Lately, I notice a strong debate about Windows 8. People tend to either hate it or love it. There are no moderate verdicts being shared. Those who hate it share mostly the same complaints, many of which I think are wrong. That\\'s why I decided to share my view on those arguments and what I believe is the main thing people don\\'t understand about Windows 8.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Most Common Arguments Shared by People Who Hate Windows 8\r\nWhen you read articles, blog posts or comments were written by people who hate Windows 8, they invariably share these arguments:\r\n\r\n \tI hate Metro - it is not useful with a mouse and keyboard and Metro apps are not as useful as desktop applications. - First of all Metro is a touch-oriented interface that offers support for a mouse and keyboard. So yes, it is easier to use with your fingers on a touch screen or a tablet. But, it is not hard to use the mouse and keyboard either. You just need to learn that a right-click will bring the contextual menu with options for each app and how to use the charms on the right. Once this is learned, Metro becomes easy to use a mouse and keyboard. Yes, Metro apps are not as useful as desktop apps. First, Windows 8 is not yet launched so the number of available apps is small. Most of them are beta versions and early prototypes. There are some great Metro apps but until we see a big number of them, it will take a while and Windows 8 needs to be launched first. However, the Desktop is fully present in Windows 8. It works as you know it and it received further tweaks and improvements compared to Windows 7. You do not have to use Metro apps. If you do not like them, simply don\\'t use them. Continue to use the Desktop applications you\\'ve grown to love. They continue to exist and work incredibly well.\r\n \tI hate the ribbon in Windows 8 - that\\'s what most people said about the ribbon when it was first introduced in Microsoft Office 2007. And yet, it has become a great interface paradigm which makes features more visible and easier to use. We\\'ve published some interesting articles about it: Windows 8 Analysis: Is the New Ribbon Interface More Efficient? and 12 Reasons why Windows Explorer in Windows 8 Rocks. If they are not arguments good enough to convince you otherwise, I\\'m not sure anything else will. Personally, when Microsoft Office 2007 was launched, I was intrigued. For a day or two I had a hard time getting around, and getting rid of the old interface paradigm. But once the learning was done, I loved the ribbon and it made me incredibly productive. When I saw it in Windows 8, I could not help but feel happy. I was productive right away because the same principles are applied and finding my way was easy. If you have used the newer versions of Microsoft Office, you will have no trouble using the ribbon in Windows 8, without any learning curve.\r\n \tIt requires re-education - Personally, I do not consider this a real argument. Evolution always requires re-education. If we want the future of computing to become a reality sooner rather than later, we need to constantly re-educate ourselves and learn new technologies, interface paradigms, etc. Finding your way in Windows 8 is not that hard. You need to learn some new keyboard shortcuts, some new gestures and you are done. People needed to re-educate themselves when going from Microsoft Office 2003 to Microsoft Office 2007. And Microsoft Office 2007, as well as 2010, are very successful products. People needed to re-educate themselves when going from Windows 98 to Windows XP, and when going from Windows XP to Windows 7. Nobody can contest the success of Windows XP and Windows 7.\r\n\r\nArguments That Do Have a Point\r\nThere are people who share valid arguments too. And I do agree with them or portions of them:\r\n\r\n \tThe Start Screen sucks, I want the Start Menu back - Personally, I do not think the new Start Screen sucks. The old Start Menu was crowded, forced you to scroll a lot through shortcuts and not that great if you analyze it objectively. Its only real plus is the fact that everybody knows it, uses it and expects it to be there.However, the new Start Screen does need further improvements even though it makes search a lot faster. If you love using search to find for shortcuts, files, and folders in Windows 7, you will be able to do the same, sometimes faster in Windows 8. But, the new Start Screen does have issues with how it is organized. We highlighted some negative aspects in our analysis: Windows 8 Analysis: Is the Start Screen an Improvement vs. the Start Menu? and we do believe Microsoft needs to make further improvements to make people forget about the Start Menu.\r\n \tThe ribbon on a touch screen - This argument is only which cannot be debated and, in my opinion, is 100% valid. Windows Explorer and other Windows 8 programs with a ribbon interface will be available also on systems and devices with touch screens. While the ribbon is great with a mouse and keyboard, it might not be great with touch, at least not the way it is implemented in Windows 8 Release Preview. Microsoft promised to make some changes in this area, that will be revealed in the final version of Windows 8. Considering that Microsoft is developing a touch optimized interface for Microsoft Office 15, I trust that even this problem will be tackled. More details about the work done on Microsoft Office can be found here: Exclusive: Microsoft Office 15 features and improvements.\r\n\r\nWindows 8 Haters Need to Understand That Windows 8 is About the Future!\r\nMany Windows 8 haters will also say that they don\\'t want a hybrid interface on a desktop. All of them miss a very important aspect: the main purpose of Windows 8 is not to be used on today\\'s computers and devices but on those of tomorrow. Sure it will work on today\\'s devices (it has to), but that\\'s not the point.\r\n\r\nIf you pay attention to the demos and presentations made by Microsoft and to certain news articles, you quickly realize that the main role of Windows 8 is to revitalize the hardware and software world. To accelerate the future!\r\n\r\nMicrosoft doesn\\'t want Windows 8 to be used that much on classic computers, even if it will be used mostly on them at the beginning. Microsoft wants Windows 8 on the computers of tomorrow. Here are a few examples of computing scenarios to consider, except the obvious tablet:\r\n\r\n \tHybrid devices such as Asus Transformer, with Windows 8. There\\'s already a prototype that dual boots Windows 8 and Android. Also, read this article about an Intel prototype: Intel Shows Off Ultrabook-Tablet Hybrid Running Windows 8.\r\n \tLaptops with trackpad gesture support. It is already here in primitive form.\r\n \tLaptops with Kinect included.\r\n \tDesktops with Kinect for Windows. This technology is already here and I wish Kinect for Windows was available in my home country - Romania - so that I can use it with Windows 8. Since laptops and Windows Phones with Kinect make sense, I think desktops with Kinect make even more sense.\r\n \tTouch displays for desktops, laptops and whatever device you want to connect them to. We are all used to high definition displays you can\\'t interact with. But what if they were replaced with touch displays, that also integrated Kinect? Windows 8 at that point would make even more sense.\r\n\r\nTo complete the picture, there are some cool tablet concepts being shared as well. Details about one such concept can be found here: Hands-on with Microsoft Surface for Windows RT, Touch Cover and Type Cover. A complete evaluation of Windows 8 should include testing its performance and usability on devices like those previously mentioned.\r\n\r\nWindows 8 is highly dependent on hardware manufacturers, more than any other operating system ever built. If they innovate and bring to the world exciting new devices, that can take advantage of Windows 8 and what it can do, then people will notice, software developers will notice, the press will notice. If this happens, the both the IT industry and consumers will benefit.\r\nWindows 8 - Microsoft Biggest Bet EVER!\r\nWhile Windows 8 haters do have some valid arguments, Windows 8 is not going to be as awful as they say. There are many pluses to the hybrid nature of Windows 8 as well as there are shortcomings. Declaring that Windows 8 sucks, without waiting for the final version to show up is a bit short-sighted, especially when Microsoft has declared very openly that there are still many changes to come in the final version.\r\n\r\nPersonally, I very much appreciate what Microsoft is trying to do with Windows 8. I\\'ve noticed many improvements from the Developer Preview to the Release Preview and I believe they will reveal some interesting surprises in the final version. I hope that my opinion will resonate with you and convince you to give a final verdict about Windows 8 only after it is launched. After we get to see real new devices with Windows 8, not just prototypes and ideas.\r\n\r\nI very much understand and appreciate Microsoft\\'s end goal - one operating system and one experience on all your devices: your phone, your Xbox, your desktop, your laptop, your tablet, your hybrid computing device you don\\'t yet know how it looks like. I wish them good luck. If they succeed with this vision, they will change how we use computers and devices forever.
