back to article Windows 8.1: So it's, er, half-speed ahead for Microsoft's Plan A

Following approximately one year after the release to manufacturing of Windows 8.0, which incorporated some radical changes, based around a new tablet platform running alongside the traditional desktop environment, Windows 8.1 is a critical release. Most Windows users have not warmed to the platform variously called Metro, …

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  1. Arctic fox
    Trollface

    I look forward enormously to the restrained, thoughtful and cerebral debate we can expect.....

    on this thread.

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: restrained, thoughtful and cerebral debate we can expect.....

      well, with The MS-Basher Who Shall Not Be Named now properly banished, there is a decent chance we actually WILL see restrained, thoughtful, and cerebral debate. A very, very SLIM chance but a chance nonetheless...

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
        Happy

        @Ugotta B. Kiddingme

        You mean the Extremely Annoying Dude On Narcotics? That's news to me!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Ugotta B. Kiddingme - Re: restrained, thoughtful and cerebral debate we can expect.....

        I don't see many cerebral things with Windows 8.x. I mean why do I have to search for Excel when I know bloody damn well where it is ? Oh, and the thing with searching everywhere is even more patronizing for the poor Windows user. Heck, I don't see it that difficult to know if stuff I'm searching for is on my PC or on the Internet even if I might not know the precise location.

        1. Geoff Campbell

          Re: @AC

          You don't have to search. Pin it to the taskbar, or to the desktop. I favour the taskbar, personally, it means the icon is always in the same place whether the application is running or not.

          GJC

      3. Daniel B.
        Trollface

        Re: restrained, thoughtful and cerebral debate we can expect.....

        well, with The MS-Basher Who Shall Not Be Named now properly banished, there is a decent chance we actually WILL see restrained, thoughtful, and cerebral debate. A very, very SLIM chance but a chance nonetheless...

        Unfortunately, the MS shills (no, not the ones that he claimed were shills, the real ones) are still here, so it is just time before one of them makes the retarded arguments pushed by MS shills and blowing up the comment section again.

        Though it could be that they're basically the evil version of the Eadon troll, as one of them at least has been trolling the space related articles as well...

    2. ElectricFox
      Holmes

      Re: I look forward enormously to the restrained, thoughtful and cerebral debate we can expect.....

      I can see why they've waited for Friday afternoon before publishing this article....

    3. Law
      Trollface

      Re: I look forward enormously to the restrained, thoughtful and cerebral debate we can expect.....

      They could have left his old comments on there - turned his profile into a shrine of sorts... a cautionary tale for future commentards.

      http://forums.theregister.co.uk/user/34672/

      How come he got deleted anyway?

      Troll icon... in remembrance.

      1. 1Rafayal

        Re: I look forward enormously to the restrained, thoughtful and cerebral debate we can expect.....

        "...How come he got deleted anyway?..."

        Because he was an annoying prick who said the same thing over and over and over again.

        1. Tom 13
          Devil

          Re: who said the same thing over and over and over again.

          But how does that greatly differentiate him from the authors of these articles promoting how great the New! and Improved! version of Windows is?

          1. James O'Shea Silver badge

            Re: who said the same thing over and over and over again.

            "But how does that greatly differentiate him from the authors of these articles promoting how great the New! and Improved! version of Windows is?"

            They get paid to say that, and it's usually trivial to ignore them. He dumped his crap all over, so that it was hard to avoid him, and, worse, he dumped his crap into places which had absolutely nothing to do with Microsoft. I am not particularly fond of Windows (I usually use a Mac) but I could, and did, see where he blatted utter nonsense. And then blatted that utter nonsense again, and again, and again. If he had been more accurate, or if he had accepted correction and then been more accurate, then I would have been most annoyed at his having been banned. As it is, well, perhaps he will learn from this, and reform. Doubt it, though. His type rarely learn anything even after being whacked a few times by the Cluestick of Destiny.

      2. Arctic fox
        Headmaster

        Re "Troll icon.....in remembrance."

        Good grief! They really modded his arse. I have to say that it really takes stamina to piss off Vulture Central to that degree - heaven help us all. I would be guilty of a considerable degree of hypocrisy if I attempted to pretend that he will be much missed although the sight of his entire "oeuvre" being replaced by "this post has been deleted by a moderator" was, to say the least of it, eerie.

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Re "Troll icon.....in remembrance."

          Isn't getting thrown off the Register for making irrelevant remarks is a bit like being thrown out of the Pogues for excessive unruly behaviour

          Hang on....

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re "Troll icon.....in remembrance."

          "although the sight of his entire "oeuvre" being replaced by "this post has been deleted by a moderator" was, to say the least of it, eerie."

          All the other sheep found Barry truly irritating, for his insistent "BAAAAAAAA". Then one night the wolves took Barry, leaving not even a few strands of wool. The other sheep thought they were pleased, but the absence of Barry was strangely disquieting, particularly to those who had Baa'ed most loudly that they wouldn't care if Barry were eaten by wolves.

    4. asdf Silver badge

      Re: I look forward enormously to the restrained, thoughtful and cerebral debate we can expect.....

      The advantage to capitalism is you don't have to say a word nor does it matter really. The market has spoken and will speak going forward.

    5. Stephen Channell
      Facepalm

      MS still don't get it...

      Before GUI (Graphical User Interface), user interfaces didn't really have a name, you just had a bunch of things (keyboard, mouse, light-pen, touch, wheel, card-punch, tape switch...), and only used the ones that made sense. With the iPad touch has become the big input interface, but iPad & Android are still graphical, you still touch on-screen objects. Wi-8 is different because it is the first mainstream interface where the touch gestures have no graphical equivalent.

      Swipe from right for charms bar, swipe from left to switch-app, swipe up for menu, point mouse to corners are all touch oriented, with no graphical equivalent, and it's all counter-intuitive because we've all become graphical oriented.. and won't go back 30 years to the CICS "this is the way it works, get used to it" world.

      restoring the graphical "start-button" is a start, but also need to follow WinPhone "settings" app and "..." graphic for context menu... we're not luddites or thickies, it's not us, its them.. and they still haven't learned the lesson

      only in New Zealand does a TUI make sense as the only interface

    6. earplugs

      Re: I look forward enormously to the restrained, thoughtful and cerebral debate we can expect.....

      We need a People's Trial of Ballmer and throw him in the nearest live volcano for taxing our stupidity with the slowest Live Tiles ever imagined since the Commodore 64. Instead of axing workers why not axe Windows!

      1. Tom 13

        Re: slowest Live Tiles ever imagined since the Commodore 64

        Hey! The Commodore 64 was pretty damned snappy in its day. Only problem I ever had with them was always burning out the damned power supplies.

  2. Tom 35 Silver badge

    No

    "a platform designed from the beginning for touch control."

    I don't know what your talking about, but it's not Windows 8. As soon as you need to do something that's not included in Metro (like the control panel) your back in Windows 7 and it's clear Metro is tacked on after the fact, not designed from the beginning.

    I've more then once plugged a mouse into my crappy surface (glad they included that full size USB port) because touch was hopeless for what I was trying to do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No

      If you are tinkering in the control panel you are not the sort of user Microsoft are after

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Re: No

        I've rummaged through the settings on my Android and on the other half's iOS systems previously.

        Sometimes you just have to.

        MS should've factored this in, and created a Control Panel app.

      2. Tim Bates

        Re: No

        "If you are tinkering in the control panel you are not the sort of user Microsoft are after"

        No. But perhaps you're the kind of person who is paid to fix the problems those users are having. Problem is you're left sitting there swearing at the clunky piece of shit instead of actually fixing it.

  3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Search as primary means of navigation?

    The primary gets up my nose quickly. I may be old-fashioned, but I prefer remembering where I left things, and simply moving directly to the right location (cd under linux, or multiple clicks in windows explorer). If I forget, I just use find/grep in linux, and search when on windows (after berating myself for forgetting ;-) ).

    I find hiding the "complexity" of a file system from me just annoys me. Others may like it of course.

    Please note that the opinion expressed above is solely the opinion of the author, and not necessarily the opinion of those with other opinions

    1. I like noodles

      Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

      This gets to me, Unity is the same.

      See in my everyday life? I only search for things if I can't remember where I put them, or if I can't remember where they are.

      When I'm in Tesco, if I want beans, I go to the beans. In the house, if I need spanner, I go to where I keep my spanners. Every week when I'm out in the car, I go to the petrol station to get petrol.

      I don't search for any of these things - I just go to where I know they are. The only time I search is when I don't know where something is, and it always takes longer than when I know where I put the damn thing.

      I would like the same to be true on my fekking computer, Mr Ballmer.

      1. zanshin

        Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

        I'm also not a fan of search spanning my machine and Bing. I either want to search my machine, or the internet. I cannot remember ever having had searching both at the same time be a use case I actually needed.

        I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that it can be disabled, but still.

        (The author's use case of wanting it to search in calendars seems pretty wild to me too.)

        1. Tom 13

          Re: searching both at the same time be a use case I actually needed.

          Me neither. Frankly based on past experiences, I think this is a security nightmare.

          My mother, being somewhat naive about the internet, once made the mistake of allowing an MS search to be expanded to the internet. It seems she thought she had saved a picture of my brother's then girlfriend under the name "special girl." (In point of fact it was saved under one of those camera generated names and she had used one of those catalog programs to give it that as a descriptor.) You can well imagine the outcome of this mistake. I was unable to clean off the resulting malware and wound up doing a full clean install, starting from fdisk IIRC.

      2. N2 Silver badge

        Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

        Spot on,

        And when some numpty at Sainsburys decides to move the shelf with the beans and change the colour of the packaging, I have to search, if only MS could just stop the same perpetual tinkering.

        1. moiety

          Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

          Search always assume that you can remember the name of what you're looking for. Humans are *much* better at spacial memory; so it's considerably easier to remember where something is than the name of it. My win7 has the classic shell interface (set up in an XP style) and I can get to anything on the machine in seconds; irrespective of whether I can remember the name of it or not (usually not...remembering shit is the computer's job).

          What M$ seems to be missing out on completely is that windows is not the work itself; it's the vehicle you use to get there. You just want it to operate the system; make available the tools you want to fire up; then get the fuck out of the way. WIn8 -to continue the vehicle analogy- may have an awesome paint job and be suitable for RHD and LHD conditions; but the 83-speed gearbox is in the back seat; the steering wheel is hidden in the glovebox and there's 3 anchors and a parachute hanging off the back.

          Also; given all the XBox One news of late; I have to admit that -being the same company- I'm getting some trust issues over the directions they're headed. Definitely don't want those sorts of shenanigans on a work machine. My machine is fucking mine; and fuck what the EULA says.

          1. cordwainer 1
            Coffee/keyboard

            Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

            "the 83-speed gearbox is in the back seat; the steering wheel is hidden in the glovebox and there's 3 anchors and a parachute hanging off the back.

            made me laugh out loud (which in a house that had been otherwise silent for over an hour scared the daylights out of the cat, thanks a lot...pardon me while I fetch the stepladder and attempt to detach the feline from the ceiling.)

            1. moiety

              Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

              My apologies to your cat. Also yourself; if you were injured during the recovery process.

        2. Ian Emery Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

          Check next to the cat food, that is where the coffee(and later the Pizza), moved last time my local numpty had a move around.

          Meanwhile the nuke is for.....

          HEY!! BALMER !!! YOU ASS!!!

          WHERE ARE MY NESTED FOLDERS???????

          Like others, I group my programs, I dont want EVERYTHING showing in one huge muddle.

          1. Tom 13

            Re: I dont want EVERYTHING showing in one huge muddle.

            +1!

            If I wanted everything in one huge muddle, I would have bought a Mac. Yes, there's a market for this. Once upon a time MS understood that wasn't their market. And frankly, IF I find I want everything in a muddle and I'll let the OS sort it out for me, I think I'll buy a Mac. They seem to be better at sorting it out as well as differentiating their OSes.

      3. The Brave Sir Robin
        Pint

        Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

        This is one of the most true and wise posts I've ever read here. I am in awe.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

          "This is one of the most true and wise posts I've ever read here. I am in awe."

          A shame we don't know which post you are referring to!

      4. Heya
        Stop

        Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

        It's a pity the option you're choosing is just so much slower than using 'search'.

