back to article Spring is all about new beginnings, but it could already be lights out for Windows' Fluent Design

Windows has sported different looks across the decades – translucency in Vista and 7, and flat design in 8 and 10 – each driven by different guidelines and ideas about pixel placement. As we head into the third iteration of Microsoft's Creators Update, Spring, Microsoft is pushing "Fluent Design". The Fluent Design System is …

  1. The Original Steve

    Whilst I agree with everything written, I should say that after playing with the very latest W10 build, for the first time since W10 was released I'm genuinely impressed. Actually works and window dressing which was sorely overdue has made a positive impact.

    Shame it's practically irrelevant

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Good news that flat is dead. Flat with depth is an obvious nod to googles material design. If you didnt happen to have a windows 3.1 background, flat ui was like where have all the buttons gone? All them millions of pixels and none used to help you work out what was clickable or swipeable or prodable.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        >If you didnt happen to have a windows 3.1 background, flat ui was like where have all the buttons and colours gone?

        Whilst the Win3.1 UI today seems a little dated, it does seem that MS achieved a much more usable UI/UX with a 16 colour palette and 640x480 display...

        1. davidp231

          "Whilst the Win3.1 UI today seems a little dated, it does seem that MS achieved a much more usable UI/UX with a 16 colour palette and 640x480 display..."

          Or 640x350 if you were using EGA.

      2. boltar Silver badge

        "Good news that flat is dead"

        I wonder how long before the web startup hipster sheep are stroking their oiled beards and proclaiming that skewmorphism is now the way forward once more.

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Efluent design ...

      OK, so Americans can't spell can they.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft’s business models require stealing and reselling personal data

    ....."When we talk about why we're upgrading the Windows 10 install base, why is that upgrade free? MS CFO asked during a meeting with Wall Street analysts. These are all new monetization opportunities once a PC is sold. Microsoft's strategy is to go low on consumer Windows licenses, hoping that that will boost device sales, which will in turn add to the pool of potential customers for 'Advertising'".....

    ....."CEO Nadella has referred to the customer revenue potential as 'lifetime value' in the past -- and did so again last week during the same meeting with Wall Street -- hinting at Microsoft's strategy to make more on the back end of the PC acquisition process. The more customers, the more money those customers will bring in as they view 'Ads'".....

    https://www.computerworld.com/article/2917799/microsoft-windows/microsoft-fleshes-out-windows-as-a-service-revenue-strategy.html

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft’s business models require stealing and reselling personal data

      Cut that out. That quote isn't relevant here. It's a useful and revealing quote, which is why we all read it when they said it. Those who didn't see it have seen it in these posts on the comment threads. It's somewhat relevant to things that discuss microsoft's data slurp. It would be irritating then, too, because we have seen it already, but it's even more so here because their data slurp is not related to how and where they put stuff on the screen. No relevance at all. Also, you're making us dislike you. Please stop.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft’s business models require stealing and reselling personal data

        I can see from the downvotes that my dislike for the repetition of this is not shared by others. However, I would like to hear from one of those, if they can, why it is relevant here, as there isn't any privacy or security-related element in this post? I'm not trying to say the spirit of repeating this quote is wrong, but that it still seems irrelevant to the topic at hand. I also have seen it on about twenty other windows 10 posts, as well, and despite my minority-of-one status, I am willing to not see it on each proceeding post as well.

        1. JcRabbit

          Re: Microsoft’s business models require stealing and reselling personal data

          You're right, it's not relevant here other than it related to Windows 10 and Microsoft's current practices.

          This said, as a developer and as a user, I now HATE Microsoft with all my heart because of all they have been doing lately to both groups. So, from this perspective, I won't downvote repetitive posts like that (didn't upvote it either, perhaps I should).

          All I can say is that it is a shame there isn't really a viable alternative to Windows (Apple is even worse than Microsoft and Linux is still for techies): Microsoft would then be forced to suffer the price of abusing their monopolistic position and of their blatant disrespect and contempt for the needs and wants of developers and users alike.

          As for the article itself, this is typical Microsoft going after whatever they think the latest fab is. It will be dropped as soon as the 'next big thing' comes up, and wow to anyone who still believes in Microsoft and adopts this, they will be left out to dry, as usual. Microsoft has no vision and no leadership, it floats with the tide.

          At least before they still worried about backwards compatibility - one of the major reasons for Windows being as popular as it is, the other being that it was never the closed garden Microsoft is now trying so hard to turn it into. These days they just get rid of 'old technology' (by 'old' read 'no longer the current fab') as if they were throwing away an old filthy rag, and to hell whomever believed in them and is still using it to make a living.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft’s business models require stealing and reselling personal data

          Maybe if you'd given five years of your life working for MS Support you'd understand.

          The Packaging is the deal, how they con you into continuing with the brand, "ooo shiny".

          People are starting to get that they are the product, and even though they're still staring at their cellphones, soon the drones will awaken to the dystopia they have participated in creating.

          "Features"?, Who cares? Just make it work faster with a smaller ram/cpu footprint.

          No, jam pack as much bloat/spyware as you can and sell it to us and make it look like it's a favor.

          Once All my WIN7 boxes get turfed off what's left of the free internet (an illusion) we'll be tossing them out.

  4. israel_hands
    Facepalm

    Still Not Getting It

    MS obviously still don't understand that aiming for a "unified design" across different devices just means gimping everything down to the weakest feature set.

    The differences between interacting with a tiny touch screen and a full desktop with keyboard/mouse are so fundamentally different that trying to unify the pair of them will only ever result in at least one set of users getting a terrible experience.

    I don't how understand how they can be so thick that they haven't realised this yet.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Still Not Getting It

      "I don't how understand how they can be so thick that they haven't realised this yet."

      Me neither, but there comes a point where one just has to accept it as an experimental result and defer the explanation until later.

      (We do need to keep in mind that the puzzle of "how can they not see this" only applies to senior execs in a position to change it. It could be that most people at MS actually get this, but they are either riding out the tail end of their careers and hoping for a quiet early retirement or they are planning to abandon ship at a time of their own choosing rather than getting sacked.)

      1. Tim 11

        Re: Still Not Getting It

        "I don't how understand how they can be so thick that they haven't realised this yet."

        they have done plenty of much more stupid things than this in the past - I am not surprised at all.

    2. Mage Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Still Not Getting It

      Absolutely... Small to medium touch (mainly consumption) vs keyboard & mouse (mainly content creation) need different GUIs. TVs need a 3rd GUI. Larger tablets need easy to use with touch window management (certainly even 8" rarely wants multiple application windows at the same time.

      But also transparency and ESPECIALLY flat are just a GUI disaster on ANY platform. The bare minimum is two highlight lines and two shadow lines with convention of top left light. Then its obvious if something IS a GUI element and if "latched" or not and easily momentarily showing if "clicked".

