back to article Windows 8: We kick the tyres on Redmond's new tablet wheels

The surprising thing about the Windows 8 Release Preview just delivered is not how much has changed from February's Consumer Preview, or even the Developer Preview from September 2011, but rather how little. Microsoft is set on delivering this hybrid tablet-and-desktop operating system pretty much as-is, despite widespread …

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mdc
Boffin

Windows 8

As the person responsible for the original concept and a significant amount of the design work for Longhorn (which became Windows Vista), including Aero Glass, if anyone should have a problem with Metro it's me; but I don't.

The initial premise for Glass (as it was called back then, the Aero UX sprung up around the Glass model) was not - as most people believe - to provide eye candy for the end user. Instead, it was an attempt to pull the window chrome away from the content and make it as unobtrusive as possible. The whole point of the glass effect itself was to allow the end user to make better use of their screen real-estate by allowing them to see content beneath the active window.

The first concepts did exactly that - completely transparent window borders with floating titlebar controls, however, this proved distracting to the end user as when a window behind had a lot of text or otherwise "busy" content, the user had to fight to recognise the window caption. It was then that we decided to apply a blur filter to the surface beneath, still allowing recognition of the content beneath but without being distracting to the user. Many, many trials were done to ascertain the appropriate amount of blur, incidentally. Desktop compositing and the DWM window manager were born out of a desire to make this as smooth an experience for the end user. Things like Aero Peek and hover thumbnails were also designed to fit this goal of making the chrome less obtrusive.

Some of my other concepts promoted a VERY different approach to the user experience, much more in line with what is seen today in Windows 8. In fact, the premise for the shift in the desktop paradigm goes back as far as the early Blackcomb concepts first demoed by the MSN services division in 1999; it has ALWAYS been felt that the desktop itself is a rather clunky way of providing content to the end user, which is - after all - the purpose of computing devices, be they traditional desktops, laptops, phones, or even set-top boxes. Windowing systems were designed to allow users to work on multiple pieces of data in quick succession, and yet over the years usability studies have found that users rarely manipulate more than 2 documents simultaneously.

A radical shift away from the desktop metaphor WAS considered for Longhorn, but rejected for numerous reasons; primarily due to the scale of the undertaking that was already planned for Longhorn. Various features got dropped over the course of the development - NOT the ones that were complained about by the public and the media at the time - but other technologies first proposed in Cairo and later carried forward to Windows 7 - and the focus slowly shifted towards the HAL, networking and the Aero UX, luckily for myself.

One of the other reasons for keeping the traditional desktop paradigm was Mac OS X. There were rumours that Apple would be making the switch to x86 and there was always a possibility that they would open OS X up to non-Apple hardware, in either a full or limited capacity. It was felt - most notably by Jim Allchin - that the familiarity of the Windows interface would offer people a strong incentive to upgrade to Vista, rather than exploring alternatives. Linux has never been considered a credible threat due to its inaccessibility to the average user, but OS X already had a niche - but highly vocal - following and was well-known by the public. The possibility of it being available as a competitor, which opening the OS up to generic hardware would have started, was a compelling reason to keep the familiar experience for those afraid of change.

Now, however, it's become clear that both OS X and Linux have been unable to provide a credible alternative to the general public, and so the plans for a content-centric interface were finally put into place. While some have suggested that Windows 8's interface is "touch-only" or "based on Windows Phone 7", that couldn't be further from the truth. Windows Phone 7 was instead a pilot program - in a relatively low risk sector - for the designs originally suggested for Blackcomb, which have now found their way into Windows 8. At the time, touch interfaces hadn't even been conceived of - remember, back then touch sensitive screens were Resistive nasties that required at best a stylus, or at worst jabbing at them hard with a finger or pen.

The fact is that Metro just happened to be easily accessible for touch devices, and that has been touted as one of its benefits; it is NOT, and never has been, the original aim of the design. The aim of the design is exactly the same as Aero was - to take the chrome away from the content, and allow the user to focus on what they're doing rather than unnecessary clutter. A perfect example of this is internet Explorer on Metro; in its default state, all you see is a webpage; chrome CAN be pulled up if the user requires, but is otherwise absent. The majority of Metro applications are like this - in fact it's part of the Metro UX specifications.