        If i want to launch an application on my Mac I have a few options. I can put it in the Dock so i can just move the mouse and click on the icon. I can open a Finder window, navigate to /Applications, scroll to find the application and double click on it.

        Or i can use 'Search'. I press apple-space, type the first 2-3 characters of the applications name and hit enter. I can launch any application on my system in a few simple keypresses.

        Similarly if I want to listen to an album I could navigate to my Music directory, go through my neatly organised hierarchy of <Artist>/<album>/<tracks...> and then play the album *or* i could just apple-space, type the first few letters of the album name and directly open the associated playlist or just jump right to that directory.

        Sure, this feature falls under the 'search' category which you seem to hate so much, but for me it falls under the 'fastest way imaginable to open something' category, which is pretty awesome!

        1. Jean-Paul

          Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

          Yes, exactly the same for me....Name or any piece of meta data...The way the 'search' is implemented in OSX makes it much quicker than anything else to find, launch, edit, view, or whatever opposed to using a (file) browser of some sort...

          Sure I can understand people wanting to organise and manage it themselves as that is what most are used to, personally I find it rather archaic as the 'views' of information sets can change depending on the activity.

          I actually quite like it in Windows 8 and Unity...But neither seem as fast as Spotlight in OS X.

        2. Snapper
          Holmes

          Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

          You can put it in your sidebar and even (shudder) put an alias on your desktop!

      5. Stuporhero
        Thumb Up

        Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

        With this, how many of us need search in the first place? A bit of organization goes a long way.

    2. Roger Greenwood
      Pint

      Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

      It's almost as if someone in Redmond saw Ubuntu 11 with Unity and thought they should copy it.

      I'm with Mr Wilkinson - when I put a shortcut on the desktop I want it to stay there, not be automatically cleaned away just to keep the place tidy and make me search again.

      Leave my pint alone as well.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Leave my Pint alone

        If MS had their way, the only beer available would be some yellowy 'gnats piss' rather than a decent pint.

        Thankfully, they don't so mine's a pint of 'Rip Snorter'.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Leave my Pint alone

          "If MS had their way, the only beer available would be some yellowy 'gnats piss' rather than a decent pint."

          I guess you havn't bene to American then - that's a good description of their beer...

          1. Getriebe
            Pint

            Re: Leave my Pint alone

            Not so much. You can get a wide variety of beers from bloody marvelous to Schlitz in most areas within striking distance of large bodies of water now.

            1. Tom 13

              Re: Schlitz

              Schlitz? I thought PBR was bog standard bottom of the barrel piss water. Unless of course you were a true sadist and opted for Iron City.

              At least that's what I hear from regular beer drinkers. I don't often partake myself. I can drink 5 or 6 gin and tonics, but after 2 beers I'm ready to heave the technicolor yawn.

    3. Rogue Jedi

      Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

      the reason is simple, MS want you to loose the ability to remember things like for example how bad the riben interface with its illogically ordered tabs made office 2007 or how Vista was sold on PCs which were not powerful enough to run it (like mu mums PC based on a semperon 300 processor and 512 MB of RAM)

      they want this despite the fact that remembering were it is (instead of being able to find it by typing its name) can help develope (or at least slow deteriation of) your brain.

      Microsoft (like most corporations, governments and groups of any kind) do not want people smart enough to think for themselves and ask why.

      1. James O'Shea Silver badge

        Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

        " how Vista was sold on PCs which were not powerful enough to run it (like mu mums PC based on a semperon 300 processor and 512 MB of RAM)"

        Vista _will_ run on that machine. Well, it'll _crawl_ on it... I've seen Vista running on machines with 1 GHz Celerons. It wasn't pretty, but it worked. Just remember that one of the things it was supposed to work at was to make the users so frustrated that they'd abandon perfectly good computers (ick. I said 'good computer' somewhere near where I said '1 GHz Celeron'. Double ick.) and get nice shiny new ones, thereby improving the bottom lines of both Microsoft and its partners in crime.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

          > they'd abandon perfectly good computers (ick. I said 'good computer' somewhere near where I said '1 GHz Celeron'. Double ick.) and get nice shiny new ones

          Microsoft listens to its customers. You are not its customers, the OEMs and retailers are, you are a customer of them.

          Since the mid 80s Microsoft's customers had wanted, nay demanded, that each new version of software should require more, newer, hardware.

          Windows seems to become slower as time goes on. This is fixed by a complete reinstall which recovers the original performance. Perhaps this too is deliberate with additional disk accesses being thrown in based on days since since install.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

      It's a feature added at the request of the NSA so they can find things on your system easier.

    5. Jonathan 29

      Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

      When I can hold my coffee in one hand, mouse in the other and launch an unpinned application such as a vpn client without having to lose focus on whatever I am looking at then I will know that Windows 8 has made some progress.

    6. The Axe

      Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

      It's about the only thing I like in Win8, being able to type the start of a program's name and to go straight to it. A lot quicker typing a few characters than clicking, moving mouse, clicking, moving mouse, clicking, moving mouse.

      1. janimal

        @ The Axe

        unless you have hundreds of utilities that you don't know the name of. For example on occasion I use a particular tool for repairing a particular file type. I don't know what it is called. I have it stored in a location with similar tools.

        1. F Seiler

          Re: @ The Axe

          ..or 4 versions of visual studio, each complete with half a dozen links named the same for the most part. Well except if you started with "v", you lost because although the folder and all other links might start with "visual studio", the main IDE itself is named "microsoft visual studio XXXX".

      2. Vince

        Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

        You mean like you could do in Vista, 7 and 8...

        That just type the first couple of characters approach ain't nothing new...

      3. Daleos

        Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

        Searching for apps can be done in Windows 7. it's the stupid tiles and lack/waste of space that's the issue with me. With Windows 7, there's enough space to display the whole program name (even in a 5cm wide menu) . In Win 8, you only get to see the first few chars worth of the app name. Take Photoshop for example. There's "Adobe Photoshop CS6 (64bit)" and "Adobe Photoshop CS6 (32bit)" You can't tell which one is which on Windows 8 because there's not enough space to display the entire name.

        Ironically, I have a bunch of 'search' programs that I have in a folder on Windows 7. They're all slightly different and depending on what I'm looking for I use a different app. On windows 7, I simply whiz down to 'All Programs' > tools > 'Text Search' or 'All Programs' > tools > 'Image Search' and there they all are, all with unrememberable names like astrogrep, sedawkgui, wingrep, etc. Alongside them are a few batch scripts for more complex searches. If I pick the wrong one, the alternative is next on the list. Try doing that with 'search'.

        Also, Windows 8 doesn't let me have hierarchical structure so I whilst can group my tools into folders, I can't put folders within folders. In Windows 8, my various tools folders are all on the same level as my main apps folders. My apps finder screen now stretches to 30 odd pages which makes app location even more difficult, because it's forcing me to wade through all my apps, not just my search tools. Before they were all tucked away, out of sight until needed under 'Tools'.

      4. Chris T Almighty

        Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

        You could type names and hit return in Windows 7 too.

      5. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

        You can do that in Windows 7 as well. Press the Window key, type in the first few letters of the prog, use the arrow keys if quicker than typing a few more letters, then press enter.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

          Only works if

          The actual .exe is remotely the same as the name of the application

          What about multiple versions of the same app then? (I have at least 9 copies of Eclipse on my desktop PC)

          If MS would introduce a 'mega geek/power user' mode which returned eveything to Win 7 (with QuickLaunch) AND kept all of those annoying MS, 'I'm trying to help you' things out of the way then I for one would be happy. I'd expect that it would also make many of the commentators here happy as well.

          Sadly this is as likely as Balmer getting his Pink Slip anytime soon.

          1. Chika

            Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

            The sad thing is that I doubt that M$ will listen. I said similar things when they started to overload Windows XP with "wizards" and such, but they still did it and never really took notice of the dissent.

      6. Nuke
        Facepalm

        @The Axe - Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

        Wrote :- "the only thing I like in Win8, being able to type the start of a program's name and to go straight to it. A lot quicker typing a few characters than clicking [etc]"

        Perhaps you'd be happier with this then :- http://www.freedos.org/

      7. plrndl
        Thumb Down

        @ The Axe

        This is the precise reason that I have abandoned Ubuntu in favour of Linux Mint/Cinnamon/Docky.

        If I wanted to type the name of an application to launch it, I would be using a command line interface, not a GUI.

      8. GreenOgre
        Childcatcher

        Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

        > "A lot quicker typing a few characters..."

        just like the BASH shell?

        Same problem too, If I don't remember the name of the executable, how do I find it?

        Let's face it, "search" has the same purpose as Firefox's "Awsome Bar". It's not there to help YOU, it's there to provide statistics for targeted ads and steer you where they want you to go.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

      "I prefer remembering where I left things". Agree! If its as badly worked out as the search from XP to Win7, then the OS will often fail to find files you've just created, copied or worked-on because the indexer hasn't caught up. I see this all the time, and it amazes me users don't shout about it.

      Win 7 did add some very useful features, like being able to type in multiple extensions and exclusions in the search box etc. But having to use something like system.filename~="--" to find business or lab files that don't begin with conventional numbers or letters is beyond many users IMHO...

    8. Robert Forsyth

      Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

      Isn't this the handbag approach to storage and retrieval?

      But even a handbag will probably have a pocket for a purse, compact, etc.

    9. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

      Search is now the primary means of navigation so that MS/NSA can know what we're looking for ... search for "big bad-ass bomb" too often and they will be knocking on your door. What, you doubt me? Didn't you see The Matrix? It will be here sooner than you think.

  4. William Hinshaw
    FAIL

    LOL yet another big FU from MS

    Sorry but it is Metro 1.1. This isn't the start menu of old for the PC. Metro works fine on a table or a phone but it is a pain in the ass for me on the PC. While I will have to continue using Classic Shell to have my start button and menus the way I like MS will continue to fail in the Enterprise market with this crap.

    Really just putting the button in and making it take you back to the Metro UI is just a big Fuck You to the customer.

    1. Phoenix50

      Re: LOL yet another big FU from MS

      Just out of interest, had Microsoft kept the Start Menu and still released Windows for touch-enabled devices like tablets...would you be complaining about the fact the Start Menu is really fiddly to use with a finger?

      Or does everyone expect them to increase the menu to twice it's size so it looks ridiculous on the screen and you can just mash it with four digits to drill-down three levels to get the program you need?

      1. Matthew 25
        Facepalm

        Re: LOL yet another big FU from MS

        No. I expect them to have different user interfaces for touch and mouse/keyboard. Its not that radical an idea: see iOS / OS X. It wouldn't be so bad if they had pulled off windows is windows wherever, but nope. We have 3 different operating systems for 3 different device classes and thats that. Why foist the same user interface on all of them. Microsoft need to get their heads around the fact that a mouse is not a finger and a finger is not a mouse.

        P.S. I have a windows phone and the UI works really well on it, so tried win 8... and went back to win 7 after a week of suffering.

        1. Tufty Squirrel
          Childcatcher

          Re: LOL yet another big FU from MS

          > Microsoft need to get their heads around the fact that a mouse is not a finger and a finger is not a mouse.

          Fingermouse, Fingermouse

          The never stop to think a mouse

          The always on the brink a mouse

          Fingernouse, that's me

          I am the mouse called Fingermouse

          The mouse with guts and verve

          I get past cats so easily with my favourite body swerve

          Fingermouse, Fingermouse

          I'm a sort of wonder mouse

          A hit, a miss, a blunder mouse

          Fingermouse, that's me

          Won't somebody please think of the children?

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: LOL yet another big FU from MS

        Simples MicroSoft like to make a GAZILLION SKU of its OS.

        Ya have One for the Keyboard & Mouse Brigade, and another for Phablets!

        Simples....

        (needs more Meerkats)

      3. PaulR79

        Consumer choice

        The issue is not that they've put in a Start screen for touch-driven devices it's that they've ONLY got that option even for non-touch devices. Had they done what nearly everyone said during the Duplo 8 Consumer Preview and stuck with both the traditional UI but added the touch UI via a toggle a huge amount of issues would have been dealt with at once. Instead they buried their heads in the sand while putting their fingers in their ears and humming loudly.

