Bring the start menu back and it will get picked up for business. If it isnt too late.
But then again, I didnt really need to post something as obvious as this?
Microsoft will map out its plans for the successor to Windows 8.1 – which might be named Windows 9 – at a company event in April, we're told. Microsoft will start a discussion around the next iteration of its client operating system at its Build Conference on 2 to 4 April in San Francisco, California. "Threshold", believed to …
I'm conflicted about that one. True, Aero will run on any modern graphics including Intel on-chip. But is it worth the extra electricity cost the 3D effects will inflict on your organisation?
I'd say bring back XP-style windows. Neither Aero nor Notro desktop were improvements.
At least Aero on Win7 can be disabled. I just cannot grasp the thinking behind the removal of so many options from the more recent versions of Windows and Office. The mentioned ALL CAPS and hideous corners, forced colours (we're down to what, black (which is grey), grey, and white now in Office) all serve to make people feel like their preferences aren't important. If I were told that the new car I was looking at was only available in peach I'd be looking at another car, not joyously lining up to conform with the herd.
I just don't understand!
There is a real WIDE variety of what people want their desktops to look like. Its Windows, people love their customizations. Some folks bling it up, some folks go minimal. MS just needs to realize that and not force bling down folks throats.
Back when I was running XP, I turned off all effects to save memory and CPU/GPU cycles on a laptop to maximize battery power. It worked of course, but strangely (to me anyway) I got a lot of compliments on how nice it looked and was I running a beta of a new Windows. Effectively it looked like the completely boring NT4.
I agree completely! Bring back Aero! Bring back the start menu, ditch the ribbon and bring back menus. The rounded corners and transparencies were nice. For those that do not want the 3d effects, as the other poster indicates, have a classic theme that turns all that off. Aero is very functional and metro is a disaster.
Take an approach like Linux and give the user choice of interface. I like Mate, it's simple and functional. If Microsoft doesn't ditch Metro I'm ditching them. Windows 8 has encouraged me to delve into the joys of Linux and have found Linux Mint Mate very usable.
I'd prefer XP with a compositing window manager and a smarter start bar. Or Windows 7 as I like to think of it.
I actually think I'd probably be fine with Windows 8 as I've noticed that I tend to launch a few applications at the start of the day and then just use those, but there seems to be no benefit in upgrading. It's a shame there's no obvious commercial model that just makes the OS updates free, without locking down the hardware and introducing planned obsolescence.
Agreed! Mixed case is easier to view without really thinking - hence why it's used on road signs and the likes. And I also bemoan the loss of rounded corners. Even Windows 3 had rounded corners...
The default themes in Windows 8 for the desktop are dire, and you can't add new ones without hacking about with system files. Even then, you cannot restore all the functionality that Windows 7 could do with the desktop visual elements.
MS: Add choice. Give people a choice of flashy/rounded UI themes or flat/square ones. Give them a choice of TIFKAM or Start Menu. Add choice and the complaints will go away.
It will be amusing watching all those who waxed lyrical about TIFKAM and the absence of the start button, and who kept telling everyone to get hip and with it and get rid of XP, to go on about how good the start button is in Win9 and how you can find stuff as there is a menu you can pin it to etc. etc. and so tell us all to ditch that so yesterday Win8.n interface ...
I hope they do this, I really do. But after windows 8.1 where they still tried to promote that metro shite I'm not sure I have faith in them.
Surely adding a start menu and metro apps in normal windows can't take until 2015? I love start8 and modernmix but I'm pretty sure they only took StarDock a few weeks to write.
> It will be amusing watching all those who waxed lyrical about TIFKAM and the absence of the start button, and who kept telling everyone to get hip and with it and get rid of XP, to go on about how good the start button is in Win9 and how you can find stuff as there is a menu you can pin it to etc. etc. and so tell us all to ditch that so yesterday Win8.n interface
Why assume that anyone who preferred Win8 did so purely because it was new? I disliked the Start menu for years, and was pleased to see it go. If it comes back, I'll be disappointed, unless they do the decent thing and make it optional.
"Why assume that anyone who preferred Win8 did so purely because it was new?"
Because in many cases the arguments which these people presented for preferring Windows 8 over 7 were flawed.
Arguments such as claiming that things were just as easy to use, that Windows 8 provided the exact same user experience as 7, or at least could be made to do that. Well, in the latter case it couldn't without the help from 3rd party software (think Stardock).
And when people claim that having access to admin tools using a context menu (right click) is a very decent replacement for the "System tools" start menu option in Windows 7 then they obviously have never used Windows to its full potential. For example; I need to raise my privileges whenever I start something like the event log viewer, because by default I don't have access to security logs (I run Windows 7 as a regular user).
Needless to say; but you can't do that ("Run as administrator") while you're already in a context menu.
And this is but one example; there are dozens more out there.
Don't get me wrong here; I can understand that some people will actually prefer Windows 8. But I also think most of them were indeed driven by "It's new so it's better".
As I've said elsewhere, I have a couple of such criticisms of 8 myself -- why can't we create an ad-hoc wi-fi network any more without running a bloody custom batch file? But, as you can see throughout this thread, that's got nothing to do with it. The overwhelming majority of people who hate Windows 8 just want their old Start menu back and tiles to be banned, and that's it. They may say things like "Why can't Microsoft just give us choice?" but then they also downvote me when I suggest that, if MS must bring back the Start menu, could they please make it optional.
> Arguments such as claiming that things were just as easy to use, that Windows 8 provided the exact same user experience as 7, or at least could be made to do that. Well, in the latter case it couldn't without the help from 3rd party software (think Stardock).
I've not seen anyone say that 8 priovides the exact same user experience as 7. Why would anyone say that? They're different UIs. Obviously.
As for Stardock, I always hated the Start menu -- I came to Windows from Macs in the min-Nineties, found it clunky and annoying and fiddly then, and never thought it improved with age. I've been quite surprised by how many people apparently loved the damn thing. Funny old world.
Anyway, I find Windows 8 preposterously easy to use. Took me minutes to pick it up. That's the only reason I like it. I have sod-all time on my hands, and wouldn't like anything that wasted my time forcing me to learn how to use it before I could get on with what I actually want to do, whether it was new or old. And I hated iOS, even when it was new.
Some people are just going to have to accept that different people have different opinions. But they're finding it really REALLY hard, and prefer to cope with my bizarre claim to liek Windows 8 by accusing me of bribery or idiocy or lying or just anything rather than that I might actually enjoy using it, just like I say I do.
let me clear on something, XP should have died a long time ago, were it not for the ill conceived Vista this probably would have happened a lot sooner. As for metro, it is perfectly fine to use, its really efficient and ill be a bit pissed off if they ditch that completely.
Now, before you all down vote me I am not saying that metro apps are any good, im not saying there shouldn't be a trad start button, but I am saying with a small amount of setting up the live tile apps are really handy and have definitely improved the overall windows experience. yes that's right, I like it, its like a giant more useful start menu. Do I use apps? no, I find them crap, I spend most of my time in desktop mode and bar a few games for my kids I don't think there is much in the way of an app that I use (other than live tile updates) regularly
Im just saying that for all the fuss about metro, there is a lot of good to come from it, even on desktop.
By April 2015, Microsoft Windows will probably be considered stone age type technology and as such the real question will probably be how to move away from it rather than how to "upgrade" to it.
Microsoft has got some great technologies, Exchange, Sharepoints, for instance but the rest is legacy and should be treated as such.
> Aw - I'll bet you think Exchange only does email, don't you? That's so cute...!
Have you ever tried another collaboration platform? They are pretty much all better* than Exchange. With some of them using Exchange's native protocols, for those dumb clients that can only talk to Exchange.
* less of a ressource hog, easier to maintain, easier to taylor to your needs and/or more stable.
"Have you ever tried another collaboration platform? They are pretty much all better* than Exchange."