      Text links without buttons must always LOOK like a hyperlink or a menu item. They should only exist without a menu if they are actually merely hypertext (i.e. NOT action buttons or menus, but simply a new page with "back" and no change of anything. This is why Web Forms had button elements, not purely links. Links need not be HTML/Webpages, but should NEVER action/change state or be menus, but "go in". We had hyperlinked documents 10 years before HTML and websites.

      "Modern" Websites and GUs are breaking every sensible 40 year old GUI convention (based on REAL research) purely for cosmetic reasons. Graphic designers only fit to design paper documents with NO understanding of document navigation and GUIs and no understanding of Menus, Actions etc vs document navigation and display.

      Do not hide GUI elements or minimise them automatically, except maybe toolbars at edges of screen or Window.

      Ban flat monochrome icons. Worse than photographic skeuomorphic stuff, which is also silly (distracting, some abstraction is good).

      1. teknopaul Silver badge

        Re: Still Not Getting It

        Id giv u a vot but the arow is too smal.

        Sent from my watch.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Still Not Getting It

        "But also transparency and ESPECIALLY flat are just a GUI disaster on ANY platform."

        Windows Vista/7 UI theme is wonderful, it still looks fresh and yes transparency works fine there. But these ugly as butt flat UI from Windows 8/8.1/10 with colors selected by colourblind "designers" in Redmond is hell. In alternative reality, a new MS CTO reverts back to Win7 UI and user mode code and keep the kernel mode part of Win10 (except the hardcoding slurping in network driver) - but staying with Win10 user mode codebase is a showstopper (UWP needs to die, WinAPI for the win) and it's getting worse by the minute.

        1. emullinsabq
          Unhappy

          Re: Still Not Getting It

          Windows Vista/7 UI theme is wonderful, it still looks fresh and yes transparency works fine there.

          For you it works fine. For me it is exhausting, and that is why I hate transparency in any form. The thing is the stuff underneath is noise that my brain works to filter out constantly. I don't know any way to avoid it. I'm glad for people who don't have this problem, but I sit in front of an UI all day every day, and it is absolutely horrible to have transparent stuff. What works best for me is the windows 2000 ui. or classic in XP or Win7. Ofc, it isn't my problem these days as I don't even use Windows anymore, and I have full control of the UI now.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Still Not Getting It

            For you it works fine. For me it is exhausting, and that is why I hate transparency in any form.

            Agreed. Ask anyone who wears glasses what they think of the kind of synthetic blur that Vista uses.

          2. Someone Else Silver badge

            @emullinsabq -- Re: Still Not Getting It

            OK fine. In Win7 you have the option to turn it off. In fact, you can revert the presentation all the way back to that of WinXP if you so desire.

            In Win8++, faggeddaboudit!

        2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: Still Not Getting It

          Windows Vista/7 UI theme is wonderful, it still looks fresh and yes transparency works fine there. But these ugly as butt flat UI from Windows 8/8.1/10 with colors selected by colourblind "designers" in Redmond is hell.

          Personally, I'd rather see the design last seen (by default anyway) in MSWin 2000. Up through MSWin7 you could simply disable the "Themes" service, and you'd get a clean display back without all that cutesy-puffy stuff they started with XP/Aero.

          Then again, I'd prefer if they brought back customizable/replacable desktops like they had up through MSW 3.11 (if you remember Norton Desktop, for example). Then we could just port Cinnamon to MSWin, and have a GUI that doesn't suck.

          I still say the best UI is Ui Hirasawa, but that's not relevant here...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Still Not Getting It

            "still say the best UI is Ui Hirasawa"

            You sure you're not a MACuser?

            I'd wait until we got a KnoppixMiku 2.0 before making jokes like that.

    3. steelpillow Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Still Not Getting It

      Some things can work well, for example if you know the physical screen size you can then select an appropriate stylesheet. But even this basic technique has lacked support from system vendors, who have never demanded screen size to be a standard piece of system info.

      Bake that into everything, so plugging your smartphone into a 52" TV will automatically pick up the new size and update the choice of stylesheet - with UI-integrated user override if that was not what you wanted, of course - and things could move forward.

      In my dreams :(

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Still Not Getting It

      I think Google's Material Design has some excellent stuff that works across a range of devices but it's main benefit is a consistent metaphor for information design and feedback. The user is also very much the focus of the guidelines. It feels more like a solid UX framework then anything "magical and revoutionary". And, while it is mobile first, they've also worked hard to provide a good toolkit for both native and web work.

      But basically, people won't buy the stuff just because the design language is particularly but they will moan and stop using it if you get it wrong: there are other problems that need solving first.

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Still Not Getting It

      MS obviously still don't understand that aiming for a "unified design" across different devices just means gimping everything down to the weakest feature set.

      ACK

      From article: "wants to discard the multiple, disparate user interfaces of the past for a single, focused, and attractive user interface"

      Doing this on 2D FLATSO Win-10-nic ain't it. Not only are they putting lipstick on a boar, they're putting lipstick on the WRONG end.

      not very attractive, yeah.

    6. Milton Silver badge

      Re: Still Not Getting It

      israel_hands: "I don't how understand how they can be so thick that they haven't realised this yet."

      Microsoft have many degrees of crapness, which they have demonstrated to the world hundreds of times over the last 30 years. Stupidity is not their weakness; but obsessive greed and lust for dominance, which frequently drive distasteful levels of corporate deceit, most certainly are their signature vices.

      So I'd respectfully suggest that they are not being stupid per se: they are being greedy and lazy in (a) trying to persuade us that One Size Fits All and (b) consequently selling themselves the same shit: repeat a lie often enough and you start to believe it.

      But of course, it remains absolute nonsense. Sure, phones and tablets are getting ever more powerful. But so are laptops. So are desktops. So are servers. The CPU power, RAM, storage and GPU steroids you stuff into each one are even more different in scale than the size of the devices. Even more critically, given the UI is so important, the available display scales in the same way. The idea that the software you'll run on 16 cores of Xeon, fed by 32Mb of RAM and displaying UHD on a pair of 28" screens would be the same you're using on a fingerprint-smeared ten-inch tablet at breakfast, or worse still, the battered five-inch phone you're squinting at on a crowded train ... is simply bonkers.

      It isn't just UI issues. For non-trivial processes and jobs, the way you design your code varies from one platform to another: the priorities you set, the compromises you make, the features you sacrifice, the MustHaves vs the Nice2Haves, the security you implement, the transparency you apply, the level of prediction and automation, the way you expect your users to navigate, concentrate, shortcut, multitask, copy, paste, foul up, screenshot, print, typo, wait, react to dialogs, manage verbosity, get distracted ... I could go on, but my point is surely made: the way you architect these things, guide this experience, and how you engineer code to make it all happen, is unlikely to be the same for User Slobb emitting two days' worth of BO in front of a panoply of workstation silicon, as it is for User Fragrant, who's checking the server's up while she waits for her artisanal coffee.

      The whole UWP spiel is about reducing MS's workload, simplifying its delivery, saving money, reducing headcount while conning the users into actually believing that One Size Fits, and that this experience—where every platform's software and UI will necessarily be infected by compromises meant for all the others—is better.

