

Microsoft (any product) - about 90% hate, regardless of any possible qualities (positive or negative) of the product. The only exception is XBox and even there, Barry Shitpeas and Bob Vistakin (usually posting anonymously) will jump up and say it's crap because it's Microsoft. At any hour of the day or night.

Now, you say those people aren't being paid. That would indicate that the Reg comment boards have become a self-selecting group where a qualification for entry is hating on Microsoft. Which given the law that competition is good for consumers is financial self-harming. Even leaving aside reviews by people like Trevor Pott which are generally favourable but are ALWAYS torn to pieces in the comments, and always by people who haven't even used the damn software, it's just weird.

You can play the "I'm an embittered old sysadmin and I hate everything" card if you like (except you're not, you're first line support and you read from a fucking script) but even then, to attack without knowledge is the sign of an idiot.

Not surprisingly, the Reg itself now almost never posts a story which MS in any favourable light because they tend to reflect the views of their readership, like any other publication. Which means you are making the Register less accurate as a source of decent news.

If the Reg was all I read, then MS would be heading for bankruptcy at the end of the year because everyone and his cat hates Windows 8 without ever using it and Asus don't like Surface and Nokia are already in receivership and Google rule the entire world except for the US legal system which Apple has locked down.

No doubt that's how some of you wish the world actually was. But then, Daily Mail readers wish the Nazis had won.

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Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

"self-selecting group where a qualification for entry is hating on Microsoft. Which given the law that competition is good for consumers is financial self-harming."

Microsoft and competition - words not often seen together !

and how a group of individuals can become self-selecting ..!!??

It seems that almost NO-ONE love microsoft - some find them useful, some are forced to use their software, some game, some know no better. But hardly anyone likes them.

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Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

"created by all 45 users of linux on the desktop"

By the way if you believe that you're delusional

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Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

I know, 45 is a huge exaggeration.

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Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

It seems that almost NO-ONE love microsoft - some find them useful, some are forced to use their software, some game, some know no better. But hardly anyone likes them.

I agree and yet, this does not make their products universally bad. Which, if these boards and this site were all you went by, you would be forgiven for thinking. In fact, you'd be unlikely to think otherwise.

This view is very popular but it is wrong. Not every Microsoft product is bad and many of those who criticize do so without experience of the products in question. The articles tend to be mean-spirited but this is the Reg so you pretty much expect that. The comments, however, go way beyond and into the realms of outright falsehood in what could be perceived as a deliberate attempt to discredit.

That it's (claimed to be) voluntary rather than paid negative astroturfing makes it worse because it indicates that these commenters put blind hatred and/or favouritism toward a different product/manufacturer above rationality. It is irrational. It is not sane behaviour.

The idea that any one of these people gets to make business decision which affect jobs, families and livelihoods when they are irrational is deeply worrying.

Fortunately, they're mostly first-support who read from a fucking script and pretend to abilities which they plainly do not have; the root of skilful manipulation of technology being sound analysis and their analytic skills being negated by their evident irrationality.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

New is the new old.

Also, old is the new new.

When new is the new new they'll have cracked it! Or rather, cracked one off.

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Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

"put blind hatred and/or favouritism toward a different product/manufacturer above rationality. It is irrational. It is not sane behaviour."

So how do you rationalize your stupid "45 linux desktop users" with your above statement ?

I've worked at a pharma that had 200+ Linux desktops in one department alone (years ago) and know that many others are similar.

I'm all in favour of rational debate about problems/merits of different OS and approaches but as a "minority" Linux user I'm also sick of the FUD spread about Linux. Just in recent days " need the CLI to do anything", "need to compile programs to use them", " drivers only available on certain hardware" - it's not true and there's lots of it. Mostly it's ignorant people but some of it is malicious - so don't whinge on about Windows getting a hard time - it all depends where you're standing.

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Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

It's not Windows getting a hard time that concerns me, it's Everything. Even Yammer and Skype caught it after MS bought them.

And the 45 users thing is a joke but not without some merit. Mention an update to Windows Phone and watch the "all seven users will be pleased" comments roll in. It's okay to use a minority OS as long it's not a minority OS that you don't use, or something like that I suppose.

