back to article Workers can't escape Windows 8 Metro - Microsoft COO

Windows 8 will help people work harder and faster, argues Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, because the "immersive" Metro user interface removes all their distractions. Highlighting business-centric features in the new OS, Turner insists Windows 8's fondness for fondleslabs will boost office productivity. The …

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Mushroom

Re: It took you a half-hour to find the command prompt...

Sigh. The key phrase being 'WITHIN half an hour'. It amazes me (saddens me frankly) that people with such poor reading comprehension can find a job in IT. Or are some of you just here for the beer?

I'll spell it out for you on the basis that one should always help the afflicted.

I spent about half an hour playing with the VM after installation. Now perhaps some of you would just have dicked around aimlessly clicking icons and gawping at the screen. Unfortunately I'm afflicted with a sense of purpose when I'm in the office so I did post installation configuration. Attached it to a test domain and since my job involves a lot of MS Exchange and SharePoint work, did some tasks based around that so that it could be used for testing the applications we develop. At some point during that process I needed a command prompt so I found it. I probably spent four or five seconds thinking about it but can't honestly remember. It might have been automatic since I do tend to use Windows+R a lot anyway - but perhaps I just used the All Programs 'button' to launch it. Meh.

In summary:I spent half an hour on Windows 8. At the end of the that time I had installed four applications, reconfigured parts of the network stack and generally got it into a state where someone could do some serious compatibility research. I'd say that half an hour for a beta OS is bloody good going for all that. Not to mention that I built one of our bigger suites and finished a defect fix - ie;my normal job. Frankly even getting a new XP VM to that state probably takes over quarter of an hour.

Oh and I posted on El Reg but hey that's just gratuitous multitasking on my part. Ding me for wasting company time on that if you want.

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I didn't get much chance to play with the Windows Live side. Our test domains tend to be locked down so I'm betting that some of Live stuff in there won't work. I just thought it was 'cute' the way they did it. The install asks for the email address then lo and behold your picture and your full name appear and you're asked to login. I agree though that's a bit concerning. When security processes are smooth and easy to use you have to start being wary.

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Facepalm

Re: @Dummy

Whoosh....

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Vic
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Re: It took you a half-hour to find the command prompt...

> Or are some of you just here for the beer?

*waves*

Vic.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't want to work harder.

Working 'smarter' and 'better' (grammar!) are the opposite of working harder.

Unfortunately, it looks very much as though Metro, like the Ribbon, will make me work harder.

It's not all bad news. Windows 8 will keep the shareholders happy, and it will keep desktop support staff employed. It will also increase the sense of pleasure I get from using ABW (Anything But Windows)

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Re: I don't want to work harder.

Personally I've very glad I rarely end up doing desktop support these days, since I'm mainly server orientated, but I feel really sorry for the poor buggers who'll have to support this! Effectively we now have two completely different Windows UI's to learn, since some users will be using Metro entirely, while others will be breaking out (well as much as is possible) to the proper Windows desktop, and we'll need to be able to cater for both groups!

I can't help thinking Kevin Turner's never actually MET a real life user. They're going to hate it, it's going to confuse the hell out of them just when they've finally got used to things like the start bar. Geeks might put up with it, learn to use it etc, users won't. They'll moan, complain, and refuse to use it, and that will give IT Support even more of a headacre.

At least with 7 they had the geeks on side, liking the new features and willing to pass on the new benefits to their users, with this, not so much. When asked by users why they need the new version, there'll be less "let me show you the features that will make things easier for you", and more "I dunno, I think it's shit as well but we've been told to upgrade you".

I'm really disappointed by 8, which is a shame since with the new virtualisation tech built into it I was really looking forward to it coming out. Now... not so much.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't want to work harder.

I know users who call everything on screen 'the thingie'. Now they'll be telling Support, 'I've lost the thingie. It's somewhere behind the big thingie'.

Hours of endless...

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@Keith

While you are mostly server orientated you don't have to worry; Microsoft has you covered because they even managed to put Metro into their new Windows Server 8 as well!

Trust me; its true (I didn't believe this at first either).

2 OS environments with the same annoyances. They can't play favorites after all ;-)

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Re: @Keith

@ShelLuser

Windows Server doesn't have a GUI unless you want it. :) Windows finally went back to the OS/2 and Unix/Linux model of GUI's aren't required for servers. In fact depending on which Server license you get, you don't even get a GUI anymore.

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Re: @Keith

No GUI?

The WinServer monkeys here are going to wet themselves.

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WTF?

Re: I don't want to work harder.

"Personally I've very glad I rarely end up doing desktop support these days, since I'm mainly server orientated, but I feel really sorry for the poor buggers who'll have to support this!"

Better start feeling sorry for yourself. Download the Windows Server 8 beta, I hear it has Metro too.

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Boffin

Re: I don't want to work harder.

There's my Dad for a start. He once described the wifi connection menu on Windows 7 as 'a white rectangle in the corner of the screen with writing on it'. Not that he's computer illiterate, mind. He manages perfectly well and has installed hard drives, installed windows and even got obscure scanners working.

But when it comes to tech-support I am sooo glad that Logmein is available :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't want to work harder.