      It simply isn't better, it really couldn't be, and unquestionably MS knows, deep in its rotted corporate soul, that this is a dirty trick to foist cheapened inferiority off on to the users. But those same users didn't abandon the platform for the Vista garbage; or when Win8 took a monumental step backwards; or when profoundly dishonest attempts were made to force users to "upgrade", thereby ruining many systems' productivity; or when Win10 inflicted a worse UI than any since Win7 while also stealing data in a wholesale invasion of privacy; or any of the other shoddy crap that MS has shat upon them ... so a judgement has been made and is probably engraved on SatNad's bathroom mirror: The Mugs Will Accept Anything.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still Not Getting It

      It's pretty straightforward -- MS executives think that THEY JUST KNOW BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE. Two examples:

      1. Steve Sinofski was responsible for the disaster which was Windows 8. The idea was to "unify" touch and mouse -- something almost any brain-dead idiot could have told him would be a disaster. But no, Steve was right -- until the marketplace told him otherwise -- and he was fired!

      2. Julie Larson-Green was responsible for "the ribbon" in Office 2007. Most users of Office that I know wondered what was wrong with the menu system which had been used (notably in MS Word) since around 1990. Well -- there was nothing wrong -- but MS had to do something to drive more licence revenue, and the ribbon change was just the thing. Once again, an MS executive knew much better than peons like me, people who actually had to use the product! (PS She also had a hand in the Windows 8 screw up -- why am I not surprised?)

      3. I don't know who the "brains" behind Fluent might be -- but it's a penny to a pound that there's YABE (yet another brilliant executive) driving this standard towards an early grave.

      1. strum

        Re: Still Not Getting It

        >It's pretty straightforward -- MS executives think that THEY JUST KNOW BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE.

        This. Even though they abandon the previous five versions of 'Microsoft Knows Best'.

    8. Someone Else Silver badge

      @israel_hands -- Re: Still Not Getting It

      Happy to have given you your 100th upvote in this thread.

      (I'd put up a beer icon, but for some yet-unfathomable reason, the icons still aren't; showing up here since the latest forum tweak. Oh, well...here's to you.)

  5. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Win32 support is the only thing people buy Windows for and Win32 apps are the only Windows apps worth writing. If you are starting fresh as a user, you have a choice of Android, Linux or some Apple-y offering, depending on your tastes and budget. If you are starting fresh as a developer, you'll target a platform like Android or "the web", both to target those fresh users and because the Google or Apple app stores are widely used and convenient for startups.

    Tying Fluent to UWP pretty much ensures zero adoption, but apparently MS have copied Apple's Reality Distortion Field and so their execs can no longer see this.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      re: The Microsoft View of the world

      Tying Fluent to UWP pretty much ensures zero adoption, but apparently MS have copied Apple's Reality Distortion Field and so their execs can no longer see this.

      The view that SatNad and crew have from inside the Redmond Distortion Field (aka Bubble) is so different from the rest of us that to me, it is just getting rather sad and depressing.

      The "Nanny Microsoft knows best" attitude that they have really gets peoples backs up. The guy doing my bathroom at the moment is tearing his hair out (what little he has left) because as a sole trader, his life is on his Laptop. The lastest Windows 10 update borked it totally. I spent several hours yesterday rescuing his emails and client data from it (thanks to a Linux USB stick). Today we are going to try to re-install W10 and the plethora of updates and hope for the best.

      The sad thing is that this is not the first time this has happened since he was 'persuaded' to buy the thing from PC-World (cue sighs all round) six months ago.

      SatNad and co really do need to get out into the real world and see that all this 'Fluent Design' shite is just fiddling while Redmond burns.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: re: The Microsoft View of the world

        The message that a new design language every year (UWP, UWP + Fluent, PWA) and rolling out OS support for them in an agile way is developer hostile has to percolate up first. Who on earth is going to be able to aim for a target moving like that? The only constant is Win32, the only API worth using is Win32, therefore the only one that developers will use is Win32.

        Developers might package software up for the Windows Store if they're badgered by MS enough, but that's about it.

        1. AS1

          Re: re: The Microsoft View of the world

          Agreement from me.

          Historically, MS have tried to unify third-party developers' offerings by publishing guidelines. Guidelines which, as the article states, change with each new release. Given the development time for a full application, it seems incredible that Fluent Design (leaked only a year ago) is already on the drop list for non-adoption and the next new thing is around the corner. And very credible that the majority of developers are ignoring it.

          As Dan 55 says, it's easier to just keep going with Win32. At least it is consistent, low-risk and almost the IBM of APIs, "No-one ever got fired for choosing Win32." As with most truisms, that will timeout eventually, but at the developers' (AKA customers) pace, not from Microsoft CEO declarations.

          1. coolcity

            Re: re: The Microsoft View of the world

            I wasn't aware that Fluent Design was on any drop list. I might have misinterpreted it but my take of the article was simply that The Register have assumed it's going to be so at some point in the near future.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          "therefore the only one that developers will use is Win32."

          Moreover, most developers of complex GUIs will have their own commercial, free/open source or custom made Win32 controls for many different needs. Asking them to replace them just to use a new UI you may not feel compelling at all for several reasons, is akin to commit suicide.

          It could be easy to convert simple applications with a simple GUI - but MS itself has dumbed down many applications in the process - Windows 10 Mail application is almost unusable but for very, very simple needs.

          But as soon as an application need a more complex GUI, the new approach looks overly complex, with no benefits. Most commercial application don't need materials, animations, and fancy effects - they just need to allow the user to complete her tasks quickly with no errors.

          Adobe may repackage Photoshop Elements and Adobe Reader for the Store, but everything else is going to require Adobe CC, and Adobe also has to care about having a similar UI on both Windows and Mac - I think it's very little interested in a Windows-only UI.

          1. BongoJoe

            Re: "therefore the only one that developers will use is Win32."

            If it's not in my ancient copy of Petzold, then I'm not interested.

        3. nkuk

          Re: re: The Microsoft View of the world

          Surely by now developers are sick and tired of the moving target for Windows UI design, by the time their app would be written the guidelines would have changed. Haven't they been burned too many times already by Microsoft?

          Also as a user, who would want a constantly shifting UI. I think its an indicator that Microsoft has run out of ideas. Just like Office, Windows is now so mature that the only way to keep selling "new" updates is to shuffle the icons and redo the UI.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: re: The Microsoft View of the world

            "Microsoft has run out of ideas"

            Microsoft has run out of GOOD ideas. fixed. you're welcome.

            They apparently have a LOT of VERY BAD ideas in a closet someplace, and every once in a while Comrade SatNad pulls one out of his as, uh, CLOUD, and floats yet another "new, shiny" feature like some kind of trial balloon in a weather experiment.

