back to article Windows 8: At least it's better than ‘not very good’

By the pricking of my thumbs, and by the noisy crowd booking out half the pub, the wickedness of office party season has kicked in big time. Certainly, 'tis the season to be jolly and to suffer the indignities of itinerant workers debasing themselves in order to get invited. Another year at the Cheshire Cheese The importance …

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  1. V.B.N.

    !!!

    I don't get it, why do people dislike W8 so much! Yes MS should have given us the option of a start button but it's only a click away so why moan so much about it!

    There are really good free options out there. And either way, once on the desktop, how often do you have to go back to the start screen!

    I'd really like a valid argument as to why W8 is such a let down instead of the constant moan about the start button.

    1. Lord Voldemortgage

      iii

      I don't get it, why do people dislike Windows 3 so much?

      Well, actually that's obvious, it crashed a lot and was difficult to network but I don't get the grief given to Program Manager which was a perfectly usable launcher that is not too far removed from some of the better phone interfaces of today (and my phone now has a great deal higher screen resolution than my PCs of the Windows 3.x days).

    2. M Gale

      Re: !!!

      How many things have you installed onto Windows 8 yet?

      Of course if you really enjoy a massive, flat list of ico^Wtiles, then more power to you. If you like re-arranging TIFKAM every single time you install something, that's just gravy.. so long as you don't insist I be subject to the same crap. As for pinning shit to the start bar, that's damned retarded too. Sure if you only have one or two apps you play with constantly, but after pinning 10 or 11 apps to the taskbar just to avoid TIFKAM, it stops being a taskbar and starts being a big list of shit where it's not immediately obvious what's a running app and what's an icon.

      Mind you, that's pretty much the same as TIFKAM, now. I'll decide when a program needs killing, TYVFM.

    3. Fuzz

      Re: !!!

      I think that for the £25 the upgrade cost it was worth it.

      I think the ribbon interface for explorer is fantastic, who hidden files and file extensions are now both right there on the ribbon rather than buried on the second tab of a screen opened from a menu.

      The OS is noticeably faster than 7, dual screen support has been improved. My USB 3 ports work properly, they were temperamental at best under 7.

      There are some nice cloud based features, my user profile settings for desktop colours and backgrounds are synchronised from my desktop to my laptop. My list of wifi networks and keys is copied between computers for me. My music collection is available streamed from the web without me ever having to do anything with my desktop where the music lives.

      There are issues though, in 7 if I want to attach my printer I just click Add a printer and windows does everything else. On windows 8, it find the printer but I have to use an advanced add screen and refresh my driver list from Windows update before it will install. The start screen is annoying, it's not useless just there's no point to it. In most ways it's a backwards step from the previous start screen.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
        FAIL

        Oh yeah?

        "I think that for the £25 the upgrade cost it was worth it."

        Where I live £50 is more the mark.

        "I think the ribbon interface for explorer is fantastic, who hidden files and file extensions are now both right there on the ribbon rather than buried on the second tab of a screen opened from a menu."

        Er, no. In Windows 7 or Server 2008 you can get to the dialogue where you can tick both checkboxes at once. With Windows 8 you have to navigate through the ribbon for each one.

        The jury is out at the moment. I installed the free Pokki to get a more Windows 7 interface back, but after a reboot it came back with TIFKAM. Not impressed by that.

        1. V.B.N.

          Re: Oh yeah?

          Try this:http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/ instead of Pokki. I went from this to startisback - I find startisback better but its a trialware.

          http://m.lifehacker.com/5955089/how-to-bring-back-the-start-menu-in-windows-8

          1. Lost in Cyberspace

            Re: Oh yeah?

            Agreed. I install this automatically from ninite.com along with the other apps I need for any customer not quite ready for the shock of windows 8

    4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. csumpi
        Happy

        Re: !!!

        I just bought a brand new sony vaio laptop with win8. There is an option in the bios to disable secure boot, so I don't see why secure boot is an issue. Win8 even boots with secure boot turned off.

        I also dislike the full screen apps. But it's pretty easy to uninstall them, just right click and select uninstall. The win7 non full screen picture viewer, media viewer, etc are still there.

        I can still use the metro ui the same way I used the start menu (hit win key, star typing application name, hit enter when it comes up). So it doesn't bother me much.

        On the other hand win8 seems faster, better sleep support, so I'm not at all unhappy.

    5. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: !!! - but it's only a click away

      If there was a check box to turn it off that would be true. But it's not.

      but it's only a click away, then another, and another...

      It's worse then that old "punch the monkey" banner ad. It just keeps coming back.

      Not-metro is a crapy phone interface that they stuck on computers to try and sell more phones.

      1. Gavin Ayling
        Stop

        Re: !!! - but it's only a click away

        Erm, no. If you put your mouse at the bottom left exactly where the old button was and click, the start menu appears. And it appears, amazingly, if you push the windows key on the keyboard -- just like Windows 7. And if you open a desktop app just by typing it's name in Windows 7, you still can in Windows 8.

        1. V.B.N.

          Re: !!! - but it's only a click away

          Apologies, what I meant by 'one click' away was that a free replacement start button/start menu is 'one click' away.

          I would like to understand the more technical side that people are complaining about, other than the start button/start menu.

          I agree MS should have given us the option but as with AVs pre W8, one had to download it. Now its a start menu replacement.

    6. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: !!!

      I think people moan about it because it should have never come to this. There is nothing wrong with revamping the UI and in many ways I like Metro. But it breaks the fundamental rule of UI design - if you rewrite the UI make damned sure that the new thing provides the same functionality or matches the workflow better than the old thing.

      This is absolutely not the case in Windows 8 where simple tasks suddenly become an exercise in frustration.

      E.g. Say I want to fire up a calculator to verify something in an app. I must either to go out to metro and show all apps or I have to make incantations on the right side of the screen until the bar appears, click Search, type calc, click. It takes clicks, gestures and choices to accomplish. It causes brainfarts because the desktop disappears while trying to launch the damned app and causing the user forget the reason they ran it at all.

      Metro also suffers from a pathological case of dumbing down. I can't group tiles for example, or zoom out to show more tiles at once, or see recently used apps somewhere, or sort tiles in a group by name, or multi select and pin multiple apps at once.

      I hope Microsoft realise how awful it is and set about providing a decent experience. It doesn't mean bringing back the start menu but it does mean addressing the very real needs of people who aren't stabbing the screen with big fat fingers and actually have to work in front of a computer and do stuff all day.

      1. Alistair Dabbs

        Re: !!!

        DrXym, your point about simple tasks becoming complex is backed up by user testing at Computerworld. Jakob Nielsen, ever the wag, says it should be called 'Microsoft Window'. Interviewed here for IEEE Spectrum: http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/computing/software/is-windows-8s-lack-of-windows-a-mistake

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: !!!

          "Jakob Nielsen, ever the wag, says it should be called 'Microsoft Window'. "

          Theoretically you can drag and drop a metro app and plonk by the side of another app including the desktop so it just barely qualifies in the plural. But it doesn't work very well in practice so I wouldn't see a huge use until MS somehow figure a way to detach metro apps into windows on the desktop.

          I don't really mind metro as I said, it's just that the desktop and keyboard and mouse are treated like an afterthought and the desktop workflow is all wrong.

          The one gripe I have with metro apps is just like Windows Phone, when they're not in the foreground, they're serialized suspended and some apps really don't come back to life gracefully. e.g. Microsoft's own Mahjong game doesn't like being suspended and never resumes properly where it left off.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: !!!

          Alistair,

          Not one of your biggest fans, but I must admit that the Jakob N. quote just made me snort tea everywhere, thanks :)

      2. Zbig

        Re: !!!

        Just hit the "Win" key, start typing "cal..." then ENTER. There. No need to invoke any search option, gestures and such.

        I too don't like the context switch while entering the start screen but I'm genuinely surprised how many people still don't know you just hit "Win" and start typing few first letters from the Windows 7 on.

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: !!!

          "Just hit the "Win" key, start typing "cal..." then ENTER. There. No need to invoke any search option, gestures and such."

          Thing is you can do that in Windows 7 and it still does it better. Hit Windows button and the start menu comes up with the search in focus. Hit Windows button in Win 8 and it dumps you in start menu and you're expected to know without any visual clues that something happens. It's not intuitive, and the manner in which most people launch apps through an icon is a pain in the backside.

          It's simply not better.

          1. keithpeter
            Linux

            Re: !!!

            "Hit Windows button and the start menu comes up with the search in focus. Hit Windows button in Win 8 and it dumps you in start menu and you're expected to know without any visual clues that something happens."

            Aha: now I understand. A colleague at work was trying out win8 on his laptop at home and was really confused.

            As a penguin, I'm used to 'mod4 -> type stuff' from Unity and Gnome Shell, but in both of those UIs, I get visual feedback of what I'm typing.

            Now, I have a valid MS Vista licence for this Thinkpad X200s laptop, and I have a hard drive image (including the thinkvantage recovery partition) which I can copy back to the hard drive using clonezilla. Would I be able to upgrade to Win8 just to try it out?

            PS: we are on Win7 at work

        2. sam bo

          Re: !!!

          Just hit the "Win" key,

          I use an IBM model M keyboard, as do many others - where is this "Windows" key of which you speak ?

          1. NotInventedHere

            Re: !!!

            "I use an IBM model M keyboard, as do many others - where is this "Windows" key of which you speak ?"

            Try Ctrl+Escape. Or click in the bottom/left corner, like in Windows 7.

          2. John 62

            Re: !!!

            Just hit the "Win" key,

            I use an IBM model M keyboard, as do many others - where is this "Windows" key of which you speak ?

            CTRL+ESC

      3. NotInventedHere

        Re: !!!

        "or I have to make incantations on the right side of the screen until the bar appears, click Search, type calc, click."

        No you don't, you just press Start, type "calc" and press Enter. That's admittedly a whole lot more work than on Windows 7 where you would have had instead to press Start, type "calc" and press Enter. Oh, hold on, it's exactly the same.

        If you learn how to use it, it's fine. I agree that it should be intuitive enough that you don't need to actually invest time in learning, but then I remember how much trouble I had remembering to right-click things when Windows 95 came out. I pretty much got the hang of that in the end.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: !!!

        " I can't group tiles for example, or zoom out to show more tiles at once"

        Yes you can. You can zoom out by pressing CTRL - and CTRL + to zoom back in. Or if you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, press CTRL and use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out. When zoomed out you can also right click a group and name the groups.

        With your calc example, it's no more long winded on Win 8 than in previous versions of Windows. Press Win button and type calc. Then if it's something you use a lot, you can right click on it and select pin to start.

      5. El Andy

        Re: !!!

        The fastest way to launch calc on Windows 7 was to press the Start key on the keyboard, type calc and hit return.