158 replies on What Windows 8 Haters Don’t Understand About Windows 8
“It requires re-education – Personally, I do not consider this a real argument. Evolution always requires re-education. If we want the future of computing to become a reality sooner rather than later, we need to constantly re-educate ourselves and learn new technologies, interface paradigms, etc.”
So then you might as well recommend Ubuntu, right?
I am only saying that, saying than an OS sucks (doesn’t matter which) because it requires re-education is not a valid argument for it being a shitty OS. Ubuntu requires re-education if you are a Windows or OS X user. It doesn’t mean it sucks because you need to learn new things. That’s my message, nothing else.
Yes, I know switching from OSX or windows to ubuntu would require re-education.
But switching from windows 7 to windows 8 shouldn’t.
I tried windows 8, and got fed up about 20 minutes later, because
1) I couldn’t do anything! Nothing was where I expected it to be.
2) It was so slow it hurt. And i have a quad core i5 @2.6 with 4 gb ram.
Also, even if the future is not on these personal computers or desktops… The future may not be, but the present is. No-one should sacrifice the present for the future. That way, you’ll never get there.
Above all, i life freedom. If I don’t like metro, why is it being shoved at me?
And if windows by itself doesn’t do much ( other than copy files, listen to mp3 and browse) why does it need almost 15 gig of my hard drive?
Those 15 gigs are now devoted to linux, with system, office, desktop environment, development and games.
I think it’s time for microsoft to do a little cleanup, no?
If you expected everything to be where you’re used to finding stuff then windows 8 would not be revolutionary, it would be another windows upgrade.
If you like to do things the old and accustomed way, then stick to windows 7, no one is forcing you to use Windows 8 or shoving it at you, as you put it.
On the performance side, I’ve tried the release preview on an Asus EeePC and performance was comparable to Windows 7 if not faster, not to talk about boot time which was very impressive. I don’t remember now exactly but in the order of 5-6 seconds after POST. So if you say it was so slow on your i5 then there’s something wrong with your system.
Oh, and the final point you made is completely useless. Windows 8, in comparison to Android and iPad, is not mainly for copying files, listening to music (not mp3!!!), watch videos, browse etc. You have the full Windows features at your disposal, exactly like you had in previous versions of Windows, and on a tablet this puts Windows 8 miles ahead of the competition!
As far as memory footprint, 15Gb is nothing these days, so who cares!
“If you expected everything to be where you’re used to finding stuff then windows 8 would not be revolutionary, it would be another windows upgrade.”
And if Microsoft – and numerous other software publishers – would concentrate on IMPROVING their present product instead of revolutionizing it, we would have MUCH, MUCH better products available. To heck with revolutionary changes for the sake of revolution!!!!!!! Improve the function of the present product and you will have made an improvement. Revolutionize the present product and you have all the new-product bugs reinstalled.
People said the same thing about Win Vista/7 when they came out. It was to different from XP. Why are we being forced to change, etc.
A lot of us thought W7 was too expensive to justify leaving XP which is not really the same thing. I’ve no doubt that W8 will follow the same pricing standard so this time we’ll be saying that it’s too expensive AND we don’t want it anyway! Decision made!
There’s a difference between disliking change in general and hating a specific change.
I’ve heard people try to compare this to the invention of the mouse and wheel, and such comparisons don’t hold water.
Most windows power users probably appreciate change for the better but dumbing down the pc to a twittering consumption machine to boost tablet and phone sales isn’t appreciated so much.
People said Windows XP was too unstable, too different, too vulnerable, and too hard to learn when it first came out. This was the collection of reasons that I hung with Windows ME, and Windows 2000 on my work computer, until Windows XP was in SP2. My current Windows 2000 machine remains the most stable and serviceable OS of any that I currently have or have ever had.
Actually, just installed Ubuntu and it’s great. Intuitive installations of services, freeware productivity that works, games, and I really did not have to re-educate myself that much.
Bottom line. Does Win8 Metro make me more productive or do I have to hunt contextual commands down with an unintuitive interface? I still hate the ribbon for Office whatever after 2003 because it bloated the interface with useless reorganization. KISS!
Not UBUNTU but KUBUNTU!! =)
The fact that Google thought I was looking for KFC even when I’d completed typing KUBUNTU would worry me a tad. The problem I have with Linux is that every update makes it look and feel more like Windows except for the good bits! If it was to look even vaguely like a new or different approach to GUI it would at least be something to think about!
W8, Ubuntu, Gnome3 all suck. After 1 year with each of the linux ones, I can tell you they all suck.
All that Windows required was a better category menu with a favorites bar. Consider a category menu with a few entries, example Office, Internet, games. etc. One click for internet, and the second to choose between browsers, file transfer, voip, email software.
Another entry for games. Herein we can subset, if desired, games into puzzles, action, etc.
The W 8 menu system should be organized as Microsoft has done it for CONTROL PANEL.
Want to deal with USERS and ACCOUNTS. — There is a category.
Windows 8 will not displace APPLE. Wait for UEFI to fault and cause MS grief, and wait for the APPLE Law suits against MS. Laaa-deee-daaah
I just hate Windows for being Windows.
Then you won’t be using Windows because you hate Windows. That’s cool. 😀
There’s no one saying that you must use Windows.
I’m having a problem with the reverse – Windows doesn’t seem to be enough… Windows anymore!
Sorry but Ribbon is not a better user interface paradigm, I long for the old menus+icons of Office 2003 because they had a much better density for the information without being confusing. I’ve been using Office 2007 for about 18 months now I think and it is definitely inferior to 2003.
I agree 100% !! Since we established Office 2007 in our Company, I wast a lot of time in searching fuctions and need more mouse clicks. And – if the Ribbon is such ‘a better user interface’ – what is the reason that Microsoft does not use it in Visual Studio (which IHMO is the best Microsoft Software at all)??
Or instead of having no usable UI and programs, you could just use an apple device or install Ubuntu on your laptop, voila, the future of soft/hardware, right now, stable, reliable, built out and ready. Why exactly do I need Win8/Surface for that? Also, I like my laptops the right way around, and my tablets without a keyboard.