Including Notes? !!
Pretty much the main alternative to Exchange you'll find in a corporate environment and will have you pulling your hair out and screaming for them to switch to Exchange.
Sharepoint is fantastic. A revelation in technological wonderment! Especially after using Lotus Notes!
I used SP for ages in a manufacturing environment for all kinds of stuff across the business. It's ok I suppose. It's uber-clunky, security setup is horrible, but it served its purpose. Then I got stuck working in 2 global companies using the mess that is lotus Notes.
I'll take SP back any day!
Microsoft actually have a team whose job is to figure out what search strings frustrated users will use under what circumstances. So typing "Goddam Clippy" into Office Help used to bring up the page on how to remove the office assistant. When we discovered this, some friends and I started experimenting with other swear-words to see what they did. Entering "Fuck off" in Word Help brought up a template job resignation letter.
"Microsoft has got some great technologies, Exchange, Sharepoints, for instance but the rest is legacy and should be treated as such."
Sharepoint is fully build upon ASP.NET, which is a web technology I actually prefer using. SharePoint on the other hand is merely a rather obscure layer on top of that, usually causing more problems than providing actual solutions.
I agree that Microsoft has some very interesting technologies, but Sharepoint isn't one of those. ASP.NET on the other hand... That is a different ballgame in my opinion; I'll take ASP (optionally backed by the Mono project) over PHP any day of the week.
Without going on Wikipedia or whatever is accepted doctrine for Windows version numbering, 2000 as Win5? I don't think so. Windows 3-3.1. Windows 95-98 is 4. Windows ME was, possibly, what I'd define as 5, if it isn't classed as a 95-98 version OS. If the latter, then XP was 5.
2000 was based on NT. It was not released to consumers as a consumer OS, everybody just latched onto it. So the first genuine merging of Windows and the NT OS' was actually with XP, where Microsoft threw up their hands and said, 'You want an NT OS for consumer, you got it." 2000 should be numbered solely as an NT OS, not consumer or a merged OS. But this is ignoring any MS/user retconning, I'm just going off my personal experience and memory as someone who's clearly getting too old when they remember drooling over going from command prompt DOS to a GUI'ed Windows and every release since.
wasn't ME technically "Windows 98 ME", only with DOS ripped out of it and replaced with something worse. I would have thought it was windows 3.x, windows 9x, XP, vista/7/8 are essentially the same lineage
im sure a quick look at wiki would tell us the "truth" but I cant be arsed.
Confused? Not since Windows 3.1...
I credit my continued enjoyment of, and productivity in, my career (Oracle DBA) to dumping MS before Win95. Lack of a stable multitasking environment took me from 3.1 to O/S2 --> Solaris --> Solaris/Linux --> AIX/Linux --> Linux.
I would go back to a previous life as a sheet metal machine rather than put up with all the technology that has been compromised by the MS agenda of customer lock in and dirty tricks.
"Lack of a stable multitasking environment took me from 3.1 to O/S2"
I used OS/2 from 2.1 to 4.0. Each version easily frozen with badly behaving programs and the dreaded SIQ. And some very bad graphic drivers... I did like the GUI of OS/2 but NT3.5 and NT4 were ahead of OS/2 when stable multitasking was concerned.
Also you are talking about Microsofts dirty tricks (which are numerous) and praising Oracle and IBM. Please.
We were thinking about taking our chances with XP through to the release of W9 but last week decided to buy nearly-new Win7 licensed Lenovos. It's costing the organisation about £100/seat more than what we would have spent on OS licensing - so it's a grudge purchase - but at least Microsoft isn't getting a bean.
If its not broke dont fix it..Windows 7 was nearly a perfect operating system compared to vista. My thoughts are leave the interface alone...dont rush out new products. Maybe add functionality through upgrade packs. Download new features for maybe ten or twenty dollars..dont force a 100 dollar beast no one wants...and dont ell us Metro is the future even after we told you NO STEVE BALLMER we dont want metro....
What, and deny Micro$oft the chance to sell huge bulk licensing deals to hardware manufacturers to STIMULATE the hardware market? Be honest, hands up who has bought a shiny new machine with W8 on it when your old machine with W7 on it was performing reasonably well still? I know I did (partly through curiousity just to get under the hood to find out if it was really as bad as everyone made out or whether it was just "basically" configured and with a bit of careful tinkering could be resolved)
I'll probably get castigated for this, but I now actually quite like W8.1. I dont spend more than 10 seconds a day on the START screen, mind.....
"By giving people what they WANT."
You wish. Since the previews of W8, Microsoft has resolutely refused to listen to feedback. That's great if you have a vsionary idea, and know what the market wants before it can articulate it. But "Microsoft" and "visionary" are words that don't sit easily in the same sentence.
So they have stuck their pudgy corporate fingers in their ears and refused to listen to users, hoping that market dominance would enable them to force change on the world, and they've blown the multiple opportunities to fix Windows 8. If third party applications can make W8 work for most users, why didn't MS listen, and embed that functionality as a choice? There's a few TIFKAM lovers out there, and a few people using WIndows with touch, they could have chosen to keep TIFKAM; the rest of us could have chosen a standard desktop, with a proper start button, menus, and freedom from Microsoft's rather sad collection of "apps".
Windows 9 already smells of WIndows 7, if you ask me. But that's in a bad way, because I suspect it will be a light working makeover and re-branding of a flawed predecessor, done simply because the predecessor took so long to be fixed after release that it never gained traction in the market. And likewise I suspect that the thieves of Redmond will expect all the people who paid for W8 to pay again for W9. Given the number of f*** ups that Microsoft have made in the past ten years, I'd imagine even corporates won't touch W9 until service pack 2 (so about 2017).
You're right, but not necessarily for all the right reasons. Yes, the corporates are moving to Windows 7 from Windows XP, but not necessarily because they dislike Windows 8. What they actually dislike is the prospect of paying the overheads for upgrading the OS, possibly upgrading the hardware and certainly upgrading whatever software they use that refuses to work on the new OS. With so many scrambling to get everyone off XP before the support cutoff, the idea of going through it all again doesn't leave many feeling enthusiastic about it all.
In a way, this is one strength of Linux in that it is possible to evolve rather than have an explosive change that disrupts your user base. To an extent this is also what people liked about Windows XP in that they had a lengthy support run with few worries about the loss of compatibility when the occasional service pack came around. Vista, on the other hand, was too much of a leap and were it not for the age of XP and some of its supposed shortcomings, I suspect that W7 would have suffered a similar fate. It was only the fact that W7 was such a good release compared with Vista and that XP was being ousted that gave W7 its chance. What you had with W8.x was exactly the same explosive change that blighted Vista, the bullying sales tactics that saw Vista pull PC sales into the doldrums and a design that, I'll say yet again, harkened back to the days of Microsoft Bob.
So what if W9-or-whatever is merely a spruced up W7? We could do worse. As for allowing TIFKAM apps to run in a Windows Desktop environment, somebody owes me a new keyboard! I'd rather see the old gadgets come back - yes, let's face it, they were killed off because of TIFKAM. I know Microsoft insisted that they were afflicted by some sort of security flaw, but I can tell sales bullsh*t when I smell it!
By giving people what they WANT.
Not so simple. MS office is one of the planets biggest time wasters. Familiar OS paradigms are already feeling clunky as the accessibility of stuff is falling well behind its quantity. Sharepoint is not a great solution to corporate information overload. UI designers are struggling to give form to the next great leap forward. If MS give people what they want now by looking back it is doomed. The danger (hope) is that it will become irrelevant before any intelligent and creative forms survive its political sewer and its outsourced battery farms. Metro is obviously the wrong path, we evolved to recognise signposts by their contextual and spatial relationships - a bunch of disembodied tiles and a god awful ribbon isn't it. So what are they to do, they are no Google?