        The fastest way to launch calc on Windows 8 is to press the Start key on the keyboard, type calc and hit return.

        And not only can you group tiles on the Start screen (and label the groups if you wish) but you can also zoom out to see all the tiles at once (so called Semantic Zoom).

        It's by no means perfect, but it's not even nearly as awful as the Start Menu has been for years, indeed pretty much every revision to the Start Menu since the original Windows '95 incarnation has been a desperate attempt to try and hide most of the clutter that rapidly built up in it (whether it be through randomly hiding stuff, trying to persuade users to pin the useful bits or indeed ditching the cascading and relying entirely on search anyway)

      6. hazydave

        Re: !!!

        Good points.. I see much the same start menu vs screen issues. On my main PC, I have hundreds of applications, sorted by type in the menu. Without recalling the name, I can usually find what I'm looking for in seconds. The start screen doesn't allow nesting or grouping, which could deliver something similar. If you know the name, type it -- fine, back to MS-DOS days. But if you don't, you're playing "Where's Waldo", at least once you have a professional working set of apps. It's probably fine for the beginner or casual user, but I spent a few months as a beginner, decades as something more than that. No one needs a UI optimized for the beginner.

        They didn't just not learn from the existing Windows desktop, they haven't learned from other very successful tablet UIs. Apple's Palm-like grid of icons doesn't deliver informational display like MS's tiles, but it was fairly efficient for finding apps, given the small tiles. Android improved upon this by making the program launcher a pop-up, and leaving a home screen for docking of often used apps, drawers full of often used apps for fast access, and informational displays with a great deal more flexibility than those of Windows. Apple added drawers of icons as well. These are things you need when you're using a tablet regularly -- the Asus Transformer I'm typing this on has over 200 apps installed.

        How would I fix this. First, allow me to sort the tiles any way I like, and use at drawers of tiles, preferably nested. Allow zoom out, at least providing Android-like information density when fully zoomed. On the desktop, I'd make the Start Screen basically a screen saver -- it can automatically show up when I'm idle for awhile in the desktop, showing me useful informational tiles, etc. When I move the mouse or keyboard, the desktop pops right back. Launch from the Start Screen and the restored Start Menu would do exactly the same things. When that screen saver Start Menu is up, some hot key, screen gesture, or other thing would let me lock it in place, rather than banishing it.

        That doesn't address the problem that a very, very few applications ever want to be fullscreen on a desktop PC. It's very inefficient for anything involving productivity, most of the time. The old WIndows method of optional full screen/windowed operation works properly. Most types of content creation involve interactions between dozens of applications, data sources, assets, etc. which need to be the same visual context, at least part of the time. Not needed when I'm watching a video, but creating a video? Sure... lots of things going on: graphic arts, audio mixing/recording, video editing, special effects in other applications, DVD or BD authoring, etc. This is broken if every app is fullscreen. Or even just consider the mentioned case of a calculator pop-up. I use a pop-up, not-fullscreen calculator app in Android, because this sort of thing is precisely needed as a add-on to other things. It never needs it own full screen.... why would I devote 1920x1200 (or whatever YOUR tablet rez is) to a simple calculator? Even back in the early days of single tasking UIs, Apple realized some applications were inherently needed alongside others, even in that year or so before real multitaking arrived in GUIs (AmigaOS).

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      @VBN

      For me the annoyance (dislike) is caused because it takes much more time and effort to do the things I want (and need) than it takes me on Win7.

      I'm an admin and thus often need to check up on servers and stuff. Mostly Linux (webmin / PuTTY) but also several Windows servers. So, lets start the day lazy and check any incoming eventlogs using MMC instead of PowerShell (typing). I click start, hover over to 'Management tools' (or close enough, I'm on a Dutch version of Windows) and there I find the event logs. Now I right click and use "Run as administrator". I need to because I'm logged on as a regular user, otherwise I won't be able to access the Security logs.

      Guess what? You can't do this so easily from within the Win8 void. Not without polluting your desktop.

      So now I've had my coffee, I checked the stuff and need to write my weekly report on performed server updates. I click start, I hover over Word, wait for my jumplist to appear and at the top sits a pinned template: "xxxx server reports". I click it and I immediately get a new document setup by my template.

      Can't do that within the void, you need desktop taskbar pollution to pull this off.

      Last week I've done more with remote server management (RDP), setting up an automatically updating Excel sheet on server statistics /and/ brushing up some (minor) logo's with Gimp. As a result Excel, Gimp & Remote desktop connection sit in my "often used programs" list. Next week I'll be doing more document writing, bookkeeping and doing some hobby-based program design in C#. SO by that time you can be sure that "Minipak", "VS Express C#" and "Visual Paradigm for UML" will have replaced the previous three options (maybe apart from remote desktop connection).

      You don't get this kind of automated control within Win8. If you want to have your environment adapt to the way you work you'll just have to manually add and remove tiles from the void, or do some daily or weekly icon maintenance on your desktop.

      Why would I bother with all the extra hassle when Windows 7 does it all out of the box ?

      Probably needless to say but I don't use a touch screen nor do I have any desire to get one for my desktop environment. Another reason why I don't see any advantages.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: !!!

      "I'd really like a valid argument as to why W8 is such a let down instead of the constant moan about the start button."

      Our "technical" brethern will be embarrassed when, once its settled down, they look back and wonder why they whinged on like a little girl.

      To the nay sayers I say, grow up! Stop bleeting on and learn to use it. May be you'll realise that the features are actually better than you thought!

      1. jason 7
        Happy

        Re: !!!

        The Start Button really is a red herring.

        Folks moaned (and are still moaning) about it and I did too at first.

        Then I thought about it and realised that the number of times I actually used the Start Button to actually drill down through the levels of software I had installed was very little.

        100% of the software I use everyday is added to the taskbar. The other applications I use quite often are shortcut icons on the desktop.

        To me the Start button was just used for restarting and shutting down. It had pretty much become redundant.

        I have asked many others this, to seriously think about how often with Windows 7 they actually drill down through the listings to find stuff. All of them pretty much went "hmmmm....ermmm....actually hardly at all!"

      2. Jim in Hayward
        Pirate

        To the nay sayers I say, grow up! Stop bleeting on and learn to use it.

        Yes. It is also quite obvious Microsoft feels this way. Sorry, no one nor any company with this type of 'customer' retrospective get's MY money. I expect you to kiss my behind not shove commandments at me.

        Good bye Microsoft. It was bearable while it lasted.

    9. Wade Burchette
      Meh

      Re: !!!

      I hate W8 for a few reasons:

      (1) Tasks that were a 2 steps are now 3 or 4. For example: In W8 type "uninstall". Do you get "Uninstall a program"? No. Now you have to move your mouse a long way to click another menu to get to "Uninstall a program". In Windows 7, type "uninstall" and soon after that you'll see "Uninstall a program". Two steps in W7, three in W8. The same for System Restore.

      (2) I love Aero. The rounded corners just look and feel refined. W8's design looks like it was designed by a child. Something about the square corners of W8 just bother me. This is subjective, but the design of the GUI just bothers me.

      In short, Windows 8 violates a basic principle: a hammer is not a screwdriver. Do not make a hammer try to put in a screw. A tablet is not a laptop or desktop. Stop trying to make a desktop or laptop something it will never be. The idea to integrate operate systems across platforms is solid; The idea to standardize GUI's is not.

      1. John 62

        Re: !!!

        Aero is abomination. Rounded corners? Fair enough, but the the transparency and horribly thick window chrome are awful. Microsoft actually improved the Windows 2000 interface over the years such that in XP, Vista and 7 it's pretty good and makes 2000 look old, despite the theme being overshadowed by Luna and Aero. And Tahoma beats Segoe UI as a UI font.

        The only flaw in the Windows standard theme is that tooltips should be yellow, but that is easily fixed.

    10. That Steve Guy
      Thumb Down

      Re: !!!

      Well I started using Windows 8 and the biggest gripe I have for it is that the new interface has too many things hidden from the end user.

      The start menu is gone and its replacement is hideous. A massive fail is with the new "hot corners", in that they are so hidden! There is nothing to indicate to the end user that there is a button there to touch besides a short easily forgotten intro screen.

      Indeed the biggest no no in interface design is hiding features away from the user, and not having buttons or anything that explains what these corners do is awful.

      Add in to that the fact that metro apps are practically impossible to close, the old cross in the corner has been replaced and the new close feature is well hidden.

      Android and apple interfaces work so well because they are intuitive. You are given buttons to press for just about everything that are easy to find and well labelled, WIn 8 metro has everything hidden away on sidebars, corners and right clicks that makes it horrid to use.

      As a desktop user, I find it annoying to continually jump between desktop and metro, If I were a touch screen user I would find it just as annoying to work the legacy style desktop with a touch screen.

      Oh and add in to this that while IE can be set to use proxy server settings nothing else uses it (including the MS store), and basic admin settings that were easy to find on a desktop are now impossible to locate.

      I am sure you can get used to Windows 8, but that is the same as getting used to constant pain and eventually developing a numbness to it. It is horrible and I can see nothing that would make me choose MS over Android or iOS for Touch.

    11. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: !!!

      "I don't get it, why do people dislike W8 so much!"

      Because the GUI crap, that's why.

    12. Avatar of They Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: !!!

      I think because it isn't a click away, and users shouldn't have to trawl google to find the way of downloading apps to fix the fact that MS think they are doing a good thing.

      Java doesn't work in metro, it tells you on their website. Tells you to use the desktop, but you can't access half of what you want to do in metro, like auto detect drivers for your nvidia graphics card. Catch 22 situation. How do I get to control panel in desktop? Without downloading a third party start button before hand.

      You need the metro to do basic tasks, like control panel. Which is impossible to find because of some newly created pants menu system that is bold and brash but isn't control panel, the real one is a long type away. So you ahve to save your shortcuts by pinning them everywhere and doing the same as control panel but littering basic functions across your desktop. You can't just go start - and do it. You now need to go start - and then metro and then type, adding time for basic functionality.

      Full screen is god awful in metro.

      Nothing is where it should be fair enough, but to quit out of the machine you used to start - shutdown. Now it is go right a bit, wait for the menu, click the cog, wait a bit, then click the power, wait a bit, then click the power off. Talk about time wasting.

      Desktop isn't desktop and task bar isn't taskbar, if it was what is the slide up left and wait a bit then another menu appears just like android 4.1, showing you all currently open windows. Does a program ever actually close correctly?

      The advanced options are dumbed down considerably. Not just in control panel but the so called partition manager, which stealthily hides the reserved partition where you are not told, thus making a mockery of where you want to install your OS. Granted most users won't care, but as a system admin I care.

