2393 posts • joined Monday 3rd August 2009 06:33 GMT
Re: The worst thing, by a mile...
"are those functions that remain invisible until you hover over them "
- this is the "Mystery Meat" problem with bad UI's. Just as you don't know what meat is in some pies, you don't know what some UI elements do until you have to take an action, such has hover over them. Designers love mystery meat as they can make their software look cute. But it's a usability atrocity.
The Ribbon itself has a lot of "Mystery-Meetness" about it, as you have to click on quite a lot of tabs to hunt down a feature that is often represented by a non-intuitive icon or some such.
Re: What is this article supposed to be?
If an organisation is making people's lives miserable in stupid ways, it's not "bashing" to point that out, whether satirically or matter-of-factly. To the Ad-hom-crazed MS apologists here - can you seriously say that MS is making its software more usable, more customisable, more pleasant to work with, more productive?
Death of the sensible UI
This is why, when I have the choice of using MS Office and LibreOffice, I much prefer using LibreOffice. It has customisable tool bars, and I love those tool bars.
As for the ribbon, it maketh Eadon curse like an unpaid harlot. One has to click on tabs a lot and hunt around for stuff a lot, BAH!). And I've seen screenshots of Office 2013 - The work of some very evil designers indeed!
And give me a paste-special-unformatted-text button! LibreOffice does that! OK, I have to customise the toolbar to get it, but it's there! Hurrah!
MS UI FAIL
Ditch Microsoft, use Open Source in the classroom
If there are issues with any gaps, the millions saved on MS licences can fund developers to plug those gaps.
There is NOTHING in computer science that cannot be taught better with open source software at any age.
Use MS services
and you will be watched. And reported. Justifiably, of course!
Real Pervs use a Surface
It goes without saying...
I didn't do it
I didn't mean to do it, it was an accident! Of that, i'm 156.92% certain!
Doomed Microsoft "partners"
The MS desktop bubble is burst, exacerbated by Win 8. Even Lenovo's think pads are becoming progressively worse and locked down.
MS STRATEGY FAIL
@Anons anon - I'll bite, why not.
Didn't you get the memo? It's MS's software that is "too darn awful". People avoid it when they can, e.g on mobile devices and in the server centre when they have serious computing to do. Ribbons... Metro... viruses... bloat... shoddy software and services with epic downtimes...
Open source is Android, Linux, LibreOffice, Inkscape, PostgreSQL, Gimp, Blender, Eclipse, Samba4, Android, BSD, etc etc, it's superb, more than professional-quality stuff, far better than MS drivel and at $0 cost. Remember that, $0! And no licence management, no begging MS salesmen for a discount.
Please Microsoft Sir, I will pay "EXORBITANT" prices, just don't screw me any more, cry the sys admins.
@Dave Bell, for starters Linux doesn't suffer from the endless stream of gigabytes of security patches that plague windows, including remote exploits.
The Linux designers did know best. They built a POSIX based system with a solid security architecture that is intrinsically immune to viruses and other attacks that windows is vulnerable to.
The Linux API's are more modular and are better designed, making Linux an extremely hardened OS compared to Windows.
Windows can't fix its security problems without creating backwards compatibility issues. So it takes a stove pipe approach of endless patching over the cracks.
Re: Useful Service Pack
@msage - others have already corrected your technical misunderstandings and errors.
Let me add that Linux has a huge advantage over Windows, the repository (or repositories if you also use third party repos) updates not just the Linux kernel, they also update all the apps that are associated with the distro.
Furthermore, with windows each program you install has its own update mechanisms, often involving "services" that live in memory and talk to external mother ships.
Requests to Microsoft
.... will only be listened to when you tell their salesmen that you are migrating to Linux.
Otherwise they will milk you for every penny. MS are EXPERT at getting money from Enterprises. Yes, they will always offer concessions, but that's from the tactic of charging a million bucks too much, then *reluctantly* coming down by a million. A bargain! You saved half a million!
Open source systems are the future. You can either jump now and pay the transition costs, or you can be a frog in the slowly heating pot of water, waiting for it to boil before you jump, getting scolded more every year.
Re: Education is how you LOCK THEM IN
@keithpeter - Kudos on teach open source, that's the only rational way to go in education. Free and open software.
"LibreOffice? No go, it 'might confuse people'"
Sorry, I am not sure what you mean by that. I doubt that kids would get confused by an open document format file vs a MS Office doc file, and if they are, then simply tell them the difference. It's useful knowledge after all. But I reckon that it is not the kids that are confused, it is the adults.