I wasn’t saying that you must use Microsoft Surface. With Windows 8 you can use tablets without a keyboard as well as classic laptops or desktops. Its just that the best experience with Windows 8 will be on the more hybrid devices like Microsoft Surface, that allow for different computing scenarios than those we are used to.
This article has been written by the biggest win fanboy I’ve ever met
This blog is about Windows: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Phone… you get the picture. My only purpose was to respond to some recent articles I’ve read on different blogs and tech journals, where people were saying that Windows 8 sucks just because it is a hybrid or because it is different. They did not even bother to wait for the final version (which will bring further changes) or to put things into perspective (e.g. considering the new
computing devices that will be launched with or soon after Windows 8).
Wait a second; a few articles back you favorably reviewed IE10 (Customer Preview) comparing it to the release versions of its competitors. Now you seem to imply it unfair to judge software before its actual release.
I agree that Windows 8 is about the future. I will however, recommend all business and most residential clients remain with their current OS for at least six month after the initial release of Windows 8. This should afford Microsoft ample time to work out the initial bugs.
I have compared IE 10 both in Consumer Preview and Release Preview to see how it evolved and how it does compared with its competitors. I will update the tests one more time, once the final version is available, to get to the final verdict.
Regarding this article, my point is that giving definite/final verdicts on an OS (such as Windows 8) before its final version, before there is hardware optimized to work on it, is shortsighted.
I have seen different articles and blog posts were people were citing reasons like the ones I debate above, for their decision to completely ignore Windows 8 and declare that it is not worth using and recommend others not to use it. That’s the point I am trying to make.
The entire transition to something new could have been made without alienating the current Windows’s big user community. The reasons underlying the adopted changes are weak, change done mostly for the sake of change or because the existing state being “too old”, and less considering the potential real benefits in usability. For example this – “the old Start Menu was crowded, forced you to scroll a lot through shortcuts”. What the solution could have been? Addressing the mess of having too many useless shortcuts! Every time I was installing a new Windows version I had to manually clean the Start Menu clutter. What Microsoft did? What prevents now the new Start Screen to become overloaded with too many items? You won’t be forced to scroll a lot through shortcuts, you’ll be forced now to scroll a lot through loads of bloated screens! Where is the real progress here?
It’s too bad that computers and tablets aren’t somehow ‘programmable’ so that the educated users could employ a ‘graphical user interface’ menu to select various modes of operation. Sarcasm Off.
Windows 8 Desktop
I’m sure that this can be done. 🙂 There are enthusiasts who hacked different tablets so that you can install whatever OS you want.
They already have applications that you can install the will change your interface so it looks and acts like a different version of Windows, from the user’s perspective. It’s basically a layer that sits on top of the OS.
I wholeheartedly agree on nearly all the points you’ve made. I’ve been a bit surprised by the backlash against Windows 8, and I agree that much of it comes from short-thinking fear of change.
I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised, though, since Microsoft is taking a daring risk with their most popular and valuable product. It just happens that until Windows 8, that product appeared to be heading for stagnation and eventual irrelevance to consumers. Windows 8 is remarkably innovative and forward-thinking. This from a guy who has preferred Macs for many years.
I also applaud you on your thoughtful, polite responses here in the comments.
Thanks for a well-written piece.
Thank You Ryan!
Amen to all of Ryan’s comments.
There’s a big difference between “fear of change” and a dislike to poor design philosophy.
I stopped reading this article when you said you like the Ribbon in Office 2007. It sucks, and the only reason it is still there is people doing work have either found 3rd party apps to work around it, or curse it, and put up with it. Also, Microsoft refused to listen to the complaints.
I agree regarding the Ribbon and did just that got a third party app … so that when I cant find the the thing I am after in the ribbon there it is in the old familiar toolbar … Stupid MS, I think they are getting dumber …
Oh and of course … the fact that you can get a third party app to do that shows that MS is just pig headed and should have provided the option in the first place rather that really annoying its customers … Blah!
I’ve read a lot of the articles regarding Windows 8 and looked at the OS and ‘sorry’ but I wont be using it … I have seen the development of many OS’s and I suppose been a bit of a Win ‘Fan boy’ from it’s beginning, but now it has headed down a path I choose not to follow … It started with Win 7 phone (used it for a couple of days and then binned it – what a waste of money) and now its worse with Win 8 … Honestly I’m sick to death of the Metro look already and Win 8 hasn’t even been released yet … Blah! boring boring boring … And in a lot of ways I really think it has been developed to make money from the sheep who are willing to be controlled for the sake of having a list of pretend friends so they can feel important, with their ego stopping them from realizing there are a billion other ‘sheep’ out there who also only really think about themselves (mirror mirror on the wall) and seek attention for the sake of it … but apparently this is where they think the money is … blah!
It could have gone down a much better track but it didn’t … RIP
The most useless comment ever written that was! Completely irrelevant and useless.
So you’d rather be an ‘Apple’ sheep than a ‘MS’ sheep (possibly a ‘Linux’ sheep?) Hate to break it to you, we’re all sheep in one way or another.
I do not hate Windows 8. I guess Metro makes existing desktop PCs better. But I hate the idea that Windows 8 is about the future.
What exactly is about the future? Metro? 2 incompatible desktops? The same Vista driver model? Low latency multimedia? Managed type safe code?
If it is Metro, I do no want the future of dumbed down devices that can do 20% of what obsolete Windows 7 or Linux devices can.
Metro attempts to solve problems that hardware will solve shortly. The time period when people touch screens with fingers cannot be long.
Look at Microsoft Surface Pro. Is Metro required for a device with subpixel pen resolution? How can it be about the future?
I guess if MS actually believes in that “future” crap, there may be no future for them.
You do realize that under Metro there is a good old windows 7 with some enhancements? Nobody is forcing you to use Metro just switch to desktop and do what ever you want.
Enhancements? They’ve taken away the Start Menu and some other useful stuff but I don’t see a whole lot actually added. In any case, all you’ve done is add more justification to keep W7 and forget about W8 altogether. It’s those for whom w8 will be compulsory for whom I feel sorry. I don’t suppose MS will be falling over themselves to provide an easy (and free) downgrade path.
Well the Start Menu is the only thing that they took away. Which personally i don’t see as a huge deal, but could see how others are upset about it. Also no one is forcing you to upgrade, unlike with OS X there all the sudden I can’t develop apps on my snow Leopard for iOS 5.1.1 without upgrading to Lion(but could for 5.0), now this is truly ridiculous (but i guess i’m in the wrong place to bitch about that). Anyway, as author stated Windows 8 is not designed for your existing hardware but for future in mind. For something like Surface it can be really useful… Honestly why would you want to upgrade any OS anyway? W7 is going to be around for awhile and all of the non Metro apps will run on both OS’s just fine, so just keep using it. And once all of the hype with W8 is over, the market will decide if this is the future or not. MS has no problem of pulling or fixing a product that flops, remember Kin or Vista?
Firstly the Metro interface with non metro apps is a joke. Instead of scrolling in a nice organised menu, you have every program lumped in there, all with the same crappy tile!
