back to article Windows 8: Microsoft's tablet-desktop still painful to swallow

Microsoft's Windows 8 is now in the hands of developers and IT administrators subscribed to MSDN or TechNet. They are the first people other than close partners and fearless torrenters to try the final code. Anyone expecting major changes from June's Release Preview, or concessions for those missing the old Start menu, will be …

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  1. Monty Burns

    a whole hour?

    This has been posted nearly an hour and no "Win 8 Metro is crap, i'm outa here"rants mostly from people who have not actually used it and are jumping on the 'hate train'? Fair enough, go "outa here". Its a free choice.

    Some of us do use it and have done for some months, in my case on a Samsung Series 7 slate (its also a full laptop) and on this form factor, (accepting that it is a transitional O/S) it works REALLY well.

    I'll be buying this O/S with my hard (yeah right! Honest...) earned cash and replacing the preview I'm running.

    1. Monty Burns
      Facepalm

      Re: a whole hour?

      My mistake. Turns out the reg posting times are an hour behind. So 8 minutes!

      1. dogged

        Re: a whole hour?

        Don't feel bad, 8 minutes is plenty of time for the usual trolls.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: a whole hour?

          You certainly didn't need 8 minutes, so you are right.

          1. Jim in Hayward
            Angel

            Re: a whole hour?

            Typical that a pro-Microsoft guy would post rant about folks that don't worship the same entity he does. It may have take 8 minutes for others not of his liking to post, but it took him all of 15 seconds. LOL

            1. Monty Burns

              Re: a whole hour? @Jim

              "Typical that a pro-Microsoft guy would post rant about folks that don't worship the same entity he does."

              Actually, try re-reading. I said that anyone is free to chose which ever O/S they like to and they should. Like it or not (you may not care to admit it), board are full of people who have very strong opinions on a subject having no actual experience on that subject..... "don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes".... if only these people would TRY Windows 8 first, then the opinion they have would carry a lot more weight, specially the bad ones!

              "It may have take 8 minutes for others not of his liking to post, but it took him all of 15 seconds. LOL"

              Neither makes sense or is funny ..... ? In fact, I was the first to post, by luck, nothing more and before people with a diferent view.... so what does that mean? And what does the fact it may or may not have taken me "15 seconds" to post have any bearing on it?

              Far from a "MS fanboy", I use Android having tried MS phone and found out it didn't do what I needed it to do. You see, I chose what I use over its functionality versus my requirements. My requirements may not be yours.... it's a simple concept that's lost on a lot of people, and some people turn this gap into a pile of unrequired hate that others like to jump on for the hell of it.

              I am quite impressed though, 44 down votes, that's got to be a record? Next time i'll post something popular (but not based on experiences or fact) and see if I can get more than 44 up-votes..."I hate MS! You SUCK" should do it?

              1. Nuke
                Facepalm

                @Mony Burns 06:35 - Re: a whole hour? @Jim

                Jim said :

                "It may have take 8 minutes for others not of his liking to post, but it took him all of 15 seconds. LOL"

                Monty replied :

                "Neither makes sense or is funny ..... ?"

                The point (or joke) is that you were being so sarcastic about the tendency of anti-MS guys to post fast with their shit, but you were even faster with your pro-MS shit.

                A well-aimed foot shot by yourself I would say.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: a whole hour?

          And 8 minutes is more than enough for the legions of Microsoft astroturfers and shills.

          1. dogged
            FAIL

            Re: a whole hour?

            And 8 minutes is more than enough for the legions of Microsoft astroturfers and shills.

            Negative comments outweigh positive comments about Windows 8 on the Reg boards by about 10 to 1. Downvotes for positive comments are rarely less than 10 greater than upvotes.

            So tell me, Barry, who's Legion and who exactly is attempting to sway public opinion? I suggest that regardless of your protestations on behalf of your obvious employers, somebody wants Windows 8 to fail. Whether they pay you to say that it already has in EVERY SINGLE WIN8 ARTICLE are not, I leave to the reader.

            1. Jim in Hayward

              Re: a whole hour?

              doggies...i mean dogged....get over it. these boards, none of them, sway public opinion. ever. period. but they do sort of reflect public opinion. in that no matter how many people microsoft pays to support their warez they are running an order of magnitude behind those who choose rather than "slavishly" adhere to them.

              fact is, microsoft can try every tactic, including mimicry, but will fail to gain support. microsoft is toast and does not have the talent needed to regain their momentum to maintain their monopoly. soon, within 5 year i think, that monopoly will break and microsoft will have morphed into the new Apple. again. just copying others stuff. sad really.

          2. Should b Working

            Re: a whole hour?

            So someone has a different opinion to you and they're immediately an astroturfer or a shill?

            Come out from behind your mask AC and contribute to the debate.

      2. Bob Vistakin
        Facepalm

        Re: a whole hour?

        Thank fook you weren't using azure on a leap year.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ?

      It is a schizophrenic OS, doesn't quite know where it is, where it is or who it is.

      1. Giles Jones Gold badge

        Re: ?

        I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have the classic desktop view if Microsoft were brave and dropped support for older apps. But they are the kings of backward compatibility.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: ?

          >But they are the kings of backward compatibility.

          Aka 'the kings of not forcing millions of people to retrain at great expense and inconvenience and forcing them to to get dozens of different suppliers (some of whom may now be defunct) to talk to each other to fix legacy systems that are currently working perfectly well".

          But I'm not sure - are you being complimentary or derogatory?

          Whatever the reason, like it or lump it - there's still a lot of companies and probably billions of dollars worth of business that relies on the 'traditional' Windows desktop and it's applications. Some even still rely on MSDOS.

        2. John Robson Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: ?

          Any why not do backward compatibility with a VM - heck, they could even do "window exports" from the local VM to the "host desktop" - a la X forwarding which I use quite often.

          I'm sure RDP supports (or could support) such behaviour very well.

          Makes backward compatibility rather easy doesn't it - and once the facility is in place you can use it next time you need to "break" something

        3. Kwac
          Thumb Down

          Re: ?

          So you've never had to replace a piece of hardware/software because Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7 didn't support it?

        4. henrydddd

          Re: ?

          In a sense, backward compatibility is not all that bad. Many corporations develop their own software. The cost of just upgrading the hardware and licensing is a good chunk of change. But costs could be prohibitive if in house software needs to be rewritten. The bottom line for Windows 8 will be will the benefits outweigh the costs involved. Upgrades for the sake of upgrades went out with the 386

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: a whole hour?

      Indeed, on a small form factor where you can touch the screen it looks like it would work really well. On my desktop machine at home with 2 27" monitors I'd wager it wouldn't, for example having to move the mouse into a corner to bring up menus, that's a long way to move the mouse to do that and my setup isn't the worst case, at work its typical to have machines with 4 monitors....

      They really are shooting themselves in the foot here. Still, on the upside, they really are shooting themselves in the foot!

      1. dogged

        Re: a whole hour?

        I used the Consumer Preview (and just upgraded pretty painlessly to to the release version) on a development machine with three monitors. I'm actually typing on it now, on Firefox, on the "new" desktop.

        It's very simple. It's very easy. Unless you're a Sheldon Cooper "Change is always bad" type, there's nothing to worry about. There was a curve - not a learning curve, more a familiarity curve. "Learning" would be a huge exaggeration for what's basically just a launcher. As the article says, hit the Windows key and all becomes clear.

        I don't feel that "I don't like how it looks" is an acceptable argument over actually using it. We're supposed to be technicians here, not four year old girls.

        1. Monty Burns

          Re: a whole hour?

          I agree Dogged, we are not 4 year old "mines pink" here.....

          As for desktop, i've currently got a my desktop (well tower really) in storage that runs 3 x 21" Iiyama multi-touch screens, as soon as I get it shipped to my new address in the middle east I will be installing it on them! Surely, this can be a big step in the right direction for big setups like this, rather than having to move the mouse across three (or more screens) you can just touch! :0)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: a whole hour?

            "I agree Dogged, we are not 4 year old "mines pink" here....."

            And we REALLY like Wondows 8 because we're big, tough techies.

            And to PROVE it i'm running 18 monitors, which I can reach across and touch (mice are for wimps).

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Monty Burns

              Re: a whole hour?

              Its not about willy waving but if that's how you see it then I suggest you're the one that has an issue, not me, its not my intent and that's clear when taken in context.

