Don't drink the yellow rain!
Microsoft's new Surface 3 tablet should be the perfect hardware for Windows 10, set to be released on 29 July. We put it to the test. Microsoft's Surface experiment is significant on several levels. When the initial Surface device (running Windows on ARM, also known as Windows RT) was released in October 2012, it was the first …
well actually 8.1, did work really well IF you had a touch screen. If you didn't then adding classic start seems to make it a very usable OS. I tried the early win 10 previews on a duel boot and was impressed with what MS have done, then it went and crashed my system to the point I had to rebuild, so will be waiting for a stable version before I go back for another look.
Quote from OA
"Windows 10 feels rougher, not only because of bugs in the preview, but also because restoring a desktop focus has made the tablet experience worse in some respects."
Hopefully UI designers (everywhere) will draw the obvious conclusion from this expensively won experience: design one UI for touch and a different one for Desktop. Don't compromise.
>Hopefully UI designers (everywhere) will draw the obvious conclusion from this expensively won experience: design one UI for touch and a different one for Desktop. Don't compromise.
Yeah, well.... I'm currently using a UI that is designed for mouse and keyboard. It seems to be a compromise, because I need mouse AND keyboard to use it efficiently.
Shouldn't make any difference whether mouse or keyboard - that's not why Windows 8.1 is so horrid.
Basic tenets of HCI:
Visibility (don't hide the buttons)
Affordability (make the buttons look like buttons)
Feedback (let me know I've hit the button)
Fails on all 3 counts, mouse or keyboard.
Yes, exactly, and ...
Visibility (don't hide the buttons)
... or the menus, or the keyboard shortcuts.
Affordability (make the buttons look like buttons)
... make sure that the keyboard shortcuts are obvious (mnemonic).
Hiding the keyboard shortcuts is excusable only when there is no keyboard.
That's what happened when web garphic designers were allowed to design UI - no clue about proper user interaction, and now we got all those flat grey elements, and you can't never tell what's an interactive element and what is not... Google also pioneered this kind of silly UIs.
Don't single out designers on this. Developers have decades of experience wrapping craptastic UI's around what would be otherwise impressive software. This is what you get when the developers and/or designers don't go on-site with people who going to be using it. Before delivery is nice but a week or three is good. (Listening, learning, and especially doing minor tweaks fosters adoption.)
That's, for example, a common issue with web applications. Most of them are utterly unusable without a mouse, amplified by the fact that the damned browser can't easily tell what is something the user needs to interact with, and what not.
But also many desktop applications are designed with too many mice running around the developers head, and without a proper design of keyboard-only input.
With Windows 8, there's lots to hate
And 8.1's not much more fun
Windows 10, we can only hope
Will come good, in the long run
The Windows 10 release schedule seems rushed, like Vista-level rushed, but a lot of the issues are fixable with a bit of polishing. Roll on 10.1.
Because you never used a Surface or the like, maybe. W8 *does* work well on touch input devices if you use them with well designed "modern" apps. The problem was forcing that on desktop users and desktop applications, where it does't work well at all.
Now going back and forcing a more desktop like UI to tablet users is another mistake - it's incredible they can't understand different modes of use needs different UI paradigms, there's no one-size-fits-all.
I tried it on an 8" tablet a few releases (and three months) ago and it was dreadful, as in monumentally crappy. Reinstalled 8.1 pretty quickly and I haven't tried the later releases.
I think July 29th is early enough for my tablet. Or possibly July 28th 2016 (since it's free until then). Call me nervous but it was a terrible experience whereas Win8.1 is absolutely fine.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2, btw.
"Graphics and gaming is the weak point. Surface 3 can manage about 20 FPS with 20 fish in Microsoft’s FishGL demo, whereas Surface Pro 1 does 43 FPS. Nevertheless, Surface 3 is a long way ahead of the Surface 2 (ARM Tegra 4), which it replaces: 2360 on Octane 2.0 and nearer 17 FPS on FishGL even with fewer effects enabled."
Does this mean it won't run Crysis?
When I used Win8.1 on a tablet the Metro interface actually worked really well with touch. It was the schizophrenic nature of the tablet which couldn't quite makes it's mind up whether to use a metro app or a desktop app that was a PITA. Sometimes ending up with two versions of IE running with different pages because it all got a little confusing.
Turning win8 off an on was hardly a hardship. It took about 15sec to boot. I never switch off my Android Nexus 7 tablet because it takes nearly 3min to get going, not because the battery life is good.
With Win 8 I felt like there was a really good OS in there somewhere trying to break through the layers of shite put in by the marketing men.
Windows 10 technical preview build 10074 installed smoothly
Build 10130, currently on the fast update loop, changes the menu and 'Metro' interfaces quite significantly from the one illustrated and is much more 8.1-like. Whether or not it's representative of the final release is anyone's guess though.
For an article supposedly about Win10 on Surface 3, almost two and a half of the three pages in the article were about previous hardware and/or software. I wasn't expecting to read "A history of Surface with a footnote on what's around the corner" (a much more accurate title, IMHO)
How does Windows 10 perform on a Surface Pro 3?
Mine currently seems to overheat extremely easily. I do use it occasionally as a tablet but would be happy to compromise a little on this if I got a tablet that didn't get uncomfortably warm and noisy just from playing Microsoft's own Solitaire.
Windows applications traditionally work at a DPI of around 96 and these super density screens are are 250+. Desktop apps are too small to use so the OS ends up upscaling window surfaces by 1.5-2x to compensate. There are some hidpi aware applications but not as many as there should be and many of them don't render big enough even with hidpi support. A user would also tend to sit further away from the device than they might a tablet or phone.
The upshot is a high resolution on a small screen doesn't really do much for a desktop. There isn't much screen real estate, the upscaling makes the windows look blurry, more memory is used by the display and the GPU has 4x the pixels plus upscaling work to do. It probably works better in a tablet mode where the device is held closer and apps tend to be DPI-aware.
Perhaps I just have better eyesight than most (or just sit closer to the screen) but applications where no resizing appears to be happening - Blender for example - still seem to be readable if a little on the small size. Nevertheless I've never personally had a problem with that on my own Surface Pro 3.
You could turn your Surface “off” in the approved way, and later find it heating your bag, which is
frustrating when battery life is precious. This is fixed, apparently, in Windows 10.
on my Surface 3 Pro running the current Insider build still happens
Drives me insane. I have done all the suggested things yet every night my trusty magnesium slab goes flat. I don't know if it's the OS or the cover/keyboard, but something wakes it up and doesn't let it get it's much needed slumber. Sad when I've taken to carrying a Mac Book Air running W10 in Fusion to meetings because I can't rely on the Surface...
OIK, the battery life wasn't so good, so let's put in a bigger battery.....
OK, the interface was horrible for users of traditional apps, let's go back to a "traditional" desktop design.....
OK, one USB port isn't so good, lets add in some more....
OK, the keyboard is a bit crappy, let's improve it, and maybe add in a trackpad.....
Ladies and Gentlemen, we give you the brand new Microsoft (tm) Laptop (tm).....
S3 is not a bad piece of kit, although in my experience it is not stable. I have had 2 both experiencing the same issue - mini display port crashing when connected to an external monitor. Have returned both to retailer for a refund. Check link below for info.
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