What is multitasking? Different people seem to mean different things when they use the word multitasking. The definition chosen has implications for accepting or rejecting the prevailing design choices of modern user interfaces. I have been a vocal critic of Windows 8's Metro interface. My chief complaint is that it does not …
"fucksakes, people. The sky is not falling."
Your desktop is NOT fine. Because inside the desktop you no longer have Aero at your disposal. This is a very big thing for me; the simplicity of being able to look at the status of a program (copying, downloading, other stuff) by merely looking at its icon to see the progress bar there as well.
Its not merely Metro alone these days, its also because they took valuable options away from other places.
Re: My standard desktop use at work
On a desktop pc, the point of metro is to get people used to metro. It's just a launcher and metro apps are trivial, unimportant things (excepting email, maybe).
It's not any worse than the Start button, just different. It's not any better either.
It is wholly there to sell tablets and phones, in my opinion, but that doesn't make it a bad thing.
On the other hand, the rest of Windows 8 is really very, very good. You'd be a fool to spurn it on the grounds that you don't like using a launcher. On the grounds that Win7 is good enough and upgrading is an unnecessary expense, sure. If you can live without the optimizations and frankly scary speed boost.
It is, as always, entirely your call. But the launcher is an idiotic thing to worry about.
@ShelLuser - you can still mouse over an application in the task bar to get its status, progress etc.
If I weren't you'd be seeing exclamation marks and such :)
Sorry but it doesn't matter if there are ways to circumvent the now coming limitations. Fact of the matter remains that valuable features get removed "because". And users will have to cope.
That's hardly user friendly and IMO reason enough for people to get upset.
Re: My standard desktop use at work
Shame your brain can't compute that M$ will most likely force applications to be written in the Metro way. The desktop mode is only there for compatibility sakes for god knows how long.
Metro is as useless as your infomation :). Go play with a penguin then come back.
Woah, they threw away the taskbar completely?
Bloody hell, the sky HAS fallen. From a usability perspective, ITaskBarList2/3 is by far the most useful API in the whole of Windows 7.
The idea of being able to tell how far gone that massive download/upload/rendering task was and when it/they finished is simply beautiful.
Re: Mousing over for progress?
What use is that?
Right now I can glance at the taskbar, or see it out of the corner of my eye and know that my video rendering task is less than half done.
Thus it can be safely ignored, I don't need to go there and can keep on writing this bitchy post.
If I had to move the mouse on top of it to see that same information, I've got to move my hand over to the mouse, move the mouse pointer, place it over the application's icon, wait for the popup and find that it's less than half done so doesn't matter yet, then move the mouse back to my actual bitching task and my hand back to the keyboard.
In the meantime I could have bitched about many different things on the internet, or even done some actual work.
Perhaps they forget that some people have large screens, some people have screens that are really HD (PC CAD & DTP outstripped TV HD resolution over 10 years ago), some people have tiled screens making a single large desktop.
Metro sounds like it's for 7" Tablets.
It was stupid putting the Explorer interface on PDAs and Phones. It's equally stupid forcing everyone to use a UI designed for Phones and 7" Tablets.
You really need about 6 styles of GUI
Less than 4.5"
4" to 8"
7" to 12"
Media / consoles / TV via remote/game controller, much longer distance
SD TV (for 4:3 and 16:9)
HD TV larger than 37" and 16:9 only
Somewhat depending on DPI and how good your eyes are and personal preference / kind of task at the "boundaries" between sizes.
MS have been doing this for a very long time. Why are not able to get it right?
Computer Media SW (Windows or Linux) often assumes ONLY TV Media centre use and is then a pain to use at desktop distance on Mouse /Keyboard. PC Media SW needs to always be able to switch between "living room TV mode (HD or SD)" and Desktop mode and Tablet mode.
One size will never fit all.
A version of Windows with no actual windows.
That'll sell well then. Won't it?
Re: Ah. So.
just one big pane
932 words of utter twaddle...
...to say you don't like Metro's windowing capabilities, or lack thereof.
As an avid F1 fan
On GP days I find myself using i browser window for the driver tracker, a second for the in-car view a third for the pit-camera and a fourth for the live timing screen, all across my dual screens, whilst watching the TV coverage on er...the telly.
Can someone from microsoft tell me how I will achieve this under metro?