      3 internet versions of explorer, but they don't transcend favourites the two ways of accessing your data.

      Navigation is a night mare as there is no real demo, does the icon mid way on the ghostly pop out menu mean take me to desktop or metro, I will try it, of it's metro, so I now click on the icon to get back to desktop. Why can't I just go back to desktop. So a three step instead of one step process.And what is the three spinning thing that looks like yingyang, is it homegroup, I am not sure?

      Search should be a tool, not a requirement.

      That was my first initial impressions.

      A Ui is about getting things done, not about having to type everything in a search field when you should just be able to click.

      Yes you can spend three years dicking round with tiles and squares to put them in a nice order, but if you like a clutter free desktop with folders of your documents then tough, the metro is useless because it just sticks them there in a nice long list, but they are still squares and awfully garish.

      To me it is two OS Ui systems which shouldn't exist on the same thing. One for desktops and one for the surface. On a Pc with a mouse it is a lot of movement (I have a 24 inch monitor) for little reward.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: !!!

        "How do I get to control panel in desktop? You need the metro to do basic tasks, like control panel."

        If you need to access the Control Panel in the future, just right click in the very bottom left corner of the screen, then click 'Control Panel'.

      2. Really Anonymous Coward

        Re: !!!

        How do you find Control Panel without Metro - right click where the start button used to be and select it. Or add the icon to the desktop.

        You can close a Metro app by dragging it downwards.

        The various finger gestures have consistent mouse equivalents, but it takes third party websites to summarise them properly. The information density of the MS documentation is worse than Metro apps!

        One trend I've noticed with recent MS products, and I include Windows 7 and the Ribbon in this, is that it is less obvious what to do when just playing around, but if you know what you want to do it's easier to find it. I wonder if this is the reason Alastair finds Windows 8 better when doing 'real work'.

        However on the retail side, and against tablets, it has to impress the customer when they play with it in store. (Unless you don't stock it in shops...hmmm)

    13. leexgx

      Re: !!!

      i just load start8 onto the pc Problem solved partly, i going to love how computer lessons are going to work now (i just advise them to tell them to install Start8 on there New laptops or desktops at home so they can do the computer lessons so when they get back home they can do something on windows8, i have yet to find out how to get access to documents with out having to go back to the desktop to get to the documents folder)

      i have been having some issues with some windows 8 laptops where the system is hanging an bit (gets stuck on disk I/O)

  2. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Windows 7

    ...will be my next OS, as soon as I can borrow a retail copy off a mate. Until then it's XP :/

    Windows 8 can get stuffed.

    1. Paul Westerman
      FAIL

      Re: Windows 7

      I'm sure MS will be mortified that you're going to pirate Win7 rather than Win8.

  3. M Gale

    Put an heirarchical start menu back in, relegate TIFKAM to an option for running Windows Store apps, and then after a little tweaking to remove stupid pinned items and put a proper quicklaunch bar back... it might be tolerable.

    Until then, Windows 8 is about as painless to use as trying to find apps in Android by wandering through the huge flat-list-of-icons App Drawer.

    Of course, putting the Win8 kernel improvements into Win7 as a service pack might be nice. It's not like I've only had the damned OS for a year and it's already outdated, or anything.

    1. Irongut

      "Until then, Windows 8 is about as painless to use as trying to find apps in Android by wandering through the huge flat-list-of-icons App Drawer"

      Actually it's worse! At least in recent versions of Android you can have the App Drawer automatically order itself alphabetically which makes apps easy to find if you can remember the name. TIFKAM has no such feature so the app you want could be anywhere in the multicolour mess of giant squares.

  4. V.B.N.

    personal experience

    And yes, I have used W8. I took the plunge due to the £14.99 offer. I was happy enough to update another laptop and my media centre using the WMC hack.

    1. Phoenix50
      WTF?

      Re: personal experience

      What "hack" would that be? The one where Windows Media Center can be obtained for FREE from Microsoft until January?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hack

        That would be this one probably:

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/21/win8_media_center_piracy_snafu/

      2. Christopher Rogers

        Re: personal experience

        l33t hakorz

      3. V.B.N.

        Re: personal experience

        Will report back as soon as I am on my laptop. But here's something to look for: http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-has-slammed-the-door-on-the-windows-8-media-center-activation-flaw

        Apparently another method exists.

        As someone else pointed out, use one of the several free start menu apps and we don't even notice the 'metro' interface. I only go back to it because of the app store.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have they ...

    .. discovered focus follows mouse yet? Can you enter data into a program without bringing the window to the front?

    1. The Brave Sir Robin
      Childcatcher

      Re: Have they ...

      Of course not! You're not supposed to use a mouse you silly person. You're supposed to use a touch screen for everything.

      Wonder if the EULA for Windows 8 includes a cop-out absolving Microsoft from responsibility for the neck and shoulder strains people will suffer when they spend all day reaching out to touch their screens. Or indeed for the responsibility for the eye strains caused by people spending all day looking at their monitor screens through the inevitable layer of awful, greasy, finger smears. Yuk !

      Won't somebody think of the children who will grow up looking all lop sided like Quasimodo from using touch screen interfaces on laptops and desktops ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Have they ...

        "Wonder if the EULA for Windows 8 includes a cop-out absolving Microsoft from responsibility for the neck and shoulder strains people will suffer when they spend all day reaching out to touch their screens. "

        WTF are you talking about?

        Why would you do that?

        Heard of a mouse/keyboard?

        I'm struggling to understand why people are so stupid when it comes to Win8.

        No wonder MACs are so popular now, the fisher-price OS is needed as society seems to become more stupid as the days roll by!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Obviously!

          That's a whole new level of stupid from you. And as if TIFKAM isn't the most Fisher-Price desktop out there at the moment! Typical fanboy play to try and deflect attention by slagging someone else off.

    2. Tascam Holiday
      Headmaster

      Re: Have they ...

      Mouse-follows-focus for Win7:

      [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ActiveWndTrkTimeout=dword:25 (value in ms)

      [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\UserPreferencesMask=hex:9f,12,03,80,10,00,00,00

      No idea if this works for Win 8 but I expect it would.

      1. Schultz
        Thumb Up

        Mouse-follows-focus for Win8

        It works. I followed the registry hack here

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Mouse-follows-focus for Win8

          From reading the comments on the registry hacks it seems it doesn't work. It screws up other windows and only works for certain types of window so I'd would have to say that it doesn't have focus follows mouse.

          1. El Andy

            Re: Mouse-follows-focus for Win8

            It has focus follows mouse and indeed has since the days of NT4 at least. Pretty much nobody uses it though and lots of applications make all sorts of assumptions about mouse usage and focus that simply don't stand up with it enabled.

  6. Chika
    Megaphone

    Not this again!

    Haven't we beaten this subject into the ground yet? Or is it just that somebody wants to keep it rolling until enough people scream "Enough already, I'll buy it if it will keep you quiet!"

    Whatever the Microsoft apologists might say, the battle lines were drawn on this subject a long time ago and there's little sense in dragging it out now. We know that there are people out there, possibly a large number of them, that don't like the unholy wedding of TIFKAM and the more traditional interface minus its "start" button because it doesn't work the way they want it to in the desktop environment. Likewise there are folk out there that like W8, especially in the touch environment which is pretty much where it was targetted anyway, so it's likely that most desktop/laptop users will go to W7 instead (or Linux).

    We also know that the tablet and the smartphone are being taken on by more and more folk in the home, in quite a few instances as a replacement of a PC rather than as an addition as they don't use a PC for anything over and above what they can do with a tablet, and W8 is a latecomer here in comparison with Apple and Android.

    And before we bring up the thorny subject of Windows 3, consider how long ago that was, what we had to run it on and all the effort that has gone into improving the front end, including Windows in its various guises since W3, Apple's various revisions since System 7 and all the various GUIs on Linux. (Yes, and RISC OS too!) W3 was pretty much a menu system, the equivalent of the Start menu on its successors, and nothing more, so it's a bit pointless to compare it to any of these.

    W8 has its benefits when it comes to a touch screen environment, but it will struggle to beat the systems that are already dominant in that area. It may be years before Microsoft makes a dent in the fondleslab market and will only do it with an intuitive front end, something that W8 fails at in some areas. As far as the PC market goes, however, W7 and WXP are tough acts to follow and W8 just doesn't cut it.

    There. I said it again!

    1. Admiral Grace Hopper

      Re: Not this again!

      @chika - you make a very good point. At the time your choice of desktop GUI was Windows 3, Mac or, if you afford the hardware, X-Windows. We ran X-Windows on the workstations but they were way too expensive to dish out to grunts, Mac was an utter bitch to code for compared to Windows (yes! really!), so Windows 3 it was and we felt damned lucky to have it. When you got 3.11 there was much less messing around with Trumpet and the like and we thought that we were in clover. It was Windows 3 that really put a PC on every desktop.

      MS did a really good piece of work with the Win95 interface - it basically saw them through until now - but with Win8 they seem intent on anatagonising with that PC on their desktop. Yes, things have moved on, but when there are still so many desktops sporting PCs this does seem rather inept.

      1. uhuznaa

        X-Window

        It's X Window (or "X Window System"), not X-Windows. Really.

    2. revdjenk

      Re: Not this again!

      Downvote for the bullhorn!

      I think people are still talking about this, because Microsoft hasn't heard...

      1. Chika
        Facepalm

        Re: Not this again!

        More likely they have decided not to listen. We shall have to wait to see what happens with sales, much as we did with Vista, then see what excuse they come up with if and when W8 chokes.

        Thank you for the down vote, though. Anything is better than voter apathy! ;)

  7. Gordon Fecyk
    Go

    It's working here.

    Finally took the plunge last week. Don't regret it. Using keyboard shotcuts as a crutch until I get used to the gestures. And I'm shopping for a touch screen, though multi-touch is too pricey at the moment. I'm looking at some HP-branded monitors rated for Windows 7 Touch that might be cheaper.

    The list of working apps I have includes Roxio Creator 2011 despite their best effort to botch it up, the Mass Effect series, Goldwave despite that author's efforts to botch it up, Office 2007, Virtual Clone Drive, MAME 64, a couple flavours of Descent Rebirth, both Halos, Steam, even a $5.00 copy of Duke Nukem Forever. All working. Even got Mail working with an Exchange 2003 server and ActiveSync.

    1. Dave 8
      Coat

      Re: It's working here.

      $5.00 copy of Duke Nukem Forever?

      They should have paid you more to take it off their hands!

      1. Gordon Fecyk
        Coat

        Bought for the, "Oh Yes, I Hate This! It's Revolting! More, Please!" factor.

        ...come to think of it, maybe some pundits will figure DNF and W8 were meant for each other.

        /me ducks

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: It's working here.