Why couldn’t they at LEAST layer the UI so you could have different screens for different groups of apps. Not having the Start menu on the regular desktop is just dumb. So when you have to run the old software, you have have dozens of shortcuts everywhere.
The ribbon interface in general is less usable and is far harder to use than a menu. Ask the MANY business and corporate setups that are STILL using office 2003.
Metro on desktop monitors looks appalling. IF you could run 10 apps in little boxes over the screen then maybe! But to have some app that was designed for tiny 10″ or smaller screens, running on 24″ desktop display is again just dumb! (I don’t need text 2cm high to read it!)
Windows 8 looks okay for their Surface computer or other toy devices, but definately not for desktop and Microsoft are definately going to lose out in the business and corporate areas with this TOY OS.
Whats is the matter with multitasking? I often have 2,3 or 10 programs running and visible with data and info onscreen at once yet microsoft thinks we’re all dim witted 10 year olds that can’t think or work on more than one thing at a time?
Metro should be an optional desktop for touch devices, and standard desktop available for all of those that want to do more with a computer than play games and run baby APPS. People still need REAL programs in the REL world. Not apps!
The desktop is there and real apps work. You will still be able to place 2,3, 10 programs on your desktop and view them at once and change between them.
> The desktop is there and real apps work. You will still be able to place 2,3, 10 programs on your desktop and view them at once and change between them. << Very true. Works as described. However, that being the case, as a desktop user then why bother with the upgrade in the first place? I'm fine with Win8 if you want to run it on a tablet, however Metro provides no value to an otherwise functional desktop system. I try to envision replacing Win7 on my development machines with Win8 and even if all still works all I've done is add another GUI that I will continue to push into the background and not find useful. I can buy the argument that Win8 will be a [good?] bet for future systems, however a replacement for a functional Win7 machine it patently is NOT. -b
And that’s what I am saying as well. If you evaluate this OS just using current systems, you might not consider it such a great upgrade. But it doesn’t mean it is an awful OS. Most probably you will make a rational comparison and decide whether you want to use it and, more importantly, on which devices you will use it.
The point I am trying to make is that Windows 8’s real value comes when using it with less traditional hardware/devices. For example, on the Microsoft Surface, Windows 8 makes a lot of sense while Windows 7 does not.
Exactly. The life of the average PC is about 3 years, why would anyone would want to pay for an upgrade anyway (regardless of an OS)? Especially if you don’t like it, it just doesn’t make sense. Just wait it out and buy something new and cool…
Seems like we’re both seeing this in a similar light.
My first reaction when I saw Win8 was negative. I had abandoned Windows mobile because of Metro and now I was faced with the idea that I might abandon the Windows platform altogether. The frustration, to me, was that the platform I had both used and developed to for many years was taking a direction I don’t want to go.
However, after looking at it awhile I can see, perhaps, what MS is trying to do here. While I’m still not crazy about Metro and probably won’t use it on my desktop systems I can appreciate what they’re thinking with it. In my particular situation it doesn’t really matter: I develop desktop applications (when I have to write a presentation layer, that is). I’ve tried my code on Win8 … it runs fine. So, as a developer I’m no longer really worried about the situation.
One thing’s for sure, though. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an O/S update generate the level of angst that this one has. You’re right: people either love the thing or they hate it. Not many people “in between” on this. I can say now, however, that I’m “in between”. Microsoft is going to do what it’s going to do. As long as the platform doesn’t render what I can produce irrelevant then I don’t care that much.
Will I ever use “Metro” myself? (I mean beyond playing with it in a VM on my machine). I would like to say “never”, but at this point in my career as a developer (35+ years) I have learned to never say “never”. Let’s just say that, at this time, I’m on the fence. I’ll probably sit it out for at least awhile as Metro doesn’t offer me much other than just something new to tinker with. As far as the “market” goes – I don’t care all that much for the reasons I mentioned above.
The level of angst is entirely due to MS abandoning what has made previous upgrades successful, ie. taking what is good from the previous version and adding to it. This is the first time there has been a radical break with what went before since W3 became Win95 with its bright shiny new Start button. With the odd misfire, each successive version has given us all we had in the previous one plus a little bit more. Any successful development program works that way, taking its customers along on the journey. Instead W8 descends from on high from ‘gods’ who have backs turned on those of us who have been with Windows from the start, resisting the blandishments of Linux and Apple and the like. W8 has ‘our way or the highway’ written in large red letters all over it. People tend to get a little upset about that.
That was exactly my first impression of the situation, too. My basic attitude was why couldn’t they build Metro on as a subsystem to the desktop rather than the other way around? Develop “Metro” applications from the desktop – or NOT develop them. On target systems, run the O/S in either Metro OR desktop mode as the default.
I was a Windows CE/Pocket PC/Windows Mobile user myself, too. When I saw “Metro” appear I decided at that time that it was time to go another direction. Ultimately when Verizon finally came up with the iPhone4 I went that way. As for tablets, I just bought the iPad3 and am very pleased with it.
As for Windows8 … I’m watching the situation cautiously. Fortunately the development direction I took years ago was that of a back-end database/business-intelligence developer. I don’t do a tremendous amount of “front-end” work and anything I develop myself is for the desktop anyway. As I mentioned earlier, my executables still run in the Win8 desktop so I can afford to “not care” about it. I’ll just keep using Win7 until the “wheels fall off”. I doubt that I’ll ever buy a Win8 tablet as I continue to tighten my infrastructure around my Win7 PC and the Apple iTunes ecosystem. Even if Win8 was attractive to me (which it really isn’t) I’m just not in the mood to dump a bunch of money and time into a retooling again. What I have works really well as it is. I’m only a target for Win8 as an onlooker. I’m running it in Virtual Box so I can see what it does but nothing about it has, as yet, jumped out at me and said “buy me!”.
I’m also puzzled at why everybody is so excited about the “Microsoft Surface”. Yeah it looks like a nice enough machine but I can tell you right now I won’t throw my 15.6″ Dell notebook and iPad away for one. No way. When I want to develop code I’ll be on the notebook (or my monster XPS) when reading books in my easy chair I’ll be on the iPad3.
As I said: I’m not really negative about Win8 anymore, “agnostic” might be a better term. I watch the situation with interest but have this sinking feeling that Microsoft is headed in the wrong direction. Time will tell, of course.
You might be right about MS. Maybe they’re really not listening to anyone else. They’ve decided what direction they’re going to go – at least in the O/S space. I dunno … this one has been very hard to read. Not that my opinion matters to them.
The reason why they are forcing us on the Metro UI is because in order to stay relevant and/or competitive with Apple or Google, they don’t have a choice. Imagine an average person trying to purchase a smart phone or a tablet in the store, right now they will have couple of choices, the “cool” iPhone, the well established Droid and Windows Phone. Doesn’t matter how good the Windows phone is, an average person would play it safe and either going to get the iPhone or the Droid device, mainly because they all do pretty much same thing, so why risk? Now since windows dominates the PC market, they are basically trying to muscle themselves into this market. The basic idea is, that you will see how “cool” metro is and you run to the store to exchange your iPhone for Windows phone.