They may be the planet's biggest time wasters. But Win 8 has been one of IT's best ever soap operas.
MS should stop doing software altogether - they're not very good at it anyway - and go full-time into performance art.
TV, theatre, musicals, Steve Ballmer doing stand-up - the whole comedy enchilada.
It would be like The Office crossed with - er - The Office. Only for real. Streamed live, from Redmond - quicker than you can say 'New revenue stream.'
The problem is that there is usually a very big gap between what people think they want and what they actually want, once it's been given to them. This is what software companies have to work out, if they're going to develop, rather than stagnate, it's also probably a good thing that they mess up every so often, because if they didn't they wouldn't be pushing enough.
Henry Ford said something along the lines of "if I gave my customers what they wanted, I'd be in the business of making faster horses."
Henry Ford said something along the lines of "if I gave my customers what they wanted, I'd be in the business of making faster horses."
And people said the same thing about Steve "Seven Inch Tablets Are Way Too Small, and you really like iTunes, no you really do and you must have it" Jobs.
Mind you, at least the iPod and iPod Maxi ended up being somewhat popular.
"Microsoft TELLS you what you want. Were it not for their money in the bank, I would never have believed such arrogance could work over such a long period. Humanity never ceases to amaze me."
Everyone here is aware how much Microsoft is worth, how many desktops/laptops/servers/consoles and devices they deploy to each year? YOU may not want what they are offering, great find a solution that fits you better. They are extremely successful (getting less so but that may be down to their size and the fact that any decision now takes eons to make) at what they do. For all the above posters complaining about their arrogance/stupidity/lack of foresight in not doing things the way YOU want/demand them, set your own software company up, sell that software and come back and tell us all "see what I did" when you become the richest man on the planet.
Downvote below :-)
Can we have proper 'Classic' Back? You know the one that makes the desktop look like XP Classic not the Telly-Tubby Mk1 which is the normal XP interface.
I know that this is very much wishful thinking but I only have a few years to go before I retire and so far 8/8.1 with all its totally un-intuitive charms and click on this invisible 2 pixel square and wonderful things will happen.
Even Unity is better than Metro and that really saddens me to say it. I'm really more of a Gnome-2 sort of person.
> Can we have proper 'Classic' Back? You know the one that makes the desktop look like XP Classic not the Telly-Tubby Mk1 which is the normal XP interface.
That'll be the Windows 2000 interface, then. And nothing wrong with it, it works, the start menu doesn't take up enormous screen real estate, and yes, you can even modify it so your desktop picture is "Bliss" (more like Bleah).
Looks like the red Teletubby if you squint hard enough ----->
Hopefully, yeah. My take was always that MS knew that plenty of people were happy with Win7, so felt they could be a little bit experimental with Win8- if the masses didn't like it, they could roll out Win9, just as they did with Win7 after Vista.
With Intel pushing out a Kinect-like 3D sensor reference design to laptop OEMs, ( 'RealSense': http://www.pcworld.com/article/2084810/hands-on-intels-realsense-is-both-productive-and-fun.html Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, and NEC ), Win9 would be a chance for MS to introduce free-space gestures to Windows.
So now this rumour is out there, corporates are more inclined to wait to see if's true - thus holding up any possible 8/8.1 moves. MS should release an 8.2 with Start + Apps in Windows a.s.a.p. There's a lot under the covers in 8/8.1 to like from a corporate point of view, but can't see past the Interface change.
The choices will be Windows 8, Windows 9, or migrate away (Apple? Android? Linux? )
It's make or break for Microsoft. If Businesses can see that they are going to have to migrate from XP/7 "Windows" to something that shares only a Microsoft Logo on the packaging and a kernel, the other alternatives won't look nearly so radical as they once did.
As already posted above, all Microsoft has to do is give businesses what they actually want. Otherwise, Microsoft will be signing its own corporate death warrant.
Most of the City businesses I know are only now starting the XP to 7 migration, having spent all this time proving hardware and software compatibility.
That second point is the most important: software. Most companies will only upgrade due to security necessity, and even then binary compatibility is priority #1. If they could run their obscure/bespoke 32-bit (because most still are) Windows applications on any other operating system, most would consider it.
Since our customers had a limited "roll in" of Win8 units last year we have some experience with END USERS and Win8. And the typical end user has no problems with Win8. They get a Modern UI start screen with their 5-10 programs as icons and use that. Most find it faster/easier than the Menu and at least as useable as the "Icon on desktop/taskbar" setup from before. The applications are the same they had on Win7 so no change there.
Most users do not care about the OS, they care about the software packages they use. If those are present, easy to find and work - they have no problems. If they work on a light, mobile unit that takes less space than a notebook - mobile workers like it even more. And ticking off check boxes / filling forms with a good pen support works fine and fast.
What is the solution though? to admit defeat in tablet and ditch Metro or to tweak it further?
Microsoft knew that OEM licences meant people were forced to get Win8. But if they produced a separate tablet OS then it required people to actually go out and buy a tablet with their OS on it, something that hasn't really happened with their previous efforts.
> What is the solution though? to admit defeat in tablet and ditch Metro or to tweak it further?
Simply stop trying to force the touch metaphor on to a *non* touch-oriented desktop. Touch, including Metro, has a place, but not on a sodding desktop. Everybody knows this but for some reason MS have resolutely refused to listen.
It's like Microsoft want to commit corporate suicide. What's the point in moving from XP if there's no suitable replacement and Windows 7 is considered as dead-end technology
> Simply stop trying to force the touch metaphor on to a *non* touch-oriented desktop.
I keep reading this on these forums. It is simply not true. I've been using Windows 8 and 8.1 for nearly a year now. I do not have a touchscreen. I use desktop apps almost exclusively. At no point has the OS tried to force me to use touch or done anything whatsoever to make my use of these desktop apps any more difficult than it was under Windows 7. This problem I keep reading about does not exist.
You may not like Windows 8 for any number of reasons (and I have a couple of criticisms myself), but this one is simply not real.
All they had to do was give users the option of whether they wanted classic or classic + touch and allow them to easily switch between the two if they changed their minds. Server 2012 has this ability with Full GUI -> Partial GUI -> Core (command prompt only) and it works great.
Windows 8 Desktop (TIFKAM and start screen aside) is actually a pretty solid OS and a good incremental improvement on Windows 7. TIFKAM is where all of the controversy has been. Making it optional would've prevented consumers and businesses from turning their backs on upgrading and making them easily switchable would allow users to ease in to it as TIFKAM and the Windows marketplace matured, thus luring people in with quality apps rather than trying to coerce them to use something they don't necessarily want. It is perfectly possible to completely avoid TIFKAM (bar Start Screen) on Windows 8 if you want, but the configuration is a little beyond Joe User.
I like the Start screen on Windows 8.1, but there are still relatively few apps in the Windows store that I have any desire to use. If I, a software developer who is generally a proponent of Windows 8, has no real interest in the app ecosystem and don't really see much worth using over the desktop equivalent, then what chance do they have with the average user?
If you've something radical and new that you want people to use, you make it easily accessible to them and make it appealing so they actually want to use it. Relying on upgrade cycles to force the change upon users has clearly backfired here.
I've got to aggree with John P. Windows 8 appears to be a much better engine. But the guys doing the Interface OMG!
Then there's the creepiness factor! People still think they own the software, even if its a 12 month subscription (Office 365), so its rare that they don't get upset when your signup process demands their age, sex and would like their phone number. Its productivity software, not some sleazy site....... Doh!
"Have to agree with some other comments; Microsoft are seriously in danger of becoming irrelevant in OS terms."
As Microsoft staggers into the sunset, we can see the word "Apple" etched into the handle of the knife in its back. With Microsoft's cadaverous arm draped across the shoulder of Intel, only slightly less cadaverous, leans on its old friend whose free hand was just recently twisting something into its back. Tattooed on the back of each player's neck the word "Wintel".