This has always been the way that computing has been going; customisation features have subtly been taken out of each successive version of Windows, as users have - on the whole - moved on from eye candy and instead focus on productivity. This isn't specific to the software sector; even social networking has experienced this shift - from the cluttered, flashing, marquee-laden MySpace profiles of 2003 to the clean, customization-free Facebook profiles of today.

Personally, I see Metro as a good thing; it allows me to do my work without distraction, and I'm just disappointed that I wasn't the one who did the design work for it this time around.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows 8

Welcome to the Register stranger - I see you joined today.

Is this just part of the Metro-hyping exercise ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows 8

@mdc good to hear a voice of reason here.

I'll add to background that going much further back to the origins of the Windows desktop at 3.x and beyond in late 80s and 90s, there was no sense at the time this was meant to be the end of the story. Indeed compromise was the name of the game trying to build a usable PC system with what would now be considered laughably low hardware capabilities. A lot had to give. I recall interesting discussions in Redmond on what next. We'd all seen tablets, gesture input etc. in movies and TV long before Stargate Atlantis previewed the tablet concept big time a decade later then capacitive made for a comfortable touch experience.

Twenty years on I also see Metro as a positive development, if a little late in coming. The classic Windows desktop was never intended to be effective on small screens. Metro is true to the fundamental tradition of Windows of enabling applications to run on a wide range of systems with considerable OEM freedom in creating and innovating compatible hardware.

However IMO the question how to work more effectively with large screens remains unanswered. Metro 1 works well for some apps even on a 28" monitor but for the most part Windows 8 relies on a virtually unchanged desktop UX for many productivity use cases. I hope Windows 9 allows for some fresh thinking here and the developers are not discouraged by the vocal conservative critics of 8.

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Stop

Re: Windows 8

Thanks for your point of view.

But if you think it makes everything all right --- you couldn't be more wrong.

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Re: Windows 8

Thanks for the propaganda, but I've actually tried using Metro and I can honestly say that in 26 years of computing on a vast range of operating systems and hardware it's the most retarded, unintuitive, illogical, unpredictable and downright obstructive desktop interface I've ever had the misfortune to use.

If you want to experience the metro launcher done much less badly, try E17's everything launcher... about the only positive thing I can think of to say about Windows 8 is that the CLI (i.e. powershell) is actually quite usable these days, which is just as well. Metro is no doubt fine for those with very low IQ, or those who only want to use their PC as a giant web-browsing tablet, but for people who want to do anything more, it's quite astoundingly bad.

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FAIL

Re: Windows 8

Once it was just version 4's software being shit now its every other one..

The techies are going to VM this abortion and run something else.

I still get support emails from around the world for Win2K, Win98se,& XP, with the current Win7 calls also. Vista calls dropped like a stone after Win7 (no calls after 4 months). New software running on Win 8 ? well my buddy is developing his new version of control software running on a android phone/tablet and a custom USB dongle/interface. So Microsoft have 'sort of' got the idea but for the wrong device.

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Re: Windows 8

"I hope Windows 9 allows for some fresh thinking here and the developers are not discouraged by the vocal conservative critics of 8.."

I think discouraged by the sales will be the point to see in a years time.

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mdc

Re: Windows 8

Not quite - been a LONG time reader (since the Reg first opened) - but never felt the need to comment on anything before!

@Thad, I'm not saying everything's hunky dory in Windows 8; on the contrary, there are features absent which I myself am a frequent user of on Windows 7, and the look of traditional application's tiles on the Start Screen is quite frankly shocking... even on the traditional desktop we can have 96x96 icons - why are we stuck with 48x48 on the Start Screen?

Also, the decision as to whether or not a tile can be single or double width should lie with the user rather than be limited by the application creator; I would much rather have a double-width IE icon leading a column of pinned sites than have reside next to one of them, but then again I'm OCD and I like things "just so".