              I am stating that I have 3 touchscreen monitor system at home and in THIS situation, touchscreen is often more useful than a mouse. If I'm working on the right screen with the mouse and I want to hit something, say "pause" on Media Player, which is on my left screen, its far more efficient to just touch it than wheel the mouse across three large screens.

              All to often people don't grasp the concept that a touchscreen is NOT to replace a mouse, its to complement it. Once this gets grasped touchscreens suddenly take on a much more significant and useful role. But then I also appreciate its also my preference, based on a few years of experience, and may not be the same for everyone who get no closer to a touchscreen than the phone they use. I doubt, if tech goes the way I see it going, I'll ever buy a non-touchscreen monitor again. Now, where are those Kinnect laptops!?

              What I don't get is all the hate from a lot of people. If you don't like it, don't buy it! XP isn't going to stop working just because 8 is out and neither will 7.

              Mind you, I suppose, for some, the hate train is an interesting way to while away a boring day, if life's that boring....

              1. JP19

                Re: a whole hour?

                "Its not about willy waving" No it's about arm waving,

                I have 2 30" screens and edge to edge is about 4 inches on the mouse mat or 5 feet with my finger.

                More efficient to let go of the mouse, move my arm 3 feet to poke the screen (leaving a finger mark) and find the mouse again than moving the mouse 3 inches back and forth? My keyboard has a pause button anyway.

                As for the hate - gees Microsoft are exploiting their effective monopoly of the desktop to force a user interface on customers with the aim of promoting their efforts in the phone and fondleslab market. If Win 8 retained a start menu and Metro could be disabled what would there be to hate?

                Regardless of some people liking the feel of Microsoft's knob in their behind, I hate being told to bend over.

                1. Monty Burns

                  Re: a whole hour?

                  "I have 2 30" screens and edge to edge is about 4 inches on the mouse mat or 5 feet with my finger.

                  More efficient to let go of the mouse, move my arm 3 feet to poke the screen (leaving a finger mark) and find the mouse again than moving the mouse 3 inches back and forth? My keyboard has a pause button anyway."

                  Funny that, you seem to miss the point about being right handed, mouse on right screen and left arm reaching to left screen.... see, now letting go of the mouse! And good for you, so does mine (keyboard) but I was trying to use a simple example.

                  "Regardless of some people liking the feel of Microsoft's knob in their behind, I hate being told to bend over."

                  Again, seem to have missed out my point about voting with your money and going to another OS, there are plenty of free ones or you can stay with your existing one, no one is FORCING you to put Windows 8 on your PC. Horses for courses and riders!

                  1. Paul Shirley

                    Re: a whole 8min where only MS fanbois seemed to care

                    Comical. The MS damage control team were 8min late to post and failed to consider that none of their supposed enemies could be arsed getting in ahead of them!

                    Sometimes a 10 to 1 disparity in comment/voting means more than a big astroturfing budget ;)

                  2. JP19

                    Re: a whole hour?

                    "FORCING you to put Windows 8 on your PC"

                    If you run applications which are only available on Windows you are FORCED to put Windows on your PC (or dick around with Wine and get lucky). There are many applications only available on Windows which is what gives Microsoft its effective monopoly of the desktop.

                    I am not being forced to buy Windows 8, if I want the improvements over Windows 7 I am being force to take Metro. Same story for decades, to get the bits I want and require from Microsoft I am forced to accept the whole incestuous mess. Metro is the latest and most obnoxious example of incestuous mess and it is there and incestuous for the benefit of Microsoft not its customers.

                    1. Luther Blissett

                      Re: a whole hour?

                      8 minutes. That's about the time it takes for light to get here from the Sun (give or take the odd Deferred Procedure Call of nature). Coincidence?

                    2. Mikel

                      Re: a whole hour?

                      @JP19: "If you run applications which are only available on Windows"

                      ... Then you did this to yourself. Freedom is a choice.

              2. Killraven

                Re: a whole hour?

                "What I don't get is all the hate from a lot of people. If you don't like it, don't buy it! XP isn't going to stop working just because 8 is out and neither will 7."

                The problem here is that come October, it's the only Windows OS I'll be able to buy.

        2. Ant Evans
          Thumb Down

          Re: a whole hour?

          I like the way it looks. I just don't like how it works.

          But then I'm not very bright. I tried several of the nifty new (circa 2003) windows key shortcuts (mentioned below) in vain, until I realised: I'm in Unix.

          And I can't reach my screens for the fondling part. Are my arms too short? Maybe I'm just not cut out for modern computing.

          Am I a freak? MS must be hoping so.

          1. Jim in Hayward
            Thumb Down

            Re: a whole hour?

            Not really in Unix. MS even had Xenix (a Unix copy) back in the day, but all they can do is try to copy without a Xerox, just a carbon copy. Less tech, more damage. That's MS

            1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

              Re: a whole hour?

              > MS even had Xenix (a Unix copy)

              No. Xenix was an actual Unix, a licenced AT&T edition 7.

              1. roger stillick
                Thumb Up

                XENIX by MS

                My old Portland Dentist Office ran their stuff on a Radio Shack 16 bit business system for many years... he claimed it never , ever , failed...they ran Peachtree Accounting with a medical package...

                He sold the business and retired in 2000, and the thing was still running...

                Some MS stuff actually worked... MSDOS 6.0 still is a great terminal platform to talk to intelligent network elements that use a serial port...ANSZI graphics plus DOS made Commodore 64 work so well...

                Windows were a diversion from actually making computers work and the MS-INTEL alliance would have worked anyway as they complement each other's development...

                XENIX worked as well as anything MS does now...just couldn't handle graphics...

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: XENIX by MS

                  AFAIK they bought it in from SCO

      2. Big_Ted
        FAIL

        Re: a whole hour?

        So moving your mouse to a start button is not a problem then ?

        And why bother, just hit the windows key.....

        1. Monty Burns

          Re: a whole hour? Big Ted

          Because sometimes your not always after the start menu so the windows key doesn't always do what you need....

          for "lots of screens" systems or even 2 screen systems, touchscreen really work and work well - at least they do for me. Granted though, not many % of people have multi-screen setups, and even less touchscreen multi-screen setups.

      3. Carvega

        Re: a whole hour?

        Actually, it is obvious you have not tried the preview version. Windows 8 includes IMPROVED support for users with multiple screens. Not only do you NOT have to move your mouse across multiple screens to get to the Charms if you don't want, EVERY monitor now includes a taskbar which you can set up to be mirrored or independent.

        Despite all of the complaints regarding the Metro interface, Windows 8 is hands down the best Microsoft OS they have released.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: a whole hour?

      It's a good, honest review that hints at what many people will do anyway: wait for SP1 to include the things that didn't meet the deadline.

      As for your post - please continue to mutter quietly to yourself. If you like, I'm sure some of us will club together to keep you in White Lightning.

    5. jim 45
      Thumb Up

      Re: a whole hour?

      I too have used it and basically liked it. It's a transitional release, no secret about that, but it does move things forward to a gratifying extent.

      I like the "Modern" UI. Really, the only thing I can't forgive is the egregious waste of screen space - i.e. the surrendering of 25% at the top just to display a gigantic "Start". Come on guys.

    6. Volker Hett

      Re: a whole hour?

      Good for you, I have to get used to it because at some time in the future I have to support it. Like I did with every Windows since Windows 2.

      As a transitional OS which is not intended for general use it's ok, if I had to replace our companies desktops in the next six month it would be a disaster.

      Since we're still hard at work replacing XP with Win7 and Office 2003 with 2010 we'll probably be fine for the next 5 years and then Windows 9 will be out, or something totally different.

    7. Kiwi_MarkLFC

      Re: a whole hour?

      Actually loser, unlike you stupid smelly spotty greasy virgin nerd fanboys who cream their pants over everything their favorite vendor does, instead of actually critically analyzing anything, we have used the win 8 metro ui on a desktop and it sucks arse big time. Maybe because all you do is play wow with all your other loser virgin friends you don't realize just how shit it is...but for those of us that actually do REAL work it's complete and utter shite and makes our daily tasks a considerable deal more difficult!

      No one no where, who actually works in the real world, is ever going to only use a touch device! Anyone who doesn't understand the desktop is here to stay, along with the mouse and keyboard is beyond retarded!