        1. cybersaur
          FAIL

          Re: Consumer choice

          Win8 seems to have been primarily designed by Microsoft's marketing dept. Functionality for business desktops just didn't seem to be a consideration at all.

        2. TheVogon Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Consumer choice

          Work fine here with a mouse.....

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Consumer choice

          @ paulR79: You even start to wonder why they even bother to release any "preview" or have a "developer network" at all.

          They're turning into Apple. They too know what's best for their customers.

          1. Tom 13

            Re: They're turning into Apple.

            No, it's worse than that. Even Jobs didn't try to force his users to use a touch interface on his not-touch equipment. It's like Ballmer decided to one up Apple by not simply becoming them, but jumping the shark in in the same stupidendous move.

      4. cybersaur
        FAIL

        Re: LOL yet another big FU from MS

        All Microsoft had to do was release the tablet UI as just another Windows application that ran at startup on tablets. Forcing Desktop users to use a touchscreen UI is just mindnumbingly stupid.

      5. Adam 1 Silver badge

        Re: LOL yet another big FU from MS

        " would you be complaining about the fact the Start Menu is really fiddly to use with a finger?"

        Yes. TIFKAM works well for touch and the start menu doesn't. But what is your point?

        Have the swipe events bring up TIFKAM and the keyboard or mouse click the start menu. Or have a preference setting where you pick your preferred application launcher. It really isn't a problem that couldn't be solved.

      6. plrndl

        Re: LOL yet another big FU from MS @Phoenix50

        You're missing the point completely. Most sensible people want a desktop interface on the desktop, and a touch interface on their tablet/phone etc.

        Neither interface works well in the other system, and no interface yet devized works well in both. Nor is it ever likely to, or all living things would have evolved to be the same optimum size.

        All my kit runs Linux, but with different interfaces appropriate to the screen size.

  5. Miek
    Linux

    It seems to me that the usefulness of a Windows 8 machine depends on how much you like Bing and Microsoft accounts, of which I have none. Live tiles are a waste of time and once all the stuff that I don't use is removed from the Metro screen I am left with a couple of application icons, which I would normally pin to my taskbar. There is no point in the start screen, it is simply a 'hipster scum' idea to compete aesthetically with MacOS X and it has been rejected by the customer base. Move on Microsoft, we want Windows 9 sans this Metro drivel, if that's not clear enough for you, take a look at Windows 7, rinse and repeat.

    1. Phoenix50

      I use Bing every day. I have a Microsoft account. I love Windows 8.

      It's all relative isn't it?

      1. Spearchucker Jones

        I do too, and also love it.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Me too....

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge
        FAIL

        No doubt it was the SHRILLS like you that got Edan baned. Personally I thought he pretty much had all your numbers myself. The author of the Article also seems to like his FREE SWAG, and that is just fine. But the "Real World" are asked to pony-up for this Crap, and its been generally agreed that Windows 8 is FAIL!

        Just like MicroSofts new XBONE *cough* FailBOX *cough* will also tank. I got flamed for it before, and will enjoy those Down Votes again (I'm sure)...

        But, One wonders with the ALWAYS ON! Kinect, ~It only spys on you!~ if Mr. Sonwden will have to face an additional charge of financial terrorism*, when or if he ever gets back home.

        *As if MicroSofts original policy on Used Games weren't bad enough, to drive users away. I hope the fact that a Kinected Failbox to the NSA, BND, GHCQ, FBI, RIAA, MPAA, Local Police at-el. Will be enough to drive them away. I certainly have NO FURTHER INTEREST in it whatsoever! And I've been pretty loyal to M$ as far as the XBOX went. But, this is a step to far!

        WII-U FTW!!

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Well that was unexpected, I was kinda expecting this to go the other way...

          Perhaps I made ma argument to convincing for the Shrills?

          In any case its good to know that sanity prevails...

      3. Nuke
        Trollface

        @Phoenix50

        Wrote :- "I use Bing every day. I have a Microsoft account. I love Windows 8."

        I was just about to mod you "Funny" when I remembered this isn't Slashdot.

    2. Daniel B.
      Linux

      MS shilltime!

      Bing is an ice cream franchise. That's the first thing that pops up in my mind. Ok, maybe the lame attempt MS did to place their not-Google search engine on the Hawaii 5-0 remake. "Bing it!" (and reading the comments "He said Google wrong!" is hilarious!)

      I do have a Hotmail account, but that was mostly used for Messenger ... oh, MS killed that.

      They also killed Hotmail, only leaving the addys themselves. Outlook is an anti-brand like Windows these days.

      But really, anyone claiming "Microsoft" and "love" in the same sentence is either an MS shill, or has bet the cards on the MS ecosystem, like those devs who only knew .NET and were afraid of the Java switch one of my former employers was planning...

      1. mmeier

        Re: MS shilltime!

        And Daniel B. is - totally wrong again

        I LOVE Windows on the client since the days of Win NT4. And I neither work for them (my employer does "software to measure") nor use MS languages for the laste decade (JAVA, C/C++, if forced PHP). But as an engineer I use

        + What the customer wants (Windows on the client, commercial Unix on the Server, MPCs for controlling)

        + What fulfills all my needs and wants with the least amount of systems (Windows)

        + What does the job best if choice exist (Prefering Outlook/Exchange/Sharepoint to Notes/Domino)

        If a customer pays for Fortran - I brush up my F77 (last used in 1990 or so) and if he wants .NET - there is a book for that. If one of these days the "best system" is Mach-3 based - I'll get a Mac.

        1. M Gale

          Re: Mmeier

          That's funny, I don't think anybody was replying to you. Nor accusing you specifically of anything. You feeling talked to, for some reason?

          I have known someone else who claims to have nothing to do with Microsoft while at the same time seeming to profess undying love for them. Except, they work for one of Microsoft's contractors. So while strictly true about not working for Microsoft, this guy knows what side his bread is buttered.

          Know what I mean?

          1. mmeier

            Re: Mmeier

            And wrong again. Company has nothing to do with MS and except for a few printing modules we wrote on request of a customer do not need MS products in the tool chain. Pure JAVA shop here, software typically runs on Solaris or AIX with some "everything but iOS/Android" Swing frontends to supplement the web apps.

      2. Nuke
        Headmaster

        @ Daniel B - Re: MS shilltime!

        Wrote : "Bing is an ice cream franchise. That's the first thing that pops up in my mind."

        Nah. Its is a Brylcreemed singer with ears like jug handles whose dreary "White Xmas" song is put on endless loop in every shopping centre from October to December every year.

      3. Mark 65 Silver badge

        Re: MS shilltime!

        "But really, anyone claiming "Microsoft" and "love" in the same sentence is either an MS shill, or has bet the cards on the MS ecosystem, like those devs who only knew .NET and were afraid of the Java switch one of my former employers was planning..."

        Dude, when enterprise shops mainly use Windows on the desktop (by some margin) it makes sense to only use .Net. Java as a front-end on Windows has always been fugly and switching from .Net to Java on windows desktops makes no sense at all.

        1. Daniel B.

          Re: MS shilltime! @Mark 65

          The switch I mentioned involved the newfangled "web" platform, which only had about 2 or 3 apps at the time, none of them in .NET, but the push involved deprecating the fugly VB6 apps and building 'em new as web apps. One of the few web apps already in use was done in Java, so it did make sense.

  6. Anomalous Cowshed

    Time for a change of business model?

    Until recently the business model for Microsoft seemed (from my lowly vantage point) to be more or less this:

    - with mates like Intel, and OEMs, force a fairly fast product cycle upon consumers and businesses every n years, by releasing a new operating system (Windows) and new business software (Office) which required an upgrade to new, more powerful processors being released at the time.

    I'm not saying that functionality and the computing experience in general didn't improve as a result...but the cycles may in some cases have been a little shorter than was strictly necessary for customers and end-users.

    This business model made a lot of money for everyone, so nobody could break out of it. And it made Microsoft into a very powerful company.

    Now, though, with the advent of Apple (IOS), Google (Android) and more and more variations on Linux + new device types and form factors, it seems that the Microsoft model, which relied on a de facto monopoly, is about to be broken. So maybe they just need to adapt and find a way of continuing to improve people's computing experience...all be it on a more ad-hoc and voluntary basis.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Time for a change of business model?

      OH BOOH HOOO poor wittle MicroSoft might actually have to start competing against other Manufactures instead of just milking the OEMs like Dell and HP who can't shift the Boxes they once did...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Merits?!

    "Further, if you disregard the noise of Start menu debates, there is obvious merit in concepts like sandboxed apps easily deployed from an app store"

    What merits would that be? Or better put: apart from the merits for Microsoft themselves, which obviously sits in the middle of the revenue of both customers who might pay to buy software as well as developers who have to pay to sell software...

    I don't see much merits for customers, apart from some ease of use. But that ease comes at a hefty price, because which company controls what does and doesn't get into the appstore? Leading up to: Would Microsoft allow Apache to push OpenOffice into their appstore? Let's say during launch of their possibly upcoming own version of an metro stained Office?

    There is a dark side to all this, and that goes double if we're talking about desktop usage.

    Don't forget that big changes start slow. And I sure would NOT enjoy the moment when we suddenly discover that Windows 12 (to name a random future release) no longer provides any means to install software yourself APART from either using the appstore or an Enterprise environment.

    That is the kind of risk I'm seeing here. And as said: it starts slow. An optional app store, what will be the next move though?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Merits?!

      Unfortunately by that time Linux, *BSD or any other free (I'm talking about freedom here) alternative will be long dead so we will all have to suck it up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Merits?!

        There's no way you can kill free software.

        If you think so, you've obviously missed something called reality.

        But of course, someone paid by Microsoft has to say something boneheaded like this to earn his pay.

    2. PerlyKing
      FAIL

      Re: Merits?!

      I don't see much merits for customers, apart from some ease of use.

      Don't underestimate the value of ease of use. Oh, you already have.

    3. DarkWalker

      Re: Merits?!

      There are merits if the Android model is used.

      In other words, if the self-contained, sandboxed app can be obtained from any number of competing app stores, or even installed from a local file if the user so desires.

      Otherwise, just no. Having a single mandatory source of apps is a huge step backwards, no matter what the associated benefits might be.

    4. El Andy

      Re: Merits?!

      @ShelLuser " Leading up to: Would Microsoft allow Apache to push OpenOffice into their appstore? Let's say during launch of their possibly upcoming own version of an metro stained Office?"

      Yes, as long as it passes the technical requirements. The process for getting an app in-store is actually remarkably transparent (and far more so than the Apple store). There are already a bunch of OpenOffice training apps in the store today.

      On the wider merit of the advantages to the app store model over ease of use (which is a massive benefit). They also provide a lot more confidence that you are getting what you wanted and that you can remove it entirely if you so choose to. Googling for free games and installing them will inevitably get you a PC full of spyware that is hard to get rid of, wheras downloading a bunch of free titles from the store won't because the OS sandboxing just doesn't allow it. And may aspects of the revamped development model make it easier for apps to be more power efficient too, great if your on a mobile device but cost effective even for desktop systems too.

      1. Tuomas Hosia

        Re: Merits?!

        "Yes, as long as it passes the technical requirements."

        "Yes, but no" to put this bluntly.

        It will never pass the "technical" requirements as those are made up on the fly, whenever necessary.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Merits?!

        "On the wider merit of the advantages to the app store model over ease of use (which is a massive benefit)"

        Irrelevant and usually not a benefit at all, but a misfeature: Registering to the shop is per month- basis expense and huge nuisance before you can even see what is offered.

        Googling a download site and pressing download and starting install is _ease of use_: Simple and fast.

        Definitely much faster than trying to create an account to MS store with Firefox (good luck for you on that).

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Merits?!

      Missing the big one -

      Forced per-user-account software licensing/billing

  8. ElectricFox
    FAIL

    If car manufacturers were to do the same...

    Wouldn't it be fun to change the order of accelerator, brake and clutch on cars every ten years' or so to "move with the times". I think that boring layout is long overdue for an aesthetic overhaul.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

      And for further global compatibility, occasionally put the whole lot plus steering wheel on the left hand side of the vehicle.

      And as one is a foot-based interface and the other is hand-based, there is of course no need to have the two co-ordinated and sharing resources by being on the same side of the car.