If Jobs taught us nothing else, it' is that we should WORK FUNNER, not GRAMMATICER, or something.

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JDX
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It sounds rather lame, but forcing workers to single-task really could boost productivity... choice requires decisions.

So get rid of all that fancy GUI and go back to basics ;)

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FAIL

Who wants to be "distracted" by email while trying to produce a budget spreadsheet by combining requests sent in by email.

who wants to be "distracted" by the web page while they are working on the source for it.

Who wants to be "distracted" by the application while they are trying to document the menus and features

Who wants to be "distracted" by web pages/forums while trying to solve a knotty OS or application issue.

If you dont want people to be distracted, uninstall the stuff distracting them, or limit their internet access, or just give them a low appraisal and tell them to buck up their ideas.

Dont make their desktop a shitty smartphone single task OS.

I guess the days of browsing the web whilst playing a game and watching a video are over for home users as well?

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When I'm trying to blunder my way past some new programming challenge, having the browser window showing help visible at the same time as the source I'm mangling can be pretty damn productivity enhancing!

Apply the same to any app causing me a problem or to navigating the twisty maze of configuring Windows itself.

I like my maximise button. Let's me go fullscreen when I need to focus and windowed when I need it.

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Wasn't one of the big features of Win 7 the tiling and placement features? What makes more sense than getting rid of all that and calling it new and improved?

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Wasn't one of the biggest features of Win3 that windows could overlap instead of tiling?

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Facepalm

Don't worry, I'm sure

People will find something else to be distracted by.

Possibly something with an OS they want to use....

That sure to promote the use of windows,possibly as something to throw their desktop computers out of.

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WTF?

"We encourage IT professionals to begin using it...."

Er, why? No bugger's going to install it.

Even if it were good (which it bloody well isn't), world + dog is running an XP to 7 migration right now. That'll be expected to stay in place for a few years, by which time 9 or 10 will be out.

I think you can count the number of places still on XP and hanging on for 8 on the fingers of one foot. Of course, one of the very few who rolled Vista might skip 7 and go to 8, but that's a perishingly small niche market.....

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Re: "We encourage IT professionals to begin using it...."

You mean those on the ME-Win2k-Vista-Win8 'antiphase' upgrade path? Poor souls.

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jai
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Re: "We encourage IT professionals to begin using it...."

is anyone still on that path? surely they all switched after the Vista debacle...

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@TeeCee

Full agree.

As to people on Vista who might skip 7... A lot of people in my surroundings who are using Vista basically use it with the same looks & feel as XP / Win9x. Others have learned to adapt yet "aren't looking forward to that ordeal again". Keep in mind; this is all pretty recent, only a few years ago.

I only showed the Metro snippet which MS has released to some of them while telling them that "this is what the new Windows looks like". Solely based on that (obviously limited) experience I'd say chances are much higher that people move up to 7 than that they'll go to 8.

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Re: @TeeCee

Most companies are still on XP and are upgrading to Win7. So Win8 will be missed by most corps. and Win9 (where they'll realise their horrific mistakes) will be the next leap for Corp. IT.

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FAIL

An Immersive Experience...

Like being up to your neck in Bull Sh*t.

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Re: An Immersive Experience...

Too bad your standing on your head...

Reminds me of when Vista was getting all the bad press and they were spewing crap about how great it was to anyone who would listen.

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Devil

Re: An Immersive Experience...

I was thinking more along the lines of how they used to test witches in the old days. Nice girl or bad witch: either way, your dunking won't turn out well.

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Linux

" which stuffs a user's business apps, files, settings and a full corporate Windows 8 build on a memory stick" -- forget about losing your laptop, windows has helpfully bundled all your stuff onto a USB key for you to lose in a more convenient fashion.

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Go

Nah.

Just use a nice fat steel cable to fix the USB stick permonantly to the desk.

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What a crock

"Metro user interface removes all their distractions"

WTF do you call those Facebook & Twitter tiles?

"full-screen apps will immerse workers in their spreadsheets"

I'm a developer and system admin, I need windowed apps. I use them all the time and have since they were introduced in Windows 2! This full screen or two apps side by side if your monitor can manage a least 1366 x whatever will definitely reduce my productivity.

My work will be replacing any pre-7 machines with Win7 ones this year. After that we will not buy another PC till we see what Win9 ls like. And, if it doesn't fix this mess we'll be looking at OS X and Linux.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a crock

Yes, multiple windows on a large display are essential for a developer (I'm in hardware design so having RTL browser, execution trace, editor, possibly pdf of documentation etc all open are essential ... never mind the need sometimes to have two sets of these windows and the ability to pull different combinations up together to try to work out why a new version is making this stop working as expected!)

Recently had a demo from a tool vendor of their up-coming new version ... they proudly demo-ed the new tool which opened full screen and managed all its sub windows itself etc etc ... think their rep was a bit taken aback when we all said that it looked completely unusable now and could we switch back to the old seperate windows idiom!

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Unhappy

Yep, of all the innovations Microsoft has inflicted on the world...