Re: As an avid F1 fan
Not from Microsoft - but obviously you require multiple devices and more importantly licenses to boost the coffers (bulk purchase deal perhaps ?)
Re: As an avid F1 fan
You wont. You'll use the desktop in the same way you do now.
Jesus, why is this so difficult to understand..?
I appreciate that computers need to be designed for someone of average intelligence, but is an interface designed for a phone (800x460) the right interface for my laptop 1920x1080 + 2560 x 1440 second screen.
Unity works well on my 10" laptop, but on my development machine with global menus it is a disaster. I've switched to LMDE and Cinnamon because it is a least semi-sane. It might be time to look at KDE again.
I'm also wondering how long my Win XP VMs will keep running.
So programs multi-task, but the user isn't allowed to,
personally I usually have 6-7 windows of one kind or another open at a time, and being used when I am working.
chat room (for work), 3-4 SSH connections to develop in, 2 browser windows..
So my screen space is fully used, on my 4 x 23" monitor system, or my 23" & 32" monitor system.
clearly I will not be upgrading, might even be the push I need to shift my home desktop over to linux
Why are we going backwards?
Am I to understand then that Windows 8 will not support windows? I don't understand why the UI creators these days think the desktop paradigm is broken. It isn't. I have to use Windows 7 at work and I can't stand it.. I've been a long time Linux user at home and have recently switched to KDE after the demise of Gnome 2... Now I'm looking at Cinnamon or MATE as potentials for my primary desktop...
I know I may be old-fashioned, but I _HATE_ tabbed browsing. I have three 24" monitors and I use them. I detest maximized windows and believe that windows should be sized to hold their content and no more. I never maximize a window to full screen... I have lots of screen real-estate and I use it like a desktop. How many people have a large desktop but keep everything in a single neat stack in the middle? Do you just move papers from the stack to the top to look at them and then shuffle them down the stack? Maybe you do... but I tend to spread them out over my desk so I can scan across them with my eyes.
When I browse the web and something catches my attention I open it in a new window somewhere else on the screen.... When I'm ready to read it then I just have to move my eyes to that window's location. I don't even need to focus it until I'm ready to scroll. At the moment I have 12 windows open - 5 different consoles connected to various servers, a Java IDE, my email client, and a couple of browsers. I like to always keep my email client visible taking up about 1/3rd of one of my 3 monitors. My consoles are spread variously around the screen so I can see what's on them and refer to them. I also need to copy data between them - How can you drag and drop if you can only see one at a time?
To me, a minimalist GUI is ideal. I like a task bar to display a clock, and events tray and a task list is nice... A launcher menu needs to be easily accessible somehow... But mostly I want a big empty desk space with pretty wallpaper.
If I had time and inclination to write my own gui it would not have maximize buttons.
Re: Why are we going backwards?
Windows 8 will have classic Windows Desktop as well as Windows 8 Metro.
You will still be able to use normal Windows applications in Desktop mode.
Windows 8 Desktop no longer has Aero so its all grey. Search for the complaints about Visual Studio 11 and how grey that is.
Re: Why are we going backwards?
A desktop mode without any way of loading apps. You have to go back to the Metro Creptro screen to do it AFAIK (unless you can litter your desktop mode with desktop icons).
One question though; most business desktops have two or more monitors. If you have a metro app running on one screen, can you run another metro app on another? This would half solve the issue, although I guess it may not and the singular metro app will take over all screens until you switch to another.
M$ is almost there to launching a nuclear bomb in it's own backyard. Can't wait to see the fireworks when consumers and business turn their back on Win8.
I've given this much thought myself because its hard to understand and all.
Right now my only conclusion is that Ballmer has seen too many episodes of Dr. Who and is now under the impression that going backwards will eventually by some weird twisted timeloop mean they'll run forwards again and thus make LOTS of money.
Its the only logical explanation I can come up with ;-)
Re: Why are we going backwards?
Nobody who works in IT will upgrade to Windows 8 because of this (well nobody who actually wants to get any work done that is!)
Typically do do my job I have several applications running in windows across 2 sometimes three monitors, I need a web browser open to read info or manage applications along with notepad++ SQL Management Studio, RDP sessions, command and powershell promts usually along with excel and word to write up documents and I go and I need to be able to view all at once and copy and paste between all of them. How I'm supposed to be able to do this efficiently viewing just one or two apps at a time in the new world of metro I do not know.