Also I don’t think Surface is meant to replace your beefy Dell, but I can’t imagine using iPad for anything but consuming, however there are times then i don’t want to drag my 17″ MacBook Pro just in case i need to make some sort of ad-hoc code change or perhaps fix a bug, while traveling.
In the meantime I’ll just enjoy using the devices I’ve chosen. Win8/Surface is months away at best. Even if it was available now there’s no urgency except what MS wants to try and create.
I don’t think the first part of what you said is true. If, and a big if, if Windows phones were better they would have a chance without muscling Metro onto the majority of PCs. Windows phones existed way before iPhone or Android. I was sorely disappointed I got a better Windows integration experience from a Palm Pilot or Motorola Multimedia phone than Windows phones. They just weren’t worth it. iPhone overcame the Windows phones out there very quickly from being cool and something users actually wanted. Judging from people’s issues with W7P, I don’t think Microsoft is betting on people being wowed by Metro on the desktop as much as just getting people grudgingly familiar with it and pushing developers to code for it, to make choosing it on a phone or tablet a safe default option.
I agree with you though no tablet is going to replace a real notebook or desktop for crunching through real work, unless your job is just checking tweets and watching netflix.
Perhaps you are right, however my point wasn’t on how great or bad W7P is, even though it did receive some good reviews.
They are late in the game, in fact way too late and I can’t imagine anyone coming up with smart phone so innovating that it will change the industry the way iPhone did, but i could be wrong. Nevertheless MS does not plan on innovating such a product, therefore the next best thing is to muscle itself into an existing industry, by any way possible (perhaps a wrong way). Do you suggest any other logical explanation? They can “play it safe” by doing what they were doing since Win 95 day’s, but right now they are choosing a different path which apparently pisses a lot of people off :)and therefore there has to be good reason for it. Bad publicity is still publicity.
When I read language like “Windows 8 Haters Need to Understand That Windows 8 is About the Future!” how can you possibly think that your argumentation has any value for REAL people doing REAL work and running into REAL problems because this so-called ribbon is eating away vital parts of their desktops, while frequently-used tasks are distributed over different tabs whose names give absolutely no clue of the functionality that they hide.
And for what reason? A valid reason has not been given. Toolbars actually *do* work, but the junta does not want you to have them, now what kind of a behavior is that? Nobody has ever been “right” by forcing a point that they don’t have down somebody else’s throat.
I’m not denying anyone else’s pleasure or bling bling – if you insist on driving around with spinner hubcaps, be my guest, but I require some freedom for myself which is actually the freedom to do something useful.
I appreciate the effort to make new hardware work on the Windows platform. One could actually make friends by offering new functionality and dare to listen to some real feedback by allowing the user to go back to a previous interface. And if, and only if, the user adopt your new interface, that is when your features are actually showing some value.
Designing a user interface is a careful and difficult process, and you have to ask yourself and wonder thousands and thousands of times, ‘what is it like to have to use this design?’ and ‘Do real people think that this design is as convenient and productive as I do?’.
You can call in all the test panels that you want, but if you present a test panel with a fait accompli, all the feedback that you get will be about details only.
There is no substitute for intrinsic quality and I am just not seeing anything of that in this interface. And I find the response to potential user criticism quite disturbing, and that is why I intend to turn away from it as soon as I can. Unless they really, really clean up their act.
> so-called ribbon is eating away vital parts of their desktops
> different tabs whose names give absolutely no clue of the functionality that they hide
Eats nothing and tabs are named right: http://d.pr/i/J7kB I don’t have to ‘Tools > Folder options > View > *scroll-scroll-scroll* > Hide extensions for know file types’, just ‘View > File name extensions’. I don’t have to look through all the menu elements that are tiny and difficult to spot quickly. Real people now prefer pithiness and logic instead of unreflecting conglomerations.
Yes, you have the flexibility of not using the ribbon if you don’t find it useful. What is the problem with that?
I find it fascinating how people say “i hate the ribbon”. Then, Microsoft gives you the option to simply hide it and not use it. And yet… people still say “i hate the ribbon” and “this products sucks” even though Microsoft just gave you the option to ignore it and use Windows Explorer without it.
The desktop is NOT “fully present” since there’s no startbutton and you have to go off the screen with your mouse to access similar functionality. I downloaded the preview just to get VS2011 and to see if I’d have to prepare myself for this since I work with desktop engineering. Luckily I must say I haven’t had to bother booting it up more than a few times since there’s no way this’ll take off at the bank where I work or many other organisations. If I’m proved wrong, I’ll change carreer or seek employment where they use a Linux desktop since there’s no way I can see myself work with Win8/Metro. Personally I think it looks like sheite on phones and tablets too, but maybe it has a market there.
The Ribbon sucks. Period. Nothing to do with W8, it is just terrible, on any OS. It has an inconsistnet design (do I look left, right, up down, squint for something small, maybe a tiny down-arrow, or look for a big icon?) and unknown icons are not aws easy to interpret as text. That’s the thing: the ribbon assumes you are a p[ower-user who uses that applicationa ll the time – most of us just use it, or most features of it, occassionally. It is HORRIBLE! ***Please*** can be have our menus back. (Mind you, there’s always UbitMenu for Office, thank goodness….)
I dislike Metro, but I actually really like the Ribbon, even after years and years of “classic” Office use. Dispite my being a fan of the ribbon, unlike the author of the blog, I know and undertstand why many people don’t like it and I agree menu should be available.
Thankfully, the third party market exists and there are ways to add menus to Office 2007 and newer. But MS should just support it.
I foresee a major boom in installations of Classic Shell when Windows 8 comes out. http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/features.html
I find the suggestion that touch screen and kinect interfaces are the way of the future hilarious. I have an image of a room full of users waving their arms around and suffering with bad backs from holding their arms up all day operating touch screens that are three feet away.
Well, you are right, but indeed Win 8 is about the future. I thought like you until I saw the promise of the new device from The Leap Company (www.leapmotion.com) way better than kinect. Maybe this will save the Windows 8 to be a failure as a desktop, in regards of user interface usability. I was so convinced about this device so I already preordered two of them. Now I don’t care how touchy or not will be any OS of the future because I will be prepared. And I don’t need to buy any tablet or touch monitor to be able to fully utilise the OS. And the price is very competitive, even for a small budget. With this I will have a tablet and a desktop. And for those who used kinect as a pointing device will forget the fatigue from waving with hands or body. I only need one finger or I can use all fingers if I wan. In fact kinect is just for games. So there always be solutions for any problems, even if we can’t see them right now.
Except your new touchscreen won’t be sitting 3 feet away from you, vertically positioned, as your current monitors are. IT’ll be in front of you, flat, perhaps slightly raised – in fact, pretty much where your keyboard now is. You could even be sitting in a nice comfy armchair, with the thing on your lap. Yes, I know that at the moment it will be hard to do with away the keyboard altogether, but in time it will go, along with your mouse, and end up collecting dust in your attic along with your old typewriter… (And hopefully the godawful Ribbon too! :)) Touchscreens, and maybe a pen/pointer for fine (art?) work, or even hand-writing, and voice-activation/recognition are the future.