  2. auburnman

    Interesting to hear they're now doing Windows to go, though this could come back and bite them in the arse; If it lowers the inconvenience of having a non-Windows OS on your main system when you can kick up a Windows build at will from USB when you really need to then we might see another few (little) dents in their massive market share.

    1. Monty Burns

      ... yeah ... maybe

      but then maybe its only limited support, just chucking ideas out there but maybe things like DirectX won't be supported? Dunno,.... just floating ideas.

    2. Robert Sneddon Bronze badge

      Speed

      Windows-To-Go on a memory stick, even a USB 3.0 one, will top out at 50 MB/s and that's through a polled data transfer system. My desktop has a last-generation SATA 2 SSD giving me about 300MB/s DMA read speeds for the OS (which happens to be Win 8 RC) and programs, and modern commodity SATA 3 SSDs are close to 500MB/s data rates which creates an even greater disparity.

      WTG is a useful "spare wheel" option but it's not a replacement for having an OS properly installed on a fast HDD. Besides why would MS' market share be affected since WTG still requires a paid-for licence? I see the same arguments elsewhere that Win 8 can be run in a VM on an Apple or Linux box which means, somehow, that Steve Ballmer will be living in a carboard box under a bridge next year since MS will inevitably go bust.

  3. Piro

    I actually LIKE aero

    The transparency has an airy and light feel to it, and the new Metro look, while attempting be uniform, is just plain ugly. They could at least leave in the option. This is Windows, for crying out loud, that for many versions shipped with hideous, and I mean hideous, colour presets for your look built right in. Why change it now?

    1. Annihilator
      Meh

      Re: I actually LIKE aero

      They had to get their performance improvements somehow... I suspect disabling Aero probably had something to do with it.

      1. Piro

        Re: I actually LIKE aero

        But the actual hardware acceleration is still in there, and a transparency effect is absolutely trivial for any modern or several year-old GPU. Just saying, there should be an option..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I actually LIKE aero

          Microsoft is in full-blown 'tablet and touch device whoring mode' now, and I can see how disabling Aero fits into their strategy. I think battery life is enhanced without Aero. Enhanced by how much, I don't know.

          1. Luther Blissett

            Re: I actually LIKE aero, but MUI is mooey on stone tablets

            I suspect the decision on Aero was determined by useability considerations outdoors. Punters would just shoot themselves in the foot with it, and blame M$.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I actually LIKE aero

        "They had to get their performance improvements somehow... I suspect disabling Aero probably had something to do with it."

        You've raised my point here, does this mean we're now finally back to XP style performance?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I actually LIKE aero

      Am I the only person to routinely switch off aero amongst other eye candy to give the computer a chance to do something useful somewhere? Microsoft were so 'look - this is great' over aero a few years ago, now it's gone and good riddence

      1. Not That Andrew
        Facepalm

        Re: I actually LIKE aero

        OK, that's just retarded, they remove Aero, but they don't return the Advanced Appearance Settings so you can get rid of that stupidly fat border padding without diving the registry, which was only put there so you could see the Aero effects.

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: I actually find Aero visually confusing

          One tinfoil hat way to look at Aero is as the excuse MS needed to fundamentally change driver model and that's the excuse they needed to freeze XP at DX9. Gamers would then migrate rapidly to Vista/Win7 for DX10 and games would swiftly drop XP support forcing migration (which didn't happen).

          Well the hardcore gamers have moved, the casual ones replaced their PCs and the diehard XP users aren't budging, there's no longer any need for the ploy. So it's dropped with no way back.

          A more realistic theory: WP7/8 devices aren't really up to running something like Aero and Win8 has to be hoobled to that level to avoid making the phones and tabs look bad in comparison. It's the whole Win8 story, an OS downgraded to promote a different product few will ever own.

          Wonder what would happen if Android took advantage of it's shiny new GPU accelerated 2D to add bling. A mad rush at MS to resurrect Aero?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The truth is, in my opinion, it works rather well once you learn some new tricks, such as dusting off the Windows key on the keyboard that you have never used before."

    What a load of twoddle. How's the weather in 2006, not seen you since Vista?

    1. Andy ORourke
      Meh

      I also liked this bit......

      " now you'll find most things in Windows work pretty much as before, for desktop users."

      So, you can make it work like windows used to in the olden days so why, for the love of all that is holy didnt MS just have a tick box in the installer, I don't know, maybe "Use Windows Clasic interface" or some such.

      I havent tried Windows 8, I probably won't till service pack 1 (although I think the X-box interface is suppose to be "like" the new UI in Windows 8 so I have used it in that respect, left me feeling a bit "meh")

  5. Mike Judge
    FAIL

    MUCH worse than WindowsME.

    Window's ME problem was that it didn't really improve on Windows98 very much, and the areas it did improve, nobody was interested in, it also came out too soon and nobody wanted to pay again.

    Windows 8 is MUCH worse. MetroUI (or whatever it's now called) is now the default user interface, and it frankly sucks donkeyballs on a desktop screen. It's a mobile phone UI, and that's where it should have ended.

    Yes you can go back to an intentionally gimped Aero-less "proper" Windows UI, but you have to switch back every time, and it's nowhere near as good as the Windows7 experience.

    So why upgrade? So Microsoft can sell you new Metro apps? That's the only reason I can see....

    1. frank ly
      Meh

      Re: MUCH worse than WindowsME.

      "... and it's nowhere near as good as the Windows7 experience."

      For me, the Windows 7 experience on my new laptop was nowhere near as good as the XP-Pro experience on my old laptop. Having said that, for the past year the XP-Pro experience consists of getting 'essential' updates every time I turn my old laptop on. It's now running far slower than it used to, which makes me very suspicious.

      I'm now developing the 'skill' of using my Asus Transformer Pad (which has its own problems) for as much as I possibly can and am seriously considering using my old XP laptop to install and learn how to use Linux.

      1. Paul 135

        Re: MUCH worse than WindowsME.

        I also hate the way the Windows 7 taskbar encourages you to have numerous pointless big icons across the bottom of your screen (a horrible import from Macs). The KDE taskbar is superior and a much more efficient use of screen space.

        Instead of tweaking the Windows 7 UI, Microsoft have instead gave up on improving it and instead decided to make everything more complicated by adding additional UIs.

    2. Gerhard Mack

      Re: MUCH worse than WindowsME.

      Windows ME's problem was that it was not designed to benefit the consumer.

      Windows 9x had a feature that allowed DOS programs to suspend Windows and take over the system. It was there to keep compatibility with some old DOS based software but was primarily used by games. The problem for MicroSoft was that BEOS discovered that it enabled a workaround to MS' "no dual boot" cause in the OEM agreements since BEOS was simply being loaded as an app from the desktop (then reboot back into windows when you are done).

      I doubt it was any coincidence that right after several OEMs started installing BEOS on the desktop that MicroSoft rushed out a new version of Windows whose only real change was to disable that feature and since OEMs can only install the latest version of Windows the BEOS loader was effectively dead.

    3. BobChip
      Linux

      Re: MUCH worse than WindowsME.

      I can only agree. In a nutshell, I am being offered a "new" MS Windows which can, with some effort, be made to work like the familiar windows interface we have been used to for decades. However, it does not allow me to make the "old" UI the default, so that whenever I switch on I have to navigate away from Metro (or whatever it is finally going to be called) before I can start doing any productive WORK. Never mind all the other pros and cons listed in other posts here, this alone is enough to make Win 8 a total non-starter, at least in my work environment (CAD type design and graphics).

      As an enterprise user making long term decisions on future software and hardware needs, my recommendation is that we stick with Linux. If we do need Win to run any legacy or similar software, we'll virtualise an old copy of XP or Win 7. But I don't see us ever going back to MS for anything

  6. Silverburn
    Facepalm

    438 per cent better, but that is for drawing rectangles

    ..and that's important to someone, I guess.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: 438 per cent better, but that is for drawing rectangles

      Should speed up Solitaire...

      1. Wensleydale Cheese

        Re: 438 per cent better, but that is for drawing rectangles

        "Should speed up Solitaire..."

        Only if the cards don't have rounded corners.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: 438 per cent better, but that is for drawing rectangles

          Fine- Minesweeper it is, then.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 438 per cent better, but that is for drawing rectangles

            Nobody has love for Freecell? Hearts?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 438 per cent better, but that is for drawing rectangles

      its clearly a secret plan to make it easier to steal Apple's design patents!