I like many have worked for years in this way and will not go back to the dark ages of doing one thing at a time. I get paid by the hour and I doubt my employers would be happy when I tell them it's going to take five times as long to do anything because I can now only do one thing at a time.
It just shows that MicroSoft are cocooned in their own world and do not even understand how their current user base use their own products. Any company that doesn't listen to its customers is doomed to failure.
Reports the things like the Start Button is being ripped out and not only from Win 8 but from Server 12
Doomed to failure?
Microsoft are not doomed until their customers realize that there's nothing left for them with Microsoft, and start moving to Apple or to Linux. So far they're only at ther stage of bitching loudly and hoping, praying, that someone at Microsoft will listen.
Microsoft will be doomed the day they announce the Windows 7 support termination date with only Windows 8 as an upgrade path. On that day IT departments all over the place will commit to their plan B and it'll all be over for Microsoft.
If Microsoft shareholders are smart, Ballmer will have been sacked before then, and the new boss's first pronouncement is that Windows 7 will be maintained until there is something acceptable to replace it with.
Re: Doomed to failure?
Easy - Windows 8 SP1 - the return of Aero.
One can hope.
Re: maybe not
Not even microsoft would be stupid to stick metro on a server.
Re: maybe not
@Steve Davies 3
Reports the things like the Start Button is being ripped out and not only from Win 8 but from Server 12"
Yes, the default installation is without the GUI. I gather that the intention is that you now run the GUI-less version and use the shiny new Powershell extras to control your servers from elsewhere.
The trouble with that is that I get the feeling you now get to write your own GUI to do it, albeit that GUI can run on the platform of your choice (Linux et al).
Enter the smug penguin brigade
Or more accurately, those who don't rely on any single vendor's whims to get a usable environment. I'm not saying "linux is the answer", for it isn't. I am saying that an important concept of the X Windows design is useful here: Provide mechanism, not policy. Bring your own window manager to provide that policy as you see fit. I have my favourite and it works equally well under linux almost entirely regardless of distribution, FreeBSD or another *BSD, or most any other X environment I'd like to use.
There are several problems with how this approach was implemented and certainly, a well-thought out single environment would give a smoother overall "user experience", but at a price. Just look at all the guidelines developers on macosx its aqua environment have to follow. The X interop specifications are possibly worse, but at least you don't get a new spec every OS release. And the whole thing works reasonably well across multiple vendors, platforms, and so on, and with a suitable WM you can have almost any behaviour you want, and it doesn't matter a whit that on the next desktop over it all works quite differently, though running the exact same applications.
This isn't quite true for the one-size-fits-all vendor-fiat approach rolled out across millions of enterprise desktop machines.
The downside? Not suited for people who don't know what they want and are operating under an intuitivity expectation, actively fostered by certain vendors and even free software projects (like various desktop environment projects). It is easy to see why you'd want unitarian homogenity soup if you have to support that sort of audience, of course. Personally, I'll never stop being vaguely disappointed at the poor level of control people choose to have over their own computing environments, such that they'll always need ready access to a helpdesk and never can do without the training wheels.
Maybe in a generation or three, four. Sooner if we teach our young'uns concepts instead of rote. Maybe.
I was a smug penguin until I saw what they did with Gnome 3 and Ubuntu's Unity, all of the progress of Gnome 2 to usability, then pissed away with the promise of fondleslab sales.
Seems the that GUI designers are like artists - when they get it almost right: kill them, and stop them going on to ruin it!
Gnome and Unity...
... are both "desktop environments" that also seek to provide a comprehensive environment and also do that complete overhaul thing that upsets the natives. Altough they do it on a base that can equally well function without. My preferred way to install ubuntu is to take the server-no-gui version, and on a desktop add X and a suitable wm (NOT a desktop environment), then configure it to my liking. Comparable procedure for, well, anything else that provides a GUI through X. Other systems I tend to avoid. Of course, that's just me. But the point was that you can have that freedom, you just need the skills to deal with it, for you suddenly have to understand the difference between mechanism and policy, and then pick a policy you like to work with. In some cases the system designers don't even understand that distinction, or even forget that what might work in one environment just completely doesn't elsewhere.
