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back to article Windows Blue preview to land at end of June

Start-button refugees wandering through the wasteland of Windows 8 trying to find a way to open an application can circle June 24th in their calendars, after Microsoft let it be known that a “public preview” of Windows Blue will emerge at the end of June. Microsoft's leaking hints that Blue will bring back the Start button, but …

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If Microsoft is actually listening to customer feedback ...

... it's probably snowing in hell.

I speaktype as a guy who was part of various panels of industry professionals MS brought in for input (large, medium, small and home) in the couple decades prior to 2000 (I was MSDN, et ali) ... After providing useful input for 10 years or more, after 2000 I could no longer be arsed. MS Marketing absolutely refused to listen to the folks in the trenches in the RealWorld[tm].

Near as I can tell, MS filters on what MS Marketing expects (and/or has forcast), not on what the enduser needs/wants. As a direct result, I no longer take on contracts that feature MS products. My income has changed for the better, and I don't miss MS-based product management at all. More importantly, I don't miss being treated as a criminal, instead of as a customer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If Microsoft is actually listening to customer feedback ...@jake

You know, if your posts were ever something more than unverifiable claims about what you did a decade or more ago (wow, everyone loves to hear an old guy ranting how long he's been in the game. Never gets boring,) or saying how much more money you're earning (just crass,) they might be worth reading. As it is, you come across as a teenager who's only posting to say, "Look at me! I'm great!" In this case, "I'm great! I provided useful input for ten years and MS ignored me! Screw them!" Ah, a teenager-style tantrum.How about some evidence of your useful input? Note - evidence, not anecdotal claims. Otherwise just go all the way and claim you invented the question mark.

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@AC 05:37 (was: Re: If Microsoft is actually listening to customer feedback ...@jake)

Or maybe, just maybe, I've been in the industry for over 40 years, and am sick and tired of marketards with zero technical knowledge dragging the entire industry down in the name of glitter.

Whatever. Your mileage may vary. Perhaps you prefer glitter over technology. Enjoy.

Have you ever made any useful input, AC? If so, why are you posting AC?

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Happy

@jake: Re: @AC 05:37 (was: If Microsoft is actually listening to customer feedback ...@jake)

Have an upvote, Sir.

And, if you've really been in the industry for over 40 years, perhaps I should say "HAVE AN UPVOTE, SIR.. WANT A CUP OF TEA WITH THAT?"

:-)

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Windows

Re: MS admits FAILURE (Reads between lines)

Eadon oh Eadon

I can't help but reading

But I think what you say is rot

Perhaps you were dropped

Or repeatedly bopped

With an MS manual as a tot

For your angry rants

Most often are pants

And surely, rarely, are missed

Perhaps you're drunk

Or were locked in a trunk

But chill, dude, there's no need to be pissed

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: MS admits FAILURE (Reads between lines)

@Ye Gads - you owe me:

- 1 x keyboard

- 2 x monitors

- 1 x new iPad (got caught in the spray radius)

- several random bits of small bleepy stuff that were on my desk in front of my monitors

- 2 x new lungs (nearly choked my current ones)

- and nearly 1 new pair of pants.

... but I'll let you off - and even upvote you - for sheer fucking genius.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS admits FAILURE (Reads between lines)

Relying on creative interpretation of someone's words is a sign of desperation, Eadon. Now, if you actually came out with a well-reasoned argument (one of your own, instead of of rehashing others',) people might stop thinking, "Oh God, he's off again." As it stands, you look like someone who's adopted Linux, and is trying really hard to get others to agree with him so he can feel vindicated. The inevitable all-caps statement and the end of your posts is now pointless through overuse. No doubt you think it's Eadon's Trademark Argument Clincher, but it's actually become a failed comedian using the same gag for twenty years and not getting that nobody's clapping. The real humour comes from seeing someone who slags off marketing people using the old, old marketing trick of repeating something in stand-out lettering in the hope of getting it stuck in peoples' minds. Not the way to convert people, my friend - certainly not here - so we're back to someone pleading for assurance from others. Please contribute something useful or stop wasting my time by making me do more scrolling than I should need to. Shame you'll just stamp your foot and say, "But, but, but - you're an AC so I'll just ignore you!" - ignoring what people say purely on that basis is such a cop-out ...

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FAIL

@AC: Re: MS admits FAILURE (Reads between lines)

Correct, Sir!

And I must say, Eadon is the first person I've seen on here who gets more downvotes than upvotes on a pro-linux post. Even the Linux camp are fed up with him!

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Microsoft vs RealWorld

This is going to be a flame-bait article and it may seem I am chipping in some fuel but I really think that Microsoft have been doing a bit of an IBM here.

Like them or loathe them, their product was (and mostly still is) everywhere and with the way UK schools (and probably other countries too) taught MS Office as though it was the core of IT they must have thought they would be here for ever. On that basis the changes for Windows 8 are not so shocking as of course everyone will follow along, what other option is there?