Find me a single touch typist who thinks they could do their work using a touchscreen, let alone prefer it! And will I ever think that smearing my fingers all over a screen is better than using the handy roller ball mouse as my third hand? Er … nope!
If MS (or anyone else) envisages a world in which there are no desktop computers, keyboards or mice they really have lost touch (no pun intended) with reality!
And someday we might be able to think to our computers to dictate, but until all that cool stuff comes out they should hold off making the mouse a pain.
Well, you are right, but indeed Win 8 is about the future. I thought like you until I saw the promise of the new device from The Leap Company (www.leapmotion.com) way better than kinect. Maybe this will save the Windows 8 to be a failure as a desktop, in regards of user interface usability. I was so convinced about this device so I already preordered two of them. Now I don’t care how touchy or not will be any OS of the future because I will be prepared. And I don’t need to buy any tablet or touch monitor to be able to fully utilise the OS. And the price is very competitive, even for a small budget. With this I will have a tablet and a desktop. And for those who used kinect as a pointing device will forget the fatigue from waving with hands or body. I only need one finger or I can use all fingers if I wan. In fact kinect is just for games. So there always be solutions for any problems, even if we can’t see them right now.
I am the resident Windows fan boy in my work and a Windows developer. I like WinRT, Windows Phone and Metro. On a tablet Metro is very nice, but on the millions upon millions of desktops and laptops out there, it is plain terrible. The computers of tomorrow, may or may not work better with Metro – its not a given as cost is always a factor in all of this and touch screens cost.
Microsoft say they can’t integrate the old desktop with the the new Metro style apps and the new start screen. My bet is with the backlash and lack of corporate interest, by Windows 9 they suddenly will find they can. At that point much of what you argue will be invalid. The success of the new Office ribbon isn’t a given either. Yes casual users like it, but power users are still complaining about it.
The change in the UI and the support of tablets was needed, in fact this level of support and design overhaul is several years overdue, much as Windows Phone 7 was several years late, That said, the design they have come up with Windows 8 looks half baked and I believe having used it for some time that it is simply that. I will code for Windows 8, but I am already looking forward to the fixes to the design and workflow that will be there in Windows 9 . Windows 9 will be the fix for Windows 8 in the much the same way that Windows 7 was for Vista.
“First of all Metro is a touch oriented interface”, say what? I use a desktop not a touch device…
How much did Microsoft pay you for this article?
How much did Apple pay you for this comment?
I’m amazed how, each time I write something positive about something made by Microsoft, there is always at least one person asking this very stupid question.
We mention very clearly at the bottom of the website and in other places that: Microsoft Corporation in no way endorses or is affiliated with our site.
Articles published on this website represent the opinions and views of the editors themselves, not those of any company.
I don’t hate Metro. It does make it clear cut that the advantages of PC versus Mac are dwindling down to just a price difference, where the Mac has more to offer.
“Freedom” is what most people associate with PC versus Mac, but with secure boot that’s not real anymore. Plus, if you really want Windows, you can run it virtually inside any Macbook with Parallels. Windows 8 could have been cool if they just added touch features and a slight tweak of the Windows 7 interface, but instead, MS, so stubborn against all the negative feedback from Windows Phone 7 and Metro in particular, decided to force Metro on everything hoping people would choose Windows phones and tablets just because they have to get used to it anyway now. Developers refused to make Windows 7 phone Metro compatible Apps and now they will have to if they want to program for Windows.
It’s a heavy handed but valid marketing strategy, to get people to finally “choose” Metro, but I think more than not, this will usher people away from Windows instead of towards Metro. The majority might just take whatever they’re given, but I think many will seriously consider Linux or OSX more worthwhile options, Linux on the low end and Mac on the high. Windows isn’t going anywhere, but might become much less of a standard.
Please note that Windows 8 is not “about the future” it’s about forcing users to accept Microsoft’s new vision without giving them much of a choice. Basically Microsoft is saying PC’s are outdated, so here you can use our nice shinney OS, buuuuuuuut not really, its gonna make you want to bash your head in a wall. If you want a better experience here buy in to this new form factor.
They are not forcing you to do anything. They are simply proposing their view of how the future should look like, just like Apple, Google and other companies do. If you like their view – fine, go and buy what they propose. If not, you can simply buy what other companies sell.
Wouldn’t your statement apply just as well to any other company? Apple, Google, etc?
They are trying to force Metro on people. You forget they have numerous deals with PC manufacturers to be THE default options for PCs, and if you buy a new PC you have to work to NOT use Metro.
They are just leveraging their market position to bring Metro, which most people rejected with W7Phone, to the masses. People do have choices to remove Windows and use Lunux, provided the bootloader’s not locked. I think it’s more acceptable to lock their own devices, but they’re also using their dominance to get other manufacturers to lock their customers from running different systems.
I have installed Windows 8 on two workstations and as long-time professional Windows developer I was quite surprised that I found myself actually liking the new OS once I figured out a few things about handling it.
Writing a Metro App with VS 2012 was quite easy to do, though I wrote quite a simple one so I haven’t as yet gotten into to the more detailed requirements of a more complex Metro application.
That being said, there is one fact that is missing from the entire discussion; Windows 8 is designed for a future that simply will not happen as long as computers are used for serious pursuits. No one in their right mind is going to use a mobile device or a small screened tablet to do art, writing, design, or software development, to just name a few off hand. And no business is going to base their computer infrastructures on devices that need magnifying glasses to read them.
Mobile devices are toys for those that have no need of anything other than to look up information on the Internet or send quick messages. Anything beyond that and such devices quickly become somewhat useless.
The fact that Apple has so quickly become king of the hill in mobile devices does not mean in any way that this is the future of computing leaving the standard workstation to the dustbins of history.
You simply cannot get away from the convenience or the capabilities of decent sized laptops and workstations for serious pursuits. Those that think they can are not serious about what they are pursuing.
The current rage over mobile devices is a fad, a whim, a consumer love affair with technology but in the long term reality of things it is meaningless. After it is all said and done, no one reading this will ever want to come into a day’s work to stare at a tiny tablet screen, while they flail their arms and fingers about trying to get their work done as they move all those pretty pictures about.
True, such devices will evolve as they say but they will evolve right back to where we started from, with a substantial workstation set of capabilities. In the meantime, the vendors will continue to make huge amounts of money as consumers joyfully hand over their monies so they can have the latest gadget in their hands; something which has already created an environmental nightmare for Earth…
“Windows 8 is About the Future!”
Ohhhh, the future. Neat. Hear in the present, though, I’m a software developer. 90% of the time my computer usage revolves around JetBrains Webstorm, Visual Studio, SQL Server and Chrome.
I’m super duper happy MS is making an OS that runs well on Tablets—and by all accounts it does—but it’s insane for MS to think that developers, accountants, graphic designer, etc., won’t still exist 5 years from now when tablet usage is 10x what it is now.
Can somebody, anybody please, PLEASE explain why we regular users can’t have a clean, Metro-free install of Windows 8?