    2. RISC OS
      FAIL

      Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

      So your with the "bring back the crank shaf" brigade, and the "don't drive anywhere at more than 2 miles an hour so that you don't run over the guy with the flag" nutters... and lets not forget how everyone was upinarms about cars getting rid of the choke...

      luddites

      1. Matthew 25

        Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

        To be fair some automatic chokes were a bit of a joke but automatic or manual the choke disappeared with the carburetter. Fuel injection enriches the mixture by the simple method of putting more fuel in ;)

      2. ElectricFox
        Megaphone

        Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

        I'm not a luddite, I just think that standardisation, rational thinking and designing things with the end user in mind are good principles to engineer by. Let's try some rational thinking to why replacing the crank shaft is a good idea, and swapping pedals around isn't.

        Replace Crank shaft with starter motor

        Pros

        You don't run the risk of your engine backfiring and smashing bones in your hand.

        You can start the car quickly if you stall in busy traffic: try having to get out and crank your car in rush hour.

        You can use the starter to nudge your car forwards in an emergency when the engine won't start (stuck on a level crossing for example)

        Disabled or plain not strong people can start their cars.

        You no longer impale people on the starter handle (was quite a problem, I think)

        Cons

        You'll need to replace your starter motor with a refurbished one ever decade or so (depending on use case)

        Swapping the order of the pedals around

        Pros:

        It's more aesthetically pleasing, and makes you more hip and trendy

        Cons:

        Anyone else that drives your car will likely crash it

        Once you get used to this standard, you'll probably crash any other standard car you drive

        1. Nuke
          Meh

          @RISC OS & Electric Fox - Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

          Wrote :- "Let's try some rational thinking to why replacing the crank shaft is a good idea [etc]"

          Er, I was baffled by what RISC OS swrote until you replied. I think you both meant crank handle. You car almost certainly still has a crankshaft, as do >99.99% of all cars.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

        There was a time when a competent person could do the maintenance and quite a few repairs on their family car. However - many people treated it as an appliance and couldn't even refill the screen washer.

        Nowadays the car has been abstracted to the point where not even a qualified mechanic can maintain a car without a full-blown garage set of diagnostic equipment. If they don't have the software update for the latest model then even the garage is stuffed.

        Problems that once could be seen and fixed easily are now buried under layers of abstraction. It is still too often the case that all the mechanic can do is keep changing expensive modules until it works.

        Windows PCs have become like that since about Windows 95.**

        ** Does anyone one know a reliable root cause diagnostic and fix for "Direct3D unavailable" on W7 screensavers - even with a modern graphics card? There are many putative fixes on the web - none of which cure all reported cases - and none come witha root cause explanation. Bluntly poking the Registry might fix a symptom but does not inspire confidence.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

          > There was a time when a competent person could do the maintenance

          There was a time when an owner _HAD_TO_ do the maintenance

          With my first car (admittedly nearly 30 years old when I got it) I sometimes had to pull the pistons out and get replacement white metal bearings cast onto the big ends. With others I got quite good at balancing twin SUs.

          The car I recently gave to my son I had used for 11 years without much more than new tires and brake pads, plus the occasional oil change.

          Much the same with computers. One that I work on has an uptime of 829 days because that was the day it was installed (but it isn't Windows).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

            "There was a time when an owner _HAD_TO_ do the maintenance"

            It still is. "Service" is usually skipping so many items on the list that it renders whole list meaningless. Not all services and not all the time but even once is enough when it's your car.

            When you do it all yourself, you've only one person to blame. And the person is the same who pays the bills.

        2. Nuke
          Holmes

          @AC (18:06) - Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

          Wrote :- "Nowadays the car has been abstracted to the point where not even a qualified mechanic can maintain a car without a full-blown garage set of diagnostic equipment."

          That's funny, I am still maintaining mine at home. I don't need diagnostic kit to see if my spark plugs or brake linings are worn, I take them to bits and look, just like the old days.

        3. El Andy

          Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

          @Ac 18:06 " Does anyone one know a reliable root cause diagnostic and fix for "Direct3D unavailable" on W7 screensavers - even with a modern graphics card? There are many putative fixes on the web - none of which cure all reported cases - and none come witha root cause explanation. Bluntly poking the Registry might fix a symptom but does not inspire confidence"

          Almost certainly due to the removal of Retained Mode from Direct3D 9 in Windows 7. Getting a copy of d3drm.dll and registering it supposedly fixes it, though I can't say I've personally tried nor could I tell you what weird side-effects that might have are.

        4. Squander Two

          "Nowadays the car has been abstracted..."

          > Nowadays the car has been abstracted to the point where not even a qualified mechanic can maintain a car without a full-blown garage set of diagnostic equipment.

          My brother-in-law's a master technician for Jaguar, and he only needs the diagnostic computers in order to diagnose problems in the onboard computers (which is fair enough) or to make changes to the onboard computers (such as resetting the alert that tells the driver when the next service is due) (again, fair enough). He'd agree with you that the mechanical stuff is more difficult for a layman than it used to be, but not that it can't be done.

          Maybe you just don't know any decent mechanics.

    3. Birdulon
      Joke

      Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

      I don't think the fullscreen music player app would pass safety regulations.

    4. The Lord Gord

      Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

      Why don't we just change the side of the road we drive on every few years as well, and of course, people will have to re-take a driving test before they can take part in the changeover, s creating great revenue for the country as a whole.

      Maybe we need to look at the colour sequenced used in traffic lights as well.. I mean hoe OLD are they now?

      It's clear more thought is required here!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

      A car? How about MS redesigning the simple washing machine....

      1. TheVogon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

        "How about MS redesigning the simple washing machine...."

        In this scenario Windows 8 is like a Maytag washer dryer - powerful, well made, and simple to use if you have experience with modern technology, but if you are more dated, then all the new options even via simple controls are confusing to you at first...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

          "In this scenario Windows 8 is like a Maytag washer dryer - powerful, well made, and simple to use if you have experience with modern technology,"

          Yea. Like 8" screen with Windows background and links to MS store and Windows update. No controls, of course, you already know how to use Windows so it's simple to use.

          No manual either, Windows doesn't need a manual and of course, you only need to use Windows, no actual washing the laundry needed.

          It sticks for some totally obscure reason in every other washing cycle and has to be rebooted and finally dies out after 3 years because companies are running their machines only 3 years, it doesn't have to last longer than that.

    6. Vince

      Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

      You mean the way some cars have a button for a handbrake now, or "flappy paddle" gear changing...

      Some people like change.

      1. Jason Terando
        Coat

        Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

        The "car arrangement" argument may run counter to the point a lot of people are trying to make.

        I can accept that consistency for consistency's sake is meaningful for automobiles. I can go rent a car and the steering wheel, accelerator and brake will be roughly where I expect them to be. I accept that. But the idea that any change in a computer desktop paradigm is automatically bad seems a little extreme.

        What Microsoft and Ubuntu are trying to do, perhaps unsuccessfully, is to converge the desktop and mobile user experience to provide the same consistency that everybody seems to feel is so vital in automobiles. Once upon a time, when a PC and phone were as far apart as an airplane and car, it would make sense that a PC looked and operated completely different than a phone. Today the difference is shrinking, maybe more along the lines a bus versus a sports car. A bus, economy car, RV camper and sedan all perform different functions, but have enough consistency that anybody who can drive one could have a reasonable chance of driving any. I don't think it's a wasted effort for people to try to bring the same kind of consistency to computing devices, whether they sit on my desk or, like today, in my pocket.

        I am not a huge fan of Microsoft's "modern interface" for the desktop, but I can see where they are going with it, and with some more refinement, I believe it will work out. Microsoft does seem to be listening to feedback and adapting. To me, that's the way it ought to work.

        1. cordwainer 1

          Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

          That comment would seem to imply that a desktop computer and a mobile device are analogous, to the point having the same interface makes sense. However, it's pretty clear they are not. Just because a mobile device such as a smartphone - or even some tablets - performs certain computing functions doesn't make it a personal computer.

          All are tools which perform certain tasks and functions, some more complex than others, some requiring greater processing power...and some requiring a completely different interface for smoothest use.

          But what's even MORE worrisome about Windows 8 than the dumbed down previously-Metro interface is how much functionality and how many features were also ripped out from UNDER the hood. It isn't just a matter of looks, or, to use the automobile analogy, paddle shifters instead of the standard stick. There are some serious changes to the underlying code and how Windows handles routine tasks, including many worrying omissions, that make Windows 8 unsuitable for a majority of professional and business environments, and even a huge number of home users.

          Maybe, just maybe, if everyone used computers only for email, web browsing, and word processing, having a "consistent" interface, or dumbing down the OS to such an extent would make sense.

          But anyone who uses their desktop computer as a heavy-duty tool for dozens or hundreds of tasks - from system administration to desktop publishing to gene sequencing - will be not only frustrated but balked by Windows 8. No matter how much one might TRY to like it, adjust to it, slap third-party interfaces on top of it....it simply can't handle much of what Windows has historically handled. It WILL trip up experienced Windows users at some point, regardless of their level of expertise.

          The anger at Microsoft is specifically at their boneheaded assumption that users as a whole care more about form than function, and that "one size fits all." Sorry, MS, but most of us still care more that we be able to get our work done, work that comes in millions of sizes and shapes....and in Windows 8, you've failed even to get function right.

          Showing bad form in the interface and with regard to customer feedback is merely the insult added to the functional injury - one Microsoft is obviously trying desperately to hide.

        2. Tuomas Hosia

          Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

          "But the idea that any change in a computer desktop paradigm is automatically bad seems a little extreme."

          Yes. But we are not talking about "any change", we are talking about totally new paradigm, like changing the car controls to ones taken directly from a submarine: Not many of those would make any sense to a car driver. Let's see:

          "Depth" ... WTF is this? "Speed" .. OK, I know this ... "Direction: 330" ... WTF?... "Flaps: 33" ... "WTF?"

          And this, this is the issue here: Throwing every familiar element there was, away, and replacing those with _no elements at all_. You basically have some tiles and no (visible) controls at all.

          UI with swipes is quite absurd on a PC when you have mouse and keyboard and huge amount of screen space. Add injury to insult when you try to swish your hand around 24" touch screen whole day.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

        Yes, and button emergency/hand brake is stupidiest idea in decades.

        Here in North hand brake is an essential steering method in front wheel drive cars in winter. Changing that to button operated on/off -type device which _will not engage_ at speed, makes it unusable for that purpose.

        Also: It's is called "emergency brake" in some parts of the globe as it's independent from foot brake. Making it a button operated device which will not engage at speed, makes it useless for this purpose too.

        So: Two , more or less essential functions, the other potentially life saving, lost and not a single one gained. But it looks pretty!

        That is the definition of stupidity, my friend.

        People who like change almost always like _any_ change, regardless of the direction. And that is stupidity too, they have no concept of change quality at all.

        Flappy paddle means only that you already have a fully automatic gear box, you just added flaps on the side of the gear selector stick: Basically no change in functionality, slightly easier to use. Not really a change, but an addition.

    7. El Andy

      Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

      Broken metaphor. Car manufacturers change the layout of the dashboard and ancillary controls all the time for aesthetic reasons and people cope just fine. It's not as if Windows 8 is completely alien in the way that changing the order of car pedals would be, the basic mechanisms for calling up the start screen/menu are identical, for example.

    8. Squander Two

      Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

      Look, if you don't like Windows 8, fair enough, but to make this comparison to cars is ridiculous, as it implies that all interface change is bad. Since most of the people who dislike Windows 8 say that they like Windows 7 so apparently don't object to any of the massive differences between 7 and 95, that's clearly bollocks.

  9. Cornholio

    Let me get this right...

    "[if you] wish to launch Excel. Both are desktop apps, so showing the Start screen is jarring. Now you can press Win-S, type Excel, and select the app from a right-hand panel without leaving the desktop."

    I've not used Win8. On my XP boxes, I click Start / Excel if I want to launch Excel. Do you really have to do all of the above to launch it under 8.1? Sorry, I'm probably being thick as usual.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Let me get this right...

      And on my Win7 boxes and laptops, I just click the little icon that's conveniently placed on the taskbar, which features all sorts of other convenient icons for other tools that I often use plus useful stuff like a clock.