Gnome 3 really p*ssed off Gnome 2 users because it went against the whole Open Source ethos by denying them CHOICE. The Choice to stick with Gnome 2, or to instal both Gnome 2 and Gnome 3 on the same system until they decided which they liked most. It's as if Microsoft had inflicted the Metro UI on us not as a new product (which is bad enough) but as an automatic upgrade to Windows 7. Gnome should have forked Gnome 3 and looked for a new maintainer or developer for the Gnome 2 project.
However, although Gnome made life hard for Gnome 2 users, there is still choice. Scientific Linux, Centos and RHEL6 all stuck with Gnome 2. There's Cinnamon. There's Trinity Desktop (which is derived from KDE 3, but I believe that it can happily coexist with KDE 4). There are more than a few other window managers.
In the Windows world, there's no choice, just whatever UI Microsoft supplies.
>>In the Windows world, there's no choice, just whatever UI Microsoft supplies
Not true. At all. Remember there are accessibility shells for visually impaired people for one, and other shells for people who just dont like what MS provides for two.
On every version of windows so far you could always install a shell replacement. Go search for "Windows Shell Replacement" on any search engine and you'll be able to find something besides what Microsoft provides. Personally I use Windows Aero on my Laptop and Classic on my Desktop when Im using Windows, and KDE when Im using Fedora, but there's alot more out there for Windows than just the MS defaults, just as much as there are other desktop environments and Window Managers for X for the various flavors of Unix and of course Linux.
I dont know if Windows 8 will be able to do that, but I know people running Luna or KDE on Windows 7 with no issues for example.
I can't get on with Unity or Gnome 3.
Thankfully, I've found Xubuntu which uses XFCE - and it's brilliant. And it will be usable by ordinary users as well.
Now that I'm retired from system duties, I've been working in publishing. Let's see, Libre Writer working document, Live mail with a revision, CorelDraw web version, CorelPaint to edit web pictures, another Writer window with a related document, IE for searching and definitions (Does each tab count as a window, as it shows in Task Manager?), Live Mail BONG for sudden IMMEDIATE revision, window showing printer tasks and status, Windows Explorer window to find related docs & previous versions. Does the second monitor count as a task? How about the third one I've been considering adding? As I've said in other comments, stock up on Win7.
Re: Simple multitasking
None of those are Metro apps.
Do you have any clue what the topic is?
Stock up on a system that won't be supported going forward?
In that list of things you're using, there's very little function that's actually bound to that platform and plenty where replacing with software that does the same thing, only better, would do the world a favour, regardless of underlying OS. The so-not-a mail client and only-recently-become-a-halfway-decent web browser come to mind; directory tree traversal and file searching utilities abound, libre writer is already "cross platform". That leaves the pixel manipulation, and that can be had elsewhere too, or run under wine if you have to.
I mean, if libre writer is good enough, it's not the file formats that're keeping you bound to redmond.
I'd say you could try a different OS altogether, and it doesn't have to change your normal routine all that much. Doesn't have to be linux or another free unix either, though it (in a suitable configuration you like, as opposed to whatever someone else thought was neat) could fit the bill, possibly, but macosx at least has the upshot of a rabid user community that won't accept apple take away their nice and consistent keyboard shortcuts and the like, and where having multiple apps open never was an anathema.
On another note, I wonder how much of that would already be doable on haiku. Should try in the near future, just for kicks.
You could accuse the developers of Gnome and Ubuntu's unity of making many of the same mistakes which MS are making. It seems that in their rush to get up-to-speed with mobile devices everyone is forgetting that most of the actual work is still being done on desktop PCs with large TFT screens.
As you say, in Linux there are at least many alternative desktops, however.
I'd say that if your running in the metro environment, you'd being using the device for "tablet" applications (checking your mail, watching a video clip, quickly scanning web pages).
If you’re running "productivity" applications, you'd be doing so in the normal windows environment.
This dual personality seems to confuse. If can see the benefits clearly.
Metro isn't going to be used much on my desktop, where my aims are producing content/responding to content from others. I want to be able to view/produce content from multiple applications.
Metro would be used on my tablet where I’m going to be consuming others content, and not primarily producing content. I don’t really need to produce content whilst the primary function is to consume.