So Windows 8 is about the future? I won’t ever have to use it because I won’t be changing my computer anytime soon and Microsoft understand that so they’ll go on supporting W7 and W8 in parallel? And, of course, third party software writers won’t be rushing to show off the fancy new W8 stuff just for the sake of it and will continue to support and produce applications that work work perfectly well in W7! And England will win the World Cup, the moon will be mined for cheese, and there’ll be world peace!
Windows 7 will be supported until 2020, if I am not mistaken. So yes, you can use it without problems till then, without having to upgrade your computer.
I´m in OS-Heaven:
I´m running the Win8 RP on my desktop machine and via Hyper V my “old” Win7 can coexist in a peaceful manner…Dual Boot reloaded 🙂
IMHO Win8 is the fastest OS that ever came from the Softies, i LOVE the startscreen, just type et voilá there´s your desired program… (there´s an app for that *giggle*)
working with a keyboard seems to be as fast as it will be on tablets (i have not tried it out yet… -.-)just Win-Key plus character and there you are…there are really cool “combos”
(Win+D->Win+I->Enter will let you poke into the control panel faster than ever…just to “name” one of those combos)
At the end of the day it´s a matter of taste and will…
[quote]I just hate Windows for being Windows.[/quote] is not only ignorance but also sth close to stupidity…
Developers developers developers!
Like many of the people commenting here, I spend a great deal of my day on my computer. I manage a chain of community urgent care centers that see over a quarter of a million patients a year. So our software (and the UI) really has to be easy to use, fast and convenient. Personally, I have 4 screens, and hope within the next few months to have 6. I use all of this screen space for tracking our company. It is amazing how efficient one can be when you do not spend your time shrinking and restoring windows. I am also a developer and it is incredible how comfortable it is to be able to spread out across multiple screens.
I say all this because many of my colleagues have at least two screens and are begging for a third. I personally believe that a UI should make it possible to sit down and start working with absolutely minimal clicks. I personally find the ribbon of little help and I long ago uninstalled Office 2007 as I saw NO advantage over 2003.
Simple UIs / minimal clicks and mouse movements/ UIs that are appropriate for multiple screens or for (upcoming) large surfaces with lots and lots of pixels – this is what business people and those on a deadline want.
If Windows 8, when all is said and done, delivers such an interface, it will become popular. If it does not, people will vote with their mice and simply avoid it at all costs.
Microsoft is brilliant in making certain key software incompatible with older operating systems (thus forcing upgrades). I held on to Windows XP as long as I could but finally upgraded to Windows 7 (which I find to be a dream). I suspect that I will hold on to Windows 7 as long as possible and hope that by the time I MUST upgrade, Windows 8+ or Windows 9 will be available which will have settled all of these issues
I do look forward to getting a tablet in the near future and the Surface looks really cool. But again, my main draw to it will be its capability of running Windows applications, namely ACCESS frontends to a number of our critical work tools (and yes ACCESS working against a backend of MySQL and SQL Server is a dream). I will be looking for a UI that let’s me jump into my selected apps as quickly as possible. If Windows 8 can deliver this, then great.
I personally don’t like the workflow with metro, i just want to start an Application and i am thrown into metro. I understand that i have to learn to work with the system, if i continue using it, but metro and the workflow that comes with it seems more time consuming and non linear than with previous desktop solutions.
I know Metro is for touch devices, but the normal desktop is not touch optimized and even if i had a touchscreen this system would not make a good desktop. I see myself switching between touch input and keyboard/mouse in the future.
I don’t think this “hybrid” is going to live very long, it seems to follow the windows cycle of usable -> crap -> usable -> (…).
After working with win8 for a few months on a daily basis, i simply feel frustrated with the experience. I wrote a little tool in vb.net that gives me a searchable list of my software, it feels more efficient than using metro. The old menu wasn’t great, but this is not an improvement.
I think they should have split the system in Win Metro and Win 8. Win8 would have been some kind of fancy servicepack with a new buildnumber and Win Metro the Tablet optimized System, maybe Metro could have been an optional addon for win 8 or so.
Well, to me, interface-wise, you get what you get: nevertheless, I don’t think it’s in debate that Windows 8 will provide simply another way of using pretty much the same features that can be found in anyone’s phone right now, be it iOS, Android or whatever.
A more interesting thing is to discuss how flexible the system is in terms of what it can do without the necessity of being tied to an app store; this is a system which is fully programmable by any user, as long as they have a PC with windows on it, and they download a free copy of Visual Studio from Microsoft. You can program it in real languages, against a real framework, and most of the time, what you write will be easily ported from existing PC source code since the objects you’re programming against are source-code compatible with the x86 and x64 ones. Because it’s Windows, the connectivity aspects of the thing are stunning: native ability to talk to SQL servers of various types; ability to participate in file sharing over corporate networks and so on – all built right into the device. I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to adopt such a thing. Saying “It’s Microsoft, therefore it’s big brother and I hate it” is plain ignorant and speaks of forced stupidity: this is the first phone platform which breaks the chains we’re all used to enduring – especially with iOS.
MS rely on a huge inertia of existing users. They’re lucky people don’t start afresh every time they buy a new PC.
Forcing people to learn a new UI every few years for change’s sake is just waste of millions of person hours for no appreciable benefit.
How many IT depts routinely set newly delivered Windows UI’s (both OS and Office) to look like an older version so that the users can just get on with things.
The vast majority of users don’t want obscure new features they’ll never find – they want to get their job done. And it’s this vast majority whose time is wasted by change for change’s sake.
I recently dug out an old laptop with W98SE and Office97. It was so fast ! And that’s what we used to regards a normal.
UI and gadget designers have really lost their way.
A phone should be an appliance – turn it on, make a phone call 1 second later. Not a computer with a 20 second boot and regular crashes.
A desktop PC should be for productive work on core apps that users have developed great familiarity with.
A home PC can have all sorts of fun rubbish on if you want to waste your own time playing with pretty desktops.
> It requires re-education – Personally, I do not consider this a real argument.
You’re missing the entire point here.
People use computers to try to make life easier. They use them as tools to manage information, and to manage change. They want to do their jobs in their own field, without having to stop to re-learn tools every year or two.
People don’t hate change. They just have to manage the flood of change in their own work and own lives. They don’t want to have to take extra time to re-learn things that they already know.
Arbitrarily changing how a UI works is a big tax on people that don’t want the biggest, best, shiniest, flashy new interface. They just want something that’s familiar and works for them. And when systems designers don’t get this and force change on them, they become infuriated — and for good reason.
Yes, I understand some people like the ribbon. I don’t. I’ve been using the new Office and Outlook for a year now and it’s still like eating a ground glass and sewage sandwich. Menus have huge advantages over toolbars: they’re more easily discoverable, they benefit from muscle memory (they don’t move around depending on what mode you’re in), and calling toolbars a “ribbon” doesn’t change the fact that for people who can actually read they suck dirty swamp water.
I think that it’s interesting that Microsoft released their previews, and a big chunk of the techie market tried it, and flames it.