Call it frustration. You know as well as I do that 90% of the world is using Windows and the odds are on that 90% of the Reg's readers are using it, too.

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Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

...At Microsoft they must be on crack...

Whoa, hey, man! There's MS's new brand name for the Windows 8 UI, right there: "Crack".

No, really, gang; I'm only half joking here.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

...For laptop users—i.e. 75%+ of the computer-buying public that isn't buying iPads and other "post-PC" devices—the Modern UI's design will finally be a step away from the ageing mouse, towards a closer integration with multi-touch track-pads that all laptops come with these days. (Yes, even Windows laptops have them now.)

And, for people who want a tablet that can do double duty as a PC, Microsoft will have you covered there too.

The mouse will become a niche input device sooner, not later. It would be moronic to continue with the anachronistic and obsolete WIMP desktop approach to GUI design...

Shill much?

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Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

I only use my mutil-touch trackpad when I have no space (5inX8in) to put both the mouse and my hand.

Until a track pad will work with my fingers and give me the control, at high resolution, that my mouse gives me; I, for one, will keep using a mouse*.

* - when I can use my eyes instead of a mouse, I WILL SWITCH, otherwise, I'll keep my mouse.

Hear, hear.

One of the things that first attracted me to MacOS over twenty-five years ago was -- along with the clear and intuitive GUI -- the fact that I could work the GUI with a relative positioning device, i.e., a mouse, instead of having to type commands for simple operations such as moving/copying/deleting files and such.

I've repeatedly given stylus-driven tablets a shot ever since they first became available in the early '90s, and I've always gone back to my mouse. I liked the idea of tablets -- being a designer and illustrator and all -- and the idea of using a stylus/finger "gesturing" method to work the GUI, but in practice, the tablet was always slow and clumsy.

The only thing I've found that works as well as a mouse is the touch pad on my laptop.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

"45 users thing is a joke but not without some merit"

As a light-hearted comment it was fine. HOWEVER it was part of a rant. Was the rest a light-hearted comment ?

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Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

"Mostly it's ignorant people but some of it is malicious - so don't whinge on about Windows getting a hard time - it all depends where you're standing."

The correct position, imo, is not to balance ignorant bias against one OS with ignorant bias against another OS, but to balance it with informative posts regardless of direction. The factionalism on these forums is insane. I know that I have corrected misinformation about Linux on several occasions, but I know that I far more often have to do it with Windows on these forums (and I have been modded down heavily on occasion even just for factual corrections when it comes to Windows.)

Your comment about someone "whinging on about Windows getting a hard time" is unfair, imo. Windows *does* get a much harder time here than other OS. It's a pathological hatred for many to the point that they appear to get genuinely angry at facts that undermine criticism. If you're against FUD, you should be against all of it. I.e. don't call someone "whinging" if they object to it just because it's FUD against a non-prefered OS. It's as much a valid complaint as when we get RICHTO here launching partisan attacks against Linux (and you'll find a number of posts from me correcting their slanders as well).

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Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

"The DIFFERENCE would be that no-one is paying them"

I'm not being paid to post here either. I doubt any of the other people you consider to be "Microsoft Shills" are being paid to post.

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Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

"The number of clicks might be the same, but I bet scrolling through page after page of initially-unordered non-hierarchical tiles might take up a wee bit more time. You know, they put directories in MS-DOS 2.0 for a reason..."

No, there's very slittle scrolling through pages. I regularly use around twenty programs on Windows. That many tiles fits on my laptop screen even without have to reduce the double width tiles. On my 24" monitor on my desktop (where I actually use the twenty programs), it can put fifty tiles on there which is way more than I need so I don't have to scroll. Only very rarely do I need to expand out to the All Applications view and if I find I need to do that more than a couple of times for a program, I just pull it onto the main screen. In fact, the All Applications view isn't reached by "scrolling" which makes me wonder if you've actually used this.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Modern Scam they should call it instead...