It's simple, LibreOffice opens both MS formats and open formats such as ODF. MS Office only opens MS formats (give or take a half hearted hack or two). Therefore the best way to avoid confusion is surely to use Libre Office. It opens and saves in any word processing format you like.
I cannot see how "confusion" is relevant here. The tax payer is having to fork out for our kids to learn a dodgy office suit that is produced by a foreign enterprise, when a superior open source suit, Libre Office is of professional quality, more than adequate to teach school kids. The "No go" attitude is the equivalent of adults putting their fingers in their ears.
Such attitudes are failing our children and costing the tax man a fortune, whilst locking us deeper into proprietary formats and s/w.
"You can get away with charging an obscene amount of money per instance if you feel the need. $500 or even $1,000 per instance – or per user – is fine, "
WTF? More money than sense? You're Fired!
MS has serious problems. It's Windows Desktop Market, already diminished a bit by Apple, is falling and facing new and dangerous competition from Google.
If Windows fails, then Office (which is already looking shaky) fails. With the UK government recommending using Open Source over proprietary systems, they could easily move many civil servants to LibreOffice. Not that MS will allow that to happen - hence it may have to offer huge discounts. But you see my point - MS's revenue stream for Office is under attack too.
The way to increase $$$ on Office is via a subscription model. The way to increase $$$ from Windows is in the Server rooms, where Sys Admins will faithfully tell CEOs that they NEED windows (because they don't have any Linux skills, or are afraid that Linux can do the same job with a third of the man power needed to maintain it).
And there you go, the Enterprise/Public sector will pay through the nose to keep MS profits buoyant. Lock-in means good luck trying to escape now without taking a big short-term hit.
Education is how you LOCK THEM IN
That's why MS is keen for Windows and Office to be "taught" to our kids in schools. Of course our kids should *not* be taught these closed, proprietary products, it's tantamount to giving a competitor an unfair advantage and we, the tax payers, pay for it.
Useful Service Pack
Deletes Windows. Install Linux Mint. Hey presto. *REAL* Service.
By not releasing an SP2 - doesn't that make life difficult for people who will want to install Win 7 in the future - oh i seeeee.....
Re: It is HILARIOUS...
@levente - MS screwed up the previous Xboxen, with billion dollar recalls on red ring of death and other fails.
Also XBox is still in debt, it's total life score is 10 billion bucks in the red, with few profits to offset exorbitant R&D, marketing and hardware failure costs.
Nevertheless the XBox guys are relatively independent of the rest of MS, compared to most departments, so there is hope :)
The issue for XBox though is that consoles are not an area where there is much money to be made. Competition from tablets and other mobile gadgets is making their market shrink. New Linux consoles are around the corner, that will offer customers much more freedom than the present locked down appliances.
These are punished far too heavily, they are being used as a tool by authority to silence those that they do not agree with. Such is the continued Big Brother style oppression that is modern politics.
The Cloud is a software-and-data-freedom NIGHTMARE.
We can only hope that vendors screw up more and more to slow adoption. Most of us that care about our machines want real computers, not thin clients.
Re: What does "works" mean anyway?
@dogged - what FUD? It is well established that Android is just as happy on low-end cheap hardware and on high-end multi-core hardware.
It is also well established that Windows Phone 8 needs hefty hardware to run on. Windows 8 is a resource hog and requires a lot of juice. It's WINDOWS FFS.
There's no FUD about it. Android == Linux, and Linux runs fine even on Rasp Pi hardware. Linux is modular and highly efficient. Whereas Windows is a pig that needs god knows how much RAM, CPU and hard disk footprint, it's bloatware, it's as simple as that.
This is not FUD - Rasberry Pi runs Linux - FACT. Android is Linux - FACT. Android runs on low-end phones and tablets. FACT. There are some "citations" for you. Happy now?
Tizen - more fun
"Tizen? so more Linux fragmentation then...."
Not unless they fork the kernel to make Tizen. Linux being the kernel is not fragmented, you have Torvalds's official kernel - no problem!
Google have learned, for example, that it's better to keen in sync with Torvalds kernel because it's much less work than keeping porting stuff over all the time. This is a lesson learned by all Linux systems engineers, stick to the official kernel and add stuff to it upstream. Or it is too much work keeping up, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of using Linux to save money.