...The Multiple Document Interface is one of the most annoying. (I was going to add "pointless", but Wikipedia reminds me that one of MDI's main advantages is that "if the windowing environment and OS lack good window management, the application author can implement it themselves.")

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DJV
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Metro user interface removes all their distractions.

I'm more of the opinion that the Metro user interface IS the major distraction!

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Dont want to sound like a Windows 8/MS fanboi - but are we really sure that the Metro UI will prevent us from working with multiple screens?

I have no idea at the moment, not even tried the version that has been released. But if I could have a tile or group of tiles on each screen, that doesnt sound like such a bad idea to me, given the amount of notifications I tend to receive. Plus, one of them could be the Windows dekstop?

Just an idea, preparing for auto downvoting now.

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Indeed

It believe would be foolish to assume that MS is overlooking multiple monitors, multiple applications and things such as that.

If it turns out that MS is overlooking this, well then MS is foolish and that's about it.

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Re: Indeed

I'm running the CP on 3 monitors.

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FAIL

No Multitasking Support

I can't get it to work. As far as I can tell MS are preparing to lose what little credibility they have left.

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Re: Indeed

I just have a picture in my mind now, of you breathing on your knuckles and polishing them on your chest.

Can't think why..

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Joke

See, I knew that whole silly multi-tasking fad would come to an end eventually.

Now if Windows 9 could just boot straight into BBC BASIC...

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Yeah one thing about the live id, log in to your windows 8 machine with it and then try to logon to say msn on another machine with the same account and see how well that goes. Atleast digsby won't let me login as long as i'm logged on to the windows 8 machine.

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Anonymous Coward

How about when I want to have two word docs open side by side, half a spread sheet and a pair of putty terminals?

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Facepalm

err, you can still do all the stuff you're all whinging you can't.

Have any of you used this new GUI?

The desktop has always been an App itself (try task killing 'explorer.exe')

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Microsoft Bob

Generally business avoided Microsoft Bob.

Is this Bills final influence in MS, to get Melinda's product to the mainstream?

It'll get in between the windows I have open. Email, browsers, spreadsheets, source code repositories, XML editors, command line windows, RDP sessions. All switchable by that bloody big Program Manager.

Put it away.

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Disclaimer: Hate the MetroUI design, but Win8 doesn't stop you from running multiple windows (one of the tiles on the start screen is for the desktop, and multi monitor setups work just fine - I use two monitors, Extend rather than Duplicate), and apart from having to stop the mouse in the 'sweet spot' between both monitors, it works fine, and so far, most of the time I've not had the Metro Ui onscreen.

But I do agree, Windows shouldn't get rid of the start button just because the iPad doesn't have one, it screams of 'me too' rather than 'innovation, and the graphical implementation of Win8 is awful, Solitaire looks like a 5 year older version of itself.

In point of fact, an Android rip would've been better, widgets (or the Vista Sidebar, but free of being locked to the side of the screen, rather than Fisher Price blocks), streaming weather, facebook, stocks etc placed on the desktop as user placed options.

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I was going to say the same thing. Just checked my build that is behind me. As long as you go the desktop you can control the windows however you want. BUT I still say this is for the touch screens, it took me a while to find the off button, control panel and the such. Most end users would find things if they looked but of course most end users fear change so will just complain and be downgraded.

I really dont see the point of metro on a desktop.

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@Tony

People with a single monitor who also a regular 1024x768 resolution /will/ experience issues when they want to use Metro apps in multiple windows. While all previous versions had no issues with that what so ever.

So yes; it /does/ stop you from using multiple windows. I agree if you state that the behavior on the desktop is still like the previous versions. But for how long?

Don't forget; they're already busy re-hauling Office and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if a lot of the new Office ends up on Metro.

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FAIL

Erm to all the people like "NOOOOOOOOO! don't take away multiple windows!"

Isn't the article talking about windows 8 in Tablet mode?

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WTF?

Re: Erm to all the people like "NOOOOOOOOO! don't take away multiple windows!"

No.

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Stop

I haven't tried any of these previews, but there seems to be alot of spin regarding Windows 8 from one side, and FUD, speculation and panic coming from the other, to the point where I'm not sure what to expect from it now.

There are precedents for them making unpopular changes (e.g. ribbon - although I got to like it once I was used to it) and there are also precedents for customers rejecting products they don't like, and MS caving in and producing something better (e.g. Vista followed by 7)

So my point is, it's not worth panicking over: give MS feedback based on the previews/betas/whatever if you're using them. Or wait till it gets released, then either use it if you like it, or don't use it.

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Hahahah, no

Microsoft had better provide a "classic" mode for corporates because no matter how much they may wish to dump all that legacy baggage, no one is going to buy into a desktop OS which reduces the experience to a handful of brightly coloured panels.

That experience might work on tablets where people tend to have less software and lowered expectations regarding freedom etc. It won't work on standard "legacy" PCs which have a keyboard, a mouse and 10+ apps a user may reasonably expect to work with in parallel.

I'm hoping their consumer preview and developer preview are just that, shaking the bugs out of the new stuff, with the intent that those who want a start menu and the old world can have it. Because if they don't provide it then W8 is going to go across like a lead balloon.

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