You might see the word "Apple" carved on the handle of the knife, but it quite certainly put there at Microsoft's own behest. Nobody forced them to attempt corporate suicide by throttling one of its core products in the name of greed.
There were other ways to try to move into the tablet market rather than trying to sacrifice Windows (or, at the very least, produce a product that was a conglomeration of parts from Windows 1, Bob, Me and Vista, all patched together then sold snake-oil style in the hopes that they could shaft the emerging market the way they shafted so many other markets from the microcomputer to the console).
"WinOne? To fit in with their silly XBone marketing."
If Microsoft were to address the dissatisfactions that users have been having with Win 8 (and with everything after XP, in my opinion) then WinOne would be a brilliant name and slogan. To show that they are starting over.
I know that few people will agree with me but I think that there is a real chance that they will fix at least some of the biggest issues; there's a reason why Ballmer is leaving and the people on this forum are not the only ones who know what that reason is. And Ballmer might feel that he wants to do something to put the company back on the right track.
Isn't the biggest issue that they keep making changes that no one wants? Most companies still have XP because it does what they want and little extra.
Who is the target audience for Vista / 7 / 8 - they all feel far more consumer focused than business. As a gamer, I actually rate 8 quite highly, but I can't see much in it worth recommending to clients.
Certainly nobody really wants change forced on them, but I'd be interested to hear exactly where you get the "most companies" statistic from. For myself, I work in the public sector so I don't have an option to stay with XP.
Yes, I keep an eye on the gaming side of things too, but I notice a certain ambivalence where the OS is concerned. As long as it will run the latest and greatest hardware and support the games, they're happy. In a way, that's little different to the company types, but that's where the similarity ends.
And this is why Linux (including OSX) has no place in my home.
It is probably running in your router, your set-top box, your telly, your mobile phone, your fixed (if it's IP) phone, your washing machine and even in your car-navigation.
Homeless icon - every place is his home. --------------------------------------------------->
"I'd be interested to hear exactly where you get the "most companies" statistic from"
Poor wording on my part. I meant more that most companies still on XP are that way because they see no reason to upgrade.
That said, I have personally worked at 4 large companies over the last year, all of which are completely or mostly on XP with varying plans of migration (and all of those to 7). The only reason behind the upgrade plans at these is support; they're not interested in any of new features (maybe some of the admin tools).
With Myerson at the helm, we can be pretty sure that nothing is going to change. Look at how Windows Phone hasn't changed, at all, over the last couple of years. Things that might have made it easier to use were discarded for the sake of 'purity'. With him in charge, it'll be all-Metro, all the time.
Frankly, if Metro has one failing, it's that they didn't push it far enough. There are easier ways to work with a computer than the standard mouse+kb-combo, but as always with MS, they have no grasp of taste or direction, so they'll just bung something out there and hope it sticks, like an ordure monkey...
..represents so much. Way more than just an addition to an operating system (zzz please!)
It represented my journey from cave dweller to the hunched keyboard puncher I am now today.
I was 18 when Win95 came out. I saw it in shop windows, the start button brightly waiting for me to press it, and eventually I got to do just that on a PC belonging to a friends Dad.
I couldn't WAIT to have my own Start button.
When I got my own in 1998, I felt I had truly come of age, and also touched the future that Maggie Philbin had endlessly told me about.
XP came along and something was afoot...it had defaulted to a crayon colouring of Start button. Easily remedied mind, but a disconcerting change with age nonetheless - like ear or nose hair.
Win 7 went round. I was again irritated. JUST STOP. Leave the button alone.
Then Win 8. OMG. They only went and did it didn't they. I knew it. OMG Why me. No start button? I'm adrift. My link back to the day when I finally "made it" was gone. I hadn't even been asked. It was like when my parents decided to wallpaper my room, and didn't tell me there would be flowers on my wall. I was back to being 8 years old. No way could I take to that. I hated being 8.
"..... fairly easily. Basically give us an update of 7 and during install 'Hey, you have a touch screen, would you like a touch screen enabled version installed?'. Even if you decide which option people can choose they still prefer it to having no option."
Or install both versions, and boot into touch mode when touch hardware exists, and boot into desktop when touch hardware does not exist. Why in the name of all that's holy would an operating system boot into a touch-centric operating system on hardware with no touch support?
I never understood why Metro had to force itself on us with Win8. Why not just default to Metro if you had a touch enabled device or simply boot straight to the standard desktop WITH start menu for the 99% of us cavemen still using a mouse?
I'm a fan of Win8.1 with classic shell installed - it's nearly as good as Windows 7 :)
> I never understood why Metro had to force itself on us with Win8.
Because PC is dying and Microsoft wanted to force users (and even more importantly developers) over to their new mobile interface. Remember that the plan was and still is for all versions of Windows to converge to Windows RT and to be run on slabs and cellphones. They knew before release that the users would hate Windows 8, but felt they needed to take that hit in order to position themselves for a future where the PC is replaced by mobile devices.
Apart from the brief mentions of the Sharepoint and Exchange superstructure products that run upon the OS infrastructure all of the other comments, up to the time I posted this, are purely concerned with the GUI shell and I think this probably reflects the fact that the GUI shell is synonymous with the OS in most user's minds.
MS could easily get away with releasing a 'new' Windows9 product by simply changing the GUI shell for W8, which would basically be money for old rope.
Expect it soon?
"this probably reflects the fact that the GUI shell is synonymous with the OS in most user's mind"
That is because MS have been telling us for decades that the OS IS the GUI and that command line is so old fashioned, slow, legacy rubbish, especialy on servers.
Latest WIndows Server? Latest whizzy innovative idea? er command line operation, no need for that <cough> slow old fashoned GUI here. It is all the usual marketing bollox, and it went badly wrong with 8.
I live in the UK and worked for an American corporation for 11 years - who got bought by an Indian company (the nicest guys but not the faintest clue what they were doing - another story...). I moved to another smaller American company (still in the UK). I've also previously worked for another US corporation.
My observation of US vs UK companies is that the US companies are insular and hierarchical. I will get to the point...
The top man has a "great idea". Everyone thinks its wonderful. There can be no argument - if there is it's likely your pass will suddenly stop working. A popular phrase is "Its great isn't it?"... Think about the coercive nature of the phrase. The question isn't an option. It's just part of the culture. Apple is floundering because for all Steve Jobs faults he did have some great ideas. Microsoft seems to be heading tube-wards... no names mentioned. Even in this day and age the US guys seem to have no concept of an outside world to the point where my company for instance still uses imperial sized nuts and bolts for a global product. Trying to explain things just results in buying imperial sized spanners. Customers are the last people they'd listen to. They're bottom of the pile. What do they know?
You may notice I refer to "Companies" and not "People" because on an individual basis, Americans have been accommodating and generally kind people but Companies there seem to have a life and ethos of their own.
The result of this culture is forging ahead with their product no matter what. This used to work.
The other month I stunned some American support staff of a product that we use by pointing out to them when they were confused that most of their non-US customers were measuring thing in millimetres, that the US is one of the three remaining countries on the planet that still uses Imperial measurements or, perhaps more accurately, does not use the metric system.
On an engineering front my previous dealings with a different US supplier was that they didn't seem to understand the RoHS rules (specifically lead in electronics) and how they were generally implemented in a similar way worldwide. Except for the US. As a result they had one product for the US and another product for everybody else on the planet, carefully glazing over when it was pointed out that producing an international compliant product would also solve their problems with the state of California that had similar requirements for their products and give them a single product to support. Their solution to Imperial nuts and bolts was also to send, at extortionate costs, imperial spanners...
* Yes, I know some countries use certain Imperial measurements on occasions, but the official designation is metric measures. I'll have a pint please... :)
"Perhaps the rest of the world could start (accurately) calling them British imperial units, to help the USA readjust?"