Run for the Hills!
"massive hike in their bill under a licensing change"
MS are losing money (or suffering reduced profits) through their Desktop, mobile, entertainment and office streams. The only way they can prop up their profits is by milking their Enterprise and Government customers.
You will see huge increases in licences for years to come. MS know the game is over, so now they are going to milk their locked-in customers (who became customers through tasty discounts, no doubt) for all they are worth.
Time to go open source and cure that boa constrictor lock-in.
Intel and Cisc
Intell can't fix their CISC addiction. They really need to go RISC but there is probably a lot of internal resistance to change.
Windows 7 is already dated
The last thing MS needs, in it's new push to annual releases of Windows, is for enterprise to "standardise" on Windows 7. This will reinforce MS's reputation as old fashioned. Not that his is bad per se, indeed it can be an advantage. But meanwhile Google and Apple and others are making "modern" operating systems left right and centre, based on Linux for the most part.
ChromeOS will continue to nibble away at the MS market share, as will, at a lower pace, Linux. MS are in dire straits here. Windows 8 was the rabbit they pulled out of the hat, but it is an ugly rabbit and it has myxomatosis.
"So what use is this story?"
The story has a plenty of value. It shows several suspicious things going on.
MS are being sneaky
They do not have a strategy or if they do, it is one that they are willing to communicate, but they really should out of respect to their loyal customer base (those poor masochists)
If you're a developer then steer clear of developing for Win Pho 8 as it will be "ALL CHANGE" time again.
If you're a customer, avoid Win Pho 8 for the same reason. (As well as the other reasons).
In effect MS is "Osbourn Effect"ing Win Pho 8 phones like it did its Win Pho 7 phones. Nokia and other MS "partners" must be chuffed!
Re: Here we go again...
@RyokuMas "I'm beginning to get the feeling that the last couple of months I spent working on Android to get used to Monogame (in advance of setting up for WP8) might be time well spent"
Indeed, and most devs have already jumped ship from Windows to iOS and Android long ago.
Re: So what will happen to...
Indeed. Phone - fingers need large targets but can travel far. Touch UI.
Desktop - accurate mouse but having to move the mouse far is a nuisance.
Phone - content consuming device
Desktop - content creation device.
Making these have the same UI is like attempting to make a sports car and a van have the same design.
It won't work. Never has. Never will.
Re: Because less choice is FREAKIN AWESOME right?
"You know what? When that choice is another OS that's locked down tight as a drum, where the user can only install software that's approved by the software-provider-who-must-be-obeyed - yeah, my giveatoss-ometer fails to get above zero"
Exactly! An additional point is that MS do not compete fairly, it's all about dirty tricks that are anti-competitive. Look how they destroyed Nokia, a once-proud European tech company, to convert it into an MS phone hardware division via Elop, their trojan horse. MS also have stripped Nokia of patents so they can sue Android all the more.
A world without MS competition does fine. In mobile we have iOS, Android (various flavours thereof), plus the upcoming Linux variants of Tizen, Firefox OS and Ubuntu. MS has consistently been a back-stabber and a traitor to their own partners and OEMs and those partners are not willing to dance to the MS tune any longer. Those that still do are struggling.
He was scared of the RED RING OF DEATH
Embarrassing! Being EXPOSED to having an X-BOX.
Oh, the shame!
"Apache and JBOSS run just fine on Windows Servers. Actually with better performance under load than they do with Linux."
Absolute bullshit. Linux runs Apache and JBoss much faster, or at the same speed on lower-specced hardware.
"Java Applications and Applets actually run better under Windows (and MacOS) than under iOS or Android"
Uh huh. Maybe you didn't get the memo, but Android Apps are written in the Java language running on top of Dalvik. Windows cannot even run such apps! And, as stated before, Windows sucks at running Java compared to UNIX-y systems such as Linux and MacOS.
Re: Server side is important too
@mmeier "Sharepoint is alive and well for intranet applications (and VPN based remote access). And there it is a great tool. Unlike Exchange/Outlook it has no alternative yet"
Have you actually used Sharepoint? It takes about 20 seconds to refresh the page, it's a nightmare, the most unusuable intranet/project system I've ever had the displeasure to use.
As for alternatives, look no further than Confluence and JIRA, which MS copied (badly) to make Sharepoint.