      1. Gerhard den Hollander

        Re: 438 per cent better, but that is for drawing rectangles

        only if they draw the rectangles with rounded corners

      2. Shady

        Re: 438 per cent better, but that is for drawing rectangles

        Yes, - but are they rectangles with rounded corners?

        1. DJO Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: 438 per cent better, but that is for drawing rectangles

          All rectangles have rounded corners if you magnify them enough, the radius might be measured in ångström but it is still rounded.

    3. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: 438 per cent better, but that is for drawing rectangles

      "up to 438 " - does that mean anything at all?

      'at least...' might have some value, but 'up to...' ?

      1. Chika
        Trollface

        Re: 438 per cent better, but that is for drawing rectangles

        Rainbow Dash: But is it 20% cooler?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    Small article correction...

    "Microsoft's Windows 8 is now in the hands of developers and IT administrators subscribed to MSDN or TechNet. They are the first people other than close partners and fearless torrenters to try the final code."

    No; Windows 8 is now available to developers and IT administrators who are subscribed to either MSDN or TechNet.

    I have a TechNet subscription myself, can confirm the availability (released per 15/8/2012) but that's it. I have no intention what so ever to grab and try this since I don't use touch enabled devices.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Small article correction...

      "Windows 8 is now available to developers and IT administrators"

      Nice try amigo, but I note that Tim didn't say Win 8 was in the hands of all developers and IT admins ;-)

      C.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've got to pretty much echo the article. I want to like Windows 8, why? Well I've found it very fast and very stable. I haven't seen a blue screen. This was looking like an actual replacement to my XP machines. However the Modern UI is awful, it randomly opens apps in Modern or the desktop. Which is USELESS as all my bookmarks are in the other version!

    Microsoft, please listen, 90%+ (Guess) of your users still use a keyboard and mouse. We don't need a clunky, odd, badly thought out front end. The start menu was more than adequate. My perfect OS would be the Win 8 back end with the XP front end. I don't need fancy visualisations, I need my computer to be fast, snappy and reliable. Also please consider us IT professionals, we don't need Windows to protect it's self from the us, we know what we are doing. The pop-up (slide-in) menus are a pain as everytime you go for red X or the File menu, a Windows menu insists you didn't want that and that you really wanted a Windows menu.

    On a final thought, the bloody shutdown button is now buried under a right hand slide menu, then settings, then power, then shutdown. In this power-usage obsessed world, that is just plain madness.

    Windows 8 UI, written by many, overseen by no one.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Volker Hett

        Even better in Server 2012

        If your logged in you can't shut down the server, but when you're logged out anybody can shut down the server :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "On a final thought, the bloody shutdown button is now buried under a right hand slide menu, then settings, then power, then shutdown. In this power-usage obsessed world, that is just plain madness."

      And that's after you scroll right horizontally to see that menu.

      Horizontal scrolling is fine on a tablet but I hate it with a passion on a desktop.

    3. Studley

      I can't believe the shutdown function made it through usability testing, knowing how much Microsoft does.

      The most palatable methods seem to be:

      1. Ctrl-Alt-Delete, and click the Power button in the bottom-right of the lock screen

      2. Use Win-R to open the Run prompt, and run shutdown -f -s -t 0 (or create a desktop batch file to do the same thing)

      3. Use the physical power button on your machine (you can teach Windows to do a graceful shutdown for this via Control Panel > Power Options > "Choose what the power buttons do")

      I'd love to see some Microsoft metrics which state which of these methods is used most often, and how that compares to the magic invisible charm menus.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        can't you alt-f4 it till everything closes then once more to bring up the "shut down" prompt? I thought that prompt had disappeared from win7 till I discovered this method...

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Paul Shirley

            "I do also like the suggestion above to just use the power button on the computer."

            Sadly my wife and I keep our PC's well out of arm reach behind sound blocking pieces of furniture, so that's the least appealing option.

            Anyone checked if the sleep buttons on many keyboards will do the trick on Win8? (A button I'd completely forgotten on mine!)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        New Microsoft religion: Start button bad, tiles and charms good!

        It's blind faith, not usability. Apologists will demand that you start using the WinKey for the most rudimentary operations.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No more BSOD in Win8

      FYI, there's no more BLUE screen of death in Windows 8. It's just a purple-turquoise-teal error screen with a dorky large emoticon.

      And the new error screen has been dumbed down, there's much less technical information. Good luck troubleshooting and running diagnostics.

  9. Andrew Baines Silver badge
    FAIL

    Sorry MS

    This is the first time since ME that I've not installed a new OS on my PC on the day of release. That includes the server versions too.

    I fought with it for a couple of weekends on a laptop, then gave up.

    Maybe in a month or so?

  10. PeterC

    Im getting really tempted

    Well I mainly used Ubuntu up to version10.10 (loved it) got disenchanted with the whole unity thing and spent some time trynig all sorts of OS out. Now run a Win7/Ubuntu 12.04 desktop but have become very accustomed to not being wholly tied to any specific OS in the last couple of years and hence ive found Win8 to be not that challenging to get used to and use. Ive been running Win8 release preview on my 6 year old laptop and its fast.

    To be honest Ive been really impressed with Office 2013 preview and cant wait to try it out on a tablet - to see how it handles as a cut down version for mobile client work. Office 2013 and Win 8 really do go very very well together - most impressed ive been with MS for many years. Win7 has been a decent enough desktop for sure though.

    I always thought i'd get a tablet when eventually Ubuntu had one out and then partner full time with a Ubuntu desktop and run a virtual of Win7 for legacy apps, but this tablet seems to have stumbled for whatever reason, does anyone actualy know why?

    I dont bother with a smartphone, mainly as where I live doesnt have much/any 3G coverage so I stick to any old GSM mobile and have been trying to decide which tablet to go for. Well after trying Win 8 Im really considering heading to Asus and getting their 810 win * transformer book their bringing out. Will cover my legacy apps, new office 2013 in both desktop with keyboard and tablet when not docked with clients out and about..... its really, really tempting....... all they need to now is bring out some kind of ARM based 7 inch screen tablet too and I'll *ditch all my bitches and make the switch* to Win 8.......... wow cant believe im thinking that, but I reckon its gonna happen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Im getting really tempted

      This is what made it all clear to me:

      "...the availability of paid apps... new touch-friendly interface... perceived overall performance boost on the desktop... excellent Hyper-V virtualisaton... Storage Spaces for pooling hard drives... much faster reconnection to Wi-Fi networks; ... running Windows on a USB device without touching what is installed on the host PC... the ability to mount an .iso CD/DVD image file with a double-click."

      Have you noticed these are all popular features of Ubuntu? Software Center... Unity... better performance,.. Xen and KVM hypervisors... UnityOne... quick wifi connections... liveCD / liveUSB / wubi... .iso mounts.

      Microsoft is trying to catch up to Linux.

      1. PeterC

        Re: Im getting really tempted

        Absolutely agree.... just wish Ubuntu has gotten some hardware sorted re tablets/phones and to be honest if it cant then simply release the code to flash our own devises ... but this just seems like its not happening for whatever reason.

        1. Not That Andrew

          Re: Im getting really tempted

          Hopefully by SP1 or 2 Microsoft should have their Unity/GNOME Shell clone sorted out.

  11. hitmouse

    I trialed Windows 8 for a month on my desktop. I've used Windows since W/386 so quite accustomed to change, but this was the first time I'd experienced dramatic backwards steps in ergonomic and cognitive handling.

    1. I found my wrists hurt from moving the mouse around a lot more to get things done.

    2. Where the new and old UIs clashed was really messy

    3. I don't want my attention taken fully away from my desktop view when I consult the start menu. As soon as that happens I start losing the context of what I'm doing there. It's very jarring.

    When I use a device in tablet mode I have rather different expectations and usage patterns. But even with Windows 8's performance improvements, it's not worth having it reduce *my* performance when I'm at the desktop.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Clean install....

    A clean install of Windows is generally a pleasurable experience. 6 months down the line, maybe less so. Lets see how 8 fares in the long term. As for the UI, I think M$ is just coping the open source crowd (again) by pissing people off, a la KDE, Gnome, Unity...

  13. greensun

    The problem is, every time they bring out a a new OS, they don't fix stuff that was wrong or missing in the previous versions, they just put a new front end on and say it's faster.

    It is 2012, Windows is 27 years old but it can't do PDF thumbnails, Explorer can't show you the size of a directory and device management is a mess. For example.