            I've been unfortunate to work with a person who come in late to a project, then sweet talks the boss into doing something stupid, which he does while I strongly object, and then gets the PREDICTED bad results, while 'sweet talker' has NOW successfully wrangled his way into being the new BOTTLENECK in the process as a result of the sweet talking, and so you can't EVER get it fixed right... even in a startup company, THIS can happen. And I like startups because THIS kind of crap doesn't happen nearly as often. So $customer had to shell out $xx,xxx for some fancy proprietary software, instead of using the $,$$$ version he already had a license to, a proprietary package I did not own and required Windows to run, basically TAKING OVER the computer so that you really can't use it for anything else, and so add $,$$$ for a dedicated computer JUST! TO! RUN! THAT!, and then "design changes were made" that BROKE what I had done, against my strong objections. THAT kind of thing.

            It was EASILY avoidable by NOT going with the "sweet talking" in the FIRST place.

            So, I wonder _WHO_ it was that did the 'Sweet Talking' over at Micro-shaft? The inventor of the RIBBON maybe??? The former CXO? The same one that [allegedly] GOT SINOFSKY FIRED???

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larson-Green

            I suspect it is so. OK I wasn't there so I don't know the details about how ideas like 'The Metro' and 'The Ribbon' and 2D FLATSO propagated through the design decisions at Micro-shaft. I have MERELY a suspicion, based on past experience. But I suspect I'm right.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re: The Microsoft View of the world

        I've lost track of the number of PCs and laptops belonging to friends and family that I've "downgraded" to Windows 7.

        1. aks Bronze badge

          Re: re: The Microsoft View of the world

          I too prefer the Win7 UI but Win10 can be persuaded to look and feel pretty much like Win7.

          As a pure developer, my preference is for a solid colour desktop with no icons except the handful I put there to perform different functions with the same basic program. The couple of hundred programs installed on my Win7 box are easiest reached from the Start button.

          In Win10 all my tiles have been removed, starting with the animated Live Tiles.

          Flat is good because I've always disliked the 'pretty' icons of WinXP compared to Win2K as I prefer plain and frugal. Same with transparency. Bah humbug!

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: re: The Microsoft View of the world

            Flat is good because I've always disliked the 'pretty' icons of WinXP compared to Win2K as I prefer plain and frugal.

            Same preference here, but Win2K was NOT flat.

            It started with the completely unwarranted animations and had icons everywhere leading to iconfests (not to mention iconed tabfests) that were not particulary helpful as I recall.

          2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Re: re: The Microsoft View of the world

            I too prefer the Win7 UI but Win10 can be persuaded to look and feel pretty much like Win7.

            Using ClassicShell with MSWin10 is an absolute must. Hopefully the open-source community can get up to speed on it (now that the code's been opensourced) before some imminent MSWin release totally borks it.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: re: The Microsoft View of the world

            It's not about what YOU as an individual prefer...

            It's about the CHOICE to turn off or on things YOU find inconvenient.

            I hated the WinXP Gui, but I could switch it down to 2000/NT.

            When Aero came out I was all for it until I worked with it, locked and bogged down UXtheme.dll.

            Well we got around that and modded the heck out of it.

            Windows 10?

            I don't do 1984 on my SSDs and neither should you.

    2. JLV Silver badge

      >copied Apple's Reality Distortion Field and so their execs can no longer see this

      Slight difference. Apple bamboozles its customer fanbois. MS tends to bamboozle itself into thinking it's clever. Until they quit whatever they are promoting in a huff.

      Another abandonware framework coming up?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        trouble is, they've copied the wrong RDF....

        Upvoted lots of common sense comments on this thread, but not this OT one.

        Apple's customer fanbois as you put it, choose a UI that's invariably consistent, they CHOOSE to use MacOS for a reason. Usually because they are parting with hard cash for it. CMD-S saves a file, ALWAYS, whatever app it is, written by anybody.

        So ask yourself, what does CTRL-S do in every Windows App? A - sometimes it saves, sometimes it doesn't. Windows UI sucks, guidelines are made to be ignored or broken.

        Free OS upgrades for the life of the product? Apple yes, MS, not on your life, or anybody else's for that matter, there's a share price to prop up.

        1. JLV Silver badge

          Re: trouble is, they've copied the wrong RDF....

          I don't disagree with what you said, wrt to Windows and its lack of consistency.

          I mostly like Apple myself. But I also tend to see it as having many fanatical followers who never see anything wrong with what they do. The Reality Distortion Field does sometimes happen, but, as I said, it affects its customers, or rather the subset of Apple customers who have unquestioning loyalty.

          Me, I'll buy them as long as I prefer them to the alternatives, despite their rather extortionate pricing. But I am totally open to switching to Linux in the future, if pre-built hardware offerings suit my needs.

          (Really nothing wrong with Linux. I am just lazy and want out-of-the-box hardware configuration, Bash and Posix compatibility and apt-get type of open source software access. I feel I get these from macOS, but Linux could work for me too).

          btw, if one wants to poke fun at Windows consistency, no better place to look at than the hoops you need to jump through to find out which version of Windows you are running from the GUI. Basically, to know where to look, you already have to know which version you are on 8-/

          http://whatsmyos.com/ (not everything there is correct, uname -a works well on Linux for example.

          1. Fuzz

            Re: identifying Windows version

            http://whatsmyos.com/ has gone a bit overboard on identifying Windows. As they mention a few times, to find out what windows version you're on you use winver in the run box. The run box is accessed using the Windows+R shortcut. This works for all versions of windows from 95/NT 4 on (winver is also available on earlier versions of windows but the run shortcut isn't), the rest of the methods provided are redundant.

            uname -a on the other hand only tells you the kernel you are running. e.g. on ubuntu I can find out I'm running ubuntu but not that I'm running 16.04. I'm not saying that Windows has an especially consistent GUI, it doesn't, Windows 10 isn't even consistent with itself, but finding out what version of windows you're running is easy and has been the same for over 20 years.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: trouble is, they've copied the wrong RDF....

          Apple's customer fanbois as you put it, choose a UI that's invariably consistent

          Apple's had its own share of fucking about with the UI. Remember all the skewomorphic shit? As a result it dropped the ball and has since been playing catch up with Google: notifications, flat, etc. Worth noting that Google was clever enough to adopt some of the Metro ideas with value such as tiles but to subordinate design to use case, which is why tiles became cards.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      "Win32 support is the only thing people buy Windows for and Win32 apps are the only Windows apps worth writing"

      It has always been that way with windows (except when it was Win16 applications). The platform was defined by the applications you could run on it, and the things that application writers could accomplish by using the API.

      "Tying Fluent to UWP pretty much ensures zero adoption"

      Micro-shaft needs to stop trying to *DRIVE* the market, and go back to first principles: the CUSTOMER is always right! And, not to forget, "Developers Developers Developers Developers". Right, Steve?

      1. Steve Jackson

        To which Steve do you refer?

        ....I'd be interested to know....

  6. LenG

    What's there to like?

    "It combines the transparency of Windows 7's Aero glass with the flat design of Windows 8 and 10 that have been updated to include elements of depth."