No one wants windows cr*p any more. Enterprise apps are now using browsers for the UI, thick clients are pretty rare. And after the Active-X / IE-non-conformance-to-standards lock-in fiascos no one wants to standardise on IE any more. I am working on a system that runs five times faster in Chrome than in IE.
Therefore the serverside architecture for enterprise systems is mainly about producing W3C compliant code that works well in Firefox and in Chrome. To do that, enterprise systems are written in Java with open source enterprise frameworks such as implementations of JEE, Spring, Hibernate, plus the usual POJO's and JDBC and so on. And such systems run fastest and most robustly on Linux servers.
That is the reality of the modern server side. Windows is used to host Exchange, but for real enterprise systems, Linux and Java are the best-in-class, open standards.
Re: MS can dump Surface at cheaper prices, but if they do, they lose their partners.
@mmeier "Linux may work on toy tablets"
By "toy tablets", you mean on 95% of the non-iOS tablets? Linux is a kernel and Android's kernel is Linux.
iOS and Linux combined own the tablet Market. Window's tablet market share is less than 1%. There are a lot of Microsoft fanatics out there but even they, the hardcore MS natural market, are rejecting Windows tabs.
It is easy to see why. There are no apps for Windows tabs, and to use legacy software you need a stylus and/or a keyboard. A tablet that runs windows needs a hefty battery and plenty of computing powers just to run the OS in idle mode (with a virus checker sucking resources in the background. The Windows brand is unpopular and their kit is over priced. Finally the "Modern UI" is the Mother-In-Law of UI's, Fugly doesn't even come close.
Windows Server is a dog
That would be a pet then. A very high maintenance pet, that runs hot, incurs huge vet bills for viruses and requires booting a lot.
CERN use Linux for their servers, so it looks like poor Tux will be demoted from pet to cattle.
Re: Backwards Compatibility
"Microsoft's history is one of remarkable consistency when it comes to backwards-compatibility. It's very hard to imagine it would step away from that policy on mobile phones"
Is this sarcasm? Old DOS software and games no longer work on Windows. Old Office documents do not render correctly on new MS Office suits. Active X, VB6 and Silverlight are abandoned, and .NET is not the preferred dev env in Win8 and certainly not on Win8 mobile devices.
And talking of mobile devices, Win7 adopters were burned with the non-compatibility with Win8. Will Win8 users be similarly shot in the face? "Microsoft's history is one of...."
MS will be tempted to try something new in the mobile space, knowing that Metro UI (Modern UI) has had a poor reception from consumers for a long time now. (Zune/Win7/Win8/Surface).
Samsung is lining up an alternative OS - "Tizen OS". Curiously both Tizen and Android both use the Linux kernel. The success of Linux is remarkable.
Once Tizen devices come out, the wars will heat up further, with Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phone all doing battle with one another, with also the Tizen, Ubuntu Phones and Firefox OS phones moving in to fill certain niches too.
MS used to have three serious competitors - soon it will have six.
Samsung are the new Nokia, when Nokia were murdered by Elop/MS, who hoped that the glister of the Nokia brand might shift Windows phones (FAIL) Samsung took over their market. A brand will only get you so far, it seems! And Samsung are doing what Nokia WERE doing, putting together their own alternative to Google, Apple and MS - hence Tizen. Nokia were doing this with Meego but Elop killed that project.
Samsung have shown how to grow a mobile business to market dominance. And they did it using relatively open technologies.
The casino gets an awful lot of "free" publicity out of the scam. As does a certain hollywood movie.
I reckon this one goes all the way to the top...
Re: Re:Microsoft has deliberately balanced the Surface's availability
@mmeier - "They know their job and their customer base"
From another reg article - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/15/samsung_windows_not_selling/
"Samsung mobile chiefJ.K. Shin: "Smartphones and tablets based on Microsoft's Windows operating system aren't selling very well, there is a preference in the market for Android. In Europe, we're also seeing lackluster demand for Windows-based products"
Samsung seem to know their customer base.
Re: MS can dump Surface at cheaper prices, but if they do, they lose their partners.
@mmeier - "And I doubt Fujitsu needs MS "funding"."
And why is that? Windows tablets sales don't even show up on the market share radar, so manufacturers would need a bribe, er, I mean investment, to make their biz model work.
Let's look at it a different way. MS desperately needs to be a player in the mobile market for 3 reasons
1) Excellent profits for the winners.