    That is, frankly, pathetic.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can't speak for Win8, but most of that is there in Win7. I have pdf thumbnails in Explorer from Acrobat Reader and the status bar (if you turn it on) shows the directory size. But, yeah, device management is a mess.

      1. greensun

        PDF thumbnails do not work out of the box in Windows 7 and the add-ons to enable it don't work in Windows 7 64 bit, or Windows 8:

        http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35505

        PDF is a very popular, open format, MS's operating systems should be able to support it out of the box and it is pathetic that they cannot.

        Folder size is not available in an Explorer column, hasn't been since the hack for XP that enabled it was broken by Vista.

        And you agree that device management is a mess.

        So I can't see how you make that "most of that is there in Win7" ?

        1. hitmouse

          It's pathetic that Adobe make it open to everyone except Microsoft who they shackle mightily in taking advantage of this "openness"

    2. hitmouse

      "every time they bring out a a new OS, they don't fix stuff that was wrong or missing in the previous versions" like a lot of car models sadly.

  14. Greg J Preece

    Ah, I see the new trend is to write off everyone who doesn't like the horrific new interface as being "old fashioned" or "afraid of change." Nope, that's not the case. It's just bloody horrible to use on a desktop.

    I think everyone can agree that under the hood there are improvements worth having. So why, for the love of Mithras, is there not a big option in the control panel called "turn that Metro shit off"?

    1. Wibble
      Coat

      There probably is an option to "turn that Metro shit off" but nobody can find it.

      1. Lennart Sorensen
        Unhappy

        I thought microsoft specifically has said they deleted the start menu code in windows 8 so there is no way of undoing their stupid UI change.

        Everything other than the new UI is very nice, but the Ui changes are just a deal breaker. Hidden things are bad UI design on a desktop and those are now required knowledge to use windows 8.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "I thought microsoft specifically has said they deleted the start menu code in windows 8 so there is no way of undoing their stupid UI change."

          Yes, reminds me of how after the British Government closed great chunks of the railway network they wasted little time in physically destroying it so any future Government couldn't reopen it.

    2. JP19

      turn that Metro shit off

      "So why, for the love of Mithras, is there not a big option in the control panel called "turn that Metro shit off"?"

      Because the whole point of Windows 8 is to force that Metro shit on their captive desktop market to create an instant market for Metro apps and (dumb) users who want Metro (and those apps) on their phone and fondleslab.

      There is no technical reason why Metro couldn't be optional but it is not because Microsoft don't want it to be and what they want has always been more important than what their customers want. They are the shitiest company in the world. I hope this abusive and exploitive ploy explodes in their face.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Well.................

    I was among the 'haters', "never use it, what a mess, fail." etc, etc.

    But after installing it on a desktop and using it for half a day, I've completely changed my opinion.

    I actually like having the two interfaces, the 'nameless one' and desktop. You can set it up so that one comlpliments the other.

    Now I don't miss the Start button all.

  16. TheOtherHobbes
    FAIL

    MS lacks clever

    Also, MS is addicted to drama and nonsense.

    While Apple has its issues with iOS/OS X - file sharing between iOS and OS X continues to be a nightmare, and iCloud only kinda sorta works as it should - the Apple strategy of splitting off a new touch OS and then slooooowly merging it back with the desktop OS over a good few years makes a lot more sense than this panicked me-too mess.

    MS could easily have made Metro/RT the default for touch, added better touch and gesture support and improved internals for Win 8, then gradually worked out a good compromise for the desktop between Metro and something-better-than-Metro for Win 9.

    Instead we get a bolted-together Frankenstein OS that is going to baffle desktop users and turn them off future updates. (Takeaway point - if Win 8 fails it won't just fail on its own, it will prejudice buyers against future versions.)

    I suppose Win 9 might still happen, but right now Windows is a burning platform. Turning off Aero ('It's so much faster!') and improving the internals aren't going to cut much ice with punters when the UI makes them work harder for no good reason.

    Also, never put graphic designers in charge of UX, because they think their job is done once a UI has bright colours and sans serif fonts - and they have no frickin' clue about actual usability.

    1. dogged

      Re: MS lacks clever

      MS is addicted to drama and nonsense

      right now Windows is a burning platform.

      That level of hypocrisy means you forgot the "Joke" icon.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Windows key... that you have never used before."

    Not much of a power user, are we? Don't tell me that in 14 years you haven't wondered whether that key serves functions that might actually be useful?

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: "Windows key... that you have never used before."

      My keyboard doesn't have a windows key :/

      I suppose I could buy a new Unicomp keyboard, but I'd prefer to keep my Model-M.

    2. blcollier

      Exactly - Re: "Windows key... that you have never used before."

      WinKey+R = Run prompt (most commonly followed by typing "cmd" for a command line)

      WinKey+E = Windows Explorer

      WinKey+Pause/Break = System Properties

    3. Greg J Preece

      Re: "Windows key... that you have never used before."

      Amen. WIN + R and ALT+F2 are among my most used keyboard shortcuts. (ALT+F2 is KDE's.) WIN + L gets used all the time, as does WIN + D, WIN + TAB, etc

    4. Paul Shirley

      Re: "Windows key... that you have never used before."

      That 14 years taught me that hitting the Win key in a game can crash the game, sometimes taking Windows with it. Even recent games don't always recover from it. Since I only stick with Windows for gaming the muscle memory is strong and avoidance automatic ;)

  18. Badvok
    Windows

    I can't wait till they integrate Kinect so I can start doing the 'Minority Report' like stuff - this is going to be so much better than using either a mouse or a touch screen!

  19. Medium Dave
    FAIL

    Never thought of myself as "fearless torrenter" before...

    ...I may have to get a badge made up.

    Having tried the RTM for a few days, all I can say is: It's still wank.

    The Tifkam/desktop schizophrenia still reminds me of a digital Jekyll and Hyde (I wonder which one is the sociopathic killer?), Tifkam's eclectic collection of default factiods is still fucking annoying ("Welcome to your new operating system. Here's the weather for New York! And travel info for Paris! Hey, Julian Assange is trending! lets go over to the stock market...") and, of course, it still looks like fruit salad vomit.

    And that's without going near the built-for-touch-pity-you-can't interface and the what-is-this-hierarchy-you-speak-of organisation.

    It's like getting your leg humped by a hyperactive puppy that has just eaten your tax return and shat in your slipper: It's really cute unless you have to live with the little fucker.

    1. blcollier
      Pint

      Re: Never thought of myself as "fearless torrenter" before...

      "It's like getting your leg humped by a hyperactive puppy that has just eaten your tax return and shat in your slipper: It's really cute unless you have to live with the little fucker."

      You, sir, win one internets. And a pint on me.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Never thought of myself as "fearless torrenter" before...

      The big button thing works really for phones/tablets with a dozen apps.

      Install visual studio on win8 and every tiny little exe gets its own button on the start page.

      So you get to find all those Jet-DB resource compiler systools that you never used while you are looking for the actual IDE.

      1. Medium Dave
        Devil

        The mere prospect of coding on W8 fills me with a deep, nameless terror

        “There are horrors beyond life's edge that we do not suspect, and once in a while man's evil prying calls them just within our range.”

        -- H.P. Lovecraft, The Thing on the Doorstep Desktop

      2. Paul Shirley

        Re: Never thought of myself as "fearless torrenter" before...

        "The big button thing"

        Been wondering how it will handle my current Start menu, with its 76 nested folders organising several hundred things. In particular how using Win8 search will help me find the correct ReadMe among the 20 odd on there and other common named files.

        I know they can be forced into a hierarchy under the Metro menu, but that's still a click for every nesting and a whole lot more scrolling in random directions than the simple click, zigzag right, click of the Start menu.

        My phone needs to work that way because its a small screen with an inprecise pointing device and it's frustratingly inefficient compared to my PC. Microsoft, sharing the frustration with everyone.

  20. Kingprawn
    Meh

    Like every other Windows OS

    Wait for SP1 for what should have been the initial release version.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    finally

    a well rounded and balanced opinion, perhaps there is hope for this site and something from MS.....oh wait a second, just seen the comments pages, you can pick your authors El reg but not the mentality of your readers

  22. dazedandconfused
    Linux

    Thank you Microsoft

    Microsoft may have done me a huge favour with Windows 8. I've been wanting to move to Linux for years (and already use it on all but my main PC) but the big stumbling block has been gaming. As Windows 8 looks like creating some movement in the Linux game development world this may be the best thing to happen to Linux.