        Ohh, thank you for bringing Descent Rebirth to my attention. I had the original on my old 486, and was later happy to see a Mac version turn up at school in a suite of networked PowerPCs, multiplayer fun!

  8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some saddos will like Win8

      And knobend kids will make shitty sweeping comments with no fking basis, demonstrating just how stupid our youth are!

      Well done son, now back to your iPad.

    2. Schultz
      Stop

      Re: Some saddos will like Win8

      I like Win8. It runs a lot smoother than my former system (WinXP, a bit long in the tooth by now), I didn't have any problems with incompatibilities yet, and the Classic Start Menu had me back to the good old user interface after about half an hour of playing with the new world order.

      Saddo? I don't think so. I just want a system that does not get into my way and runs a bunch of legacy programs.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I dont understand how supposed "clever, technical" people are so bamboozled by Win8?

    Whats so hard to understand?

    Instead on deaktop and start button, you are presented by a start screen. Applications open and the screen orientation can be adjusted.

    What is so fking difficult?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      *sigh*

      Not been paying attention in class, have you....

      C-. Reading skills need improvement.....

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Difficulty vs annoyance

        "@Obviously - to take an example, the Ribbon interface. It's not difficult, but it slows you down, requires more concentration and thinking, and is generally unpleasant to use, especially for experienced or power users. Ditto with Metro."

        Doesn't slow me down! Is it maybe because I know what I'm doing??

        Whats so wrong with "concentration and thinking"? Is this too much?

        You know yourself, the more you use something and LEARN, the easier and faster it becomes to operate.

        But the whinging masses in 'ere today shames us all!

        1. jason 7

          Re: Difficulty vs annoyance

          I'm with you on this. Never have I witnessed so much moaning pathetic bullsh*t in my life as folks who just wont pull their bottom lips from over their heads.

          The reality is the Start button is largely redundant since the Win7 taskbar change. If you have an HD capable screen you can add 20+ applications to it which covers most folks. Shortcuts on the desktop or just using the winkey does the rest.

          Change the default apps to all desktop ones and you rarely need to venture into metro land. You can delete most of the metro apps anyway.

          You can add Control Panel to the taskbar from a winkey search. Not difficult.

          Takes about five minutes to adjust it if you dont want to fully go 'metro'.

          But any time anyone not sulking tries to point all these simple steps out to supposedly clever tech types....oh dear...heresy. Lalalalaaaa they just aint listening.

          And folks tell people to switch to linux without sensing any irony.

          1. M Gale

            Re: Difficulty vs annoyance

            "The reality is the Start button is largely redundant since the Win7 taskbar change."

            Uhm, it's my default method of firing up programs, thankyou. You do know that thing in the Win7 start menu, how it puts your most used programs on the first thing you see after the Windows keypress? That's useful. TIFKAM is not.

            "If you have an HD capable screen you can add 20+ applications to it which covers most folks."

            Have you ever actually used Windows Vista/7? Having 20+ things pinned to the taskbar would be an exercise in masochism. Especially when your most commonly used programs are automatically under the winkey. I'm just glad you can still hack Quicklaunch in and have things work "properly".

            "Shortcuts on the desktop or just using the winkey does the rest."

            So.. the WIndows 3.11 paradigm in Windows 8. Makes sense. Frankly I like having a relatively clean desktop. You'll notice the screenshots I posted in this very thread? That's actually quite messy for me, it needs a little sorting, and I hate it when programs dump shit all over the desktop without the option to tell it not to.

            As for the winkey.. you mean the winkey that works in Windows from '95 onward, right?

            Nobody yet has shown me how TIFKAM provides any kind of useful improvement.

            1. jason 7
              Facepalm

              Re: Difficulty vs annoyance

              Once again a classic example of someone making things stubbornly difficult.

              Having items in the taskbar is no less difficult than having to go to the start menu, in fact more useful. I have zero difficulty handling many items in the taskbar. Are people suddenly getting tunnel vision or something?

              As for metro, I dont use it. All I am saying is, for most 7 users the Start button isnt needed or used as much and with a bit of tweaking Windows 8 in desktop mode works pretty much the same as 7.

              Just not worth all the pant wetting I'm seeing here over and over.

              1. M Gale

                Re: Difficulty vs annoyance

                "Once again a classic example of someone making things stubbornly difficult."

                Yes. Metro is.

                Really, how is "all of your commonly used programs automatically under a winkey press" harder than "manually fuck about pinning all kinds of shit to the taskbar and rearranging TIFKAM every single time you install something"?

                The comment about attempting to turn a dog into a cat is pretty witty, come to think about it.

                1. Chika
                  Trollface

                  Re: Difficulty vs annoyance

                  "The comment about attempting to turn a dog into a cat is pretty witty, come to think about it."

                  Never heard that one before. Heard the one about turning a cat into a dog, though. It involves a can of petrol and a lighted match. "WOOF!" ;)

          2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. Jack Faust meets Mephistopheles
        FAIL

        Re: Difficulty vs annoyance

        EHRMAGURD AHH CANT USE ICONS OR BUTTONS, WIN8 IS TEH FAIL . WIN 3.1 WAS PERFECT WHYYYY DID THEY EVER CHANGE?

        Is what I hear, I've been using RTM since it came out. Yes it is different, no people don't like change but if you have an open mind and a mmodicum of intelligence it is *really* easy to use and get on with.

        The kernel changes as have been stated before are terrific, the speed it runs on older hardware is also impressive. Storage Spaces is also great and the server admin apps are really good too. It's not perfect, in typical MS way some functions are half developed and not entirely thought through, the amount of clicks to shut a PC down is irritating, Alt+F4 is my new preferred method - also annoyingly alt+f4 won;t shut cmd windows down.

        Yes it's not for everyone, if you can't stand change and like things to remain exactly as they are it won't be for you. As Thurrott says try to approach the OS and embrace the changes - http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/windows-8-tip-embrace-change

        1. Pat 4

          Re: Difficulty vs annoyance

          "an open mind and a mmodicum of intelligence it is *really* easy to use"

          Using this kind of "argument" to belittle people who have real, serious gripes with the new UI actually makes you sound like a stupid, retarded, arrogant a$$ h0le...

          Metro is NOT intuitive, NOT practical, NOT a step forward on non touch-screen devices and users should be allowed to completely opt out of it if they want to.

          You enjoy it... good for you... but really... liking Windows 8 more than others does NOT make you... smarter.

          And obviously... it doesn't make you nicer either.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Difficulty vs annoyance

          > the speed it runs on older hardware is also impressive.

          Downvoted you for lying.

          I've yet to have any incarnation of windows run at any reasonable speed on any system that it has been installed on, and configured for automatic updates, for more than six months. I don't know what it is with the fuck up you call Windows but if I use it daily for six months it takes forever to power down and to start up again and running anything on it is a joke. If I re-install with exactly the same system it runs fairly fast for a week or two and then slows to a crawl. I've had this with XP and Windows 7. Windows is basically crap.

          Just in case anybody thinks the PC is getting infected, it isn't. The disk has been removed and scanned on other systems.

          1. Chika
            Alert

            Re: Difficulty vs annoyance

            Actually, he does have a point. A fair amount of the kit that support was dropped for under Vista and 7 was dropped because it just didn't have the grunt for things such as Aero. Under W8, Aero is a thing of the past, so we shouldn't need all that extra new powerful stuff.

            Ah, but if that is the case, where is the support for this older kit coming from? Oh well...

            I will say one thing, though, about AC's system problem. While I will admit that Windows can and does slow down over time, especially when it is mucked about, it isn't always the OS that is responsible. Some antivirus packages can really choke the crap out of the system resources, especially if you insist on installing all the bells and whistles rather than just sticking to the basic task at hand. The same can be said for some applications too. And that isn't just Windows either!

        3. revdjenk

          Re: Difficulty vs annoyance

          Mr. Thurrott also says that they should have split the personalities into two OS' - one for tablets/phones and the other, without TIFKAM, as desktop. Read what he says is the danger about Microsoft's gamble:

          http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/windows8/windows-8-failure-tech-industry-chain-reaction-141284

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Difficulty vs annoyance

          Welcome to the register

        5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    3. Paul Shirley

      "What is so fking difficult?"

      ...having 3 windows open at the same time? Yes, my desktop does ALWAYS have at least 3 open, usually more. And more on the 2nd screen.

      I'm also a little puzzled about this 'hit the Win key, type a few letters' thing: I can type the entire 'MediaPortalFS1' shortcut name (to open it Fullscreen on screen1) and search never finds the shortcut... also can't understand why pinning them to the taskbar but getting completely identical icons makes any sense.

      ...or why ejecting a removable drive should close the explorer window, among many other annoying little errors in the UI.

  10. Davie Dee

    heres an idea

    anyone who doesn't want to use Windows anymore or doesn't like it, please remove it and install Linux, or give it to someone else and buy a Mac.

    I fail to see the point in buying something you dont like and then spending months moaning about it

    or worse not buying or using something you don't like and spend months moaning about it.

    seems like an awful waste of time and energy

    1. M Gale

      Re: heres an idea

      I didn't buy it. Dreamspark FTW.

      Ultimate Edition of Win8, in a VM jail where it belongs. Why? So I could evaluate it and see if it was as bad as people say it is.

      It is.

      1. danieltharris

        Is there such a thing as Windows 8 Ultimate...? Or are you another one of those people who hasn't really tried it?

        I run it on my Mac in Parallels, also on my desktop machine, my workflow as a .Net developer hasn't been slowed down in the slightest

        If I didn't like it I would use Windows 7.

        1. M Gale

          "Or are you another one of those people who hasn't really tried it?"

          Of course I haven't. I absolutely did not just fire the VM up to prove you wrong with a screenshot, only to be told that WIndows 8 has fucked up all by itself. I am lying through my teeth when I say that it's still thrashing the shit out of the hard drive doing whatever the hell it's doing and showing me that blue windowtiles logo.

          So I got the edition name wrong. It's Windows 8 64 Professional, for fuxache. Hardly a major crime when you consider how many stupid editions Windows comes in these days.. perhaps I should refer to them as crippled, half-crippled, little-bit-crippled and not-crippled-if-you-have-a-volume-license editions?

          Oh by the way: FINALLY!

          But hey, maybe I faked those screenshots and drew them in MS Paint, eh? Perhaps I'm a Google shill? Here, throw a few "freetard" comments around as well, if you like. It's all the same bullshit. Just like TIFKAM.