2) Their competitors are growing powerful from mobile profits
3) With no MS control over mobile, the mobile players will increasingly attack MS's desktop turf with impunity
4) People increasingly realise that MS are irrelevant and unwanted
MS knows that people are getting used to using computers (mobile systems are increasingly powerful) that do not run MS software. Those systems don't need anti-virus etc. People are learning that a non-MS world is sweet. And this will mean people - and corporations - will increasingly seek out alternatives to windows on the desktop.
MS has always got away with making low quality products and forcing them onto the market. Look at the half-assed Metro interface for example, with its manifold failures, both in the fundamentals and a thousand little details. "Good enough" does not cut it any more. People expect masterpiece operating systems, even on lower-end systems.
So when people see a half-assed UI on a system as expensive as the Surface computers - and indeed on any windows tablet - they think, meh! And they buy iOS or Android or Blackberry. That will be true no matter how many token windows slabs are out there, pretending to do business.
Competition is a b*tch!
Re: MS can dump Surface at cheaper prices, but if they do, they lose their partners.
@mmeier My turn. Let's take a look at the real world instead of the Mmeierverse...
You can betcha that most of those trinkets are built due to contractual obligations - and/or funded my MS one way or another (just as MS funds Nokia to build Win Pho devices for it). I very much doubt these gadgets are making money.
My point is, the more MS drop the price of the Surface, the more that they undermine their OEMs.
The market share of these Win8 tablets is a rounding error. There is no buzz. There is no momentum. All the action revolves around Android and iOS.
MS can dump Surface at cheaper prices, but if they do, they lose their partners.
@Tony Paulazzo - OEMs/partners are the issue. It is impossible for OEM's to make a reasonably priced gadget that runs a power and resource hungry pig such as Windows 8. Add on top the Windows 8 licence tax and OEM's are unable to compete with Android. If MS discounted the cost of their own Surface gadgets then they would price their OEM partners out of the market all together. Already OEM's are reluctant to compete with MS in the tiddling Windows mobile market.
MS cannot lower prices. Nor can the OEMs. So all they can do is buy market share through intense marketing, but this is failing also, because Windows 8 kit cannot compete against Android, or iOS kit.
MS is selling Surfaces to its core market only
This line is quite astounding: "Redmond has sold just around 1.5 million of the devices to date"
The reason it is astounding is not because it wasn't predicted, I predicted that Surface RT and Surface Pro would both be failures from long before they were launched. The reason it is astounding is that the numbers are even lower than even I was expecting. Microsoft have spent literally billions of dollars promoting these devices, so we are looking at more than a thousand marketing bucks spent per sale. I was imagining that, with MS throwing so much money at buying a slice of the tablet market share, that so much money bought so little.
What's even more shocking is the "canibalisation" actually extends to other Windows Tabs created by third parties. There can be little doubt that these MS core customers, by buying a Surface, have therefore not bought an alternative Windows slab.
All of this is discouraging. MS always claimed that Win8 would be successful on mobiles if only the OEMs would make hardware that was more suited to it. So MS have paved the way. But it turns out that their effort has failed, and failed dismally. So now MS cannot blame shoddy, half-assed hardware any more. So what is there left to blame? The software.
The market has rejected Windows 8 in the mobile space. And in my opinion, the main reason is because they have rejected the "modern" UI. The secondary reason is that the MS / Windows brands have negative connotations. Other reasons, such as inadequate app store content and walled-garden closed environments /closed source s/w would also play a part in deterring power users and geeks.
Lastly, I wouldn't mind a wager on the return rates being extremely high for these Surface slabs. That must deter salesmen from flogging them.
SURFACE EPIC FAIL
UNIX gives you the finger
Unix has had "finger"-ing since the 70's.
Maybe Unix should sue Samsung for copying...
V V Cool! Nice One, Mr Register
Excellent! Get kids learning computers using Raspberry Pi's and we will create a generation of geniuses. Get kids off the creativity-deadening Windows platform and onto Pi's for all our sakes! Teach them REAL computing.
Eadon's law of Cloud Software
*Real* software has an infinite life (ignoring laws of physics).
Cloud software (service) is mortal and has a half life which is based on this formula:
Service Half Life = kNFWSIRV / H
k is a constant.
N = Number of users
F = Fanaticism of users
W = Wisdom of the company
S = Stability of strategy of the company
I = Income generated by the service (directly or indirectly)
R = Profitability of the company
V = Volatility of the profit of the company.
H = Ongoing maintenance costs of the service
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