Judging from USAian sitcoms, you have to be a bit more obvious than that. Try
"Imperial units only licensed for use in British colonies to keep them subjugated"
Perhaps the rest of the world could start (accurately) calling them British imperial units, to help the USA readjust?
They're not, though, are they? Many of the US "Imperial" units are different from the units used in The Empire.
They have the 2000lb US Ton (aka "Short Ton") which is different from the 2240 lb British Imperial Ton (aka "Long Ton").
They have the 16 fl oz US pint which is different from the 20 fl oz Imperial Pint. I've actually heard an American say "Oh, wait, you Brits use a five-quart gallon"!
The real irony here is that the US has officially been adopting the metric system for about the last 40 years ... i just hasn't got very far in practice.
I was in the US Army, which just to add some degree of difficulty uses both Imperial (we call it standard) and Metric. The odometer on the tank reads in Kms, which must be documented, but we measure the fuel in gallons. Doing the math (or maths if you prefer) to convert Kms to miles is painful. It's even worse if you happen to be calling in naval artillery (that hasn't happened for a while) converting Kms to Nautical miles. Not a task that has to be done often granted, but c'mon now.
Don't get me started about the toolbag. Yup, metric and standard.
I would have thought that the effort "converting Kms to Nautical miles." would be identical to the effort needed to convert Imperial (and by extension US) miles to Nautical miles.
Hell, airplanes measure fuel in in litres and then make caluclations in pounds and measure air speed in knots.
I really don't give a toss, I am equally comfortable with metric and celcius or Imperial and Fahrenheit. Where I get it wrong is when in the US, we have a US gallon, a US quart and so on. So personally, if the US started using any other standard for liquid measures, that would be a good start.
So many people are missing the point. Metro is there to provide a consistent interface across different devices, so you don't need to learn three different ways of doing things across three different platforms (PC, tablet, phone). I think most people would consider that a great idea if it wasn't MS pushing it.
The problem is, people don't like change. XP was hated when it came out too but it went on to be a great success. I think most of the public are starting to come around to Windows 8 too. Certainly in our company where we have rolled it out, many in management were concerned. I still have an email from a senior manager talking about a "growing groundswell against Windows 8", yet it has been our smoothest, most successful, and most well received upgrade since, well, ever, and I remember the move from Windows 98!! That isn't just anecdotal. User satisfaction (yes, I hate that too) with IT has risen more than 8% in a year since the rollout.
13% is not a huge market share, but it continues to grow, even in these times where many companies don't need to run the latest and greatest, and that is no disgrace.
Ultimately though, there will always be those bitter about anything MS, and resistant to change, that is human nature to some degree, but thankfully, the innovation doesn't stop, and we will continue to see progress.
Really - people hate the utterly retarded UI just because MS released it? How about this... maybe everyone (and, in my own experience dealing with a huge range of IT-using punters every day, it really is effectively everyone) hates the retarded UI because it's retarded. Maybe we should just all put earplugs in and go about blindfolded so that we all have a consistent experience of the world around us whether or not we are naturally deaf or blind?
I'm of the opinion that if the default Windows 8(.1) experience really does suit someone they probably shouldn't even have a PC at all; they'd be better off using their similarly handicapped phone or tablet.
XP was hated when it came out too but it went on to be a great success. I think most of the public are starting to come around to Windows 8 too.
No it wasn't. XP was massively desired, it added some glitz and features that windows 2000 didn't have, it didn't crash like 98/ME and had a newer version of DirectX. It was so popular that they literally had to invent Bittorrent in order for enough people to download it from the scene (this is not true).
User satisfaction (yes, I hate that too) with IT has risen more than 8% in a year since the rollout.
You gave everyone new machines with bags of RAM and user satisfaction rose? Must be down to Windows 8!
13% is not a huge market share, but it continues to grow, even in these times where many companies don't need to run the latest and greatest, and that is no disgrace.
It continues to grow due to obsolescence of existing PCs and not being able to purchase a windows PC that does not come with windows 8.
Errr no, but nice try. User satisfaction has often fallen in previous cases after an upgrade because users need to get used to a new work environment, and there is a learning curve.
As for XP, I can only assume you were not around then when "Teletubbie Windows" was released.
"But the launch has been overshadowed by criticisms about pricing, the bundling of unwanted features and Microsoft's all-powerful market position."
"Research firm Gartner predicts that most consumers won't switch operating systems until they buy new PCs. Gartner predicted tepid initial sales, which would be in line with the lukewarm reception received by Windows Me and Windows 2000 last year."
Or this one from December 2003 (from than two years after XP's launch):
"By contrast AssetMetrix found that only 7% of the PCs companies were using had the latest Windows operating system, XP, installed. Windows 2000 was the most popular operating system."
that we should do things on a 24in wide screen display in the same way we're doing them on a 4in phone display then, boy, you're the one missing the point by more than a mile.
Beside that, I don't know about you but most people already learned to find their way across the three different platforms so I don't see any need for Microsoft to dumb us back with their help.
> I think most people would consider that a great idea if it wasn't MS pushing it.
I'm sorry, but you're wrong. I spent a couple hours removing a nasty thing (not recognised by our antimalware) from a several computers 2 weeks ago; 2 XP, 1 Win7, and 1 Win8 (same nasty, spread by a single user's USB drive). On the XP and Win7 machines it was a fairly annoying but straightforward job (stop the nasty process, delete its install directory, remove all related keys from the registry, reboot, check that it was gone). On the Win8 machine it was very frustrating, with the Metro UI constantly getting in the way. No more difficult, but considerably more upsetting. I don't care who pushed for it, or what the reason were, or if it seemed like a good idea at the time. All I care is that it gets in the way. It is a touchscreen UI designed for small displays. On a non-touch 3840×2160 24" monitor it's very annoying and makes you want to throw the thing out the window.
> If Metro got in the way, you were doing it wrong. Metro is no more annoying that a start menu.
Yes, yes it is. Unlabeled or badly-labeled "active zones" are a pain to use with a mouse (especially when the luser's dumb setting mean that you need to move the mouse for 2.5 miles to reach across the screen).
I also don't care terribly much about their friend's updates on FaceBook or Tweeter, so copping a facefull of that along the disinfection process is definitely what I'd call "getting in the way".
"So many people are missing the point. Metro is there to provide a consistent interface across different devices, so you don't need to learn three different ways of doing things across three different platforms"
My phone has a 4" screen.
My tablet has a 7" screen.
They run the same version of Android and the software can adapt to make use of the larger screen on the tablet. MS could do this too, and they should do it.
My desktop has a full keyboard, a mouse, 2 screens, loads of storage and far more power. Why would I want to use the same UI as my phone? It's not useful in any way. Should they put peddles and hand brakes in cars so bike riders will not have to learn to drive?
"So many people are missing the point. Metro is there to provide a consistent interface across different devices,"
Why does a car have a steering wheel, a bike handle bars and a horse have reigns?
Technically we could have the same UI across all and, by your logic, this would help people and lead to better road safety. But after 100 years of co-existence, these UIs have not merged.
If you are holding something in your one hand and manipulating it with the other, then a touch screen makes a lot of sense. To do touch well requires a certain screen layout (eg. bigger targets, and not changing the screen behind the user's finger). Due to the natural feedback in your hand/eye coordination, touching something you are holding accurately is child's play. Even moving from stylus to finger touch was a massive UI change.
A desktop is primarily suited to typing on a real keyboard and for precision pointing (mouse). That means you want more text entry, have smaller targets and can pack in more info. ie. a completely different UI.
What you certainly do not want is to mix the two. Having a touch screen monitor on a desktop is just plain terrible. You have to reach away from the keyboard, lean forward (back strain etc) and touch the screen. It is hard to do that accurately and fast. Accuracy and speed are essential for any corporate desktop and MS need to get corporates right otherwise they fail.
"Why does a car have a steering wheel, a bike handle bars and a horse have reigns?"