    So, it combines everything I have disliked about M$ operating systems since I upgraded from Win 2K. At least with XP & Win7 I could customise it back to more or less what I wanted. Fortunately this is more or less irrelevant to games which is about all I do on Windows nowadays - any serious applications are run on linux where I have a choice of interfaces that I can further customise to my taste.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: What's there to like?

      I have never understood why anyone, ever, who actually had work to do, wanted semi-transparent/translucent windows. What is the actual benefit of having bleed through of blurry bits of an eclipsed window? All it does is make it harder to find the user interface controls... or worse, makes it more difficult to see the data you're trying to manipulate. You wouldn't accept bleed through on an image editing program; why would you accept it on its borders.

      I admit it; I'm old fashioned. That's because I'm old, and I've seen the things that work and a lot of the things that don't - for me. Your mileage may vary... but for me:

      - an application is either full screen, or has a hard and visible border around its visible interface.

      - user interface elements should be large enough to see and click on (or on a mobile device, poke with a finger). They should probably scale according to display size (not pixel count). They should also be clear and unambiguous.

      - text on a flat ground which lights up if you happen to move a pointer over it is not an interface; it is an abomination. If it does something; distinguish it.

      - while one can live, in some circumstances, without menus, there is no excuse for a ribbon bar.

      Come on, MS, stop messing around with the look and feel and do something useful - like separate foci for mouse and cursor. There's no need for the first click just to set focus before anything else happens...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's there to like?

        "There's no need for the first click just to set focus before anything else happens..."

        It does avoid accidents when you click on a window that is mostly obscured. Bringing it to the foreground ready for you to click on something you actually want makes sense.

        When the same philosophy is applied to a window that is not obscured then it can leave you wondering why your click had no apparently visible effect - especially when it is on a different monitor.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's there to like?

          Then its a pity Windows Applications can change your context focus without clicking on it! Suddenly find I'm typing in the wrong place, accepted a reboot or agreed to something I don't want to..

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: What's there to like?

          "There's no need for the first click just to set focus before anything else happens..."

          It does avoid accidents when you click on a window that is mostly obscured. Bringing it to the foreground ready for you to click on something you actually want makes sense.

          There are two things here, focus and window stack order.

          I seem to remember one of the Sun 3 desktop managers didn't require focus confirmation, assuming the current location of the mouse was the focus of whatever action the user wanted to perform. If memory is correct it also didn't change the window stack order by bringing the focus window to the front.

          Having used both schemes, there are pro's and con's of each. Although my most frequent gripe with the MS Windows approach is not being able to disable automatic stack reordering.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "wanted semi-transparent/translucent windows."

        Actually, they make the "chrome" less shining and intrusive, even when it's not too thin, letting the user to concentrate more on the real application space. Windows borders can be enhanced by a proper shadow, which painters and photographers know very well how important is to create "depth" and "detach" items - only web designer can't understand it - flat blocks are far simpler to create and reuse in web pages.

    2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: What's there to like?

      Fortunately this is more or less irrelevant to games which is about all I do on Windows nowadays - any serious applications are run on linux where I have a choice of interfaces that I can further customise to my taste.

      Seriously, if I could get Roblox to run under Wine (I've tried, Roblox broke Wine compatibility some time back) I could get rid of MSWin10 off her laptop (her Wacom drawing tablet can work just fine under Linux).

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bring back Windows XP and Word 2003

    Thats all

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bring back Windows XP and Word 2003

      XP certainly made more malloc memory available to an application than did W98.

      Unfortunately XP would often cough and give up while copying very large numbers of files to a backup disk - W7 fixed that.

      When did the much increased number of allowed Excel rows come into play? My feeling is that Office 2007 was that transition.

      My current application base is W7 and Office 2010 - the latter I suspect only because I didn't stock up on 2007 licences before its EOL. Have a few spare W7 licences but anticipate that M$ will make it impossible to use them on newer hardware when the current motherboard and its spare die.

      Need to find time out from the alligator swamp to migrate the application to Linux Mint and Libre Office

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Bring back Windows XP and Word 2003

        Happily Office 2010 is better at talking ODF etc... than Office 2007.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bring back Windows XP and Word 2003

        "Have a few spare W7 licences but anticipate that M$ will make it impossible to use them on newer hardware when the current motherboard and its spare die."

        Windows 7 SP1 runs very fine on AMD Ryzen 7, a current gen non-Intel CPU. Despite MS lied in PR statements that Ryzen doesn't work. It does.

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: Bring back Windows XP and Word 2003

          "Have a few spare W7 licences but anticipate that M$ will make it impossible to use them on newer hardware when the current motherboard and its spare die."

          Worst-case scenario, you could load something like TinyLinux on the machine (for an absolute minimal footprint) then run MSWin7 inside a full-screen VM on it. Should work for most everything but the finickiest of applications.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Bring back Windows XP and Word 2003

      Are you talking functionality or UI/UX?

      Certainly, there is probably nothing of importance in W10 and O2016 that actually requires a UI different to that of XP/O2003.

  8. TRT Silver badge

    "Reveal" UI elements?

    You mean they hide the functionality? A bit like the hidden buttons in Office Online?

    Have fun exploring and discovering new activities!

    More and more like a Fisher-Price Activity Centre every day.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: "Reveal" UI elements?

      I'd just like the scroll bars to stop disappearing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Reveal" UI elements?

        I'd just like the scroll bars to stop disappearing.

        That at least is an option in the latest builds.

        1. gregthecanuck
          Angel

          Re: "Reveal" UI elements?

          Holy cow!! Cue "Hallelujah Chorus"...

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: "Reveal" UI elements?

        >I'd just like the scroll bars to stop disappearing.

        It's worse on MacOS.

        I also hate how for some reason we can't have reasonably wide scroll bars (standard on W7 and previous), but must have bars so thin users need to squint at the screen to see them and carefully position the mouse over - my partner, since being upgraded to W10/O2016, now prefers the keyboard scroll keys to the mouse and scroll bar...

        1. David Lawton

          Re: "Reveal" UI elements?

          On MacOS to make scroll bars show all the time go to System Preferences, General 'Show Scroll Bars Always'.

          No idea if

          A) Windows has that setting

          B) If it does on Windows 10 is it in Control Panel or Settings?

          But i do know Windows 10 is an inconsistent mess and i would love the Windows 2000 GUI again ....... but i cannot so i will go for what i think is the next best thing, MacOS.

          1. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: "Reveal" UI elements?

            But i do know Windows 10 is an inconsistent mess and i would love the Windows 2000 GUI again ....... but i cannot so i will go for what i think is the next best thing, MacOS.

            Cinnamon is pretty good too. I also like KDE, but despite its wealth of options (something I really like), it has always had one or the other thing that kept it from being "just right." Cinnamon makes me dig a little deeper to customize things that would be simple in KDE, but it has that warm, fuzzy feel that I also get with an interface like Win2k (also my high-water mark as far as Windows UIs go).

      3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: "Reveal" UI elements?

        I'd just like the scroll bars to stop disappearing.