      Or is that too archaic and old-fashioned in the modern touch environment? Too much like actually pushing a button to start something? Oops, shouldn't mention start and button in the same sentence around here :)

      1. graeme leggett

        Re: Let me get this right...

        re lack of task bar.

        I'm presuming the idea was that with smaller displays having only a certain amount of height before you had to shrink the contents excessively that it was better to not have a taskbar until you need it, in the same way that the ribbon in Office is supposed to get out of the way when it isn't in use.

        It's like they moved the taskbar to the right and made it auto-hiding then didn't put any shortcuts on it.

        1. Squander Two

          This is exactly what I don't get about the Windows 8 criticism.

          > it was better to not have a taskbar ... It's like they moved the taskbar to the right and made it auto-hiding then didn't put any shortcuts on it.

          The Taskbar's still there. Look! There! Right where it was before. It hasn't moved; it hasn't changed; it is completely fucking identical to the Windows 7 Taskbar.

          I understand a lot of the more reasoned criticisms of Windows 8 -- why can't we create ad-hoc wifi networks any more, for instance? But most of it is this bollocks. What's wrong with people?

      2. mmeier

        Re: Let me get this right...

        And on a Win8 box - one can still clutter the task bar with icons to start programs. Or just hit "Win" and select from the Modern icons shown. Up to 72 IIRC on a 24'' monitor leaving the task bar for "running" applications.

        Hope the space waster called "start" can be switched off. No need for it.

        1. M Gale

          Re: Let me get this right...

          Up to 72 IIRC on a 24'' monitor leaving the task bar for "running" applications.

          Information Overload.

          He's heard of it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Let me get this right...

            @m gale: heat map, heard of it?

            most used stuff goes towards the bottom left, least used goes out from there.

    2. RISC OS

      Re: Let me get this right...

      I've been using win 8 for 6 months... I have yet to experience this "jarring" that people refer to.

      1. breakfast
        Trollface

        Re: Let me get this right...

        And yet your username is RISC OS, so you might be a tiny bit confused about what you are suing. That nice WIMP interface you have been getting the hang of? That is RISC OS.

        The annoyingly jarring mishmash of tablet/phone technology that doesn't work well at all with a pointer and requires constant keystrokes to get to anything like the behaviour of a basic Windows XP installation. *That one* is Windows 8.

    3. David Hicks
      Thumb Down

      Re: Let me get this right...

      Was going to say much the same - Win-S, type Excel, click - that's not a simple or quick way to start something, nor is it simple and intuitive for the people that MS has spent the last 20 years convincing just to click menus and shortcuts.

      Now my mother has to know about hotkey combos and search? Hell no! That's not going to work.

      1. Phoenix50

        Re: Let me get this right...

        Sorry what?

        Click Start.

        Click Excel.

        PIN IT FOR GOD'S SAKE.

    4. The_Regulator

      Or you can just shortcut excel to the taskbar or desktop in desktop mode and use one click as you would with windows 7.......i add my commonly used desktop applications to the desktop workspace and use it like win 7. I use start and metro apps for consumption more than anything else eg listening to stations on tune in radio, reading magazine articles etc.

    5. Squander Two

      "Do you really have to do all of the above to launch it under 8.1?"

      No, you don't. As always in Windows, there are a number of ways of launching an app. What the article is referring to is the search method. In Windows 8, you can hit the Windows key and start typing to quickly find and launch an app (or file or contact or whatever). At the moment, this always takes you to the tiles while you do the seaching and launching. What the article is saying is that in-app seach has extended exactly the same functionality so that you no longer see such a major screen-change between what you're doing now and what you're launching. I didn't find going to the tiles and back jarring myself, but apparently a lot of people did, so this is probably a good addition.

      But you can still just click on the icon in the Taskbar, assuming you put it there, same as in Windows 7.

      1. Squander Two

        To whoever downvoted that.

        Look, I'm quite happy to join in the puerile Win8 bickering and am certainly doing so, but Cornholio, who has not used Windows 8, actually asked an honest and reasonable question about it and I gave a factual (and I hope helpful) answer. Jesus. Has Eadon written a comment-voting script or something?

  10. Otto is a bear.

    I want to say something new...

    But all I can think of is why do I want Windows 8.anything, what does it give me that XP, hell even 95 did.

    On the surface nothing, I can think of. Lots of technical stuff underneath, but day to day? I seem to remember that you have pretty much always been able to have touch screen apps with Windows, if not MSDos.

    It's the pretty UI really isn't? I'll get my chequebook.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I want to say something new...

      I've invested a lot of money in various Windows applications and peripherals over the years. Several times a perfectly good one has been invalidated by a new version of Windows.

      It seems the sensible strategy for W8 is to stay with XP,/ W7 in offline mode for legacy - and use Linux Mint for browsing etc. There's enough spare hardware stored in the garage to keep the legacy uses going for many years.

      There is no compelling reason in terms of power or applications to move to W8 - the market appears to have peaked a while ago.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: I want to say something new...

        > I've invested a lot of money ...

        I hate to disappoint you but that was not an 'investment' but was merely a cost.

    2. Jason Terando
      Windows

      Re: I want to say something new...

      I have used Windows 8 for about six months on a machine that used to run Windows 7; primarily used for development, office productivity software and, of course, websurfing. Windows 8's under-the-hood improvements make the machine feel faster than it used to.

      File operations involve fewer prompts and the progress shown is more instructive (when I used Windows 7 to copy directories from one place to another, sometimes it felt like I was trapped in a game of "Mother May I?").

      Start menu? Yeah, I missed it, and found a nice application called StartIsBack for $3, which boots me to desktop and gives me the classic start menu. If Microsoft would bring up a start screen without blocking everything I'm working on, I would be good with that, in the meantime, I'm good with this. Reminds me of the days when I paid a lot more than $3 to get a decent file manager on Windows 3.1.

      Don't let the vitriol about Metro get in the way of a decent upgrade. Every so often I will peek in at the "Modern UI" to play around with updated applications. But 99% of my time is spent quite comfortably in the familiar desktop environment.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The New Tech Mantra: 'When its broken don't fix it just hire good PR...'

    What is it with ex-Metro now being referred to as 'Modern'?... When I think of modern I think of something dysfunctional like 'Modern Family'. Its clever marketing though.... Make it seem like Win7 is old-fashioned and you can force the masses to move and bend to your will.....

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: The New Tech Mantra: 'When its broken don't fix it just hire good PR...'

      "Its clever marketing though...."

      Er, not really. You see, plenty of fairly dim-witted marketroids have thought along these lines. The result is that "Modern" is the brand for a now-well-out-of-date style of quite a lot of things. Yes, we all know what the word means, with a lower-case "m", but the brand with an upper-case "M" actually means old crap. Case in point: "Modern Art" refers to something from the early years of the last century. Even "post-modern" is now a bit of an old joke.

      No. Clever marketing would have been to build on your existing brand that is recognised and tolerated by 99% of your customer base. Revolutions are for people who aren't currently in charge. For an established player to seek a revolution is suicidal.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The New Tech Mantra: 'When its broken don't fix it just hire good PR...'

      "What is it with ex-Metro now being referred to as 'Modern'?"

      Maybe its ModeRN

      where RN == Rootless Numpties

  12. The Lord Gord

    It's Simple...

    I have 80 new HP computer systems going into a client at the end of July, and the deal was made with ease due to Windows 8 being nowhere near them. Testing the windows 8 operating system on some of the staff for a month had the whole place in uproar as everyone started to complain that there was no way on earth they would be using this nonsense. Same goes for Office... Office 2003 with some 2007 (they hate the ribbon) is what they will be using as they have no interest at all in the new releases. As for subscription based software options... they laughed.....

    Steve Balmer and Co. Sack the lot of them, including the design team.

    Windows 8.1 is still a joke, and even after all the time of using 8 since it's release I have no more monitors to throw across the room in anger at such a retarded operating system design for a desktop.

    Tablet - Fine, desktop and stupid full screen applications.... Ah no... the rage is starting again......

    1. mmeier

      Re: It's Simple...

      Guess the "testers" and the "demonstration team" should be taken out, given shovels to dig their grave and then shot. Anyone who reduces Win8 to the Modern apps in a company environment is either to stupid for anything more complex than pushing a broom or deliberatly sabotaging the company.

    2. Vince
      Black Helicopters

      Re: It's Simple...

      Presumably the "training" people weren't involved then? Of course, there's nothing different in Office 2013 to Office 95 either, well if you haven't given any training anyhow...

      For typical daytime use, in most cases, the same few apps are used, so pin those to start screen and/or task bar. Problem solved. Spend all of 10 minutes showing people what has changed.

      Result = more productive staff, less cost to administer your IT long term (no really, how many patches, hotfixes, updates, scripts and workarounds did you need to install on each XP machine?!?!)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Integrated search across local and web results is genuinely useful. '

    Let me guess, this is the new default search behaviour? Surely it must slow down the search results... Even worse, return loads of unwanted marketing led results. No thanks! I want control back. I don't want local file searches mixed up with web searches. After all I'm a tech and not a journo!

    Moreover I can see users miss-typing and getting a series of embarrassing results that they then have to disassociate themselves from. All the time boosting Bing's market share- No thanks! So how easy is it for users to zap their File-Search / Bing History to claim back their privacy in such an obfuscated Modern UI?

    1. Squander Two

      No, it really doesn't work like that.

      > Surely it must slow down the search results

      The results for stuff on the computer itself are so fast they're near-enough instant.

      > Even worse, return loads of unwanted marketing led results.

      Been using Windows 8 a while now, and have seen this precisely zero times.

      The search on Windows 8 is segmented. It searches apps by default (for quick launching), but gives you a load of buttons so that you can switch the search to files or people or music or Web or maps or Bloomberg or whatever with one click. It's really rather handy. Maybe you should consider trying it and then criticising the way it actually works, rather than complaining about stuff it only does in your imagination?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can someone Explain this to me? ...Two IE's? ... But no integration?

    "There are still two browsers in Windows 8.1, one for the desktop and one for the Modern environment, with no integration between them, though they share the same rendering engine. "

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: Can someone Explain this to me? ...Two IE's? ... But no integration?

      as in if you are in one you don't see the contents of the other. Favourites (yes, that's how it should be spelt) are shared.

      If I recall you can set it that when starting from Metro (as was) it opens the desktop version rather than the Metro one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can someone Explain this to me? ...Two IE's? ... But no integration?

        And the reason there are two? One is more 'touchy'?

    2. Oninoshiko

      Re: Can someone Explain this to me? ...Two IE's? ... But no integration?

      no, no one can explain it to you because it's a daft idea.

      Every idea they had, they should have tried explaining to an average user. If they couldn't it should have been scrapped.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why Horizontally only....? ... and why only 4 apps....?

    "Allowing you to resize apps freely (but only horizontally). You can display up to four apps side by side per screen,

    1. Darryl
      Stop

      Re: Why Horizontally only....? ... and why only 4 apps....?

      That's the thing I find most jarring about Win8 - Side scrolling instead of vertical scrolling. Nice on a phone, annoying as hell on a computer.

    2. El Andy

      Re: Why Horizontally only....? ... and why only 4 apps....?

      Horizontally - because the screen is wider than it is tall, so it's easier for developers to display a usable and meaningful UI in a vertical strip than it is a horizontal way, And unlike traditional Windows, developers can't make them un-resizable, which is a PITA in many existing applications.

      Why 4? - There is a minimum size of an application, to give devs a fighting chance of getting workable UI, so that coupled with the typical size of a screen actually provides the main constraint. In addition, Modern apps are intended to assume that when running they have pretty much the full resources of the PC available to them (because they're suspended when in the background). Obviously the more of them you have on-screen, the less true that becomes, so keeping them responsive becomes more challenging.

  16. adnim Silver badge

    If Only

    Windows 8.1 install script

    if(touch_device) {

    if(prompt("Install touch interface?") ) {

    exec install metro;

    exit;

    }

    }

    if(prompt("No touch screen detected. Do you want to install a touch interface anyway?") {

    exec install metro;

    exit;

    }

    exec install desktop;

    1. mmeier

      Re: If Only

      Okay then what will the script do on

      Sony Vaio Duo

      Lenovo Helix, X230

      Fujitzu T-73x, T90x and Q702

      Samsungs Ativ500/700 and Q

      And every other convertible or 2 in 1? Those units switch between modes quite regularly.