Reading some of these comments almost makes me ashamed to work in IT. A car, a horse, and a bike have completely different methods of movements and working. You turn a bike by leaning and steering the front single wheel AWAY from the turn (at anything other than slow speed), while a car is turned by turning the front two wheels IN to the turn. Just because they both "go" doesn't mean they work the same way. Similarly, the throttle on a bike has much more control than just "faster/slower". Throttle control is critical to control and stability of a bike through a turn, and even in a straight it is vastly more important than in a car, hence the requirement for a much more subtle touch (and hands rather than feet). A horse, well, obviously a horse is an animal so you give it an instruction and hope it goes the way you want it to. However you slice it, you are going to have to learn three methods of operation because they are all completely different beasts that are made to "go" in fundamentally different ways.
A PC/phone/tablet pretty much all work the same way. In all cases you input instructions (typically via a keyboard and/or mouse but these days also with a touch screen (either as well or instead)) and tasks are run on the CPU, data is retrieved and processed, and displayed back to you. The difference is purely device size. Some are convenient to hold in one hand, some are not convenient to hold at all, but a 8" Windows tablet works the same as a desktop with a 40" screen running Windows. The same for Android. The difference is that some (most these days) smaller devices (phones and tablets) have a touch screen. Some laptops and desktops also have a touch screen. That is often an additional control method, or a replacement control method. However, if you know how the OS works, and you how to find an application, start an application, control and application etc, whether you do that by pressing on the screen with your finger, or moving a mouse pointer there and clicking, IS THE SAME. The difference in required learning between leaning a new way to activate an appilcation (press with your stylus or finger vs click with a mouse) is much less than learning a new (going from an XP like interface on one device to a Win8 interface on another).
I thought all that would be obvious, but I guess not.
As for a touch screen on a desktop/laptop, it is an ADDITIONAL interface. It doesn't stop you using a mouse or keyboard. It isn't one of the other. Having said that, why don't you ask people who have worked with touch screens for years? Certainly the ones in the ticket office at St Pancras find them very useful, but I suppose they haven't been told yet that they should be having back pain etc.
It is just like the Kindle e-ink debate. The number of times I have been told that I must get eye strain by reading from a tablet instead of an e-ink... The same tribal blinkering here.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. There are two sides to this argument:
1: "I like Windows 8, though I obviously realise a lot of other people don't."
2: "I hate Windows 8 and THEREFORE SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE."
Politics, religion, baths versus showers, and now this.
"So many people are missing the point. Metro is there to provide a consistent interface across different devices, so you don't need to learn three different ways of doing things across three different platforms (PC, tablet, phone). I think most people would consider that a great idea if it wasn't MS pushing it."
What? Thank you, Mister Obvious. What a brillllllllliant observation.
Couple of problems, there. (1) Microsoft has proven multiple times (Windows Phone, (a Start button? On a phone?? Really???) Windows "Tablet Edition" and now Windows Phone 7 / Windows 8) that Microsoft Does Not Understand Touch Interfaces. They've forgotten or ignored all the things they learned about conveyance and usability that they had improved and polished from Win95 to Win7. They've gone from the worst of all possible worlds (a mouse-centric interface grafted onto a touch device without a mouse) and gone and found a new, better worst of all possible worlds -- a touch interface where you can stare at it all day and it is not at all apparent what you should do next.
(2) Putting a touch interface on a KVM machine is PANTS. Defaulting to full screen apps on PCs with large displays is INCREDIBLY STUPID. In short, a consistent interface across devices with RADICALLY DIFFERENT input methods didn't work when they put a start button on Windows Phone, and it still doesn't work putting a touch-centric interface on a PC. What is totally amazing about this is that Microsoft could have the stupidity or hubris (or both) to take what they had learned in the past and make the SAME mistake again.
So yeah, we know WHY they did it. That part, at least, has been painfully obvious. It's still a really REALLY bad decision.
There is a Metro language. It's all the new terminology to describe the UI features and the associated verbiage. No more clicking icons, you now swoosh tiles or some such bollocks.
Then they have charms.
Now I can understand having things called charms on My Pink Pony OS designed for 9 year old girls along with other UI elements called sparkles, tassels, gloss and glitter.
But how is any corporate user meant to take it seriously?
If Joe Sixpack phones up tech support and they tell him he needs more charms they will think they're taking the piss. He will go down there and give 'em a right kicking, no doubt with support from HR.
That's the kind of crap that isn't mature yet. They need to take off the lizard marketing pants and put on beige if they want the corporates back again.
We're here to do work. The computer is a tool, not a lifestyle appliance.
The great advantage over an analogue machine interface is the ability to reconfigure and customise a software defined digital environment to the users liking.
That MS resolutely refuses to get on-board with this notion is lamentable, especially when you consider the likes of Linux has several flavours of desktop environment, not to mention the bespoke implementations that focus all of a machines resources to a specific task, without the need to get under the bonnet and rip out all the guff that insists on staying resident when it is clear it is hogging resources for no purpose.
One size does not fit all, is true for shoes and is only true for operating systems if they choose to similarly cobble it together.
My PC boots in about 4 seconds now Windows 8.1 is installed on it and is usable immediately; Windows 7 didn't come anywhere near close to that on exactly the same hardware. After a few bits of customisation, after login it goes to the desktop, files open in desktop applications and links open in desktop browsers. Learning a few of the mouse gestures makes it more usable too (such a mouse top left, pull the mouse down). Instead of a clunky start screen or the often 'desktop full of icons' I have a start screen containing only the shortcuts I use with most other application win+S away. Shutdown/restart is a single right click away. It creates a cleaner, more productive environment and the OS is considerably faster and chunters much less than Windows 7. All the traditional config snapins/dialogs are still there as they were in Win7.
Actually try 8.1 for a few days after customising it then comment...
I did try Windows 8.1 - the free trial version downloaded from Microsoft.
I was using a traditional laptop, vintage 2007, and I did not like Win 8.1. In particular, the sheer hassle in getting everything switched off properly at the end of the day.
Yes, it recognised the hardware excellently. But that was no substitute for general anti-useability.
We all know this - don't you see that what you've actually done is wasted useful time in fiddling with fairly obscure settings in order to get a semi-usable experience? This is the whole issue that has annoyed so many people - Windows 8 can be made to work reasonably well but only after tweaking; a desktop OS should come ready-configured as a desktop OS, not some kind of dumbed down phone.
For me, the problem with Windows 8 was summed up by a quote I encountered recently - can't remember if it was here on El Reg, or on Slashdot. With acknowledgements to the original (unknown) author:
"Microsoft have given us new ways to do familiar things. The problem is, we wanted familiar ways to do new things."
There's another big flaw you've hit upon - you absolutely *SHOULD NOT* have to spend time to 'learn' where Microsoft has hidden core features. I'm an IT admin and I have many users running Win8, so I would say I'm somewhat familiar with the interface, but even then I sometimes have to shout out in the office 'where've they hidden the log off button again?'
An OS should be designed such that all core features are intuitively located so that users instinctively know how to get to them.
It's a good job Microsoft have made a web browser so easily accessible in Windows 8, because most people need to use Google every 30 seconds to look up how to do something that was obvious and easy in almost all prior versions of Windows.
THAT is why Windows 8 is crap and THAT is why it doesn't, and won't, ever sell well.
Windows 9 will be Windows 7 with an option for a touch interface if you want it. That is what Windows 8 should have been all along.
> you absolutely *SHOULD NOT* have to spend time to 'learn' where Microsoft has hidden core features. ... An OS should be designed such that all core features are intuitively located so that users instinctively know how to get to them.
I hate to break it to you, but everyone who waxes lyrical about the Start button had to learn how to use it. In most cases, they learnt so long ago that they've forgotten they had to learn it and they are now under the mistaken impression that its use is instinctive. But it is learnt.