        That seems to be a problem on ALL desktops/UIs these days, unfortunately. In Linux it seems to be a contamination brought on by the Gnome3 folks. And even when you get the scrollbars, scrollbar arrows are somehow considered a greater sin than murder, buggery, and licking posters of Margaret Thatcher.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: "Reveal" UI elements?

      "More and more like a Fisher-Price Activity Centre every day."

      Maybe millenials ONLY know how to PLAY with their computers, instead of doing work...

      I was convinced long ago that Micro-shaft is being run by *CHILDREN* who want to *FORCE* their "new, shiny" up our collective rectums, without anything to make our 'experience' easier.

      Since the millenial generation appears to be defined by "4 inchers", i.e. those who see and do EVERYTHING through a 4 inch screen, it makes TOTAL sense.

      Micro-shaft employees who HAD A CLUE back in the 90's have all left. Those who remain are either CLUELESS or CHILDREN.

      And now it's like "the blind leading the blind".

      How a child, given too much power+authority, reacts: It's *MY* turn now to do it *MY* way!!!

      This happened a lot beginning in the late noughties. You could count Vista as the beginning of it. You have a shift to FLATSO and "make everything look like a phone", as well as unwanted changes in the open source world, like gnome 3, systemd, and Australis.

      I'm positive that it's being done by millenials, as well as a handful of old farts *trying* to be like the 'uncool dad' that learns the latest lingo and looks lame by using it wrong...

      obligatory reference to 'Superiority' by Arthur C. Clarke

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Reveal" UI elements?

        I can't remember the last time I saw anyone under the age of 30 with a mere 4" phone screen....

  9. TheGreatCabbage

    If they didn't charge a fortune for the right to publish UWP apps, I'd consider writing some.

    1. TheGreatCabbage

      I'm not sure why people disagree with this. Windows Mobile partly died because they couldn't attract developers with their attitude of "it is an extreme privilege to develop apps for our platform, and you will pay even though barely any users exist to make your money back".

      In my opinion, Google Play's approach is correct for a small and growing platform - it attracts a lot of developers, even though their apps may not be as high-quality on average - whereas Microsoft pretends that their platform has a monopoly.

  10. James Anderson Silver badge

    Groove is dead.

    Typical of MS to apply cosmetic changes to a dropped product.

    Is there anyone actually managing the company?

    Most of the upper management could be replaced by a low cost sound bite generating AI.

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: Groove is dead.

      Groove isn't actually dead - if you store your music on OneDrive then it makes for a pretty good streaming player. In fact I've decided I may swap from Amazon to it after they removed the facility to add your own songs. Just got to figure an acceptable way to make it work with Echo.

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Groove is dead.

        Why would you store YOUR music on someone else's cloud?

        Plays for sure.

        Amazon deleting their MP3 user cloud.

        I store my CDs on my server's HDD, my laptop HDD and my phone's microSD card and my old 160G Archos PMP. Also a backup on my 1T USB HDD.

        Storage is cheap.

        1. Curt Vile

          Re: Groove is dead.

          Well, I personally would store my music in the cloud so that it's available from any device I'm logged into, but YMMV I suppose.

      2. coolcity

        Re: Groove is dead.

        Excellent point. Not sure why anybody would object to that by downvoting it. And this lot think Microsoft make some odd decisions!

  11. mark l 2 Silver badge

    All i want to know is can i turn off the stupid window transparency, which will add nothing to my user experience and just use up more CPU/GPU resources and therefore kill my laptops battery quicker.

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Yes - You'll be able to turn it off just like you can now. Windows central had a couple of good videos showing it.

  12. phuzz Silver badge
    Gimp

    Same old, same old...

    What's that? Microsoft have come up with yet another design for what Windows should look like?

    Have they got the Office team to sign on? No? They're doing their own thing, same as always?

    Yep, this redesign will go just as well as all the others.

    Perhaps one day MS will do a redesign that actually is used by all the different programs in Windows (even the font browser which was still using the Windows 3.1 design until Win 7), as well as Office (ie their most used software apart from Windows itself), and maybe then they'll have some traction.

    Otherwise it can just go on the heap with all the other redesigns, and will be commemorated by a couple of old parts of Windows which won't be upgraded for the next ten years.

    1. Ian-H

      Re: Same old, same old...

      Yep, I'd care a bit more about their design changes if their own products and settings menus were consistent. They really need to overhaul the 'special case' (old and unloved) utilities and get everything upgraded to a consistent and somewhat logical feel. That and fix the multi-monitor/window scaling support, it's at least 10 years behind everything else.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Same old, same old...

        To be fair, Windows 10 has fixed multi-monitor support to the extent where I no longer need to run Ultramon.

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Same old, same old...

      Microsoft have long form for ignoring their own policies and guidelines. From where the put data files (hint: never in the windows or program files paths) all the way through to ignoring regional settings when it suits them (everyone is American) and of course the user interface guidelines. At one point in time, Microsoft clearly put a lot of thought and work behind their user interface guidelines, only for the rest of Microsoft to utterly ignore them.

      Office: The damn thing includes it's own window rendering mechanism, utterly bypassing the Operating System. Seriously, a shitty application (set of) from the same vendor as the Operating System choosing to ignore the Operating System and to render the application how it feels. With some exceptions, an application should adapt the display to fit that if the windowing environment it sits in, however Microsoft's Office applications choose not to do this and instead recreate the damn UI from scratch every time - with the usual inevitable results of inconsistency and inefficiency.

      UI design: As a crass generalisation, if the user has to think (or worse, refer to instructions), then the UI is a failure. Unfortunately Microsoft have taken this to heart so much that there is no bloody user interface left to think about because there are no functions remaining that the user can interact with. Microsoft also pioneered moving "mystery meat navigation" into the Operating System, replacing buttons with weird hieroglyphs with hover-over text that may or may not show (and never shows in a touch controlled system) all the while keeping much of the functionality as non-customisable (i.e. unable to be sensibilised or rationalised by default) and removing choice from the user. One of the other key aspects of a good UI is consistency... and Microsoft fail on this in pretty much every place they can - through control order, text use, buttons vs weird non-links, ignoring the user's configuration with regards to which fucking web browser to use (sometimes), window behaviour (the control panel replacement apps are sort of the same application, navigating to one closes another, except when it doesn't), the two start menu search interfaces (not least: no, I do not want to now, nor ever to, user cortana). /rant

      Windows XP: An old one (but a fine example of Microsoft stupidity), but rather than extend and enhance the windowing functions in the Operating System, Microsoft chose to overlay a new skin on top. A feat of pure genius that entailed an application's windows being drawn twice: first in the default, underlying (Win2000) look and feel and then to draw over the top the Windows XP look and feel. This stupidity didn't cause problems at all [sarcasm] and was exceptionally daft because there were third party applications available at the time that would intercept and replace the standard windows drawing calls and replace them with different ones all without having to draw the windows twice.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    effluent design

    1. PeeKay
      Unhappy

      Effluent Design

      Sums up their design decisions nicely.