          1. Davie Dee

            @M Gale

            of course running Win 8 in a VM immediately makes any and all issues a Windows problem and nothing what so ever to do with your VM server...

            and then once you do get it loaded you go to great lengths at removing just about all the good bits you can find from it making your experience limited to say the least...

            and there isn't really hundreds of "stupid editions"

            lets put aside the idiocy of "N" given that was not a choice of Microsofts they were forced in to doing it in the EU

            we have Win 8 and Win 8 pro on X86, we have the same again on x64 and RT on ARM

            you have enterprise on VL and.....that's it

            essentially that means for 99% for home & SMBs you have 3 versions

            Win 8

            Win 8 pro

            Win RT

            add enterprise if that's your business and that makes a grand total of 4

            that's not terribly complicated even for the great uneducated.

            yes I removed x86 x64 differences because at this stage its more academic then anything, OEM versions are again academic, they ALL fall in to one of the 4 versions above

            its curious that you actually acknowledge there are for versions too, I presume that pro is your little bit crippled and yet enterprise is classed as not crippled? using your logic I don't completely understand as there are only half a dozen extra features on Ent, many of which are directly tied to Domain level usages. they sure as hell do not make up the overwhelming part of the OS for the user

            1. M Gale

              Re: @M Gale

              "of course running Win 8 in a VM immediately makes any and all issues a Windows problem and nothing what so ever to do with your VM server..."

              Well it's the only operating system out of all the ones I've tried in the VM that funks itself up after doing nothing whatsoever to it.

              "and then once you do get it loaded you go to great lengths at removing just about all the good bits you can find from it making your experience limited to say the least..."

              Err, where? You mean I unpinned all of the animated, garish, useless unused shite that it seems to spew all over TIFKAM by default? I suppose I could pin every single app to the start screen again, but then we have the problem I've already mentioned, of TIFKAM being a ginormous flat list of tiles that turns what should be an heirarchical tree, into an exercise in information overload. Same thing applies to pinning a ton of stuff to the taskbar.

              Let's get this straight, in case you haven't seen any of my other posts on the subject: Faster is good. Leaner is good (though it really isn't THAT lean). TIFKAM is utter bollocks.

              Give me my desktop back, with the start menu and the automatic commonly-used-programs bit, and it'll be like WIndows 7 but better. As it is, it's a piss-poor attempt to turn a desktop computer into a phone. They've created a supermodel, then promptly taken it out back and purposefully smashed its face in with a brick.

              1. Davie Dee

                Re: @M Gale

                I see what your saying, but a properly constructed "start" menu aka metro aka modern UI is much more efficient.

                Do I use it for metro apps? no, not really, there are a couple that are ok but by an large everything I do is back in desktop. However what it does do very well is give me an update of anything I want updates on very quickly, a single push of a button or click of the screen gives me updates on dozens of things and shows me the most frequently used programs I want quick access too, on my task bar I have a couple of other ones I have pinned, these tend to be the ones used when already on the desktop, the metro ones tend to be the initial turn on and launch programs

                regarding VM yes a VM may support other OSs but that doesn't mean your VM is bug free with the most modern windows available, there can be all sorts of complications and conflicts that may only affect certain hardware configurations, all im saying there is don't assume its Windows, I have it running on hyper v without issue, from within win 8 so it does work at least in this instance.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: heres an idea

      As bad as some people find Windows 8, they sure as hell will hate a modern Linux distro even more.

      Even the designer of the kernel hates the Linux desktops:

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/05/linus_torvalds_reviews_kde/

      http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/linus-torvalds-finds-gnome-3-4-to-be-a-total-user-experience-design-failure/11127

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. Grepnix
        Linux

        Re: heres an idea

        Linus Torvalds may have designed the Linux kernel but hes just one of us when it comes to liking or disliking a UI. The review you post of his opinion on KDE is far from the truth as it pronounces only his criticisms of KDE and none of his positive feedback.The thing with KDE, is that it doesn't treat its users like infants who can't be trusted with control of their own computers. Linus has switched back to it, so the KDE developers must be doing something right...

        1. Davie Dee

          Re: heres an idea @Grepnix

          the thing is, most users are idiots who cant be trusted with anything complicated. The mere fact you are here suggests you fall outside of that bracket but the overwhelming large proportion of computer users do fall in to that.

          Simple sells and whilst it is painful for more experienced users to get used to, we have to get used to it.

          I was messing about with old SX2 50 based system I had in a loft the other day, the lack of math coprocessor is a bit of pain for anything even remotely modern but I fired up Windows 3.11 and spent a good deal of time remembering what things used to be like, and yes it was great having all the power in the world, gritty settings and command line options, but actually, now, I couldn't give a funk about them, I just want it to work there an then, no hassle, no fuss

          In my humble opinion that is where Linux needs to be to gain any traction in the desktop market, yes android is based on it but look at how simple that has been made, on the face of it its dumb as funk, where android has at least partially got it right is that some of the higher level functions (or lower depending on your perspective) are still there just kept out of the way

    3. Fred Goldstein
      WTF?

      Re: heres an idea

      I use Windows in large part because that's where the applications are.

      Macs attract certain types of applications. Linux attracts certain types. Windows attracts a rather larger set, given the network effect of having more users. Stuff I use often is only on Windows. Plus I rather like XP. And I suspect that by using Classic Shell to hide the idiotic, hopeless fondleslab advert of a start screen, I can make Windows 8 look enough like XP. I may actually try to do that soon. Classic Shell looks great on my son's new laptop.

      Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie had it right in their old song:

      From Macintosh to Microsoft to Lin-lie-lin-lie-nucks

      Every computer crashes

      'cause every OS sucks.

    4. a cynic writes...

      Re: heres an idea

      Tell us Dave are they allowed to whinge if someone else - a purchasing department say - buys it for them? I suspect that may be most people.

      At home I have moved to Linux (LXDE for the most part but I get to pick at logon). At work I've just finished giving my lot Win7. I won't move them to Win8 unless I have to - if for no other reason than I don't want to put up with a fortnight of moaning while they relearn everything for no readily apparent reason.

    5. Pat 4

      Re: heres an idea

      To be perfectly honest... Gnome and Unity on Linux are in fact... just as bad as Metro is...

      Yuck.

      I've been postponing updating from Fedora 12 for ages because of that sh1te...

      1. keithpeter
        Boffin

        Re: heres an idea

        @Pat 4

        Suggest looking at Centos 6.3/Scientific Linux 6.3/Springdale Linux (aka PUIAS)!

        These are free/libre clones of RHEL 6, the Red Hat release that was based on a mix of Fedora 12 and 13 packages. Both Gnome 2.x

        Similar kernel and applications, but with basic security updates until 2020, and application version updates until 2017. Firefox ESR.

        There are live CD images to try on your hardware.

        PS: I quite like Gnome Shell and I have Fedora 18 and the Gnome Ubuntu Remix floating about

      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      3. Chika
        Linux

        Re: heres an idea

        @Pat4

        In that case, KDE? XFCE? Plenty of other alternatives too.

        To be honest, I share your pain as I just killed my attempt on openSUSE 12.2 to regress to 11.4 because of the screwup I perceived in the GUIs there. I really can't fault Torvalds on that one.

        My next attempt might be to try 12.2 with TDE (a branch of the older KDE3 GUI) as the native KDE3 is severely cacked IMHO. In a virtual system, of course!

    6. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: heres an idea

      > I fail to see the point in buying something you dont like

      The point being that they don't know they don't like it until after they buy it - how hard is that to understand ?

      In many cases it is the _only_ option in the shops, because MS want to force it down everyone's throat, how hard is that to understand ?

    7. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  11. TRT Silver badge

    Like I've always said...

    Before I buy this box of Bold 3, tell me now what Bold 4 will clean that Bold 3 won't.

  12. David Lawrence
    Thumb Down

    Mixed Feelings

    I recently set up a shiny new Win8 laptop for two OAPs who were used to XP on an old desktop machine.

    For them TIFKAM gives them easy access to everyting they need. It sure as hell got in the way of what I needed to do though. How are you supposed to get into the Control Panel or 'My Computer'? The biggest embarrassment came when we inserted a CD that had some simple card games on it. A message appeared for about three seconds that said "click here for more options" but it disappeared before OAP#1 got the mouse pointer onto it. I then struggled for ages to find out how to 'explore' the disk before giving up, ejecting it and then re-inserting it. That did not inspire them with confidence that I knew what I was doing.

    My assessment.....some tricky things have been made simpler, but a shedload of simple things have been made trickier. I was very impressed when I enabled the wireless option on their printer, entered their password and and by the time I turned back to the laptop it had found it and installed the drivers without me having to do anything.

    Would I buy it? Not as an upgrade. I love Windows 7 too much now. Would I buy a laptop with it pre-installed? Possibly, but only if it was cheap and had a touch screen.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley
      FAIL

      Re: Mixed Feelings

      Jesus, seriously? How old are you? Six?

      "How are you supposed to get into the Control Panel"

      WIN+R - type "control panel". Press Enter.

      'My Computer'

      WIN+R and type 'explorer', then press Enter. Or you can just enable the usual Desktop icons through the Personalize command (in the context menu).

      Exactly the same as in every previous bloody version.

      HANDY TIP FOR THE IGNORANT:

      Do you still rely heavily on the mouse / trackpad for accessing everything? If so, I have some bad news for your "IT Credibility": By definition, you are not an advanced user! WIMP-based GUIs were designed for beginner and early intermediate users, who are supposed to learn the keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts are the "advanced UI" for all GUIs based on the 1960s-era WIMP metaphor.

      That's the whole POINT of WIMP-based GUIs. It's right there in "GUI Design 101" textbooks, so you really have no excuses for all this incessant whining and moaning about how MS have mucked about with the Start Menu yet again. (The same Start Menu that they've been mucking about with in almost EVERY Windows release since Windows 95.)

      NONE of the keyboard shortcuts have changed. ALT+TAB still works as before. The Windows key will usually switch between the launcher and the last-used app. WIN+D will bring up the Desktop.

      The Windows key on its own still brings up the Start Menu (or its tiled "ModernUI" incarnation on Windows 8). Again, this behaviour has not changed. Why on earth anyone who considers themselves any kind of expert or advanced user still drags their mouse pointer all the way down to the bottom-right corner in this day and age escapes me: that key's been on every PC keyboard for over 15 years now. After all these years, do you still need a coloured picture to aim at?

      Even ALT+F4 will close apps and bring up the usual "shutdown / sleep" dialog in the same contexts as it did before. WIN+R will still pop up a dialog to type app names into. (Many advanced Mac users use Spotlight in a similar way. Others run a launcher called "Alfred", or use some other method.)

      Christ, if you think Windows 8 is "hard", you clearly never tried to play around with Intuition on an old Commodore Amiga 1000. (And people said the PC's old CGA graphics palette was hard on the eyes.)

      Pipe, slippers, rocking chair, pretending to be deaf, "kids these days", etc.

      1. Steve Todd
        FAIL

        Seriously?