I've since moved into a different field entirely (photography) and therefore no longer have any input into the design process; but I'm still - on the whole - supportive of what we're getting in Windows 8. There's just a few additional bits and bobs I'd like to see added, feature-wise to make things perfect, and there's still time before RTM to add them. Failing that, there's always service packs and I daresay Stardock have something in the works regarding Start Screen customization if all else fails.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Failing that, there's always service packs"

Failing that, there's always Linux.

I expect somebody knows how to get Libre Office to print an address on an envelope and not across it.

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Silver badge

Re: "Failing that, there's always service packs"

"I expect somebody knows how to get Libre Office to print an address on an envelope and not across it."

Certainly I've never had any problems printing envelopes from Libre Office (although my Samsung laser, excellent in other ways, does tend to put a crease in the envelope)

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Bronze badge

Re: Windows 8

An interesting post, and you've shed some light on the thinking behind Metro. I still think Metro is terrible on the desktop anfd a huge mistake, though.

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FAIL

Re: Windows 8

"....it has ALWAYS been felt that the desktop itself is a rather clunky way of providing content to the end user, which is - after all - the purpose of computing devices, be they traditional desktops, laptops, phones, or even set-top boxes."

This ridiculous statement is the reason for the Metro problem. Delivering content is only one small use of a computer, albeit one that makes a lot of people a lot of money. I don't see content delivery as the primary function of an operating system though.

Many people want to continue to use their computers as general purpose, programmable tools for problem solving, content creation, data organisation and analysis etc...

The vast number of ways in which people can make use of computers can't ever be encompassed by a single non configurable UI paradigm. A highly configurable environment must surely be better for general purpose computing?

However there is another problem here. If a large OS making corporation were able to make the perfect OS interface, what would they do next? The primary focus is not to create the best OS in the world it is only to make money. Sadly for them and us making money relies on people consuming, and SW companies have to find ways to make us consume more frequently to keep the money machine turning over.

For MS as long as the OEM's pay to pre-install the OS on boxes, they have made their money.

I moved my aging parents to linux a couple of years ago and have had a much quieter life since - although I had to switch them from Ubuntu to Mint when the unity nightmare automatically installed on their machines. They need the discoverability of a menu / window driven interface. They are not inclined to try swiping the mouse in various parts of the screen experimenting to see if it makes the computer do anything.

Even someone with no qualificattions or experience in UI design can see that there are many situations and users for whom Metro is utterly unsuitable.

How is it for accessibility BTW?

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Linux

The Year of Linux on the Desktop?

There, I said it first!

Actually, Linux Mint 13 (with added Cinnamon) is pretty good. Making the slightly-crap Gnome 3 look like the tried and tested Gnome 2.

Personally, I'll be sticking with Windows 7, but if I had to make a choice between Windows 8 and the penguin, it would be the penguin for me every time.

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Linux

Re: The Year of Linux on the Desktop? Not yet.

Linux Mint13 offers a choice of Cinnamon or MATE.

I can't say anything about Cinnamon: one failed attempt to run it on another Ubuntu version is no basis for any kind of a judgement. I expect I will be taking a look.

I have installed MATE on top of Ubuntu Studio 12.04 (which comes with xfce, so no unity/gnome-3 grumbles anyway) and have a nice "proof of concept" that I can almost entirely reproduce the look, feel and minor tweaks of my 10.04/11.04-classic desktop.

With Mint or Ubuntu we have all the choices we need, and, above all, the absolute freedom to make them, even if that was not exactly Mr Shuttleworth's plan. With the rest of the Linux world out there, there is no reason why any of should be sitting in front of a desktop that we find difficult, unintuitive, or even unattractive.

I'm a committed Penguin. If you start poking things under my finger nails, I'll cough to still having a bootable XP partition, but it is gathering dust, and the layer is getting thick. I don't even bother to keep my data on NTFS partitions, just in case, any longer.

But Linux in the office?