      Currently writing this on a T731 sitting in the dock(1) running as a "desktop" (two monitors, external keyboard). In about 2h I will grab the unit and go to an privat planning event where I will use it as a tablet pc for the next 6+ hours (dual batterie system). And that is not uncommon, for meetings, talks to QS or customer events I use tablet mode, for development the desktop,

      (1) The unit itself is permanently in "tablet mode" since I prefer external mouse/keyboard when docked and have two docks (At home, at job)

      1. Mike 29
        Devil

        Re: If Only

        It would ask if you want to install Metro and install desktop either way.

        Whine much?

  17. xyz
    Unhappy

    I've downloaded Eclipse and am "doing" Android now....

    ... 'cos I don't need a sign to to tell me the end of the MS world is nigh. The bald eagle is going to kill it. The only hope is that someone will take him out back and put him out of our misery beforehand.

    The Ea that cannot be named got canned from here? Who knew!

    1. mmeier

      Re: I've downloaded Eclipse and am "doing" Android now....

      You can get the same (or better) software written for Windows in less time, with less problems and get the benefit of selling it to Mac-OS users as well. And unlike Android the Windows and Mac-OS users are used to PAYING!

      Swing and FX-2 are a lot easier UI tools and the available frameworks beat what Android has as well. And the Atom platform delivers the same endurance and better power than ARM.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've downloaded Eclipse and am "doing" Android now....

        Java is highly insecure, very slow and looks sucky though.

        The garbage collection model of Android / Java is largely why it is so laggy and resource inefficient compared to Windows Phone....

        1. mmeier

          Re: I've downloaded Eclipse and am "doing" Android now....

          The Browser plugin is insecure. Java Applications do not use that and so they are as secure as every other application

          Java has not been slow since JDK 1.3. And that was a LONG time ago. What is slow is the work of incapabel programmers that do not understand how to program a Java UI. It's a tad more complex than clicking together some text boxes.

          Can't say for Dalvic (The Android clone of the JVM), Google might have fouled up there, but garbage collection in Java is not causing any lags since at least JDK1.5 (still quite some time ago) introduced new garbage collectors

          Java and to a lesser degree the JVM have problems and shortfalls. Steep learning curve in UIs (since they require multi-threading, Observer pattern and other stuff), lack of some modern elements (Closures etc), steep learning curve for performant web applications / J2EE. But speed and lag are not among them unless you do high framerate FPS games. And the rest is well documented - just read the books/sites and learn

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks MS, just what I needed.... a 'Schizophrenic' computer....

    "You can observe a disconnect between the content of the sessions, where the Modern platform dominates, and the real-world usage of Windows, where the desktop dominates. The operating system as a whole feels more coherent; the dual personality remains, but does not get in the way to the same extent."

  19. Asok Asus
    Holmes

    I don't need no stinkin search!

    Gee, I know that when I'm writing code and have 100 tabs open in a dozen browser windows, plus another dozen programs open and I'm restarting programs 3 times a minutes or faster to test and debug, the first thing I wish for to improve my productivity is to have to SEARCH each time I want to start a new program. You know, instead of setting up a bunch of handy shortcuts in Quicklaunch (which still works in W8, BTW) and then access them from the task bar. Oh wait, no task bar in Metro UI. Oh wait, no easy way to minimize/maximize/close dozens of open windows or switch them back and forth to the foreground in Metro UI. Oh wait, only one "window" in Metro UI. But, hey, SEARCH has been "improved"! Yea Windows 8.1! You go, boy. Or girl. Or whatever. Metro UI 8.1: Now better than ever for watching the latest cat videos! Or finger painting. Or whatever. Because now search has been improved! Your whites come out whiter and your colors come out brighter!

    1. Squander Two

      Re: I don't need no stinkin search!

      > to have to SEARCH each time I want to start a new program.

      You don't have to; it's one of several options. Same as in Windows 7.

      > Oh wait, no task bar in Metro UI.

      The Taskbar is still in Windows 8 (which includes both the Metro and the Desktop UI), and has not been changed.

      > Oh wait, no easy way to minimize/maximize/close dozens of open windows or switch them back and forth to the foreground in Metro UI.

      Windows+M still works; Windows+D still works, Alt+F4 still works, Ctrl+W still works, Alt+Tab still works.

  20. Tezfair
    FAIL

    "8.1 is a big improvement"

    Where?

    Like Office 2013 it demands to have a MS account to continue (unless you go back, disable the lan and try again, and then you can set a local account (I was hyper-v'ing mine)) did I miss this in W8?

    It looks the same other than a token icon in the bottom left corner

    Why can't they simply make a pure desktop version and pure tablet version? And app this, and app that. p*ss off. Its just bloody software wrapped up in a fancy name.

    I can see consumers now opting for Android on their new PCs (HP slate21) and the many PC variants that will now spring up. MS will simply pull out of the desktop market opting to tie up the business market in the cloud only.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "8.1 is a big improvement"

      You don't have to have an ms account, and it's not a go back and start again without networking job.

      I get that people don't like win 8, but some if the drivel being levelled against it, on this of all forums, is just down to laziness and ignorance.

  21. RoboJ1M
    Thumb Up

    I loath any OS's "Start" menu if it doesn't come with a Search First facility now.

    It's such a massive improvement for me.

    Win Key + type name + Return

    Seriously, sod clickety-clickety-clickety...

    Unity seems to have it best at the moment.

    Shortcuts to most used apps + searchable "start" menu.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Alt-F2

      Well, I prefer Alt-F2 on my Linux desktopCan search on executable names, shortcut names or file descriptions. If you want a text editor and you can't remember the name you can type "text editor". Also, typing = begins calculation mode which is something I really miss in Windows.

      On XP at work my regular apps are pinned so it's two clicks to start. I very rarely need to go deeper into the menu. Many of the typical pin-unworthy programs like Word (winword), (power)calc or charmap are launched by name using Win-R + <begin typing name> + <select from history>/<finish typing name> + Return. A search box added to the menu will just help reduce inconvenient clickety.

      But given that work can alternate between mouse-heavy and typing-heavy is it really too much to ask to have both work well?

  22. Aoyagi Aichou
    Flame

    Apps?

    Apps everywhere. I'll inst my Win progs under their full name, kthx. No need to force "cool", "modern" and "in" infantile rename on me.

  23. Keith 72

    Disconnect between Redmond and Real World "cannot continue"?!

    Has the author not been inside the Redmond reality field before? Everyone on campus will be using Win8.1. I can assure you, for them Win8 is old. Yet many in the real world are still using XP and 2003. That's just how it is and it's been that way for years. MS live in the future, the present is the past. The model works quite well, most folk and businesses prefer to live in the stable, but dull, past. But more and more will catch up with Redmond - often reluctantly because the new hardware had it pre-installed for example. By the time the majority move to something newer it's rock solid and people are happy with it, the current realm of Win7 & 2008 R2.

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Disconnect between Redmond and Real World "cannot continue"?!

      > But more and more will catch up with Redmond

      Redmond has decided that 'the future' for them will be a one place market for hardware and software, subscriptions and accounts.

      In the past Microsoft's customers have been OEMs and retail outlets. The users have not been customers of MS but of the likes of Dell and Best Buy. Microsoft's business model is based on increasing revenues and profits. They take over other business areas as these become profitable so as to be ever increasing in revenue. From the original languages and PC OS they moved into office software, servers, phones (WM), games consoles, and many other.

      Now with PCs stagnating and MS's mobile not working they need to take revenue from others to boost their own. They are trying with Surface to take some OEM revenue, with Windows Store software to take revenue from application developers and retail. With Microsoft Shops to take it from retailers, with accounts to lock in revenue from users.

      I believe that they have had plans to build their own XPC for some years but could not make the transition work well enough. They want to become more Apple like with more control over their users and a bigger proportion of the computer revenue.

      TIFKAM was added to Windows 8 because consultants reported that WP7 was not selling due to unfamiliarity with the UI. The 'solution' was to make it the most familiar by forcing it down the throats of the users. Once they depend on it they will buy, nay demand, WP8 phones and WinRT tablets and fulfill Gartner's prediction of being bigger in mobile than Apple by 2013.

      The future, as seen by MS, is that most computer, phone and tablet sales and software sales will be through Microsoft directly. Users will be tied by subscription contracts for the OS and Office 360 and their data and documents will be held for ransom in the clouds and in new incompatible file system formats on the servers.

      Sensible businesses will live in the past and not move beyond 2008 and Windows 7. 'The future' is a place where there will be no escape.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'MS' strategy remains centered on the Modern platform' ... Ok, got to take a decision

    Either I keep getting punished by Ribbons and Modern Interfaces with no appreciative improvement in functionality, or I take a stand. Ok-- no more! ....

    I made a good living on MS products for two decades. But control over our fav devices is being lost. I can't remember a time when there was fewer user interface customisation options. I'll keep my XP and Win7 set-ups as Virtual PC's archived indefinitely. But switch to FOSS and Linux for the next few decades.... It will be a tough learning curve, but I started out on C++ and Unix. so I know its possible..

  25. Mr. Peterson

    "If Windows 8.1 is judged by its desktop features, it will have failed."

    so judged

    end of story

  26. Dennis Wilson
    FAIL

    Screwed Again...............

    Microsoft should release this as an optional update and not as a new item you pay for.

    Every time I have anything to do with those guys I end up getting screwed somewhere along the line.

    1. El Andy

      Re: Screwed Again...............

      @Dennis Wilson

      It is an optional update, you do not have to pay for it.

      Your point is?

  27. Idocrase
    FAIL

    Uhh, Skydrive is INTEGRATED now?

    No. Just no, feck RIGHT of M$.

    I use Dropbox, for various reasons, mostly being that I can store my entire My Documents folder in there and sync my important stuff like game saves and my CV across any PC or laptop I use.

    However, Dropbox is an inoffensive little bit of software that does what I want and doesn't mess with anything else.

    Skydrive on the other hand, ACTIVELY interferes with random files and causes certain software to CTD with either no warning, or simply refuses to allow the software to run at all because it's screwing around with my files.

    I had high hopes for 8.1, I thought maybe, just maybe, M$ had learned, restored the Start Menu to something useful, left off the crapware...

    Bad enough when installing some piece of M$ software like Movie Maker foisted you with all the OTHER Live crap even when you told it not to install it all, now they expect me to take Skydrive, which I REALLY do not want, pre-installed, as well as a UI where Searching is the only practical way to find where your software went?

    Congrats M$, you just turned Windows 7 into the new Windows XP. If Linux actually ran my games and did what I wanted without me needing to screw around for six hours with emulators just to play 10 year old games at half speed, I would switch to it. I really would...

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      "Into the new Vista". Fixed that for you. XP was a dream in comparison to Vista for me. 7 even more so. But then again, I'm a late adopter (SP1 or 2 before attempting). I don't think raising 8 to the SP of a googleplex will help them here.

      1. Idocrase

        Er no, I meant what i said. XP is an OS which has outlived it's time. 7 will now outlive it's time, because no-one wants 8 or 8.1 - It is in fact 8 and 8.1 which is the new Vista.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Unfounded XP bashing

          "XP is an OS which has outlived it's time."

          Operating systems have no expiry dates. And it's superior to 7 at least on two items: Classic UI and no DRM.:7 has severely crippled or none analog inputs/outputs, because of DRM.

          Unsupported yes but it doesn't make it a bad OS like Vista is, straight from the development.

  28. Herby Silver badge

    Search and use??

    With the default being that you need to search for things all the time (from reports, I haven't used the thing!), maybe the proper thing to enter into the search box is:

    "Decent interface"

    And presto chango, it goes back to W7 (or something similar).

    As for Microsoft's own use, maybe they should take a poll of their local users and see if they are using the latest machines/releases that one can get from the local Best(worst) Buy store. It would be interesting to do a network scan to see what the inventory really is! Oh, and how much re-training did the secretaries (Administrative Assistants) need to do?

    1. El Andy

      Re: Search and use??