This means that, where users ask for "intuitive" features, what they really mean is "familiar". That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is an awkward obstacle for anyone who wants to update their UI.
Apple got around this problem by telling anyone who preferred OS9 to OSX "Fuck you." Microsoft, whatever you may think of Windows 8, have been more considerate than that.
By the way, Microsoft have hidden the 'log off' button under Ctrl+Alt+Delete, which isn't intuitive either but is quite familiar to anyone who's used a PC before.
"It's a good job Microsoft have made a web browser so easily accessible in Windows 8, because most people need to use Google every 30 seconds to look up how to do something that was obvious and easy in almost all prior versions of Windows."
That is so fucking true. I have been dicking around with a new 2012 cluster machine today and it was an awful experience and yes I had to google all sorts of things. And that fucking default colour scheme has got to go, asap.
"Actually try 8.1 for a few days after customising it then comment..."
So, you're saying it's great after you fix all the problems?
Have I got a used car for you!*
*(Needs steering wheel, new tires, bearings and, brakes, the engine needs an overhaul... and the car could use some body work and paint, but hey, once you're done, it's a dream car!)
I think that the whole Windows 8 project was a vast conspiracy between Microsoft and the Indian government as a scheme to expand their online support industry there......Microsoft was receiving commissions on the number of support calls which exceeded the license fees from actual sales.....
The goal was full employment for India.....adding hundreds of millions of support reps....
This is supremely wishful thinking, but how about making upgrades cheaper too? I (for about 0.9 nanoseconds) considered buying an upgrade for my windows 7 PC after hearing rumours that Windows 8 performs better with games. Then I saw it was £99.99 for the (non professional) version! I had an iMac until middle of last year, and I never paid more than about £20 for a new Mac OS and Mavericks was free!
Surely once you've developed the OS the "pile em high sell em cheap" approach is better? Sure the margin per unit is lower, but in most cases all the cost was upfront in building it. Selling 1000 copies at £50 would be better than selling 200 copies at £100 surely (numbers purely made up by me).
The one critical topic that is never breached in all the years that new versions of Microsoft are announced or hyped is that of "security". Will Windows 9 desktop still require installation of bloated anti-malware to order to maintain a 'minimum' level of security protection?
The other topic is that of 'standard' Operating System (OS) file system for new Windows 9 OS desktop. it is my clear understanding from Microsoft representatives that .the Windows 8.x "desktops" still use a modified version of venerable (meaning old and cranky) NTFS file system, albeit integrated with Bitlocker upgraded features, but a tired 'anachronism' none the less. How can Microsoft expect to be taken seriously as an effective technology company, particularly in 2014 ,when all this Gee-Whiz! gibberish about new desktops omits critical technical improvement needed to compete successfully with the very modern and powerful Linux based Android, ChromeOS, the upcoming Samsung/Intel Tizen Linux computing devices and the Apple OS X Maverick OS?
Loyal Microsoft Windows purchasers and supporters are unfortunately very ignorant and naive about the serious shortcomings carried forth in every new iteration since Windows NT, and this dilemma will not help the company adapt successfully to the new but still very dangerous Internet age where the vulnerabilities of Windows remain a serious stumbling block.
I still can't get my head around why so many people hate Windows 8 simply because it does not have a start button and start menu!
Is the fact that it takes you longer to launch a program and that you can slightly see through the edge of open windows that make your computer slower so much more important than having a computer that starts quickly, runs faster, can do more in one go, uses less power and is easier and quicker to use? Is the mentality of many people that they would rather be worse off than accept change?
I have been using it since the beta launch, and have to admit when it first launched I thought "Oh My God!" but then after using it for a few weeks realised how much better it was, especially if you use multiple computers and even better when you have a Windows phone.
I use my computers for more things than most people realise a computer can do and I have no problem with Windows 8 and think its great.
In fact my family loved it so much they insisted I installed it on all our laptops and computers.
I'm really happy for you that Windows 8 was a fantastic experience for you and your acquaintances. That being said, and judging from the responses not only at El Reg, but also on countless other forums, you and yours are the exception.
You could have the fastest OS in the world; lightning quick, open apps before you can tap the application icon, and all that fun stuff. But being quick is worth less than nothing if the interface gets in the way of the user. If the user has to page through screen after screen on a hide-and-seek mission to find the app he/she is looking for; if the interface isn't apparently intuitive to the user, then the experience falls flat and irritations rise. An application that would have taken the user two seconds to launch before on the old interface, now takes the user up to 10 seconds to locate and launch, the speed factor is effectively annulled.
TL;DR, The OS should never get in the way of the user trying to do the task at hand, and for most users, Windows 8 fails in that way.
Dear Microsoft Employee "rebootweb",
Thank you for registering on El Reg just to troll. Your input is truly appreciated.
I sincerely hope you are being adequately paid to write on this website to tell us that the utter trainwreck that is the Windows 8 User Interface works for you and your long suffering family on every possible device that they have paid you to write about. Have you considered a career in Real Estate or in telemarketing? I hear that PPI companies are always on the look out for people just like you.
> ANYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH ME IS BEING BRIBED! IT'S THE ONLY EXPLANATION!
Not at all, it's just the most common explanation, what with Microsoft spending upwards of a billion dollars on PR for Windows 8, much of it in the form of "viral" comments in social media such as this. But not all are shills. Some are instead hopeless hipsters who love Windows 8 because it is new, or plain idiots who love it because everyone else hates it -- insofar there's any difference.
Windows 8 is an objectively bad operating system, because it's main purpose, the reason it's designed the way it is, isn't to help the user accomplish his tasks. No, the main purpose of Windows 8 is to re-educate PC users by forcing them to use a GUI designed for slabs and cellphones, thereby easing transition away from PC to mobile devices.
> it takes you longer to launch a program
OK, one more time: the reason Windows 8 starts programs so fast, is because it never closes them. When you close a program in Windows 8, it is minimized and the UI hidden. It should come as no surprise that maximizing the program and unhiding the UI is faster than actually loading and starting it again.
This is also the reason Windows 8 starts faster - it never shuts down, it always goes to sleep.
"OK, one more time: the reason Windows 8 starts programs so fast, is because it never closes them. When you close a program in Windows 8, it is minimized and the UI hidden. It should come as no surprise that maximizing the program and unhiding the UI is faster than actually loading and starting it again."
Hmm, I wonder where they got those ideas from?
> And the problem with that is?
Unless you're really paranoid about software states being stored on disk, nothing. I'm just pointing out that comparing start-up times between Win7 and Win8 is comparing apples to oranges -- they don't do the same things.
> the reason Windows 8 starts programs so fast, is because it never closes them. When you close a program in Windows 8, it is minimized and the UI hidden.
I use Ableton Live, which uses pretty much all the machine's resources when running at full tilt. If your explanation is correct, can you explain why it makes so much difference to performance when I close apps -- either closing everything else to stop Ableton hiccupping or closing Ableton to allow Netflix to run?
> can you explain why it makes so much difference to performance when I close apps
Probably disk contention. Also, by using "all the systems resources" you're forcing a swap-out of the paused programs, and of parts of the running programs & OS as well. Windows 8 is very swappy.
That is interesting, and quite odd.
> you're forcing a swap-out of the paused programs, and of parts of the running programs & OS as well.
OK, but if closing an app doesn't really close it, then this should be the same regardless. And my experience is that it isn't: closing apps makes a difference.
The improvements in Windows 8 at the actual OS level are many and it is certainly a good evolution upwards from Windows7. What we all want, is the Windows7 user interface available on the Windows8 OS core. It is not about the "Start Menu". It is about a zillion things that have become byzantine in the half-assed "Metro" interface. We get paid, some of us quite handsomely, to do clever and complex stuff that is important and from which our employers derive business advantage, enabling them to pay our salaries.
We are not paid by Microsoft to fuck around all day fighting a user interface that we did not ask for and would dearly love to be shot of!