OK, so I have never liked Word for Windows (I have Office 2000: there never was a need to upgrade past that), but still... I wasted an hour two days ago trying to get Libre Office to print a bloody envelope. MS Word may be horrible (I'm not entirely prejudiced: Excel is brilliant!) but unless the Linux world can come up with stuff that gets the real work done, better, easier, faster, than the MS Office tools do, then no, it is not going to be the year of Linux on the desktop. Not yet.

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Re: The Year of Linux on the Desktop? Not yet.

I'm forced to use Office 2007 at work. The novelty of playing "hunt the function" wears off fairly quickly. A fine example of change for change's sake. Just like Windows 8, perhaps?

The problem with adoption (or lack) of Linux on the desktop is driven by the fact that central IT departments are often either too scared or insufficiently knowledgeable to do anything other than shove in Exchange Server and Sharepoint. I work for a small employer without an IT department (but loads of highly qualified techies), but for reasons I don't fully understand we pay for outsourced Exchange and a Sharepoint CRM system. Copies of Zarafa or Zimbra and SugarCRM on one of our own servers would do the job nicely, and require very little maintenance.

I think the key is that the Microsoft way has always been easier for management to understand and justify. However, there might be a sufficient head of steam built up by dislike of Windows 8 (and allegedly Windows Server 2012) for some organisations to take that leap of faith. Who knows?

Or maybe they'll just buy everyone a new Dell or HP tablet :-)

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Silver badge

Re: The Year of Linux on the Desktop? Not yet.

Apart from any other considerations Linux on the desktop is only going to happen in appreciable numbers amongst non-technical or enthusiasts WHEN pre-loaded machines are readily available AND that's NOT going to happen due to pressure from Microsoft via discounts.

That said I use nothing else for all my computing ( 1 laptop, 1 netbook, 3 workstations and 1 server) and can do everything I want from editing 1080p/50 video, RAW photo manipulation, programming in a variety of languages, scientific modeling, pcb design and drafting and the usual browsing, writing and spreadsheets.

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Bronze badge

Re: The Year of Linux on the Desktop? Not yet.

I don't understand. Why would MS discounts affect a vendors decision to put something cheaper than discounted on a computer?

Surely they are not installing Linux for some other reason. Perhaps support would cost too much, too many machines would be returned, or installing in Linux on vast numbers of machines would create easy targets for hackers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Year of Linux on the Desktop? Not yet.

"Why would MS discounts affect a vendors decision to put something cheaper than discounted on a computer?"

Where have you been ?

If vendors sell machines with anything other than Windows they have to play MORE for Windows

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Facepalm

Re: Downvoting Chemist.

I don't understand.

The guy says he can do everything he wants to, and quotes a wide variety of applications. How can such a post be unpopular?

Oh! Of course... the Microsoft representative!

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Bronze badge

I have used Win 8 Release candidate and the only reason I could think for Metro on the desktop is that Microsoft have bet the back on tablets and they are trying to kill off the Desktop PC to spite Apple.

However, in retrospect, that is stupid and paranoid, so maybe Microsoft actually think its a good idea, after all this is the company that employed Ray Ozzie after he inflicted Lotus Notes upon the world, and promoted him to CTO and Chief Software Architect before coming to their senses. If they can do something that stupid they could genuinely think Metro a good idea

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N2

I think I understand whats going on

Microsoft, have over many years dictated the pace of change of hardware via their relationship with Intel, with the advent of devices, powered by other processors the playing field has changed.

I've often considered it a better solution to replace a PC complete with new OS, as opposed to upgrade an existing one (that word 'upgrade' when applied to Microsoft always sends a shudder down my spine), but as I see it, this operating system completely buggers your PC which is oh so 'last year' & Microsoft sees its future in hand held type devices - what ever they are.

Thumbs down, perhaps but just wait and see...

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Has this Jensen character

ever heard of Stockholm Syndrome?