    Once again, thank you Microsoft.

    1. PaulR79
      Coat

      Re: Thank you Microsoft

      Windows 8 - the biggest and most extravagant advert for Linux ever created. Very nice of Microsoft don't you think?

  23. stucs201

    Better way they could have integrated tablets into the desktop enviroment

    1) Allow multiple 'metro' tablet/phone style apps to run in separate windows (preferably resizable, but fixed size would be ok)..

    2) Provide a 'full-screen' button on the frame of windowed metro apps if people don't want them windowed.

    3) Leave the start menu in place.and everything else alone.

  24. Tony Paulazzo

    >The problem is, every time they bring out a a new OS, they don't fix stuff that was wrong or missing in the previous versions, they just put a new front end on and say it's faster.<

    Some of it is even funnier. Try uploading a folder to skydrive using the Metro New UI, you can't, it's file by file (same with deleting ModernUI emails, no selecting more than one at a time, whether you have a mouse/keyboard or not - in fact many of the MetroModernUI apps seem crippled (maybe you can buy fuller featured versions in the app store?).

    Oh, and I've been using Win8 since it was called Metro, will upgrade but still think the StartScreenModernUI sucks donkey balls - and I've got a touch screen laptop. (it's actually an HP Touchsmart so the screen isn't flat against the edge and flicking your finger from either edges doesn't always register, sometimes windows thinks I'm trying to click one of the icons on the left hand side of the desktop).

  25. Efros
    Thumb Up

    Finding it Clean

    Not a great user of the start button or the associated menu, I was always a quick launch toolbar sort of person. TBH this windows incarnation has just given me more room on my taskbar to accommodate even more icons in my QL. Personally not a fan of pinning, takes up too much room. Everything installed without a hitch, I only had to replace the windows sound driver as the sound levels were too low. After a few minor WTFs I've now settled down to realising that it's actually not bad and probably within the week will take the plunge and stick it on the SSD laptop.

    1. RightPaddock

      Re: Finding it Clean

      7+ Taskbar Tweaker will give you a task bar that allows you to put pinned task icons closer together

  26. DrXym Silver badge

    This does not surprise me

    Having used both preview releases, the takeaway impression is that Microsoft have instructed their developers to pay lip service to "traditional" PC users and otherwise make a beeline straight for tablet land.

    The consequence is this twisted and mangled user experience where metro proves a wholly inadequate replacement for the start menu and using the mouse is actually painful. Look how these reviews start mentioning the hotkeys we're supposed to remember to get to the functionality that used to be a click away. It's not acceptable in the slightest and it looks awful.

    I think tablet users don't have much to worry about. Windows RT doesn't even do a classic desktop so it's big deal what a mess it is. Windows 8 tablets would probably take the UI hit because the tablet can be operated with a finger anyway. But for traditional PCs the experience is dreadful.

    I think MS will fasttrack a desktop ready version of Windows 8, be it via a service pack, or an 8.5, or a Windows 9. This release is to get their foot in the door of tablets and screw everyone else.

  27. Tom 35 Silver badge

    dusting off the Windows key on the keyboard that you have never used before.

    I use the Windows key all the time. Hit Windows, type the first two or three letters of the program I want and launch a program without reaching for the mouse (or touching the screen thank you very much!).

  28. Jeff 11
    FAIL

    Microsoft usability

    Horizontal scroll on the DESKTOP start menu, when PC mice generally don't have a horizontal scroll wheel?

    Absolute madness.

  29. Corborg
    Meh

    Here we go again

    I've ried the RC, I hate the jarring effect of switching to Metro, I love the underlying improvements. If this was an annual incremental update to Windows 7 without Metro it would be great. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was able to actually keep my start menu organised from Windows 95 onwards. Metro is horrendous on a desktop. I'm sure it's lovely on a tablet, but when I want to be productive, I use a desktop.

    When Vista came out it prompted me to explore other OS's, Linux flavours, Mac, hell even AROS. At the time I couldn't find a fit for me, mainly due to the applications I use. Maybe this time around with the cloud more mature and my internet speed increased the OS will be less relevant and I'll be able to operate without Windows.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Mectron

    Childish and totaly useless

    and whole hour, that about how long i can stand this blan, un ispired, mess of a OS.... windows 8 will might just be the major failure that will take microsoft down, unless they remove the default Metro UI, give back that start menu and give some bling to the interface.......

    WIndows 8 is a unfinish mess that will NEVER take off......

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a theory.

    So there were, the stupid people who designed the Ribbon, sitting in User Interface school.

    And in walks Bill Gates.

    "You boy! Where is the report on how well this new Modern UI is doing in helping individuals' productivity."

    and the UI expert responds....

    "Windows 8 it Mr Gates."

    And that's how such crap made it to production.

  32. Arrrggghh-otron

    O.O.B.E.

    So I've bunged it on a spare box so I can a) see how it is on old(ish) hardware and to give me a change to use it as a second desktop (I know, I know I could install it as a VM, I did that with the preview and it was far too easy to just switch it off and use Win7) in a domain environment.

    However... my previous experience with Win8 is at this stage, still the same. The out of box experience is that it is consumer focused. The whole mail, calendar, messaging, People (etc etc) thing where you are expected to input an MS account is totally alien to me, but probably lovely for the non technical types that think ok then I'll have to setup a microsoft account for this then. I have MS accounts for Technet and stuff like that but I don't use MS for email or calendar and never will. For work I use exchange. I don't see how to configure it for exchange (be that as pop or imap) or if that is even an option (I checked the lucky charms menu but there isn't much to configure there), it just throws you to a white screen that says (in fucking massive letters) "Mail - You aren't signed in with a Microsoft account. To use Mail, sign in with a Microsoft account and try again' - no 'ok' or 'cancel' button, just a link to 'try again', escape doesn't work, backspace, left cursor, home, enter does nothing. The back button on my Microsoft mouse does nothing. The only button that does anything is the Windows key that chucks you back to the not metro interface. You can however mouse over the left of the screen to bring up the not metro interface or another app.

    Why the fuck is everything in not metro fucking full screen? Here is the weather - fucking have it!!! Fucking FULL SCREEN!!!! Cause the weather is that fucking important!!! (sorry, ranting now)

    And yet, to do any config on the thing I have to go to the desktop... the desktop that feels like its had one of its start menu shaped legs shot off.

    I am intrigued to see if any of this is different when logged into a domain and if it messes up my Win7 profile or has the good grace to create a new one.

    1. Arrrggghh-otron

      Re: O.O.B.E.

      Erm... is anyone else suffering from Icon Blindness with the new start menu? The grid of lots of icons that are all the same size (I know I can make icons bigger, not gonna happen) means I spend ages looking for a program (I also know I can search just by typing, but if that is intended to be the default case, why display all these icons?) and I can't group them by folders (unless I piss about on the desktop dragging short cuts into a folder and then pin the folder to the start menu).

      This really does feel like it was meant for a touch screen device, not a desktop. I have the same problem locating programs on Android when I have lots installed. But when things get to that point I start uninstalling stuff so I'm not swamped. And that is fine on a portable device that I generally only use to check my email, browse the web. If I do need lots of apps install I generally dedicate one of the many home screens to a particular function and drop the short cuts there (ie frequently use programs on the default home screen, remote access stuff on another etc etc) and then only use the programs menu for less frequently use stuff.

      1. Arrrggghh-otron

        Re: O.O.B.E.

        With a lot of faffing around the start menu can be made to work reasonably well for a given set of tasks*. That is to say if you have a few users who have a well defined set of tasks, the new start menu could work well for them in that it can be configured to present only the programs they need for those well defined tasks.

        If the want to do something else then we are back to the mess that is jumping back and forth between the desktop and the start menu desktop.

        I've noticed that when I am in the start menu and I want to find a file I can't see if an explore window is running on the desktop (I'm running Win8 over remote desktop so the windows key short cuts don't work or don't work as expected because I can't send the right key combo) so I end up launching a new instance only to see the old one when I get thrown into the desktop...

        *Get rid of pretty much everything installed in the start menu and add only the apps you will be using.

      2. Mark .

        Re: O.O.B.E.

        But then Windows 7 start menu doesn't do well if you want to scroll through lots of icons - it's just one long list. The ability to sort start menu items into subfolders was only years ago in XP.