      You don't *have* to search for things all the time, it's just a way many people find is easier to use their PC. If you know where things are and want to navigate to them directly, you still can. On the other hand if you know what something is called and want the PC to get you to that as quickly as possible you can via search, just as you can in the Windows 7 Start Menu.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Search and use??

        "If you know where things are and want to navigate to them directly, you still can"

        "can", yes.

        I just first close the metro interface, start the classic interface, then bring up the menu and then press 'all programs' and _then_ I can navigate something "directly".

        Instead of clicking an icon on the desktop. Now tell me how is this whole jumping through hoops _better_ than current interface where you items on a) desktop for most important stuff and b) nested menu for others?

        I fail too see any advantages.

        1. Squander Two

          Re: Search and use??

          > I just first close the metro interface, start the classic interface, then bring up the menu and then press 'all programs' and _then_ I can navigate something "directly".

          That's quite a long way round. Why not just right-click from Metro?

          That aside, the advantage for most people is that they use a tiny fraction of all the crap that's installed. The Start menu showed all of it. Having a default view that shows only the apps you want it to and then having all apps one step further away -- easy to get to if you need them, but out of your way most of the time -- is a good idea, I think. I realise there are some advanced users who don't like it, but, for the average user, not having to plough through (looking at this work Windows 7 PC for examples) Adobe Application Manager, HP Warranty, Microsoft Default Manager, XPS Viewer, Maintenance, and Connect To A Projector while looking for Word or Firefox is an improvement.

  29. All names Taken
    Happy

    Thanks!

    I think I'll w8 for Win9 or Win10

    1. Dennis Wilson

      Re: Thanks!

      The last time people did that was from XP to Windows 7 and that vindictive lot at Microsoft insisted a full wipe of the hard drive was needed.

      Upgrading from XP to Vista and then on to Windows 7 didn't involve a full wipe of the hard drive

  30. Lost in Cyberspace

    All apps

    Can we have All Apps permanently visible on the start screen please? Same number of clicks as Windows 7 to start an app, then.

  31. Thorfkin

    Search as a primary means of navigation

    This concept irritates me as well. I use my QuickLaunch bar as my primary means of navigation. Even in Windows 7 I manually create a QuickLaunch folder, and link it to my taskbar as the top row. Almost every program I use has an icon there so that almost all of my applications are literally one click away. This concept of searching for programs I want to run is a huge step back in terms of navigation efficiency. Microsoft has a lot of work still to do to make Windows 8 anywhere near as navigation efficient as Windows 7.

    I also firmly feel that when i am in desktop mode, every app I run, even if it's a TIFKAM app, should run in desktop window mode. Not in full screen TIFKAM mode. Windows 8.1 helps but it's not where it need to be yet to get my money.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Search as a primary means of navigation

      Could not have said it better.

      The also advantage of this method is that you can have multiple versions of the same app running just with one click of the mouse. no KB magic, no nothing. Simples yes?

      Nope, far too simple for MS make it easy for us users

  32. btrower

    Summing up

    I read all the comments and it is pretty clear that except for a very small number of MS fanboys the overwhelming consensus is that W8.1, lipstick edition, is unable to disguise the pig underneath. My recent experience with it was just torture.

    There is no way to view this differently. MS should have *defaulted* to the old interface and made the new one optional. Is there any doubt even in the minds of the fanboys which interface would be used by most users?

    There is something almost sinister in the level of arrogance of a company that does this at all, let alone even after the market place has spoken with a thunderous voice.

    There is a huge opportunity for an up and coming executive in MS to spearhead a move to sell a 'classic edition'. They should talk to Coca Cola and see how they recovered their disastrous move to a new and improved product nobody asked for.

    I will switch my two users with Win8 to the lipstick edition, but I don't expect them to stop complaining that they are still stuck with pig.

  33. gizmo23

    Search?

    What do I do if I don't have a Win key on my keyboard?

    No, seriously, my favourite keyboard is the one that I've used for years (funny that) and it doesn't have a funny key with four-square flag thing on it. Do I fiddle with the keymap or something?

    1. Chemist

      Re: Search?

      "doesn't have a funny key with four-square flag"

      Almost all my keyboards ( except for some wonderful original 286 IBMs) have this but it doesn't do anything useful ( I always use Linux), mind if I was using Windows I guess it would be even more useless

    2. Darryl
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Search?

      Not that I'm making any excuses here, but CTRL-ESC = Windows Key

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Search?

        And how frigging easy is that if you use the mouse in your left hand?

        {I'm not blaming you but most KB shortcuts are really only useful for Right-handers, not us lefties.}

        Do MS even carry out usability tests for us Lefties? (Which are approx 10% of the population in some countries)

        {not using the FAIL icon because I don't want to be branded the next E****n}

        1. El Andy

          Re: Search?

          If your mouse is in hand, simply move the pointer to the bottom left corner and click. Again, it's not hard. And certainly no harder than any edition of Windows since 95.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Search?

            "simply move the pointer to the bottom left corner and click."

            To the empty corner? Why, there's nothing there?

            Aa, you mean you need to know there _is_ something there, it's "just not visible"?

            UI with hidden controls is the most stupid idea ever conceived.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Search?

      Mine neither... Ctrl+escape is your friend.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I continue to sincerely believe that Microsoft subcontracted the design of the "Modern" Interface to the Early Learning Centre, and indeed that they used the ELC customers as their target market.

    I remain flabbergasted that they would deliberately have taken the most widely deployed desktop operating system on the plant and hidden it behind something designed for hardware which those desktop users did not have and did not want.

    I am no fan of Apple, considering them to be grossly over-priced, but they have wisely resisted the temptation of try and force the same interface onto their PCs and their tablets. I have no problems with their being the same code under the hood, but the user interface requirements for different usage paradigms are undeniably different.

    Microsoft seem to have hopelessly conflated 2 very different interfaces together on desktop systems. If they are both going to exist, each should contain the full required functionality, and there should not be any need to switch between the during normal operation.

    8.1 makes some steps towards achieving that, but it still remains a hopeless mess.

  35. The Lord Gord

    Windows 8.1 on a domain is so much fun..... #sarcasm....

    1. Jay_x386
      Happy

      @The Lord Gord

      Gotta disagree about your domain sarcasm. I'm an admin at a ftse100 company and apart from the obvious lack of start button...... I just pin my apps to the task bar. I see no difference in domain functionality. I admit the group policy templates need updating to support IE10 and the Internet admin maintaince has finally gone to be replaced with something usable. So far so good. Yes our GPO's needed work, but they have 10+ years of crap with Hugh swathes of settings and their reason lost in the out sourcing of time from 2 or 3 incumbents.

      It connects to files and printers..... What else is there ? Browsing http ?

      GPO preferences offer so much more, hell one day I may even be able to get rid of some login scripts.

      Yep there are challenges, the KMS needed upgrading, which needs change management representation.

      an app based on access2000 runtime with a locked msi has to be manually installed as the developer (not Microsoft) hard coded the paths, and no amount of ACT shims have helped.

      UEFI is mainstream at last.

      The absolute winner though is hyper-v for development if you've not tried it you are missing out.

      I rarely see metro. At the end of the day I just undock chuck the laptop in my bag, and dock again the next day to the same Desktop across 2x24" monitors, it even remembers if i boot directly to the laptop, which w7 had issues with sometime. My machine only reboots now are via WSUS or because an installer insists.

      boot to desktop in 8.1 is all I want.

      1. Getriebe

        Re: @The Lord Gord

        @Jay_x386 This is what I am hearing.

        Can you tell me, if you wish, how is Kerberos working across large WANs which are adding some delay in the ticketing authority registration?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @jay_x386

        "UEFI is mainstream at last."

        UEFI means Microsoft has total control of your hardware (over you, too) and that is _bad thing_: A big step to totally closed PC, which is controlled solely by Wintel-alliance. It is bad enough even now, without UEFI.

        That is obvious and if you really think Wintel-cartel is not going to use that power to kill any competitors, especially Linux, you are a paid shill, my friend.

  36. Ben Burch

    They never tested this with real users as far as I can tell

    Do they even use it themselves? This thing is a mess.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: They never tested this with real users as far as I can tell

      I guess they do. They poke at the keyboard and go "wow" and "ooh". I guess the programmers, engineers and mathematicians were sacked a long time ago. :(

    2. MacGyver
      Facepalm

      Re: They never tested this with real users as far as I can tell

      If it was "designed for touch" why must you type every flipping thing you want to run.

      Hey Microsoft, guess what "touch" devices don't have? (hint: you type on them)

      Also, if grandma can't work a start-menu, she sure as shit isn't going to know the name of the video chat program is Skype, nor that she has to "Search" for it in the first place.

      I think "Apple" people like this, as they have had no control for decades, but it's freaking the old-school Windows users out. Two or three clicks, not two clicks (or some magic key combos), type some stuff, then two clicks. Who is the rocket scientist at MS corp that thinks this is better? Let me guess, he uses a Apple at home?

      MS, look what happened o Ubuntu when they switched to Unity, people like me switched to Mint, we don't want to "Search" for anything, "Find" was perfect, then you borked it in Vista, you've been borking it ever since.

      I mean, we are telling them exactly what we want, what is their stupid problem?

      PS, Search sucks, DIR is 1000 times faster. Also, you should have put a checkbox next to search for choosing "search inside file content", that way it wouldn't take 5 minutes to find the stupid file by name.

      1. mmeier

        Re: They never tested this with real users as far as I can tell

        The average user (and grandma for sure) does not have to search for anything. That user has between 5 and 10 programs he uses and has "muscle memory" or more likely "big shiny icon on desktop" to find them. So for Grandma it is "Hit Win key, Click Icon" where before it was "hide all Windows so you see desktop, click icon".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They never tested this with real users as far as I can tell

          "So for Grandma it is "Hit Win key, Click Icon" where before it was "hide all Windows so you see desktop, click icon"."

          Bull***t. Grandma is running only one program at the time so it's "click icon" and that's that. If that program is not running, she has desktop showing. That's one click instead of a button from keyboard _and_ one click: You have to use both.

          And tell me, as hiding all windows is only one button (no KB involved), why hitting some key with mouse action would be any better?

          And what was the "significant advance in UI" which justified _changing the method_?

          I see a change for a sake of a change and they managed to even screw it up, making it more tedious than previous method.

  37. banjomike
    Thumb Up

    The Penny Arcade view of Windows 8.1

    I hope the mods allow this link. It really gets to the heart of Windows 8.1

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2013/06/28

  38. Gil Grissum
    Boffin

    Hmmm...

    I'll reserve judgment until the final becomes available. The couple of niggling inconsistencies in Windows 8 that bother me, may be resolved with 8.1. Creating a new profile cured that but brought other niggling problems, such as apps not working in my new user profile, that worked in my original user profile (The problems with Windows 8 include Modern UI apps that disappeared from Modern UI with no clear way to bring them back. They can't be found by clicking "all apps". Creating a new profile was not a workable solution. The Modern UI apps have only become available to be used by installing "Classic Shell", which gives access to them from the start button desktop menu).

  39. Gil Grissum
    Boffin

    DUCK.. DUCK.. GOOSE!!!

    Microsoft's insistence on trying to push the Modern UI, even with what appears to be a half baked start button effort that still doesn't give back the start menu as Classic Shell and Start 8 does, is an annoying strategy that is bound to backfire if they don't properly reinstate full start button functionality. Microsoft apparently doesn't get that consumers and more importantly, businesses, have little to no interest in the Modern UI, in it's current incarnation. I agree with the commenter who said that the DESKTOP should be the default and the Modern UI, a choice. We'll just have to see if Microsoft wakes up from the trance and restores full start button functionality with desktop menu. If it doesn't, I will surely be installing whatever version of Classic Shell will work with 8.1.

  40. IGnatius T Foobar

    Antitrust suit coming?

    What if the user doesn't *want* Bing searches integrated into the desktop?

    Is there an option to "change the default search engine integrated into the desktop" or is it hard coded to Bing?

    Someone needs to sue Microsoft repeatedly until they remove this clear violation of antitrust law.

  41. MacGyver
    IT Angle

    I've tried it, it sucks, still.

    I was hoping for an improvement, I got nothing. To be be fair, it did break Classic Shell, so I guess that's something, just nothing for me.

