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back to article Next Windows 8 version can ditch bits of Metro

The Interface Formerly Known as Metro (TIFKAM) is Windows 8's most controversial feature. Those using the OS with a touchscreen-equipped device generally report it's a decent touchy OS. Users of conventional PCs aren't always as happy: your correspondent personally knows one such user who has rigged his PC so he only needs to …

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Facepalm

Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

Wow - I thought Apple had monopolized the reality distortion field.

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Bronze badge

Re: Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

Apple have pretty much lost the plot since Jobs snuffed it last Year.

The only difference between now and, the first time he left Apple; Are all those iThingies that Jobs signed off on.

I imagine that Apple will follow Microsoft into obscurity in due course.

It can't have already downed on some People out their that the newest iThingy isn't much more on an improvement over their last iThingy. But, like you say it helps to have a Reality Distortion Field Generator....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

Just like how the newest Galaxy S isn't much of an improvement over the last Galaxy S?

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Devil

Re: Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

Apple generate a Reality Distortion field.

Microsoft just use a really big hammer.

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JDX
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Re: Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

>>Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

How is disabling some W8 features making it like W7? They aren't putting the start-button back, just disabling features to stop people being able to run up applications.

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Happy

Re: Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

Once you do make Windows 8 look like Windows 7 by installing a Start Menu replacement (such as Classic Shell) and banishing TIKFAM apps, then it's actually not bad. Pretty quick and with a nicer Task Manager and and File Manager progress windows than 7. My Vivobook has a touch screen, but I only ever use it for filling out web forms, as its easier to touch lots of tick boxes, no real use for anything on the desktop when you have a large multi-gesture trackpad.

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Stop

Re: Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

Fail!

If you are going to criticise on grammar, there is a perfectly good icon to use*.

The El-Reg team work tirelessly for at least five minutes a day to ensure we can just click to slag-off others.

Non-use of icons will be logged and could result in staff cutbacks due to lack of usage of icons supplied.

*It even says 'Pedantic grammar nazi alert' ffs!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

"@Michael Habel

Please either go back to school or at least seriously read a book on grammar. Your post was painful to read."

Typical Mo!

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Headmaster

Re: Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

"...at least seriously read a book..."

Isn't that splitting an infinitive?

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

There is no infinitive there to be split. Perhaps you, too, need to "seriously read a book" on grammar before reaching for that particular icon.

On the other hand, the most horrendous abuse of English was in the original article where it talked about the "vocabulary" of gestures in Windows 8. Where's a vomit icon when you need one?

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Go

Re: Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

'There is no infinitive there to be split. Perhaps you, too, need to "seriously read a book" on grammar...'

Now there's a split infinitive!

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Gav
Headmaster

Re: Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

Not a split infinitive, but the "seriously" is misplaced in such a way that it confuses what was meant. . As quoted the one who should at least read a book on grammar, should do so "seriously". However, what was meant is that the person urging them to read a book is being serious. i.e.

"seriously, at least read a book on grammar"

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Bronze badge

Re: Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

Actually the first Galaxy S the GT-I9000 has a:

4" 480x800 Super AMOLED Display

Single Core 1Ghz ARM Cortex A8

512MB RAM

and a PowerVR 540 GPU

Galaxy SII GT-I9100

4.3" 480x800 Super AMOLED Display

Dual Core 1.2Ghz Cortex A9 CPU

1GB RAM

Mali 400P GPU

Galaxy SIII GT-9300

4.8" 720x1280 Super AMOLED Display

Quad Core 1.4 Cortex A9

1GB RAM

Mail 400P GPU

Seems like a nice progressive set of updates to me, and none of them could be confused for an older / newer model either unlike some iPhones that almost always look alike.

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Bronze badge

Re: Making Windows 8 look like Windows 7 isn't a climbdown?

Given how there are enough freaks out there that have a sh-- fit when I pocket my Phone inside my Shirt Pocket. I somehow can't envision a time where those Sheeple will actually want to ware a Phone around their Wrists.

Then again being able to shrink a GSM Phone down to that size to begin with would be impressive. and would get a bit more respect outta me. I used to love Apple way back in the iPod era. But Jobs' control freakery + the endless litigation have made me largely loath and, despise Apple.