        GUI Design 101, make it possible to perform common actions BOTH by keyboard and Mouse. Power users may like the accelerator keys and typing stuff, but switching between keyboard/mouse input is at best a distraction.

        It's almost as bad as being told "hey idiot, all you have to do is start a DOS command prompt and type this gibberish in". If you need to start typing to hit something as basic as control panel (and, for reasons that pass all understanding, Microsoft seems to have two different versions under 8) then they've got it badly wrong.

      2. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Mixed Feelings (@STB)

        Even easier for 'My Computer': WIN+E

      3. danieltharris

        Also WIN+X for the menu most power users will find useful. Control panel is there

        Or press WIN then start typing control panel

        Totally agree too many people here seem to be having problems with it.

      4. Pat 4

        Re: Mixed Feelings

        It's not mostly about the start menu.

        It's about... I have a powerful PC, with a nice, bright, large 22" screen....

        Metro--- full screen single window...

        eww...

      5. keithpeter
        Linux

        Re: Mixed Feelings

        "Do you still rely heavily on the mouse / trackpad for accessing everything? If so, I have some bad news for your "IT Credibility": By definition, you are not an advanced user! WIMP-based GUIs were designed for beginner and early intermediate users, who are supposed to learn the keyboard shortcuts."

        Scrathpad. Xerox Parc. Older people. Chunky buttons.

        PS: I invoke these concepts as one who spent most of the summar using vim in a full screen terminal session running Bayou typing book chapters in LaTeX.

      6. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: HANDY TIP FOR THE IGNORANT

        If you really believe that WIMP is just a crutch whilst you learn the keyboard interface, like you are "supposed to" then "by definition" you are a rubbish UI designer.

        Sorry Sean, but after 30 years of using WIMP interfaces, no-one (not even MS with their stonking market share) can turn round to the general user population and say "You should have finished learning the keyboard shortcuts by now.".

        On the wider issue of why the El Reg readership is so split on this, perhaps the explanation is that half of us use computers to get our own job done (and are perfectly willing to learn new tricks if there's a benefit) and the other half use computers to help everyone else get their jobs done (and therefore we are hugely sensitive to how they will get on when the interface is placed in front of them).

        Give it 12 months and (with the typical PC upgrade cycle) there will be a sizable fraction of "my" end-users wondering how to get their job done with this wierd new interface where everything familiar has been hidden. It won't be MS who have to answer these questions. And all so that Steve can have another crack at the phone market. Gee, thanks!

      7. janimal
        Coat

        re; Sean Timarco etc....

        "Why on earth anyone who considers themselves any kind of expert or advanced user still drags their mouse pointer all the way down to the bottom-right corner in this day and age escapes me"

        Not all shortcuts are easy with one hand, and I like to hold my cock in the other.

        Mines the one with the pack of tissues in the pocket.

        1. Chika
          Devil

          Re: re; Sean Timarco etc....

          Hmm... brings back the whole comparison thing. We were comparing TIFKAM to Windows 3 earlier in this thread, weren't we?

          Anyone remember how you typed a program in on a Sinclair ZX computer? The display isn't the only thing that is regressing, methinks!

      8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      9. Dave Lawton
        Holmes

        Re: Mixed Feelings

        You know, I thought this thing called a GUI (Graphical User Interface) was supposed to make the basic operation of a computer easier. Instead of remembering lots of esoteric commands that had to be typed in, you could point at things to select them, and click them to activate. That is the point, is it not ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Doesn't sound like you did know what you were doing...hopefully next time you will learn a new OS before claiming to others to know what you are doing with it...just a thought

  13. Piro

    Windows 8 is basically a waste of time

    Yes, I have used Windows 8 for some time, although I readily admit I fully discarded any worth Metro may have.

    There are a few useful desktop improvements, for sure, but the startup speed improvements are exaggerated - if you have an SSD (as you should), it makes little to SFA difference.

    Essentially, if you're willing to work around some of the issues in 8, perhaps by installing a Start Menu alternative, then it's decent enough.

    But there's literally nothing that would make you want to go through the hassle and expense of installing 8 when you have 7. Even if that expense is only fifteen dollars, or whatever the cheapest price was touted as.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Windows 8 is basically a waste of time

      >But there's literally nothing that would make you want to go through the hassle and expense of installing 8 when you have 7.

      I'll take your word for it, as I'm happy enough with Win 7. That said, I haven't any USB 3 hardware, or any need yet to explore Storage Spaces. Lots is written about the Win8 UI, (I'd just assumed that technical users will use 3rd party tools modify it to their liking... surely 'power users' have their own pet tweaks they like to make to any GUI?) but less about the 'under the hood/bonnet' new features/bugs.

      I kind of get the impression that MS knew many people would be happy enough with 7 not to bother with 8, so they have been more experimental with 8's UI, with a view to implementing the resulting feedback into 9. This view is deliberately optimistic, though!

      1. Piro

        Re: Windows 8 is basically a waste of time

        USB3 works fine under 7 - and I've heard Storage Spaces had problems of its own.

        Not saying 8 is a total waste of time - but if you already have a well established setup with 7, I can't imagine you'll find much to love.

  14. Derk
    Coffee/keyboard

    £££££

    Hey Alistair,

    How much did the Reg pay you for that insightful article? I'm sure I too could write well researched, expletive articles too. Slow news day?

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: £££££

      Voted up.

  15. JDX Gold badge

    Internet Explorer – the worst web browser in the world

    In the 90s it was hardly the worst browser in the world.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Internet Explorer – the worst web browser in the world

      OK, I admit that maybe for a specific period of 10 months during that decade it might have been OK, but that was only because Netscape got worse.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Internet Explorer – the worst web browser in the world

        So it was the worst out of 2?

        1. Steve Knox Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Internet Explorer – the worst web browser in the world

          So it was the worst out of 2?

          In the summer of 1994, I was involved with selecting the web browser to install on my University's PCs. We tested at least five: Mosaic, Netscape, Opera, Lynx, and a DOS-based graphical browser whose name escapes me. When I did first try Internet Explorer a year later, it was worse than those five had been.

        2. Alistair Dabbs

          Re: Internet Explorer – the worst web browser in the world

          'Worse' of two, not 'worst'. I hope you're not in a public sector job.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Multi video windows

    "I’m reminded of a demo soon after the launch of Windows 95 at which a slick presenter opened three video files (postage-stamp size, admittedly) in separate windows and ran all three simultaneously. It was a striking example but quite useless when you think about it."

    Err.... porn?

  17. The_Regulator

    Win 8 FTW

    First off, yes I am using win 8. 2nd off, I think it's great. I can use apps instead of web browsing so with either 1 or 2 clicks at most I am getting my tech news, BBC news or whatever else I choose.

    It is easy to use and fast, the search feature is sooo much better than W7. Everything is at your fingertips very quickly.

    For the "power user" who was comparing boot time...your not a power user if you turn off your PC on a regular basis, hibernate or leave on. I could care less when I only reboot my PC once every couple of weeks how long it takes.

    Sad that Reg writers and a lot of you bloggers can't appreciate something good and lol @ anyone still using windows XP on a home computer...what r u doing here!!!!

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Win 8 FTW

      I'm following all this with interest as I know what Santa is bringing me.

      Current limptop takes a hell of a long time to boot up - it was cheap 6 years ago- so for me it's a new machine and new O/S to play with.

      As long as its not as fucking annoying as Vista I won't mind at all.

      1. Mike Brown

        Re: Win 8 FTW

        "As long as its not as fucking annoying as Vista I won't mind at all."

        ive something to tell you, you might want to have a seat.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Win 8 FTW

          Vista would force restart your computer every so often, to install updates, wiping unsaved documents (avoidable) and killing any long tasks like batch rendering or downloading (unavoidable). This behaviour couldn't be turned off in the Home versions. Personally, I consider that to be more annoying that having to bat some coloured squares out of the way on start up.

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. M Gale

      Re: Win 8 FTW

      "I could care less when I only reboot my PC once every couple of weeks how long it takes."

      At the usual per-KWh electricity prices, enjoy your expenses. Also some of us like having a clean environment that hasn't been toggled between standby/smart hibernate/whatever theyr'e calling it these days, and had the chance to build up enough entropy to truly bugger things up.

      Also it's "couldn't care less". "Could care less" means you at least care a little bit, in order that you could care less. Here, allow David Mitchell to explain in nice, simple terms that you might understand.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Could care less

        You appear to have missed something......

        allow me to introduce... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm

        1. M Gale

          Re: Could care less

          Quite.

      2. The_Regulator
        FAIL

        Re: Win 8 FTW

        I didn't know we were attending a grammar 101 class and clean environment wtf are you talking about, my computer environment is the same whether I have been running my pc for 5 minutes or 5 days......

        If you are gonna come with something at least have something better than David Mitchell for me!!!

        1. M Gale

          Re: Clean environment

          It doesn't matter how well-coded your OS is (and being Microsoft, it won't be THAT well coded). Keep starting programs, ending programs, saving state, reloading state, starting more programs, ending more programs, shuffling data into and out of memory, day after day after day...

          It'll happen. Slowly perhaps, but out of those gazillions of operations you're asking the OS to do, SOME of them will bugger up. Sure, you might not notice it at first.. it'll just be having to click on an icon twice instead of once. However, slowly but surely, entropy will build up. Things will break. Stuff will slow down. Eventually, and I've seen it happen so many times on so many Windows machines of every version, you'll be flying along in some application or game, and *CRASH*. It's not a virus, it's not malware outside of maybe Microsoft's shitty DRM being tripped, it's just a simple consequence of thinking you can keep going forever on an OS that is not totally and utterly bug-free.

          That's why it's nice to reboot every now and then. But hey, it's your machine. You do what you like with it. Go ahead and waste electricity by leaving the thing on. After all, it's your electricity bill. But don't accuse me, or anybody else, of being somehow inferior because we like to cold-reboot sometimes and make sure the OS has started up cleanly. Or perhaps we just don't want to burn through the MTBF of the various components for no good reason other than not being bothered with a power switch. Or, maybe, we don't want to die in a fire caused by an exploding power supply?

          Of course, you can do all of the above if you like. I could care less.

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        2. Chika
          Mushroom

          Re: Win 8 FTW

          Ah, now I see. Thoughts of fanbois, possibly over-enthusiastic noobs, shills and the like are no longer applicable.

          What we have here is the lesser spotted troll.

          Back under your bridge with you!

    3. Chika
      FAIL

      Re: Win 8 FTW

      Now there's a couple of possibilities here.

      The first, of course, is that you are actually happy with W8. Fair enough. If it does what you want it to do when you want to do it, then that's fine and dandy. Chalk one up to Microsoft and all is fine with the world. (Just don't expect me to join you any time soon).