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Happy

It's Deja Vu all over again

Most of you whippersnappers are too young to remember Windows 1.0. It came out in 1985. It had tiled windows (just like Metro - not the overlapping windows that we now all expect and take for granted). I know because I ran that bitch on a Tandy 2000 on top of DOS 2. In retrospect, it was a rather lame response to Apple's Mac (IMHO) which came out the year before (1984). Take a hard look at the Windows 8 logo. It's almost identical to the old Windows 1.0 logo. Redmond is messin' with us.

BTW, I'm typing this with IE10 on Windows 8 build 8400. My personal use aside, there's one thing that I am absolutely certain about, viz Metro along-side a crippled desktop will NEVER fly in the corporate world where I work. Neither will cloud based computing (the security Nazis will never allow it). If Microsoft does not have a better offering available by the time Windows 7 expires, there will be a head-long rush of these techno-nerds to other platforms on the desktop (Linux already has a significant presence, BTW). It'll be like setting a fire inside a crowded theater.

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Trainwreck

Final ascendancy of marketeers over engineers unleashes disaster. The dual monitor screenshot drives the point home nicely.

What a mess.

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Trollface

Windows 8 is so bad...

...that people won't even bother to pirate it!

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Anonymous Coward

April Fool

And the calender 'app' on it isn't even right. It's June now, Steve, not April 1st

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Trollface

Ahh, Microsoft, I remember them.

Didnt they used to be quite popular?

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Anonymous Coward

Trying to justify murder by saying that it's as good as rape

"...to the clean, customization-free Facebook profiles of today."

This attitude sums up exactly *what* is wrong with UI designers today. We, the plebs, DO want customization to the max. We are all different people. Some of us find one way of working easy, others find it hard. I am forced to use Office 2007 at work and if I want something not on the current ribbon, I have to switch to another ribbon, use the function, and switch back, then re-orientate myself before proceeding. A menu avoids this nonsense. Facebook timeline forces you to keep switching left and right and left and right to read what outght to be a linear flow, y'know... like a *time*line actually is.

Oh and the argument about the desktop not being the ultimate UI (at least until a Star Trek computer human-like AI UI becomes possible) is so ridiculous I can't be bothered to ridicule it.

AC because my employer's views are not always the same as mine

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FAIL

Who here was won over to Windows Me and Windows Vista?

"Harris describes how every new version of Windows has had vocal opponents, but that users are won over in time."

To which I say, "Huh? Windows Me and Windows Vista."

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Coffee/keyboard

mdc - "Linux has never been considered a credible threat due to its inaccessibility to the average user,"

Funny that, the "average users" I've tried on various Linux versions normally report a much better experience for "average user" - web browsing email and not picking up viruses type average goals.

I've got an install of 8 here, have wiped it a number of times when I want to actually use the hardware for "not average" tasks like installing drivers for something that worked last year or not screaming every few minutes.

Those average users tried on Linux often eventually go back to Windows, why because their on-line bank only supports IE, nothing more fundamental. The failing is not in the OS it's in the MS infested business world where a spreadsheet is a an "Excel" Text document "Word".

Windows 8 will be born into a world of more grown ups, the average user is getting more discerning and understanding of what they want to get done, forcing this Chimera on everyone is a desperate act and we will only move to the fabled "New OS land" if we all drink the potion at once.

Queue visions of Balmer ranting at those wanting to leave the room.

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Silver badge

"their on-line bank only supports IE,"

Using only Linux and banking with 3 banks and 3 other financial institutions I'd be interested in knowing who the retard banks are. I've NEVER come across any site that insisted on IE and that include usage by friends and family who also use Linux.

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Vic
Silver badge

> the "average users" I've tried on various Linux versions normally report a much better experience

Likewise.

I've had quite a few users too scared of change to try Linux, but once forced to, they take to it with ease[1].

Vic.

[1] I have one exception to that - he "needs Photoshop". I have shown him how to do the things he wants to do with Gimp, but he can't get past the fact that the keystrokes are different. Every time he destroys a computer, I show him the price of buying Photoshop, and he decides to give Gimp another go. Then one of the other local lads turns up with a pirated copy, and he's back on Photoshop. Until the next cycle...