IBM fell into the same trap (no-one ever got fired for buying IBM kit....heard that one recently?) and while they are still making money, they are having to fight for it instead of just sending out bills. If Microsoft do not open their eyes and, more importantly, their ears then they are likely to head the same way but for them it could be more problematic as replacing software is a lot cheaper and simpler than replacing 'big iron' to run business critical systems on.

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its enough to put your phone and start wiping your ass clean

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FAIL

“respond to the customer feedback that we’ve been closely listening to since the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT"... but people were complaining WAY before the launch.

“building on the bold vision set forward with Windows 8 to deliver the next generation of tablets and PCs.” Fuck me, do they actually believe the crap they write?

The only 'listening' MSFT does is to the sound of the cash register. If they can't here it, they decide to do something. Really, this is a sad, old, tired monopolist whose grown too fat and can no longer respond in any way that could be considered timely.

MSFT doesn't listen to end consumers, MSFT doesn't listen to its hardware partners. MSFT is dying. Windows 8 is a FAIL. Windows 'BLUE' is a desperate attempt to breathe life into the corpse of the PC market.

It is bizarre that MSFT still continues to develop desktop OSes at a regular pace when the world has said "we want mobile". MSFT still doesn't get it and it's heading for an EPIC FAIL!

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What users want?

Choice usually, for example:

(1) Why can't you have the desktop style of choice? In XP you could have "classic" over the Fisher-Price style. Seems things changed again with Vista/7 and now with 8 its worse with 3rd party tools needed to give users what they are asking for. Why can you choose the one you want/are familiar with?

(2) Menu vs Ribbon - again WTF is the problem with a simple config option to do things the way you are familiar with, or choose a new (who knows, better for some perhaps) option?

(3) The old oligopolistic practice of trying to force Windows by making things specific to it, the key example is Office. Available for MacOS (just, and often lagging) but why not for iOS where there is a market? Or for Linux/Android?

(4) Office365 - being pushed as the pay-always choice. Not to mention the exposing of all your data to USA law, something that could easily be avoided by client-side encryption before the data leaves your computer. And WTF is Office365 doing when bits of it don't work the same/at all on different browsers?

Yes, I know these are really rhetorical questions because we all know the answer is profit maximisation by forcing you customers ("hostages") to change and buy-again, and again...

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Re: What users want?

(1) No, Windows Vista and 7 included "classic" although this disables Desktop Window Composition, and less is GPU accelerated than XP, so classic isn't a wise choice unless you have a seriously piss-poor GPU. A better alternative is trying to find a classic theme that is accelerated from some website and doing a uxtheme hack. Agreed on 8. It is absolutely hideous.

(2) I think the ribbon isn't as evil as the bandwagon likes to say it is - but I completely agree that there should be a choice, always a choice, to go back to the menu system.

As for 3 and 4, I think as we see people using other systems more, Office's own formats will become less important, and hopefully we will see more interoperability, like Office Open XML was supposed to bring (but even Microsoft bungled in 2010).

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office 365

"(4) Office365 - being pushed as the pay-always choice. Not to mention the exposing of all your data to USA law, something that could easily be avoided by client-side encryption before the data leaves your computer. And WTF is Office365 doing when bits of it don't work the same/at all on different browsers?"

Office 365 _doesn't run in a browser_, office 365 is just office, it's installed on your PC like every other version. The difference is that if you stop paying Microsoft then it will stop working.

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Joke

Windows Blue

Been suffering from the Windows Blues for years.

and the Windows Blue screens.

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WTF?

Re: Get rid of the ribbon too!

Are small biz owners naturally mentally deficient?

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Windows

Re: Are small biz owners naturally mentally deficient?

Only the ones who embrace W8.

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Ribbons?

From the marketing junk I was subjected to, the ribbons were in place to replace toolbars, not menus. The MS hack demonstrated just why the ribbons were so good and every user was an idiot by enabling every single toolbar in MS Word and going "voila", look at the lack of space this gives the user for documents, this is why we "invented" ribbons. A sane attendee (who was shouted down as if he was an idiot), pointed out that no user enables every single toolbar simultaneously, that many of them appeared on demand and that the ribbon and other new UI crud took more space than toolbars and menus.

The big problems with the Win 8 shell (UI) is that it's an aborted mess of touch-screen optimal controls, half baked with a few non-touch interfaces thrown in and an overriding feel of "how the hell do I do something?" as everything is hidden away. The missing Start Button is just one of these idiocies... users need visual prompts that they have options (functions) available, designating random portions of a display that a user needs to thumb to bring up some functionality never has been, and never will be, good intuitive user interface design. There is no such thing as a fully intuitive user interface (it's not possible), but there's no excuse to not try and the next best thing is a consistent interface.

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I think it's just a bit of a shame.