      The second possibility, however, came to mind because of the throwaway line at the end. "Sad that Reg writers and a lot of you bloggers can't appreciate something good and lol @ anyone still using windows XP on a home computer...what r u doing here!!!!" The thought that came to mind doesn't bear repeating, but I really hope that I'm wrong on that count. Let's just go with the "fanboi" label.

      As for defining a "power user", you have a weird idea of what constitutes a power user if you gauge them by how often they switch their computer off. Generally, a power user is defined by what they do when the computer is switched on, not just by the use or otherwise of the shutdown command.

  18. h3

    The running 3 video's at once trick I saw on an SGI in either 96 or 97 - Still not seen it work as well on a pc ever since. (Important part being no tearing and smooth).

    If there was a free adblock plus thing that worked as well then I would use ie10.

    (The Metro version being so locked down is something I would like to use for such as online banking).

    1. Piro

      You should try the video thing on OS X.

      Even on an old Dell Latitude D610 with the crappy GMA900 graphics, a very particular build of OS X works well on it - and videos scale smoothly, without stuttering, as you resize and so on - something I can't seem to do well on Windows, but that's mainly because most apps still call for GDI+, which has pathetic acceleration these days.

    2. Dave Lawton

      @h3

      I think they were trying to emulate Acorn's Replay.

      That was launched in 1992. I'm not sure if it was that year or later when I saw it running 4 simultaneous windows of the Space Shuttle take off. I seem to remember that was on an A5000 (25MHz ARM3 4MB RAM), but it could have been an early RiscPC (30MHz ARM6 8MB RAM 2MB VRAM), which probably meant it was 1994.

  19. turborock

    I've actaully used win8, unlike presumably several of the people that have replied here. I like it. It's quicker, boots fast, shutsdown fast too. I dont quite understand the problem others have with the start menu. I hit "start" then I begin to type the name of the thing i want, then hit enter. Same as I did in 7. Who *really* navigated through the start menu? Don't lke the fullscreen apps? Don't use them then.

    1. M Gale

      Re: Who *really* navigated through the start menu?

      /me raises hand.

  20. Snark
    Happy

    Warming...

    I hated it when I tried the W8 consumer preview. I swore I'd never use it. As I've bought my kid a shiny laptop for Christmas I thought I'd better be able to use it when he asks questions so decided to put it on my laptop (not desktop) for the cheap as chips upgrade price.

    I am ashamed to admit I am warming to it. I still wouldn't want metro ^H ^H ^H whatever its called on my desktop but I've found myself using it for casual things on my laptop. Email. The web. Apps I've downloaded. General non-worky stuff. I could see my Mum using it, or people that generally do one thing simply and then do another. Yes, not people that use a computer day in day out and run up multiple spreadsheets and stuff, but the iphone, tablet generation who are really consumers.

    I've put back the start button for when I'm in "desktop" mode so I launch all my full apps from that. I use tiles for quick updates, quick emails, browsing, casual stuff and it feels nice and clean. Maybe it's because since the preview I bought a tablet so am used to the tablet way of "this is taking my full attention". I'd love it to have an "official" start menu to allow for the fact that yes we do work two different ways, but its not as awful as I thought, and its quite painless when my brain isn't in techie mode.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    spooky

    "At least it wasn’t as bad as Windows 3. What a pile of shite that was. In a way, the concept of Windows 8’s Metro is reminiscent of that arse-wipe of an interface known as Program Manager"

    ..this reads like Obviously!, after some remedial English lessons, and the forcible application of a spell checker.

    (That probably isn't a compliment, by the way, even on a Friday)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: spooky

      "..this reads like Obviously!, after some remedial English lessons, and the forcible application of a spell checker."

      WRONG! Not that that is any surprise!

      Some coward bleeting on the usual rubbish! Grow a pair or go to school!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: spooky

        "Some coward bleeting on the usual rubbish! Grow a pair or go to school!"

        Another near-legendary self-pwn. It's spelled "bleating". Maybe your local authority has an adult literacy programme?

  22. sisk Silver badge

    I can tell you this much: if I ever find myself in the unfortunate position of having to use W8 then one of two things will happen. Either I'll rip out TIFKAM and replace it with a UI actually designed for a keyboard and a mouse just like I've done with Aero and Explorer before it, or, if that proves impossible of prohibitively difficult, the first tile on my screen will take me to Powershell and I'll run my computer from the command line.

    Even a brand new computer has three pages of tiles already. I can just imagine how many pages it'll have by the time I get all my stuff installed, and I'd rather not deal with a desktop full of icons so that I have to minimize everything to open anything either.

  23. Arachnoid
    Thumb Down

    $5.00 copy of Duke Nukem Forever?

    You can get a free version of Duke Nukem 3D by making an account here http://www.gog.com/gamecard/duke_nukem_3d_atomic_edition

    But even he isnt powerful enough to destroy Windows 8

    1. M Gale

      Re: $5.00 copy of Duke Nukem Forever?

      Doesn't exist any more, unfortunately.

      Glad I got my new GOG account last night, instead of today, I suppose.

  24. SirDigalot

    I am using 8

    It's ok, I guess,

    multi monitor support is nicer something I would like to have seen on earlier versions

    storage stuff is a lot better and it mounts ISO's natively with drive letters and everything.

    windows key and typing is ok, like 7 but it is too invasive, I might not want/need a whole screen to switch when searching for an app, if I am videoconferencing I might need to launch something ( not on my taskbar or in the formerly start menu start bar - I do not like having a cluttered taskbar so nothing is pinned there - the start menu was great for pinned stuff to launch, and less overall movement of the mouse if you have a screen full of icons)

    the whole shutdown thing is not good, nor is getting to system settings and such, very unintuitive, the menues up the sides (which is also a tad annoying on multi monitors since it is on the sides of all monitors not just the far left/right sides) I ended up making a command prompt shortcut for faster reboots ( another darn icon) i know i do not have to reboot all the time i have not rebooted in over a week so far, but when i do i want it to be simple ( I know intuitive - go to START and select SHUTDOWN :-/ probably why it was called the windows button later not start)

    i do have a lot more icons than I used to on the desktop, just quicker than windows key + typing, i fast high res mouse speeds across the screen with ease and it is often more muscle memory then observance will take a bit more getting used to with 8.

    ctrl+scroll wheel zooms the app windows both tiles and all apps, useful, sort of not used much

    the big thing is more keyboard use, before there may have been a time when i never needed to touch a keyboard (and vice versa with the mouse) but now it seems a lot harder to do - quickly, I do find searching through the all apps screen more difficult then the start menu, i am sure with use it will come easier, however this leads to my biggest issue:

    The company i work with are going to deploy 8, we already have it and a using it, a lot of the people in my dept use 3rd party for start menu, which to me defeats the purpose, of the out of box experience, namely i should not have to install a 3rd party app to give me oem functionality even though it was the oem that changed it.

    I have gotten used to 8, nearly, the 500 plus employees however is going to be a nightmare, vista was a nightmare, 7 they sort of took too, 8 is a radical change, and while adaptation is possible i feel it will result initiall in lost productivity, and, if Microsoft change the ui back or more in a future release, it will result in more frustration, remember this is not all "professional IT people" using this many people are only comfortable enough with a computer for work, some set things up in a specific way for their workflow, they will have to totally reorganize themselves when this is deployed, a situation that is frustrating for them, and us since we will have to spend out time helping them get back to at least a partial level of functionality they are used to.

    yes things change, however there should simply have been an option for the "legacy" start application get people used to the new UI without ramming it on them and giving no option (and no buying the 3rd party app for every user is silly and should not have needed to be an option)

    My wife, who was in level 1 support for a cable company, already has had numerous confused callers who got new pc's with 8 on them and cannot do the most basic things, even her support team were slow at helping since they had to find out how to do it too something that took 3 minutes in 7 now takes 5 plus in 8 with a lot more clicking and keyboarding, which is frustrating to none power users.

    That is my biggest gripe, ok if you are new to windows/computers like say a young kid great! i think 8 will be good for them and they will do awesome ( and equally be frustrated with the "legacy" interfaces, however we are not all new to computers, and relearning how to walk again can really take the wind out of your sails, not to mention waste time for all the IT staff trying to help the users do their jobs!

    for the moment I am not recommending 8 to anyone who is not overly familiar with using them, for new users I do and for IT people, whatever, you are in IT stuff changes quicker than the postman hearing the husbands key in the front door. (however change is still frustrating and the change to 8 has made my job less satisfying for now).

  25. karma mechanic

    Some of it is an improvement

    I've only seen the Start screen after boot, and then I click on the desktop tile and forget about it - I haven't even been back to tidy up all the junk on the Start screen. If I sleep or hibernate with the desktop open then that's where it wakes up to.

    My laptop screen and separate monitor have different backgrounds and both desktops have a task bar, which I like. Another laptop syncs to the same settings, which is kind of potentially useful but I'm not sure about that yet.

    Keyboard shortcuts like Win-X for a bunch of important stuff like Control Panel, Task Manager, Event Viewer and even an administrator version of Command Prompt is handy. In fact the Windows key gets much more use now for a variety of shortcuts.

    Overall I'm finding it an improvement over 7, except for the stupid TIFKAM screen which I just don't use. Neither am I interested in the new full-screen apps, I use real hairy-chested programs like Photoshop, Hugin, AfterShot Pro and so on. So 7 did all that, but 8 seems faster and seems to have done away with a few glitches.

  26. Sil
    Thumb Up

    Give it a week or two

    Give it a week or two and you will begin to see that actually Windows 8 is quite good.

    On of my last gripe with it is that it was really designed with one screen in mind: it doesn't work well with multimonitor setups, I hope Microsoft will improve the situation in the xnext few months.

    Also I like some standard apps a lot (mostly news apps) but other standard apps are still borderline crap, such as the Music / video apps.

    As expected, the double IE + limited flash support in IE Metro is a pain and cause a lot of confusion for new users.

    There are many positives though, Win + X completely negated my need for a start menu, the 2-app on a screen window is surprisingly useful, Windows 8 is really fast and stable, hardware support is outstanding, and anytime I can get my hands on a touch device the experience is fantastic.

    In the same way I won't go back to a non-touch smartphone, there is no way my next notebook won't have touch. Which is a pain presently with most systems not delivered before mid-end of january 2013.

  27. Pat 4

    Windows 8 is a schizophrenic piece of crap, forever stuck trying to satisfy both desktop and tablet users and not even coming close to achieving either.

    Without a touch screen, Metro is useless... if you like it, good for you but you are the exception so stop assuming you're better than everyone else by telling people to "grow up", "accept change" etc etc... . Don't fscking act like everyone who hates is just isn't as cool as you... that just makes you an ass.