    It also broke a lot of other programs that worked under Win 8, some don't work at all, even with 7 or 8 combatiblity mode turned on.

    They must not have understood our start menu issue or simply did, but not gave a flying fig, because the "Start button" simply launches metro (or that big flat apps list). It's more like a slap in the face than anything.

    I think I have finally figures out who likes it, people that have used and like Macs, but can't afford one or don't want to be a Mac fanboi, but secretly wish they were. Those same people also think Unity is swell, my kind hates all three. Windows used to be for my kind, now all we have left is Mint with XFCE.

    MS. You both failed and insulted me

  42. Adam Jarvis
    Linux

    Windows Hate. Point? None -> Windows Hate. Point? One.

    So Windows 8.0 (Windows Hate. Point? None) has become Windows 8.1 (Windows Hate. Point? One).

    Progress...from Microsoft then.

  43. PAT MCCLUNG

    Clerk

    I've tried Windows 8. Seems to work ok. Run it once or twice a month on one of my 6 machines. Annoying to have to upgrade each application separately, e.g., VLC, Office Libre, Firefox, Chrome, Flash Player. All this is done automatically for you with a linux distribution. The big reason I use Windows is to look at some Amazon drm movies I paid to "perpetually rent?". Kind of annoying. It is easier, but more morally objectionable, just to download them for free.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Search is great, when done well

    Search is my primary method of launching apps in OS X and iOS.

    In OS X, I often run apps via Spotlight if my hands are already on the keyboard, even if the apps are in the dock and I can clearly see them, because I can bang out 4 keystrokes (command-space, letter, letter, enter) faster than I can grab the mouse and move it to the dock.

    In iOS, for apps that I don't run on a daily basis, I can swipe left, type two letters on the virtual keyboard, and tap an app faster than I can locate the app icon on another screen or in some folder. This is convenient enough that I no longer bother organizing my apps.

    I don't have much experience with Windows 8 or Windows Phone but I can understand how search is an undesirable way to launch apps in both. In Windows 8, the entire screen gets taken over by the search UI which seems distracting. In Windows Phone, searching for an app requires at least one extra gesture. (Swipe right, tap the search button, then start searching.) It's Microsoft's fault for not making this process smoother and more useful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Search is great, when done well

      "In iOS, for apps that I don't run on a daily basis, I can swipe left, type two letters on the virtual keyboard"

      So you remember by heart all the applications you machine has or you'll ever need?

      Basically a UNIX-promt with tab-fill. Fine as it is, but how is that an GUI?

      Also: Good luck for you .... I see my machine has about 900 exe-files, I don't remember the names of them all.

  45. Fuzz

    win+S

    Windows key + S is the shortcut for snapshot in onenote. Joined up thinking?

    1. mmeier

      Re: win+S

      And Win+F(ind) brings up the search.

  46. Sultitan
    Windows

    Look, you only need to add a toolbar, yeah?

    Since Vista I just added '%programdata%\Microsoft\Windows\start menu' to the taskbar toolbar set - not perfect, but perfectly convenient, works in 7 and 8 too, guess it still works in 8.1, and just xcopy my user start menu to the system start menu - fine for single user machines.

  47. OffBeatMammal

    so far, so good.

    I've not upgraded my primary Windows instance (running in Parallels on a Mac mainly so I can use Office) but I've been playing with 8.1 on my old testbed machine (actually the laptop from PDC back in 2009!) and it's certainly an improvement.

    As someone who's pretty old school (I started before this new-fangled colour screen nonsense!) I actually like the search approach to finding an app - I use spotlight on the Mac pretty much as my primary launcher (not having to take my hands off the keyboard to switch apps is great) and I have to say perf and stability has improved even in this preview.

  48. tempemeaty
    Alert

    It's not a PC OS

    Only reason you have to now go to the keyboard for things that where normally found on screen is because Windows 8 is not a PC operating system. It's a phone operating system with the kind of keyboard hot keys options you would expect are only there for developers to get around. That is not a suitable OS for every day PC use.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS Tards

    Take server 2012 remove a few features - brand it windows workstation 8 - sell to companies - how long would it take to do ? maybe 2 weeks? ffs

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MS Tards

      Server 2012 (at least the one I am looking at) has that horrible Metro TIFKAM thing too .... do not ask me why this is a useful change for the server.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free access to everything you store to NSA by SkyDrive

    "Many settings are stored in SkyDrive and roam to other Windows 8 machines which use the same Microsoft account. There is an option to have the File Save dialog always default to SkyDrive"

    And as we already know, NSA has direct and immediate acces to anything MS has, so this means that everything you store to SkyDrive, is visible to NSA.

    No wonder it is "more tightly" integrated to Windows now.

    And of course "reviewer" totally ignores reality at this point, not caring about privacy at all.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back to DOS-era with prompt.

    "The future of Windows remains hard to predict, but 8.1 is a big improvement and makes the first release feel rough and ready in comparison."

    No it's not, it's a big change to wrong direction, i.e. _even worse_ than 8.0 was.

    Whole "Search is the only UI you need"-concept is thoroughly stupid, unless the user is total idiot.

    For the rest of the us, having menu with 50 items is not a problem at all. Search with prompt is back to DOS-era, where you had to remember all the commands you might need: Absolutely no help from UI at all.

    Polishing the prompt with fancy graphics isn't going to change the nature of it: "Type the command you want here".

    1. Squander Two

      Re: Back to DOS-era with prompt.

      I've heard this a lot.

      I use command lines all the time for work. I use Unix a lot. And I have Windows 8 on my own PC. To say that Windows 8's search is the same as a command prompt is just bollocks. I'm using both every day, and there's just no similarity beyond the fact that they both involve typing, by which measure Word is also just like a command prompt.

      What it is very very similar to is Google's interface. Which I understand is quite popular.

  52. crisis

    But will their be an option so that Metro does not hide the Desktop?

    Because, really. that's the only issue I have with Windows 8.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wrong, my friend: Metaphor is good.

    "Car manufacturers change the layout of the dashboard and ancillary controls all the time for aesthetic reasons"

    Really? When you drove last time a modern car which _doesn't_ have wipers and low/high beam switches in steering column and horn in steering wheel? Heating/cooling adjustments in center console?

    And these are changed 'all the time'? In what reality?

    "the basic mechanisms for calling up the start screen/menu are identical, for example."

    And that's a fail right there. The menu is the most important item on the user interface there is, who is the idiot who _hides it_ behind totally obscure keyboard combination? For any reason.

    1. Squander Two

      Re: Wrong, my friend: Metaphor is good.

      Mercedes have, for many years, had a policy of placing all steering-column controls in one lever. They're quite ingenious about it -- the number of different ways of moving just one Merc lever has to be very high. If you're used to a different make, it takes a bit of getting used to. But I still like it. Japanese cars, too, often have the two levers the opposite way around from Western cars: indicators on the right, wipers on the left. People still drive them.

      When I was a kid, my parents had a Renault 4 with the gearstick in the dashboard and the handbrake under the steering wheel. I'm pretty sure both their cars had the horn on a steering-column lever, not on the wheel. Just in the last couple of years, I've noticed a lack of standardisation over whether the horn should be in the centre of the wheel or near the edges. My car has volume controls on the steering wheel, which is now normal but which no-one had thought of a couple of decades ago. The hazard light button might be anywhere.

      So, yes, the controls change all the time. In this reality.

  54. focu
    Thumb Down

    windows 6

    but what happens when you cannot install windows 8,upgrade from windows xp,when the UK help desk cannot resolve installation problems.although the upgrade advisor say's my PC is compatabile ?

  55. CaptainBlue
    FAIL

    Charms Bar

    What the hell is a charms bar? Some sort of dreary singles club?

    Jeez...

  56. Darth Fader

    Windows8 is a massive step forward.

    Respectfully, may I say you are all starting to sound like MAC users from 20+ years ago. Windows8 is different. yes. I can be odd to begin with, yes. In a few months this will all be history baring a few anorak sites.

    I tested W8 by asking my team, which includes male/females full all demographics and levels of technical ability. I asked them who wanted to upgrade - ONLY TWO said yes. So I forced two other to upgrade, well they had no choice it was done over the weekend and they returned to W8 - man, they did moan. It lasted for a few days and died away. Two weeks later I said, OK you can have your old W7 back - you don't need me to share the reply.

    Most of there negatives came from reading online reviews. However, when tested these people who are member of the public working in non technical positions found the reviews to be wrong.

    Flame away technocrats :-) I feel the public are now well versed in making up their minds!

    1. Squander Two

      Re: Windows8 is a massive step forward.

      Couldn't agree more. I see loads of online reviews written by advanced users saying how the interface is impossible for lay users, then I talk to actual lay users, who are generally quite happy with it. Some of them have barely noticed any difference. I also speak to slightly more advanced users who've read a bunch of the reviews and find they're having problems because they approach it expecting problems; they're primed to look for faults. In my experience, people who don't know or care much about computers and who therefore don't read reviews or forums have no problem with it at all, whilst people who are told they'll hate it hate it. The complaints are a self-fulfilling prophecy. Which is a shame, really.

  57. CheesyTheClown
    Happy

    Windows 8 if only for efficient people

    Let's be honest, Windows 8 is only for intelligent and efficient people. Windows 8 if perfect for people who prefer to press 4 keys on a keyboard to start an application as opposed to people who want to move a mouse all over the damn place. It's kinda like how some people will install enacts or vim on Windows to have editors which are just really efficient as opposed to ones which are dog slow and sloppy. Windows 8 made it possible to move at the speed of light compared to just about any other UI. By integrating with a search engine which works very well, documents and applications are far more readily accessible than before.

    I understand why many of you are confused though. It's a slow witted thing. You need to go click, click, click, etc... To do anything. It's ok, Microsoft has learned their lesson, they'll dumb down Windows 8.1 for you.

  58. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Flame

    Resistance is Futile

    We are the Microsoft. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated and your technology will add to our perfection. Or something.

  59. Jim O'Reilly

    Imploding a franchise

    In the history of computing I don't see any mistakes as bad as this one. Alienating your user base for any reason is bad. Doing it for a Start sequence that only adds value to touchscreen desktops is insane, since there aren't any!

    Redesigning a limousine to sell in cheap markets isn't smart either, but that was RT, and the reason for the Metro interface.

    All in all, MS management really lost it. The pain will be great, with Android as the new "Windows", FirefoxOS as the new "Linux" and Windows 8 as the "mainframe" that was. The rollover into the hardware world is tremendous too. Desktops and notebooks being replaced by tablets and phones. i86 servers being replaced by ARM and GPUs. No room for Windows there either.

    All in all, a bad time in Redmond.

  60. netean

    Search is an UI element for most people

    Search is bloody awful as a primary method of interfacing with a computer. Gnome Shell, the god-awful Unity and Windows feels otherwise. For me, a power user it's fine, it's actually how I tend to run apps. In windows Win+R then the app name, in KDE (my regular desktop) Krunner does the same. FOR ME, a touch typist, it's quick and simple.

    For my 78 year old mum, it's bloody awful "you mean I can't use the mouse?" she says.

    "well you can, but it will take forever" I reply.

    But as she isn't a touch typist, isn't even familiar with a keyboard layout, taking her away from a menu and mouse icon is painfully slow (and painful for her hands at times too)

    Moreover, Search is only useful if you KNOW in advance what you're looking for. I know that my web browser is Firefox, Opera, Chrome, etc and my email is Evolution, Thunderbird or Kmail. for "normal" people they don't give a monkey's toss about the name of their application to a lot of users they have "The Internet" and Word. and that is pretty much all they ever use or care about.

    Search is great for power users, great for touch typists or fast "hunt n peck" but it should be the alternative, the secondary way, the way you interface when you grow skilled or when you're totally lost, in that case, you need to search to be clever, and in my experience it's only clever if you know the right geek speek.

    We've spent the last 30 years getting used to interfacing with a mouse or a mouse style pointer (touch being a fairly natural extension of that method) Now with this move towards typing Microsoft is forcing people away from usability and demanding they learn how to type in order to interact with your pc.

    Search is probably great for me, great for you too, as you're geek enough to be reading this, but for normal everyday "real" people (with lives outside of the computer) it's a bloody idiotic methodology.

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