It's probably just a case of too much change, too soon. Having experience of the OS with touch input I can honestly say it's a joy to use (to the point where the first couple of sessions elicited gasps of wonder) but I can see why so many people using desktops are upset with it.

Perhaps what they really needed was a 'transitional' OS between 7 and the next one that introduced some of the more radical changes as optional before jumping feet first into the mobile ship.

I'd be pretty surprised if someone else doesn't redo all of this in ten years time to a standing ovation.

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@ToggleMaudlin (was: Re: I think it's just a bit of a shame.)

"gasps of wonder"

How much, exactly, did Redmond pay you to type that?

Honestly, the mind boggles.

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Re: @ToggleMaudlin (was: I think it's just a bit of a shame.)

Nothing - I did it for a couple of autographed glossies of Ballmer. Obviously.

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Re: I think it's just a bit of a shame.

I agree... although I think that it was a mixture of a few things things: Too much too soon, as you said; and the fact that a touch-centric interface tends to not work particularly well when used with a mouse. Also, abandoning windows in favour for the split screen didn't work for me at all.

That said, I had a similar experience to you: when I first played around with Win8 on a touchscreen device, it felt completely intuitive, and really was a joy to use. I also really like the look of the Metro interface, and the live tiles make a lot of sense to me.

When the first Win 8 previews surfaced in the press and blogs, I was absolutely convinced that MS would release two versions of it, one with the Metro UI for touchscreen devices, and a standard Win7-based one for desktops, or ask the user during installation which version to install... I firmly believe that the adoption would have been a lot better if they'd done that.

To their credit, MS listened to the feedback they received, and they are making changes. Of course they're forced by the market to a certain extent, but still. They admitted that mistakes were made, and are working to rectify them -- you've got to give them credit for that.

I don't want to spark a flame war, but I honestly don't believe Apple would have shown that kind of contrition in the same situation.

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Joke

Well..

It's a Start >

/gets coat

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Bronze badge

they really need to get something corporates want out of the door before XP expires.

Windows 8 would never ever be taken up.

Windows 7, well it's dated and cheesy isn't it? Why would corporates who are still on XP migrate from something that is old to something else that is old? It's not like migrating from 2000 to XP, where everything was pretty easy.

And what is the benefit? (apart from a little longer support.)

The improved windows 8 core, with a familiar shell (hopefully a lean one.) especially if it integrates well with existing XP infrastructure would be a likely seller.

Otherwise, I suspect many corporates will just stick to XP, and rely on controlled internet access and security software.

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WTF?

Anything new going on?

So, it's W8 SP1

Was that not to be expected?

Is it a surprise to some?

Apart from people needing their arses wiped as they are unable to use a slightly different UI is there a problem?

I wonder how many complainants actually use W8 or even any W at all.

( Sod it, let's all go back to the old Xerox UI)

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Gold badge

Re: Anything new going on?

W8sp1 is not unexpected. The appearance of a straight-to-desktop option and the return of a Start menu, however, would be two things that Microsoft (well, ok, Sinofsky) swore blind would never happen. If the rumours are true, these two things are unexpected.

But I suppose you can still argue that they are not "anything new". :)

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Re: Anything new going on?

@Ken Hagan: The Start Menu is gone, it's not coming back. The only thing being pondered in Redmond is whether to concede slightly and put a button back in the bottom left corner of the desktop to open the Start Screen. This introduces as many problems as it solves, because you still need to train people to aim for the lower left corner if they're running Metro apps, because the button still won't be there then.

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1+1 = ALL?

Microsoft is now “investing in three areas: user experience, social and collaboration, and broad cross platform browser support.” ...

which Redmond says will become possible as it builds support for mobile Chrome into the suite.

So broad, cross-platform browser support means writing for one more specific browser?

Sort of sums up MS. Wasn't it Bill Gates who said that IE ran on multiple OSes? Windows 98/ME/XP/2001 (or something like that list)?

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Re: 1+1 = ALL?

@Gordon 11: "So broad, cross-platform browser support means writing for one more specific browser?"

That's the web for you. You still have to work around the bugs in browsers if you actually want things to work. And Chrome has just as many bugs as other modern browsers (there are more Chrome-specific hacks in JQuery than there are for IE10, for example)

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But what type of Start button?

> Microsoft's leaking hints that Blue will bring back the Start button,

Ahhh, but will this be the start button we all know (and love?), or just a shortcut back to tile-land?

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FAIL

How different it could have been

I think if Windows 8 had maintained compatibility with the existing Windows 7 desktop, but also offered the "Metro" desktop as an alternative. Nobody would have hesitated to upgrade.

Also I note all this guff about Windows 8 is doing great "look at our sales of Windows 8 licences" is because the only Enterprise license you can buy today is a Windows 8 license. So if your going to deploy 2000 Windows 7 desktops, you need to buy 2000 Windows 8 licenses.

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