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Thumb Down

Metro redundant on embedded?

On any embedded windows install I've come across, the point-of-sale or ATM software IS the user interface.

No point putting Metro on there if no fucker is going to see/use it.

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Holmes

Re: Metro redundant on embedded?

The value is in the dev tools, i.e. WinRT. Windows 8 store apps, or whatever you're supposed to call them now, happen to run in the Metro UI (or whatever that's called these days).

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Windows

Re: Metro redundant on embedded?

Windows 8 store apps, or whatever you're supposed to call them now, happen to run in the Metro UI (or whatever that's called these days).

Er, no. I think you're missing the point of embedded here.

As numerous people, including myself, have already stated: Windows Embedded/WEPOS/XPe (or whatever you want to call it) is used in situations like POS or cashpoints.

In fact the last time I read a WIndows Embedded licence it required you to boot straight into the "app"/user experience/frontend (or whatever you want to call it) :)

In short, WIndows Embedded isn't meant to be used like your PC at home... You're going to be running bespoke software, not something off an app store.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows Embedded?

In 2013... WHY? Just let that abomination die already.

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Re: Windows Embedded?

What else is there? Genuine question. I know there will be various nix derivatives, but this was mostly warp's stomping ground and embedded has taken up a lot of the slack as warp declined.

There is a need for this type of o/s, industrial / pos / atms etcbut is there a market for ms embedded, ms think so.

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Boffin

Re: Windows Embedded?

We use mainly Linux for our embedded devices, booting from LTSP (remote boot). But SAP customers need Internet Explorer, so we also have Windows Embedded versions of our terminals.

Generally, the terminals boot straight into a single application and they run that one application all day long - E.g. veterenary inspection of passing pig carcasses, booking salmonella samples into the system, classification and cool house targeting, among other tasks.

The user doesn't need a keyboard, mouse or even a web browser for such applications, they just punch the relevant buttons all day long. If the switched to read an RSS feed, the complete production line would stop, until returned to the application and respond to the next input.

The same goes for warehousing etc. Here, the user is in one application all day long, no other choices, no desktop available. The terminal has one job (or a small selection of jobs) that it needs to do and it doesn't let the user do anything else.

Computers aren't just used on the desktop, in an office. ;-)

BTW, in the Edeka stores (Germany), the POS terminals all have a smiling TUX on the login screen.

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Odd - only suspending those?

In earlier Embedded it was normal to kill the shell entirely and replace it with your own, so merely suspending bits of the Win8 shell seems an odd way of describing it.

In almost every use of Win Embedded, the whole point is to kill every aspect of a "normal" Windows UI and replace it with the specialised UI for the particular use.

- If you can still see that it's Windows after the boot screen, you probably didn't do it right.

That said, manufacturers are only now moving to Win 7 Embedded, so usage of Win 8 is a few years away.

Unless they pull the rug out from under us by stopping licensing of new Win7 Embedded machines, in which case it'll scare everybody onto Linux.

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WTF?

Re: Odd - only suspending those?

...which case it'll scare everybody onto Linux.

I can't see Micros rewriting their POS software (or NCR rewriting POS software) for a totally different OS.

Linux isn't the answer to everything...

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Re: Odd - only suspending those?

"If you can still see that it's Windows after the boot screen, you probably didn't do it right."

Metro looks nothing like Windows. Does that mean Windows 8 is *already* the embedded version?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: POS Rewrite

You do know NCR has a POS system based on Linux already, right? 2 seconds of Google told me that.

I've also seen a POS system using Linux in a real supermarket. Can't remember the vendor, but it was a proper POS company's system (not, for example, a DIY thing the store created).

Regardless, my understanding is there are major changes required to switch to "new UI" anyway. If the devs have to re-learn how to do things anyway, why not switch over to a less retarded OS now?

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Linux is however guaranteed to be available

No matter which Linux you pick, in ten years time you will definitely still be able to legally deploy that specific version.

That's the issue - right now companies are only just starting to use Win7 embedded in released products.

It takes a year or two to build and test the new system on a new underlying OS, so if you lose the ability to licence it only five years after it first became available, you might only get three years of shipping units before you have to switch to a new underlying OS.