"What we all want"
Speak for yourself. I (and clearly others) find the new interface and start menu to be a huge step forward from the Start button which is not that far removed from how it was in 1994. I also like the new functionality that TIFKAM brings while still having the ability to run my legacy apps.
"We are not paid by Microsoft to fuck around all day fighting a user interface that we did not ask for and would dearly love to be shot of!"
I am paid to do a job, not being an obstacle to progress because I am afraid of change, or don't want to learn new things. Still, your comment sounds eerily familiar from those days migrating from Netware to Windows NT. Don't worry, there will always be people like you!
"Speak for yourself. I (and clearly others) find the new interface and start menu to be a huge step forward from the Start button which is not that far removed from how it was in 1994. I also like the new functionality that TIFKAM brings while still having the ability to run my legacy apps."
I don't give a FF about the start menu/button, that is a red herring for the most part. You and others keep harping on about it as if it is the only issue at hand - it is not.
Intimate whatever you want. I am both well off and very successful, and I didn't become so by being "flavour of the month" oriented or by wasting effort learning useless things or solving problems for which I am not being paid. Windows8 gets in the way, so professionals such as myself loathe it. Windows8 is just a window (pun intended) into the world where I work. Boarding it up and removing the latches (to continue the metaphor) is a suboptimal solution for me and everyone else who deals with things behind the window.
I wonder if at least part of the problem is the slowdown in PC sales. Given that for a long time each year or two the available horsepower at a given price point doubled (At least in terms of MHZ)
Ever since they hit that blasted wall at ~2-3GHZ sales have slumped. Perhaps if they marketed PC in terms of say GIPS (Giga Instructions Per Second) then doubling the core count would give a number twice as big, thus encouraging people to upgrade.
IE: My current machine is 10 GIPS and this new one is 20 GIPS => Must be better
I suspect that part of the upgrade cycle was driven by
Home Machine breeds familiarity --> Adopted by Smaller companies --> rolled out by large companies
An most people just use whatever is installed on the machine they buy.
Rinse; repeat; profit
"Threshold of a Dream"
Yeah. I remember that.
More seriously, on the threshold, you can go either up or down. It's unusual of Microsoft marketing to leave the question so open, regardless of whether or not the engineering effort lives up to it.
Maybe reality has started to impinge upon Redmond ?
When 8 was released, I had just bought a new laptop with 7 on it. Coming in from a vista/XP/98 line of previous OS's I had felt uneasy with 7 so thought i would give 8 a whirl.. it was only 50 quid for 8 pro upgrade at Tesco.. and the adverts made it sound quite good.
I know why now.
The install left me with a brick. i sat there for a good 5 minutes going 'omfg what have i done..?!'
So anyway I eventually found the settings and looked for a way to create (choose) 'classic' and bring forth a more user friendly display.. nope.. didnt happen. every login was still met with a shudder at it's ugliness and lack of friendliness.. it was like being tangoed by microsoft every time i turned it on
I persevered, looked at my son's xbox and had a glimpse of what they were trying to achieve, managed to find a way to work with it.. never found the games i'd previously installed though.. then along came an update.. try win 8.1 download for free at the store.. you can have a start button back..so i did..
and then not only did they proceed to tango me on every start up i had the disgruntlement of having to be assimmilated to the microsoft network.. I dont WANT to join your club.. I dont WANT a passport from you.. but nope.. laptop back to being a brick unless I signed up.. b*****ds!
WINDOWS 9 YOU SAY? Oh I cant bloody wait....
What's the best Linux at the moment?
Depends on what you're after.
I installed Mint 15, from USB boot to fully working system, in 40 minutes on a machine that I had the option to run through the Windows setup routine on which would have taken hours.
I find Mint has the most user friendly interface for those familiar with Windows star menu type stuff.
I prefer Linux Mint 13 - LTS version. People should not use these test versions like Mint 15,16 as default OS because they are just test versions. Mint 13 is the latest stable one and with great 5 years support (until spring 2017). The next LTS will be released in May 2014 (with support until spring 2019).
Re: ..."....includes the newest client OS, is expected to start shipping [?] a year later, ...."
Is expected to start shipping [?]....what...exactly?
WTF happened to old fashioned sentence structure? We see this, "....will start shipping [fill in the blank yourself] ..." all over the place in these techie articles.
Where'd they go to grammar school? Did they?
I switched from OSX to Windows 8.1, love it. Alright Metro is a bit shite and Jesus wept, finding stuff in the control panel is bloody nightmare but I happen to actually prefer Win81 over OSX. Then again I happen to like a little sadistic fun play sometimes!
( Before you go thinking I'm some wet behind the ears noob, I've been using Windows since Excel came with it's own Windows286 runtime version way back in the day and I also still have my original install floppy and CD of Yggdrasil Linux 0.93! )
>Windows 8/8.1 does not appear to be being picked up by consumers or businesses. Microsoft lost a year >on Windows 8 as OEMs didn’t deliver PCs or tabs,
Let's see the not delivered systems from SONY (Vaio Duo11/12), Lenovo (Helix, TPT2, Thinkpad Yoga), Dell (Latitude 10), Samsung (Ativ 500t, Ativ700, Tab3).... and that is just the pen equiped tablet pc from 2012/2013. There are more touch only tablets and touch enabled notebooks around. Guess the OEM DID deliver quite a few units....
> while consumers stayed away from machines as businesses upgraded to Windows 7 instead.
And check how a company / admin that does know their jobs do a large scale upgrade. This is a LOT more effort than Auntie Mays surfstation and involves lengthy compliance checks. Add a quick look at typical client system replacement cycles (3-5 years), start with 1999/2000 (many big companies used that as a "new client" roll in) and you find many companies starting the replacement process well before Win8 was out.
Besides 13 percent market share, that is almost 10x the client market share of that funny DIY OS some people spend their free time with, isn't it. Or twice as must as that "pretty but costly" hardware/software combo with the half eaten fruit.
Really, if they would just allow for customization instead of forcing their "unified vision" down our throats. I understand their reasoning. They wanted people to float back and forth in their "ecosystem" of games, tablets, phones and work computers and figured having the same interface would make it "easier" for them to grab onto customers like Apple does.
Thing is, I'm NOT an Apple customer, so don't treat me like one.
I want to be able to do my work, not wax poetic how "cool" my stuff is. The computer is the TOOL to help me get WORK done. Anything that distracts from that purpose is a waste of my time.
So, by all means, have a mode which is mostly compatible across platforms and even suggest it as a default. After I say no, STFU and give me what I want, don't call me stupid or stubborn or tell me I'll eventually like it better, etc. Make it too big a pain and I'll go Android/Linux, and given I grew up with original PC's, this is not an idle threat.
Windows 8 AntiFanboy: RAAAAAGGGGEEE!!!111!!111111ONE! I DEMAND CHANGE BACK TO THE GLORY THAT WAS WINDOWS 95!!!!!!!!!!! I HAVE TO LEARN NEW STUFF RAAAAGEEE!
Windows 8 User: Its OK, I quite like it. Some stuff is hard to find though but overall, I can't see the problem
Windows 8 AntiFanboy: SHIIIILLLLL!!!! YOU ARE IN THE PAY OF MICROSOFT OR A MORON!!!!ELEVENTY! THE ONE TRUE WAY IS A MENU WITH THINGS ON IT I CAN CLICK WITH MY MOUSE IN MY FAT PAW!!!
Windows 8 User: ??? Twunt. Go get a life and take off the tinfoil.
I like Windows 8.1.
I like the modern UI aesthetic (under whatever name).
I like solid colours and clear fonts.
The Metro/Notro/TIFKAM/Modern UI look is clear, clean, readable and attractive. I use Windows 8 in a VM on my Macbook Air and whilst I like OSX in my mind the modern UI is artistically far ahead.
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