A decent mouse requires no more space than a trackpad and its more accurate than large round fingers. Mine currently requires less than 3" horizontal and 2" vertical movement on the desk for a 24" screen. Trackpads are better when you don't have a proper surface to use them on, or the angle is all wrong. An Apple trackpad is great in the lounge when you don't want a keyboard and a mouse doesn't work on the sofa fabric. Hence, they are better in laptops if you don't have a desk.

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Holmes

Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

"The correct position, imo, is not to balance ignorant bias against one OS with ignorant bias against another OS, but to balance it with informative posts regardless of direction"

I agree, I said something similar in that very post.

"imo. Windows *does* get a much harder time here than other OS"

Can't agree with that - as I mentioned in the same post the sheer ignorance or FUD about Linux stands out to me - hence the comment about where one stands.

"whinging on about Windows getting a hard time" " - I said that because the tenor of the post seemed to me to be exactly that, esp. suggesting that a (handful) of Linux supporters were somehow dominating the forum - that seemed more like paranoia in fact.

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Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

Well as someone who generally likes the new stuff from Microsoft, I can give you countless examples of where simple factual corrections from me have been modded down heavily. Time and time again. Respectfully, if you think that Linux has as bias against it here as Windows, then I think you should try to conciously be more neutral for a week and see what you can spot against Windows. As a heavy user of both Linux and Windows, I am very sensitive to FUD against both, and I promise you I deal with a lot more directed against Windows than I do against Linux. Regarding the motivations of the downvoters, you say Linux users. I would more specifically say Andoid fans in general.

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Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

"more directed against Windows than I do against Linux."

Well you would do. There's a lot more Microsoft stuff about.

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Re: Is El Reg the new Slashdot?

"Well you would do. There's a lot more Microsoft stuff about."

No. I meant that I see a lot more bias against Windows than I do against Linux in any given story about either.

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Modern UI. Outstanding work Microsoft.

Modern compared to what? Does this imply that non-tile based UIs are, like, so last-year?

Regardless of the pros and cons of the OS itself (not used it, won't comment), doesn't this hasty rebranding seem undignified and a bit amateurish? It seems they really have lost their way.

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Calling it "Modern" looks like the hand of the Microsoft PR department. It's quite clever, for two reasons:

1) By calling it Modern, it implies that people who don't like it are boring old farts. If they don't like the new UI, it must be their fault.

2) They can offer a sop to them in the form of the "Classic" (i.e. W7) UI, therefore making it look like they are doing the old fuddy-duddies a favour, instead of admitting that they screwed up and are back-pedalling.

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@Phil

Problem with calling something 'modern' is progress. It more or less means that W9 will be 'post-modern', and no-one would want a post-modernist computer.

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Coat

Re: @Phil

> no-one would want a post-modernist computer.

We're already there. It puts random gunk on your screen and its up to you to find your own meaning in it.

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About as modern as an old Ford Poplar

If their so called "ModernUI" was the defacto standard in use right now, and someone came up with the multi tasking multi window desktop, it would be hailed as completely revolutionary. It's therefore only "modern" in the sense that it is new and even that's debatable. It has nothing whatsoever to offer the PC user in my humble opinion.

Even on existing tablets (iPad, and Android) which have been designed for touch, tasks such as web browsing are completely tedious. Simple operations such as clicking on web links with ones finger is diabolicial and error prone, and it's usually necessary to blow up the screen to accomodate your fingers first. The only reason I use it at all, is because I am too lazy to go and boot up the PC just for a quick bit of web browsing in the morning before work.

If the mouse had not been around and we were all fumbling like that, surely someone would have invented it. It too would have been hailed as revolutionary

"ModernUI" is a step backwards. There may be things which could be done, but "ModernUI" certainly isn't it.

Are they really so desperate for something new and revolutionary, they have to go backwards to some kind of none windowing window scheme ?

Add the infernal thing if you really must, but PLEASE don't cripple PC desktop use because of it. Allow people to set up *their* computers as THEY want. Booting directly into desktop with startmenu and all, if necessary.

Forcing this thing on people is ludicrous, and completely arrogant.

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