  14. ColonelClaw

    I'm sure it will every bit as successful as The Ribbon

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Facepalm

      I'm sure it will every bit as successful as The Ribbon

      this UI FAIL was all invented by the same person, let's not forget (and this person NO LONGER works for Micro-shaft as of last November, I might add)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larson-Green

      let us ALSO not forget that Sat-Nad is [most likely] a MARXIST

      http://www.wired.co.uk/article/microsoft-ai-satya-nadella-company-tech-business

      "Fittingly for the son of a Marxist economist, he recently read Wolfgang Streeck's How Will Capitalism End?, a series of essays on the collapse of the neoliberal order. "He says that capitalism is a strange system in that it expects two things: employees to be insecure, but [also] confident consumers," he chuckles. 'That's what we're dependent on - it's not a stable system! 'Oh my God. I might not have a job tomorrow, but I've got to spend like a confident consumer.' [Streeck] is saying that's our problem, so you've got to create a solution.'"

      And THAT is how SatNad apparently thinks.

      So if this is how top-level people over at Micro-shaft think, from the INVENTION of "The Ribbon" to "The Metro" to believing MARXIST NONSENSE and the idea that employees NEED TO BE INSECURE, you have to wonder how much longer they will stay in business. And everything ELSE I read/see/experience CONFIRMS THIS.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Wow, I didn't know that being a Marxist was hereditary.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And Sat-Nad is an Indian, he thinks like a high-caste Indian

        I happen to know an Indian born guy, pretty well known in SV, who was part of the small group of exec advisors who selected the Micro-shaft CEO. He tells one why Sat-Nad is a great fit. Apparently it's all about the business model Software-as-a-Service, the holy-grail for them. Basically Adobe spoiled them - we can thank it to David Wadhwani (also Indian), he introduced SaaS-only pricing to Adobe products. Now he is CEO of AppDynamics (now part of Cisco). Apparently Sat-Nad has little clue about Micro-shaft products, he couldn't care less about them, what's counts is SaaS business model. And we know from Snowden that why Micro-shaft is slurping, and was the first company to lie in bed with certain three fingers. Sat-Nad is just a puppet. Even Bill-the-old-looking-guy, is still involved again, and powerful behind the puppet.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Good day to you.

    Generic anti-MSFT rant, promise to migrate to Linux Mint, shouting at cloud.

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Good day to you.

      Generic anti-MSFT rant, promise to migrate to Linux Mint, shouting at cloud.

      I already *AM* running Linux Mint, have been running Linux as my primary OS since 2001, have put dual-boot setups on many family members' machines (usually used when I have to fix something), but still have to do enough MSWIn support I have to follow along with the latest atrocities anyway.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    It doesn't need the same interface

    All you need is the same experience.

    See: this is why I think Windows 8 could have worked IF Microsoft would actually have used their brains when setting us up with it. They should never have replaced the start menu with the start screen, but instead made the start screen ("Metro") into a new 'dimension'.

    So basically: a layer "on top" of your desktop where you could switch out into. Comparable to switching desktops. Then they could have made that into something fully (or closely) comparable to the interface of the Windows Phone (a device I still genuinely enjoy). So your Windows desktop would merely be an option within the Metro interface. BUT... when working with said desktop there would be no need to switch to this extra layer.

    But as soon as you got a phone it would make sense because this would allow you to alter your setup with that of your phone. I dunno: maybe even allowing you to swap (drag and drop) data between your Windows desktop and your Metro environment.

    That could have worked. 2 separate environments each aimed at what is most needed but combined within Windows. But this... Meh.

    "With Fluent Design, Microsoft has a new goal. It wants to discard the multiple, disparate user interfaces of the past for a single, focused, and attractive user interface that will woo users used to cleaner and focused interfaces from macOS and mobile platforms."

    No, it wants to design something new to appeal to users in order to sell even more stuff to us. We already had Metro, why would we need something new yet again?

    Does Microsoft even realize how much generations of phones people bought? I now refer to those who are more into WIndows Mobile than I am (read: who bought into every generation)?

    Who cares about the past: let's do something new yet again! Ready your wallets everyone!

  17. Christopher Reeve's Horse
    Windows

    Progressive Web App? Fluent Design??

    Web apps may make sense on a phone, but if I'm on a desktop or laptop (where Windows is typically found) why the pissing hell wouldn't I just use the browser? The version of Twitter (or whatever) in the browser is always going to be up to date.

    If I could only spend a few hours with their board and point out what using some of their products actually feels like for an end user I'd start off with "Dudes! WTF!..."

    And I quite like Microsoft generally. Imagine...

  18. Zippy's Sausage Factory
    Joke

    Lotus tried this with SmartSuite. Look how well that worked out!

  19. ForthIsNotDead
    Facepalm

    Microsoft have no clue what they are doing.

    Absolutely no clue. Clueless, rudderless company.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft have no clue what they are doing.

      Absolutely no clue. Clueless, rudderless company.

      They don't need a clue, nor a rudder. They just continue to milk their monopoly in PC and office productivity suites, and their strength in mail and office servers.

      They missed the mobile boat, certainly, and it looks like revenue (in real terms) topped out in 2015, but until businesses and domestic users are willing to buy a different operating system and productivity programs to go with it, MS have an EULA to print money. Like all incumbents, they don't care about customers, they don't listen to customers, and they have lost any vestigial ability to innovate. But it'll be a very long time before Microsoft fade away - more's the pity. Even when that day comes, MS will just become a patent troll, and try and leach off other people's good ideas by claiming infringement. In 2016 for example, Redmond was awarded 2,400 patents, bringing its total to around 59,000 - a surprising number for a company that has offered customers precisely fuck all in the way of useful innovation for the past decade.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Windows has sported different looks within the same version...

    The years don't come into it.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll write a fart app for android and IOS, it will make more money than anything on UWP.

  22. Bucky 2

    Responsive design for the OS?

    That's what it sounds like they're trying to do. "Fluent" at least trivially sounds like "fluid."

    It would be a mistake to rely on nothing but design fluidity to address different kinds of behaviors for different form factors. But it doesn't sound like the worst place to start, if you're looking for consistency across devices.

  23. Anonymous IV

    Rise and fall

    I presume that most MBA courses teach about the rise of companies and the reasons they rose, and the fall of companies, and the reasons they fell - some even ceasing to exist, others staggering on. A number spring to mind: General Motors, Ford, Blockbuster Video, Sun Microsystems, Wang Laboratories, Eastman Kodak, Yahoo, IBM - and most recently, Toys 'R' Us. I wonder what is currently being taught about Microsoft and Apple?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    From the desk of /dev/null

    If only WIndows 10 was like Linux and we could choose from a plethora of forked windows managers, each with their own set of half-finished widgets maintained only by a chap who now spends his time scouring the internet for 'deep fakes'. That is what we want!

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: From the desk of /dev/null

      If only WIndows 10 was like Linux and we could choose from a plethora of forked windows managers, each with their own set of half-finished widgets maintained only by a chap who now spends his time scouring the internet for 'deep fakes'.