Which would be a fair point if Microsoft hadn't laced Win8 with tripwires to fire up Metro mode with common actions. FFS they deliberately disabled the register hacks that let us lock it into desktop mode, they really are intent on tricking or forcing everyone to get used to Metro as the primary interface.
If it were good they wouldn't need compulsion, desktop would wither on its own.
Are you a developer? Have you worked on it?
You're missing the real objective...
... if you want to keep an eye on 3 apps at once, you obviously need 3 tablets - it's a ploy to sell more!
It could make it difficult to cut-n-paste from one app to another, but they'll come up with a way to 'flick' from one tablet to another :)
Multitasking = doing more than one thing with less than 100% of your ability.
Couldn't agree more.
So much of a regular person's day job however...simply doesn't require 100% of their ability.
…or are you saying you need 100% of your ability to focus on that progress bar as a VM is moved from one server to another? Do you need to watch as your file manager reads and caches thumbnails for every single file in that folder of 80,000 JPEGs? Do you feel the burning requirement to devote 100% of your attention to reading an e-mail about a project three departments down that has only a 2% chance of ever affecting you in any way?
Perhaps you do. The question to me would be…why?
Re: Couldn't agree more.
"So much of a regular person's day job however...simply doesn't require 100% of their ability."
I used to run software which monitored a whole bunch of servers for a variety of things (jobs failed, disks getting full or going offline, security violations etc). Once I had completed my early morning routine of checking messages generated overnight, I could minimise the monitoring app windows and settle down to doing other work, but if one of those monitoring icons changed colour, it got my immediate attention.
P.S. This was done on a large for the time CRT monitor. The box it came in had large warnings that this thing took 2 people to lift :-)
The year is 1987
I am a spotty undergrad, in my sandwich year, attending the IBM roadshow in some hotel in London. I see a PC running DESQview with it's screen quartered, and one of the quarters was a DOS window that had crashed. The other 3 carried on running.
We appear to be living life backwards.
Of course, you are ALL wrong
YOU are all TECCY NERDS. You don't get it do you? You're WAY outside of Microsoft's demographic. Microsoft doesn't care about you, you pathetic nerds with you're "oooh look how many windows I have open" cock-measuring contests.
STFU and realise that MS are going after the "NU Generashun". There's only one criteria:
Does FaceFart look really frickin' cool? Yes? Woohoo! That'll do then!
Clearly the "Gelled-pointy-hair-brigade" has taken over at MS.
"If it aint a fone, it don't matter, man."
Having said all that, Win8 can STILL run in normal mode, just bloody calm down, okay?! :-)
Re: Of course, you are ALL wrong
> There's only one criteria
Was that supposed to be ironic?
Re: Of course, you are ALL wrong
"STFU and realise that MS are going after the "NU Generashun". There's only one criteria:"
Then they should forget about the server market.
Much as I really hate to defend Metro.......
I may be working on one primary task (or switching between a handful of them,) but I am skimming the datastream presented by the dynamic information sources looking for anything more important than I am doing at the moment.
Er, surely that's Metro's strong point? Your other data streams are represented in the "live tile" approach. Of course, you'd need Metro versions of the applications presenting those data streams for this to work, but by the time 9 comes out, which is what we'll get in the real world, that should be less of a problem.
Re: Much as I really hate to defend Metro.......
How do you see the live tiles with a fullscreen app covering the entire screen?
Re: Much as I really hate to defend Metro.......
Actually, I think live tiles are bloody brilliant. Believe it or not, I like a great many things about Metro, especially the early-phase design concept of "information at a glance."
The issue is simple: We need to be able to "pop out" Metro apps into Windows. And I would pay cash money to be able to make Metro Start my desktop background, or "Pin" it to a second monitor.
Microsoft has a great many truly unbelievable ideas attached to Metro. Honestly revolutionary stuff that I believe would make computing more productive and enjoyable. Their execution however is [expletive deleted] pants. It is really poorly thought through, poorly assembled into a working interface, and the result is something that is functionally unusable.
Worse to my mind is their attitude about the whole thing. Metro is bad, but how they are responding to valid criticisms about it is essentially the last straw for me.
It wouldn’t take much effort to take the excellent ideas and code they have in place right now and make something truly worthy of a flagship operating system. Instead, we get Windows 8. How unfortunate.
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