Which takes you two years, so you end up continually re-writing just the OS layers,with only one year in the middle for actual new features etc.

Not sustainable, thus a short lifetime of Embedded licensing is a sure-fire way to kill all sales of it, forever.

As other posters have pointed out, several Embedded systems are already on Linux - and with modern toolkits like Qt, transitioning between WinXP and Linux is much easier than it used to be. It's not "tick the box", and probably won't ever be - but much easier than before.

It's also rather nice how easy a Linux is to lock down - after all, an always full screen application doesn't actually need a window manager...

Linux actually has the low-power embedded market almost completely sewn up - check what your smart TV or STB (router etc) runs!

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Anonymous Coward

A thread just for Eadon to play in...

Go!

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Coat

TIFKAM

Why do I always read that as TIT CAM?

The classic, suspiciously-stained trenchcoat please.

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Happy

Re: TIFKAM

Wishful thinking?

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Re: Embedded bloat

Windows Embedded is generally a cut down, or cut downable version. The "extra" bits are the tools that allow you to easily generate a standard image and roll that out to your devices, plus being able to lock down the desktop, so that the desktop / shell isn't shown, or only specific applications are available, make the disk read only or session write only (upon shutdown or restart, all data written to disk during the session, including changes to registry settings will be nuked and it restarts with default build).

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Thumb Down

Re: Embedded bloat

Ba, no edit...

We use W7E on single core Atom based terminals with 1GB RAM, we also use an LTSP Linux.

I think it is more El Reg taking a sore point among Windows users (TIFKAM, which is like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it) and using that as the headline, in order to get clicks. I would assume that Windows 8 Embedded will have the same flexibility as previous versions, otherwise manufacturers will be looking for an alternative platform.

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FAIL

Re: Embedded bloat

Eadon - you do realise that windows and Linux aren't the only things out there?

I'm sure there are many embedded systems you've never heard of - indeed, don't forget that the internet and it's associated routers etc. were around before linux or microsoft.

It seems you can never bash MS without pimping Linux. You are like a religious zealot - You aren't just saying "Your religion is rubbish" you are also saying "mine is the only true religion"

EADON AND HIS CAPS-FINISH FAIL!

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JDX
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I like the Kinect bit

That could be kinda cool on an embedded system if it works well.

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Linux

The headline sounded better than it was.

Please Microsoft, just admit windows 8 is an epic FAIL, move on and bring us windows 9.

The same background tasks and security updates but lose the TIFKAM.

Or have a big option at the front that says do you want Metro, clicking 'NO' removes all the stupid dual UI rubbish and gives you the normal windows 7 interface. Ideally gets rid of horrible square feelings to every software iteration as well.

But I use linux, because it works, however I wouldn't have to help friends and family with 8 if you admit it sooner rather than later.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: The headline sounded better than it was.

Why would you think they're not already working on W9?

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No climb down

Considering the interface is also in the excellent Server 2012 it would be crazy to go back on it now.

They will just replace the mouse cursor with a hand, like in Surgeon Simulator 2013 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2XkTIYhQC8)

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Boffin

How to get rid of TIKFAM

http://classicshell.sourceforge.net

Et voila! The damnable start screen disappears in a flash!

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Windows

I dont actually mind Windows 8 or TIFKAM.

Granted, I have a start menu installed and the whole thing boots into the desktop each time I switch on my laptop.

The corner things take a little to get used to, the one on the right is pretty useful once you get the hang of it, the ones on the left are cool once you know they are there.

When you are using TIFKAM, you can scroll through it pretty quickly on a non-touch machine with the mouse wheel, over the last week I have been gradually coming to the understanding that TIFKAM is just like a massive start menu.

But, with that said, I dont really care if it is there or not.

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Anonymous Coward

My answer to TIFKAM is to run Server 2012 as my desktop OS.. All the new interface stuff, but minus metro.

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JDX
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Server 2012 uses Metro.

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> My answer to TIFKAM is to run Server 2012

MS will love you for that. If everyone did then MS revenue would triple overnight. Forget the $15 upgrade to Win8, pay the $882.00 for standard edition server.

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