      It would *still* suck less than the version of MSWin10 we have now.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other words, Microsoft has learnt nothing since Win 8 Metro

    "It wants to discard the multiple, disparate user interfaces of the past for a single, focused, and attractive user interface that will woo users used to cleaner and focused interfaces from macOS and mobile platforms."

    Once interface to rule them all. See Windows 8 Launch Event, circa 2012:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csWM51sn4iQ

    Good luck, SatNad!

  26. chivo243 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    That's how to make Pringles

    "...transparency of Windows 7's Aero glass with the flat design of Windows 8 and 10 that have been updated to include elements of depth."

    First we dehydrate potatoes, then we rehydrate them!

    Or am I reading that wrong, they took away windows 7 depth(meh) and gave windows 10 depth?

    this is all too deep for me...

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: That's how to make Pringles

      Yeah but now you can sell nonflat elements as an upgrade to flat elements previously created by hipster faddified fadfollowers faddists with fad injections, and possibly get a patent out from it on the side.

      Man, I hate the flatosity, it's everywhere. KDE default icons (I want distinguishability, idiots. If I want flat, I will be using the shell!), editors, FortiGate UI.

      That and that dark theming that's now prevalent. As if we were all in Afghanistan looking at tactical screens. What the hell.

  27. SuperG

    Effluent Design - just wrap up whatever hodgepodge you have and slap a label on it.,,

  28. deconstructionist

    they've final gone full mental

    Gabe Newell said it best when he jumped ship from Microsoft " they are a success in spite of themselves" the reason Windows solidified it's market place was by doing the opposite and allowing a OS you can easily configure to suit yourself.

    Now they want to create a Mac like .....wait stop ! really because I thought that's why windows was the success it was because it wasn't Mac like, The current Win 10 build is ropey , buggy and lacks control unless in the enterprise environment .

    I was use to tweaking my pc to make it run better after updates now I am just trying to get it back to operating smoothly , and MS have long given up paying attention to what actually their user base want and I thought Ballmer was bonkers.

  29. Ross 12

    Poor old Microsoft

    They spent all those years ruthlessly dominating the corporate desktop, but all along, they desperately wanted to be one of the cool kids.

    For a while, they owed the home computing market too, simply because mum and dad knew Windows at work, so knew how to use a PC running Windows at home too. That, and Microsoft made sure they had no other choice.

    But they missed the attack from the other end. PCs are old-fashioned and corporate. iOS and Android are the consumer OSs, and the devices they run far exceed the laptops and desktops. For many people, smartpones and tables *are* their primary computer devices and their internet terminals.

    A whole new wave of apps have come along for which Windows doesn't really matter any more. Technologies such as Electron and Node mean developers can write cross platform apps without ever having to go near a Windows machine *and* provide a consistent app UI across every platform.

    That's not to say that Windows is dead. But Microsoft need to know their place. Windows is still king of the corporate desktop/laptop. And that's where it's strengths are. It still runs ancient obscure bits of corporate code, and still has all the enterprise lockdown and management features.

    Microsoft need to recognise and accept that Windows isn't for the cool kids and consumer devices. It's for the office. And that's not a bad thing - they just need to embrace it. Microsoft need to accept that they belong with IBM and Oracle - not with Apple and Google.

    The only thing Windows is *necessary* for outside of the workplace, is PC gaming. And because Windows is such a massive overhead, if they're not careful, they might lose this market too in the long run. A 'Windows Gaming Edition' would be brilliant here - reduce it down to the bare OS and whatever's needed to support gaming, slap on the Xbox UI and leave it at that.

    Then take the corporate Windows back to more sensible and 'boring' UI, like refreshed Win2k based style - because in the office, people don't want the UI to completely change every time there's a new release.

  30. Christian Berger Silver badge

    I miss the times...

    ...when good UI design meant that it was fast and efficient to use, as well as easy to learn. Back then UI optimisations were done with focus groups which were watched while doing certain tasks.

    Today it seems like all that matters is what some graphics designer thinks.

  31. Someone Else Silver badge

    Where have we heard this before?

    With Fluent Design, Microsoft has a new goal. It wants to discard the multiple, disparate user interfaces of the past for a single, focused, and attractive user interface that will woo users used to cleaner and focused interfaces from macOS and mobile platforms.

    "Single", "focused" and "attractive"..weren't these the same words Micros~1 used to describe the Ribbon?

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: Where have we heard this before?

      Microsoft continuously changes its GUI every couple of years. Remember toolbars with wallpapers? Or cons with a black border around them.

      Now the problem today is that this happens at the same time as many stupid technical decisions in GUI designs, like rendering your GUI with a browser.

  32. Someone Else Silver badge

    And yet...

    [...] when it comes to thinking about how to design an app, Redmond wants developers to pay attention to light, depth, motion, material, and scale.

    I see. No thought about function, robustness, fitness for purpose, or any of that non-whizzy, mundane stuff for Micros~1, then.

  33. Someone Else Silver badge

    Screw yer damned "experience"

    Microsoft wanted to give users a consistent platform "experience" on its different Windows-branded devices.

    Fuck you and your damned "experience". The only "experience" I want is a fully functional, intuitive, robust application that does its job day in and day out without looking like, or acting like, some ADHD-addled Millennial's acid-tinged nightmare.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Progressive

    So does "Progressive Web Apps" mean apps designed by Progressives? Because this definitely sounds like the sorts of things thought up by the Hilary-loving. Bernie-worshiping hopheads in the Silicon Valley.

  35. J27 Bronze badge

    No one takes design advice from Microsoft because they don't even take their own design advice. Call me when they roll out the same design language across Visual Studio, Office and Windows. If that happens, maybe I'll care. At least when Google said "material design is the way", all of their apps (including web apps) followed suit. Ditto for Apple and whatever they call their most recent design language with the pastel colours.

  36. Esme

    MS;'s big mistake was in strongly coupling the GUI to the OS in the sense that they try to force users to accept a new GUI when they get a new version of Windows. Had they made their new ideas for GUIs options that one could try , rather than defaults that one had to work to get shot of if one didn't like them, then users would have been much happier.

    That's one of the things I really like about Linux - the fact that there are multiple GUIs I can choose from and use whichever suits me best without having to ditch the entire OS.

    Yes - I am aware that workplace deployment is a rather different kettle of fish from allowing home users freedom of choice, and that IT support bods probably wouldn't want their users to have too many GUI choices just so as not to wear down their sanity any faster than need be.. But as has been pointed out many times above, a UI usable on a large desktop screen isnt going to work well on a small phone touchscreen and vice-versa. Even if MS had simple options in the Settings for, say "Classic, Phone, Flavour-of-the-year" it'd be better (and I'm betting most folks would stick with Classic at work)

    Right - back to my bottle of vino and bowl of popcorn whilst MS crashes and burns..

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      @Esme --

      Had they made their new ideas for GUIs options that one could try , rather than defaults that one had to work to get shot of if one didn't like them, then users would have been much happier.

      Your post assumes that Micros~1 gives a flying fuck if its users are happier.

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