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Sil
Meh

SP1: enable users to choose their experience

On the tablet side Windows 8 is miles ahead of ios and Android. Interestingly enough it may not translate into market shares if all the user want is to read (web / app content) or play very limited games.

On the desktop side where Windows 8 will get a big share of the market no matter what, users may become irritated by design decisions that makes sense for tablets but not necessary for desktop. tradeoffs for battery life against multitasking, for touch easyness against information density and mouse/keyboard usage.

Also the all or nothing policy, with next to no interaction metro/desktop, even seen in dev tools, libraries and runtime, seems dubious.

Sometimes Metro doesn't make sense at all. If you want to use Skydrive for any significant amount of files, metro is very bad because of poor information density and difficulty with handling files. The explorer integration makes much more sense and is faster and easier to use productively.

The deep integration of cloud services such as live login, parameters saving and skydrive integration is incredibly useful, as are optimized boot process and optimized code base.

Many Metro apps are very attractive but I think MS went overboard with async programming. Sometimes an app takes so much time to configure itself (mail, contacts) that one can only think that it crashed - although it hasn't, and one tends to open and configure the app again and again and again until it seems to work.

On the opposite after a few hours' use I have seen a disturbing tendency: metro apps that do not work anymore and do not give any error message that could help diagnose problems. They just start and close after a few seconds.

The worst ever design decision if you ask me is the dual IE with Metro's bastardized IE, incapable of running plugins, with very limited flash support and no support at all for favorites. I am quite sure it will confuse and enrage users in no small amount.

All in all I think MS did an amazing job but a few decisions it took may very well come to haunt them and cost them dearly, with desktop and productivity as a second class citizens in Windows 8. A few windows policies such as optimize for touch / optimize for keyboard & mouse, optimize for battery / optimize for multitasking, optimize for readability / optimize for information density would have gone a long way to make windows 8 the most dramatic upgrade ever.

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Bronze badge

Chemist,

it may not have been the web site specifically, maybe "You must install this windows software or MAY not be covered for unauthorised losses" etc. FUD bank style.

I didn't dig, one advantage of them chosing to go back to Windows is that I wash my hands of it because Windows is so advanced for the "average user" technical support is not required, unlike Linux.

The periods o clarity are becoming longer though and the "average user " can install Linux in less time than Windows these days.

But anyway this is off topic we''l be seeing posts sprinkled with the words "I'm exited..." when the states wakes up.

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Anonymous Coward

"Windows is so advanced for the "average user" technical support is not required, unlike Linux."

USE THE JOKE ICON !

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Anonymous Coward

Quite unbelievable.

I find it incredibly shocking Microsoft is including no method to completely disable the Metro interface in Windows 8. I like Windows as it currently is (Windows 7). I have the desktop setup as standard (at home anyway, i only really play games). If Windows 8 forces me to use Metro though i will be avoiding it like the plague as i suspect a lot of people will be. How can the Microsoft consumer researchers be completely unaware that nobody likes Metro as a desktop and more to the point who are they asking? Because i can tell you, they aren't asking people who like to get things done. They are presumably asking a flock of magpies whether they "like the shiny new thing".

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Linux

This stinks of fail

This is just too radical a departure for the great unwashed when it comes to windows. Win 7 is an outstanding OS. MS should not be releasing this product as Win 8, it should be Windows Metro and specifically for the tablet market. The X86 version should only be a metro skin for Win 7. Windows 9 should be where they attempt to pull the desktop and metro together. Win 7will indeed have a loooooong future.

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Forcing the awful MetroUI on everyone is just plain insane..a big fail!

Common users won't be in a rush to buy lame MetroUI apps. Just like WindowsPhone is a failure due to MetroUI and got a 4-5% of smartphone market at best.

MetroUI is the worst interface design ever seen on any computer to date. It's the most retarded thing that anyone in the business could have done. It's Microsoft committing suicide.