  33. IGnatius T Foobar
    FAIL

    Fail

    To paraphrase the great Rush Limbaugh:

    I HOPE THEY FAIL.

  34. PaulR79

    Windows RT for me

    As much as I despised the idea of having no previous Windows apps with an ARM tablet I can see a lot of benefits to it now. New apps means they'll be written or at least compiled with it in mind so I'd hope that a lot will be touch-friendly whereas older programs would have a similar effect to using WinMo phones with nice skins - it looks great until you use a system app or non-skinned app and see the ugly beneath.

    Windows 8 on desktop is, for me at least, currently a maybe. I like the idea of faster startups but the 'cons' list is a little too high for me. I may go for an upgrade version and wait until someone can bring me WIndows 8 with a Windows 7 look.

    1. dogged
      WTF?

      Re: Windows RT for me

      Cons list?

      "The start button is gone and pressing the Windows key now opens a Metro launcher".

      Woohoo, that cons list is brutal.

      1. PaulR79

        Re: Windows RT for me

        A thorough and well planned response I see.

        Here are just a few cons for me as a Windows 7 user -

        Lose screen space to giant ass rectangles of two (three?) sizes.

        Playing catch with the "Start" button

        No choice to go straight to the Desktop by default means an extra step every boot / login

        System tools etc listed along with applications in the same area and probably some renamed as MS like to do.

        The biggest one so far - only IE as a browser for the foreseeable future and one which doesn't track tabs through Metrodern UI.

        Next time you want to play MS shill try not to make such an ass of yourself. These are legitimate complaints from someone who's used Windows for a long time. Forcing a touchscreen interface onto non-touch users is the most ludicrous decision ever and until some people hack in the functionality I want I'm not interested.

        1. dogged
          Mushroom

          Re: Windows RT for me

          You have absolutely no idea what you're talking and plainly don't use the damn' product. And don't call me a shill, you ignorant prick. My opinions are free.

          Lose screen space - not in Desktop, which is what you'll be using because you hate Metro.

          Play catch with Start - press the fucking Windows key. Unless you're "point&drool or die" in which case you're not worth answering.

          One extra click or keystroke - (windows key when Metro is open goes to desktop) for a massive increase in boot performance. Oh, poor wickle you.

          I am currently running Firefox on Win8. Chrome didn't want to install but that's Google's problem.

          System tools? Which ones? Control panel is WinKey+CONTR or less characters. All the other tools are there too. You mis-click with those huge ugly rectangles that you hate so much? How? Is your motor control as poor as your knowledge of the thing you're criticizing? It must be.

          So you're not interested for a whole bunch of made up, bullshit reasons. Go you. Go enjoy OSX or whatever. Just cut it out with your "facts" that aren't and do NOT accuse me of being a shill.

          Asshole.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Windows RT for me

            "Play catch with Start - press the fucking Windows key"

            Wow. Didn't realise all I had to do to restore the completely *deleted from the code* Start *MENU* was hit the Win key. Or do you just not understand the problem?

          2. Not That Andrew

            Re: Windows RT for me

            >One extra click or keystroke - (windows key when Metro is open goes to desktop) for a massive increase in >boot performance. Oh, poor wickle you.

            I don't know about you, but I don't spent all day rebooting Windows any more. Maybe you should upgrade from Windows ME?

  35. A knight who until recently said "Ni!"

    No start menu? Switching back and forward?

    Shirley the new UI IS the start menu? And for not-pinned applications switching to the new "start menu" is the same as switching to the old? Seems to be the same number of clicks to navigate through, although things are in different places.

    Took me about 5 mins to get my bearings and after that no problems. Other than having to use mouse/touchscreen more. Touchscreen monitor/using tablet as a third monitor is quite a nice use of the new system

    Not being able to hit the windows key, type a few characters and hit enter to launch (as far as I've seen, not installed the latest version yet) - that's the big loss over 7.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dusting off the Windows key?

    I haven't got one ...and while this keyboard continues to work, I'm not getting one.

    Doesn't matter, I'm not getting Windows either.

  37. Someone Else Silver badge
    Coat

    "Hey, it could be worse - it's not Windows ME, OK?"

    "You've got AIDS."

    "Hey, it could be worse - it's not ebola, OK?

    Small comfort indeed....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Hey, it could be worse - it's not Windows ME, OK?"

      Yeah, that's totally the same thing. Totally. Windows 8 will kill you slowly and infect all your friends and homo-haters will want to beat you to death however you got it.

      Except it's Win8-haters. Nope, hold on - same mentality and level of intellect. No real difference.

  38. fung0

    Ooops...

    Good article, but while dealing with the more recent MS BS, it forgets the *other* big reason Win8 sucks: ribbons, ribbons, ribbons. The first screen shot says it all. Half the area of that Explorer window, totally wasted on (butt-ugly) controls that could have been tucked away out of sight. Maybe in some sort of, I don't know... "menus"...?

    The performance improvements sound less than compelling. Can you really perceive a 15% speed boost? I know I can't. And anyway, on my Core i7, desktop performance is really not an issue. But usability still is. If I have to waste ten minutes out of every working hour wrestling with an idiotically bungled UI, I'll find another solution. Like sticking with Win7, or switching to GNU/Linux. Even the Mac would be less painful... at least there's a logic to it.

    The only logic in Win8 is what Ballmer thinks will make him richer. Blech... no thanks, Mr. B. You've mistaken me for someone far more gullible.

  39. William Hinshaw

    Still isn't making it easy

    The point here is that it is such a fundamental change to the interface. Most people working in the Enterprise simply don't understand how to use computers. They in some cases don't even know how to turn them on or the difference between the monitor and the computer. Many call the monitor the computer. They are shown how to get into their software and that's it. To move to this is going to be too much to ask of many of these people who barely function as it is. You just can't go in and tell a director or a VP that they are so ignorant about computers that their five year old grandson knows how to operate computers way better than they do and that they need some remedial training to come up to speed. It just isn't done if you want to keep your job.

    1. jim 45
      Happy

      Re: Still isn't making it easy

      So, nothing can ever change. I understand now. I can go into cryo-sleep until 2050 and be confident that I can still use a computer when I'm thawed out. Now that's progress!

    2. Mark .

      Re: Still isn't making it easy

      Personally I want to stick with the "desktop" UI too (although I think the criticisms against Windows 8 are unfounded, since the windowed desktop mode is still here). But I'm confused - on the one hand, it's "Windows 8 Metro is crap, people will be too stupid to use it", but on the other hand, it's "All praise Apple for making Ipads that can be used by people ignorant of computers".

      Perhaps these are different groups of people. But I wonder why MS get slagged off for daring to add a touch interface, yet the same doesn't seem to happen to a company that wants to remove mice, touchpads and keyboards from computers, and force people to only use dumbed down crappads that can only display one thing at a time. And they get tonnes of hype and free advertising from the media for doing so. And don't say it's different because it's mobile, these aren't pocket sized phone devices, these are the same size as netbooks and ultra-portables, and are intended to replace conventional PCs.

  40. Smudge@mcr

    What is this?

    "Windows RT, the ARM version, goes a step further by prohibiting desktop software installation completely."

    So on the ARM platform you cannot install Linux because of "Secure Boot" lockdown and you cannot install software unless it is bought from the Microsft App Store.

    Bit restrictive.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    15% speed increase where?

    I figured it was not fair to deny the "MS log in" thing and that was probably the reason the NotMetro apps hang for an age on start, seems I was wrong.

    This install I actually created a MS log in, the apps still take an age to start.

    Got an image to view on win 7, Picasa or some other image viewer would open in a blink and even sit to one side to let you "do other stuff" if you want.

    Now the default image app just takes over the screen and does nothing for what seems like seconds, what why?

    Then I want to go back to explorer and pick another non sequential image? you can hope.

    Have they got to check base with every image I have taken is OK for me to view? words fail me.

    The few other new apps seem to do similar on my setup.

    On a dual or more screen set up it is better but it's so frustrating on single screen mouse and keyboard pc.

    That said if your primary screen is the right one hitting the start area is too vague.

    Make a few of the designers do real "work" on a single screen "NotMetro" set up for a week, things will change.

    1. dogged

      Re: 15% speed increase where?

      That said if your primary screen is the right one hitting the start area is too vague.

      You've done something in Settings, then. I'm using three monitors, all corners of all monitors are "hot".