    Metro doesn't even come close to filling any parts of what I NEED to be able to do on a computer.

    Classic desktop... yes, it could be great... IF I could set it, forget it, and never EVER have to go back to metro ever again... EXCEPT maybe on a tablet. but NOOOOO.... half the time I need to do anything, like the Net, or a metro app, of system tools... WHAM! I am violently yanked out of my environment and into the Metro one... which I do NOT want to see on my desktop.

    It just plain sucks.

    If you love it... good for you. But please stop trying to convince me that I do too....

    1. M Gale

      Upvoted for awesome.

  28. pixl97
    Go

    Start 'button' on Win 8

    I recreated a start 'button' on 8 without using any addons.

    Just create a folder somewhere on your computer. I named mine 'Start' for easy identification.

    Right click on the task bar and go to Toolbars > New Toolbar

    Choose your 'Start' folder.

    If you set your 'start' folder to have as little room as possible it has a >> symbol on it, clicking that works like the start button.

    Now in your start folder put shortcuts to everything you Want to access easy. Subfolders work just like you'd expect them too on the old 'XP' style start menu.

    I'm pretty sure this works on 7 and XP too, I've just never needed to do that on those operating systems.

    1. M Gale

      Re: Start 'button' on Win 8

      That's the same hack you use to re-enable the Quicklaunch area.

      Unfortunately it doesn't quite work to replace the Start menu in Windows 8. New program installs do not put their icons in the folder tree, instead spewing their guts all over TIFKAM. All you're left with is a virtually empty, gutted start menu with no commonly-used-programs section, and a stylish look straight out of 1991. It even looks like the awful kludge that it is.

  29. AlexS
    Pint

    It ain't bloody any good

    We need to back to a command prompt interface....

    1. Chika
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: It ain't bloody any good

      You did that on purpose! :D

  30. Herby Silver badge

    All this talk of W8 reminds me...

    Of my mother (94 this year!) telling me to eat my vegetables. My reply is: "but I don't like them", and life goes on. Sometimes my wife does the same thing and I respond (autotomically) "yes dear" and proceed to gulp them down with a glass of soda or milk.

    W8 seems to be similar. We have all the sales people (or Microsoft) saying that it is going to be good for you, and people who actually USE their computers for productive purposes, saying "no thank you", or "yes dear" and doing it the old (W7/XP) way.

    Unfortunately, at some time, the diet will only have the W8 vegetables and we will all need to subsist on them after the alternatives run out. My? I just grow my own food over here on this Linux tree that tastes just fine and keeps me alive quite well. Yum yum.

    Life goes on (*SIGH*).

  31. bigredbus007
    FAIL

    Biggest heap of sh*t I've used

    £25 for an ugly interface that is not intuitive; slow as smell and totally useless unless it's connected to the internet all the time. I'm glad I only ruined my laptop with it and reverting to Win 7 because it's going in the bin where it belongs. Even Vista is better than Win 8.

    Why should you have to get another program just to add a proper start button? as in Start 8?

    No DVD playback as standard. Sorry MS but you've lost the plot completely. I won't be upgrading from 7 as it's taken me 3 years just to get my existing software and hardware to work together properly.

    Windows 8 = 0

    Apple OS = 10

    1. tonys66ca
      Holmes

      Re: Biggest heap of sh*t I've used

      All the Apple-user Windows worry is becoming more evident as Surface Pro gets close to delivery. Apple better come out with a real computer in tablet form versus the IPad, otherwise they will eventually lose some of their market share as they did in the 80's and 90's. If it wasn't for the IPhone, Apple would still be sucking hind teat. IPhone and IPad users are more gadget oriented than high-demand computer users. Granted, Surface RT isn't what I want with the Pro around the corner. I've been using 8Pro for a couple of months and find it a good upgrade (the 3rd of my personal computers last week). Its faster than 7, with both OS for computer users and a tablet touch screen for gadget users. For those who think I don't know Apple, I was an Mac OS expert and users for over 10 years as an IT program manager providing mixed services (Unix servers, PCs, and Mac).

  32. John King 1

    I like it!

    I had a painless and cheap (£25) move from Vista to Windows 8 and I'm very impressed with it. There were a couple of bugs I ran in to namely search/indexing seemed to get stuck and stop me being able to setup File History, plus after a sleep it wouldn't connect back to the internet (Hyper-V ethernet issue). But the rest has been plain sailing. Multi-monitor support is excellent as I was having constant screen rotation issues with the old nVidia drivers on Vista.

    I do think it helped that I used Ninite to install most of my software in one go which including the wonderful Classic Shell Start Menu. Because of that I've only seen that dreadful Metro interface once or twice. And I've never run an 'app', just 'programs'. It boots up in 25 seconds into a lovely three-screen desktop.

    But I suppose haters gotta hate.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. M Gale

      Re: I like it!

      I still don't get the "this operating system is fantastically, orgasmically wonderful... once you gut the whole point of the operating system and replace it with something that looks like the previous version" attitude.

      As for Vista, well that was pretty universally panned as being shit. UAC was about the only semi-useful thing it brought over XP, and even that was soured by Microsoft's attempt to pretend they invented it and didn't just rip sudo/kdesu/gksu off wholesale.

      Of course, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but then getting a patent on it and beating other companies around the head with it.. well that just stinks.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Is it just me?

    Or are these shortcuts being bandied around just new fangled command line prompts? Highly castrated command line prompts. No idea how you do pipes from one application to the other, or run a command in a loop … ksh makes that a doddle.

    I'm not a fan of gestures for controlling computers. Yes, they have a place, but they're not the whole story.

    As for magic corners… Android does something similar. I was recently faced with the task of setting up the boss' Asus Transformer tablet up for a business trip away. His laptop had faulty USB ports that needed seeing to, and so the tablet was a tie-me-over until we got that sorted. (This too was to be my task; except delhi belly kept me home the two days that was to happen. *sigh*)

    I found it was a case of the blind leading the blind around the interface, as I knew roughly what needed to be achieved but no idea how to achieve it, he knew some of the basics but wasn't overly advanced in his usage. Adding a bookmark was one task that came to mind — I went looking for a menu, turns out you stick your finger on the left-side of the screen and a menu pops up. Not unlike the Windows 8 charms I suppose, but not exactly intuitive.

    Some have bandied around the Windows 3.1 interface; Windows 3.1's Program Manager had one thing over what I've seen of the Windows 8 Start screen: it had one layer of grouping. The top level was program groups, within that, the actual application icons. What I've seen of Windows 8, it's a flat structure. Workable for a small number of applications, but given how every application I've seen in Windows insists on creating its own program group/directory within the program manager/start menu, and how many icons some applications generate, I can see this becoming a sea of icons very quickly. With animations to boot!

    A well organised hierarchy is good. Take a look at the menus in most Linux desktops (except Gnome3/Unity, which does its own thing). On my computer under Graphics, the system automatically put things like Gimp, Inkscape, Okular (KDE's document viewer), XSane, … etc. Under Games, they're divided into types such as Strategy, Logic, etc. All programming related things hide under Development. It's logical.

    Okay, sometimes an application gets installed and you've got to hunt for where it got put, but you then learn that place, and it stays there. It beats everything sticking itself near the root of the tree or one branch below and having clutter everywhere every time however.

    Maybe if they introduce some levels in the start screen (doable I think with some imagination) Microsoft are in a good position to make that happen. The question is though, will the industry give them the chance?

  34. illiad

    do tell me.....

    exactly **HOW MANY** surrender monkeys work at el reg????? MS got you nice and drunk, gave you lots of money, so you would even look at an overcooked, mushy cabbage, and give it 5 stars??????

    as for you, TIFKAM you FDGFBN .... I guess you are just lovin your new free toys, and cannot give a **damn** for the poor 'non tech aware' sods that will have to use it.... :( :( :( to say nuthin about us, who have to repair their mistakes!!!!

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: do tell me.....

      We don't award stars on El Reg. My column doesn't award anything.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  35. David Lawrence
    Mushroom

    @Sean Tomato Buggerme

    You are a geek, potentially with Asperger's or similar. Your patience for other, normal human beings is non-existent and you fail to accept that GUIs were principally invented to make things easier for normal humans. Now be a good boy, put your Red Bull down, stop eating those crisps, step outside and have a look. That yellow thing in the sky is called 'The Sun'. Try and get more of it. Tell Mum and Dad you are off out somewhere, and try to spend less time hating people who are clearly inferior to you with your clever keypress combos and command line shennanigans. I have used various computers with different GUIs for a very long time (Atari, Amiga, PC, Archimedes, etc) and still believe that shortcuts like that should not be necessary. It's OK anyway I have created shortcuts on the desktop for the most useful stuff but still feel that shouldn't be necessary and I'm fu**ed if I'm going to try remembering those keyboard shortcuts, so there. Troll.

    1. Chika

      Re: @Sean Tomato Buggerme

      Good grief, Dave! Makes me pine for the old days on the csa groups, does that! Haven't seen that sort of thing since the various flame wars with Chocky et al!

      Dammit! Still no Acorn button!

  36. MJI Silver badge

    Had a play - aghhhh!!!!!

    Caveat - I am a developer.

    I put a lot on the desktop, different dev environments, I use start programs quite often to find things I want, I know what I want, but I can see which version. XP start menu in compatability mode is the best I have used for finding a program from a list, 7 is claustrophobic.

    What really annoys me is the dropping back to Tiles rather than Desktop.

    Win8 would just annoy me too much

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux Improvements

    I think the time has come when the big organisations like Microsoft and Apple cant afford to make mistakes. The latest Linux distributions such as Ubuntu 12 and Puppy Slacko 5.4 are pretty good and cost nothing. In the case of Microsoft it will always have to support legacy applications, however many people are content with running Windows XP.

  38. Tom Jolly
    Thumb Up

    I like Windows 8

    I've been using Windows 8 as my main machine for about a month now and i'm really starting to like it even on a non-touch screen desktop. It's fast, especially when connecting via remote desktop. It was a little frustrating at first, but when I started making use of the windows key it really took off. finding stuff is a breeze, just hit the windows key and type the first few characters...windows key + cal + enter...calculator is up. same with any other app. easier than clicking START, All Programs, Accessories....

    Dual screen support is great too, the start bar is on each screen, rather than just on your main one.

    On a 4 year old semi touch screen laptop, the metro interface is fast and snappy. it's like a new lease of life.

    The built in Anti-Virus seems pretty solid and MSE was about the only AV product I've not seen an infection on.

    Got no complaints so far and getting a lot of positive reviews from customers too.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a shame ..

    this is a typical "Windows Court-Jester Article"!

    The Windows Ecosystem has reached the highest level of decadence!

    This is the actual status: Microsoft + W8 * WP8 = Kodak 2.0

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