Those geniuses, designers/programmers/managers, inside Microsoft that came up with the awful MetroUI should just be fired immediately. But Microsoft won't do it until they see their revenues decline heavily. And this time is going to happen.

Windows Vista wasn't bad, it just was released with too many bugs in an alpha stage to do beta testing on paying customers. But that's it. The Aero interface was cool and sound, the OS still gave users full usability like the previous ones. And the Service Packs then fixed Vista almost completely. Although it was too late because Windows7 got released and it was and still is a much better OS overall.

BUT Windows8 due to the insane MetroUI it's a real nightmare for anyone.

Power users, common users, professionals, system administrators, system engineers, developers/programmers... it's going to be a huge mess for everyone.

Productivity due to MetroUI just disappears and Windows8 is turned into a farce, a silly joke.

Microsoft managers are so out of mind that they are pushing the MetroUI garbage on the server/enterprise Windows8 releases to and they really expect professionals to waste time on MetroUI, switching back and forth between desktop and the silly MetroUI childish screen over and over just to do some basic things.

Not even playing games is going to be easy on Windows8 due to MetroUI anymore. Things are so messed up that the majority of normal users will have an hard time understanding what is going on.

Microsoft so desperately trying to mimic Apple success it's going to be its death instead. Microsoft risks going bankrupt on Windows8 failure.

It's amazing to see such a big Corporation going down like this and committing financial suicide destroying its own product without listenting to its own customers. They seriously think that professionals will buy Metro apps... so maybe a full screen childish Autocad Metro version ? Or a Photoship Metro app ? And so on and on ?

Without the option to disable the MetroUI garbage Windows8 is just unusable.

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"Unfortunately there is still no option to forward an email."

Then I must have a build from the future! My consumer preview has the ability to forward mail....

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This post has been deleted by its author

Mushroom

MS will face the rage of millions

It will be a rage that will burn hotter than a thousand suns. Bob 2 will die or MS will suffer more embarrassment than the tragedy that Bob 1 was. Yeah there is lots to like about Windows 8 under the hood but Bob 2 is worse that CE ME NT all put together. So now it will be Metro CEMENT? or

CEMENT Bob 2

"He sleeps with the fishes."

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Fisher Price Windows

Windows For VTechs maybe? Whatever, like all the shite versions of Windows the only copies MS will sell will be to vendors. As soon as IT departments get hold of the pre-installed machines they'll repair them by doing a quick re-image. I guess I don't know why people get upset over something they have no intention of buying. We will wait for MS to fix most of what is wrong, improve the things they got right and release a version with a Start Menu and a way to stop the widget circus from appearing in the middle of the screen.

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Silver badge

Ribbon Menu

"Harris describes how every new version of Windows has had vocal opponents, but that users are won over in time."

Ribbon menus have been out for ages but still generally despised. There is a difference between winning people over and people stop complaining because the company doesn't care or even listen.

Windows 8 will try to force a touch based interface onto normal PCs which don't have touch screens and will be univerally hated. People will stick to older operating systems to avoid it just like Vista.

M$ had the opportunity to make something good but have selected all the worst features over every OS out there and blended them together to make a complete dog's breakfast

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Re: Ribbon Menu

I was thinking it was more of a forced mating between iOS and MS Bob 1.0 and all the worst features of both was the result =)

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Vista 2.0

Tried this on a test PC at work and could only stand it for 10 minutes its so bad.

May-Jo Foley's blog entry here http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsofts-windows-8-release-preview-whats-in-and-whats-out/12826?tag=mantle_skin;content indicates Microsoft intend to stop hacks to bring back the Start Menu.

While some can draw parellels with the demise of Program Manager in favour of the Start Menu this really is a retrograde step.

With Vista the interface looked nice but the 'engine' of the OS was neglected while with Windows 7 they fixed that but with this they've just got it all wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

"More significantly, you can now display the Start menu on any display"

-Like setting the primary monitor in older versions of windows?

"Harris describes how every new version of Windows has had vocal opponents, but that users are won over in time"

-Worked for Vista

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