  42. Doug Bostrom

    Safety at last!!

    "Windows RT, the ARM version, goes a step further by prohibiting desktop software installation completely. At last, a safe and secure Windows, at least relative to the standards of the past."

    Microsoft has finally realized how to make us all safe from themselves: put us each in our own little jail, with Microsoft as jailer. They'll sell us breakfast, lunch and dinner as well, and allow us outside mail if the contents are ok with them.

    Well done, MS, especially the part where we all know we're going to stumble into our cell and slam our own door behind us. You've pulled that stunt so many times, we just can't help it.

  43. Doug Bostrom

    "Took me about 5 mins to get my bearings and after that no problems. "

    Begging the question, "why?" Why are you dropped into a foreign landscape with your mental map crumpled?

    Praise be that Microsoft is not in charge of the pencil. One day they'd be shipped in the form of pretzels, and we'd then be listening to optimists telling us "once you figure out how to push your fingers through the loop, no problem!"

    1. A knight who until recently said "Ni!"

      So you knew where everything was straight away?

      It's a common enough turn of phrase, really.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Media player

    that is all I'll say

    1. dogged
      IT Angle

      Re: Media player

      What about Media Player? It hasn't changed, except it's not Aero-fied anymore.

  45. kwv-dc

    Ugly is as Ugly

    Ugly is as Ugly Does ...

    Who needs those "bricks" ???

    Will buy a Win7 Ultrabook and wait for the reprise of Vista/Win 7 ,,,,, if MS manages to avoid liquidation ...

  46. Peter Johnstone
    Stop

    Yawn

    Another preview of Windows 8, same old arguments. If you don't like it don't buy it. I don't and I won't.

    You can stick with Windows 7 (until it goes out of support), try one of the Linux distros or switch to the Mac.

    In fact I'm doing all three!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yawn

      Wow what a new and enlightened post, thank you so much for that!

      I have to admit reading what you have just typed many times before and the resulting answers like

      "We have to run Windows because software we use doesn't run on anything else" or

      "Corporate force us too" etc but it's good to know where a choice is available you can help us with some of the options.

      "Doing all three" and typing a reply too! Well done you.

  47. Andy ORourke
    Meh

    A simple review

    Some disclosure first:

    Choice of home pc OS - windows 7 64 bit

    Choice of tablet / phone OS - IOS

    Works with all manner of (proper) unix systems

    Ok, so like all windows fanbois I thought I would hate windows 8 but after trying it I find I am left wondering why they (Microsoft) just didn't release two versions, classic & touch?

    I installed the enterprise 64 bit trial on a VMWare VM and gave it a single processor & a gig of RAM, fired it up, installed win8 and got to "work". The NewUI wasn't that much of a problem for me, after all I'm a tablet user so using the tiles, apps whatever you want to call them wasn't such a big deal.

    I added an app (mahjong, if you are that interested) from the app store and its here I felt a bit cheated, I got a message along the lines of "mahjong has been added to your start page" (or something like that) and, yes it had, I thought "that's quick" unfortunately, it had just been added to my start screen, when I clicked it then it went off, downloaded it, installed it so the speedy install I thought had taken place was just a bit of a con!

    I then took a look at the desktop, seemed a bit flat to me, no aero etc. and yes, I noticed the lack of a start menu but then I realised I don't use the start menu a lot, mainly to find that program I installed ages ago that I can't quite remember the name of so I can browse through the installed program's in the start menu. No big deal, I just pinned the program's folder to the explorer icon in the task bar, not as nice but it's a workable work around (for me at any rate)

    So, you have a desktop, slightly different, not as "shiny" but still useable for day to day work and you have the NewUI which seems to be OK for its intended market - touch enabled devices. My main question then is why not let me choose which one I install? On my daily use machine I have no use at all for NewUI, I'll probably never use it on my non touch laptop so why install all the files and stuff I'll never use?

    Pro's - for me, personally there is nothing here that will make me spend money on an upgrade and that's from someone who's gone out and got the latest version of windows (yes, even Vista!) whenever it became available. The biggest "pro" from my point of view is that if I HAD to use windows 8 then I could get it set up and working how I want it to and probably never have to use the NewUI.

    Con's - when using the desktop I'm used to pressing the windows key, type in a few letters and run the program of my choice, it's going to take some time to remember that the windows key just takes me back to the NewUI start page! I tried pressing L and searching that way and it seemed to work ok so once I've got used to it, shouldn't be an issue (although I did notice when I pressed L to get the search menu windows seemed to leave an L in the search box, I'm putting it down to me using a trial version in a VM, or me doing something wrong, if this is a design "feature" then it's just plain annoying!) when using the NewUI I found arranging the tiles (or whatever they are called) to be very annoying, again it might be me not doing it properly but it seemed if I got the top row looking how I wanted it then moved a tile from the bottom to the middle (by dragging it up) then one of the middle tiles jumped to the top and the displaced top tile appeared on the bottom row!

    All in all it's just minor niggles, the biggest of which is WHY? Why install a touch UI on a non touch PC and vice versa, what's the point in having the desktop installed on a touch screen enabled device? I have a pc I use to DO stuff and a tablet to USE stuff, both are perfect for how I want to do things.

    Summary

    Will I rush out to buy it? No

    Will my life be ruined if I HAD to use it? No

    Does it work? Yes

    Does the missing start menu make it unusable? No

    Overall rating - Meh

    I would urge all the doubters to give it a try, you might still hate it but at least you'll see it's not the end of the world as you know it!

    1. Tony Paulazzo
      Happy

      Re: A simple review

      >Con's - when using the desktop I'm used to pressing the windows key, type in a few letters and run the program of my choice, it's going to take some time to remember that the windows key just takes me back to the NewUI start page!<

      Actually that still works, press the windows key, start typing and it auto searches (that's why the L is there when you press it).

      1. Andy ORourke
        Happy

        Re: A simple review

        Like I said, I may have been doing something wrong (I confess I didn't read any documentation) and its running in a VM but for me at least, the windows key (when pressed in the desktop) just took me back to the start screen, the "L" key opened up a search box but that left the L in there, it's probably me, I'll keep on trying and might even RTFM!

  48. Dick Pountain

    Does anyone else think the "Modern UI" looks like an early 1960s Wimpy Bar?

  49. ma_r_co
    Megaphone

    Modern UI is forced onto us because Microsoft has to catch up in the mobile space.

    There are already more smartphones (mobile computers) than desktop once. Also the sales increase in mobile whereas they are flat in desktops. And in the future most of the customers buy only a smartphone and use it as smartphone AND PC. So you only need one device and you can use it as full desktop with Bluetooth keyboard/mouse and connection to a bigger screen via mini-hdmi. The OS has to switch between the use mobile/desktop, but in the end only one device and one OS.

    Microsoft has therefore to get a foothold in the mobile space. They failed with Windows Phone, so they use their market power in desktop to get the Modern UI known in desktop in the hope that consumers recognize in mobile.

    So there will be no option in the future to switch to “desktop mode” at least for private customers, perhaps for corporate ones (as they can complain).

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Not worth pirating'

    I know several (5 at last count) people who were naughty chaps and decided to pirate this, you know the types, always want to be running the latest software, 0 day, without paying for it.

    I was asked by them down the pub if I have any virgin Win 7 copies to save them having to download a new one to get rid of it. Obviously I declined, but the general consensus of these cutting edge guys is that W8 was of no value at all, and even the option of running it without paying for it didn't make it worthwhile.

    They stuck with Vista for longer than this thing..... anecdotal I know, but I was really expecting these guys to be hyping the thing up no end and boasting about how they have it and how awesome it is as they were with the latest office even when everybody else was panning that for the Ribbon.

  51. kwv-dc

    MS

    Reviewing Windows after the disaster of Win7 and 7.5 phone editions, it is increasingly looking to me as though Microsoft is headed to the dustbin of intellectual history. Used to be " I like Mike" ....as in Michael Jordan . ...now, for MS, its I wanna be like Apple ... me too, me too ..... To bad ... just being MS with dozens of OEMs around the globe producing competing products could have driven Apple's market cap back to its < 10% market share...

    Now Office 2013 ..... especially Outlook seems aimed at copying the web-based e-mail offerings ..... so I'll have to check off each of more than 150 e-mails each day in order to delete .... Making AOL client side looking better all the time ...... maybe AOL can recover from its $250 market cap loss after all .....

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