Would you not think that if the tech community, that typically embraces improvement, dosent like it, then how are the non techie people going to cope. Most of my non techie friends have never heard of Win 8, yet alone upgraded their browser from ie6.
Most of them also hate, and I can not emphasize this enough, HATE, the ribbon bar. Microsoft is asking the wrong people what they think about their new OS, cause their real target market hasn’t even heard of it. Most non techie people don’t upgrade their pcs often, if ever. I had to force my parents to buy a new PC 2 years ago, cause the old one I gave them 10 years prior still did everything they wanted it it. Point them at windows 8 and they just stare blankly.
MS. This it a big risk for you. Good luck. Well come to your funeral!
Windows 8 is certainly aimed at future devices. However, people who promote Win8 seem to think that all the users in the world use computers to read eBooks and browse websites, and do little else. Simple Consumers.
However, the truth is that a pretty sizeable percentage of users, even in the future, will need to use their computers to create content and do work. Creators.
These are people who work on their PCs for 8 hours a day, use their keyboards more than their mouse, and to whom a touch interface is slow and clunky. These people work in multiple applications and they like “old fashioned” windows because they can arrange their 8 applictions across their 2 or 3 monitors so that all the information they need is at their fingertips. They switch constantly between apps.
The metro idea of using one app at a time (fullscreen), the limited colour palette and flat eye-burning colours, the hidden and inconsistent user interface – these all take me back to the 1980’s. Great for simple devices, but throwing away so many of the lessons humankind has learnt in the last 30 years about user interface design.
Case in point is Visual Studio 2012, the user interface for which was utterly devastated by a zombielike adherence to metro VS developers write text based code all day – the UI design was aimed at the wrong type of user. There was a massive backlash against the new UI because none of the users could differentiate any of the icons any more and found the drab flat colours hideous to work with all day long. MS have now done an abrupt U turn on this and added some (but still not enough) colour back into the UI to try to appease the users. If they think a few thousand VS users was bad, just wait till they try that trick on hundreds of millions of people who have a hard enough time using their existing PC without MS forcing them to learn a whole new approach every 3 years. The backlash could be really quite terrific.
Metro is great for phones and tablets used for simple tasks. But will the Win8 desktop still work for real computer users who do important stuff? This remains to be seen… And unless MS does quite a sizeable U-Turn, I really can’t see many Win7 users being tempted to upgrade.
None of these are the real problem with Windows 8. The real problems are that (1) it’s locked down so there’s no way to distribute a a Metro application w/o going through Microsoft. And (2) that you have to give Microsoft a third of your revenue for the privilege of them allowing you to distribute your application.
I don’t think that’s too horrible, but it does take the advantage of PCs away. That’s the standard iPhone developer agreement. It will be interesting to see what happens when you can root your iPhone easier than your own PC.
If PCs are as locked down as an iPhone, all that loyalty MS garnished with geeks over the years, poof, puff, by by.
I am looking forward to Win8 for two reasons: the smaller, more efficient OS footprint for me, and Metro for my wife. The first thing that she does now on the laptop is to open a browser and go to a web site for the weather. On Metro, it’ll already be there showing the temp. Next, she changes the browser to read her first email account, then she changes to her second account. In Metro, she’ll just click to open them. I think that Metro will be fantastic for the casual PC user.
As for the Win8 Start menu change, I remember when I first switched to the Start menu. I said, “Give me back my desktop shortcuts!” Now, I rarely use a desktop shortcut. Right now, I say, “Give me back my Start menu!” I don’t know if I’ll feel that way in a year.
I appreciate for your reasonable analysis, without being emotional and careless consideration. However, I still cannot agree some points that you made.
‘You do not have to use Metro apps. If you do not like them, simply don’t use them. Continue to use the Desktop applications you’ve grown to love. They continue to exist and work incredibly well.’ – Well, the main problem is users are forced to enter the metro before the desktop surface. For people who only used the desktop, this is very annoying.
‘And yet, it has become a great interface paradigm which makes features more visible and easier to use.’ – This is true in the office suite but ribbon may not be the best interface for everything, especially for Windows explorer. A files manager should be clean, effective and multifunctional. I don’t see any of the above features that the ribbon can achieve. what I see is a cluttered surface which takes up so much vertical space. What I was expecting for win8’s explorer was a tabbed/multi-pane surface and add some useful and commonly use icons to replace the drop-down menu.
‘Evolution always requires re-education. If we want the future of computing to become a reality sooner rather than later, we need to constantly re-educate ourselves and learn new technologies, interface paradigms, etc.’ – that’s right. But the main problem is people will decide whether re-educating is worthwhile or not. If the current system is already enough, there is no point spending time re-educating, among a busy working schedule.
That’s why people refused to upgrade from office 2003 to 2007+ or from XP to W7.
‘one operating system and one experience on all your devices’ – this is the point that I hated the most for MS’s goal. Different devices have their own specific functions and they play different roles as well. Owing to this, their experience should be different to make the best use of their function.
e.g. Tablets and desktops are designed for different purposes: one for easy carrying and another for serious and high-demand tasks. Desktop also provides the most comfortable working environment compared to other devices. You cannot expect people using their fingers to swipe on a desktop PC.
Thanks for sharing your view. This is the kind of commenting I wanted to stir up. 😀
UEFI and Secure boot. If we draw the analogy/parallel between C and C++, or the car industry with standard transmission or automatic, we see that we went from free choice of hardware to purchasing hardware geared to ones preferred operating system, an object that already has the operating system already installed.
This change is persistent. One will buy a MAC, Windows or Linux computer. In the short term we will only have locked in UEFI machines until one vendor decides that the unlocked market is too big to ignore. This will happen within 18 months of Windows 8 and its UEFI implementation.
The profit is in the hardware and not the software, so in the end, we may end up buying MS manufactured hardware in order to run another brand of operating system.
A car is not a computer though. A car can have computer components, but it is not the same thing. We grew up being able to boot our own OSes on PCs, and MS is not really a hardware manufacturer. Windows is not a hardware product, but an OS, and now through their monopoly deals with hardware manufacturers that set them as the default you pay through hidden costs and adware deals, they want to be the ONLY choice. That is de-evolution via monopolistic control. Also, MS completely misunderstands its user base if it thinks forcing everyone who buys a PC to get used to Metro will make people finally choose its phones and mobile offerings. It may work with a zombie base, but MS has/had a strong base of tinkerers who really only chose it over Linux because of its proliferation and refinement over Linux, and over OSX because of the price and flexibility. OSX, being UNIX based, with just as much flexibility and much more power than basic Windows OS is a superior but more expensive choice, because of Apple’s hardware tie in. It is where Linux has been driving to for a while, but the hardware control lets Apple focus on making drivers work and a refined unified user experience, because they actually design the hardware tuned for the OS they also design. You can boot a Mac into Windows or another OS, but that’s just for specific software. Nobody replaces OSX with Windows on a Mac because you lose so much. Why would you, when OSX is extremely productive, powerful and flexible? You can have Windows, Linux and OSX on a Macbook in harmony, so why is MS so paranoid to try to stop you from using other OSes on hardware they don’t even design or produce? If MS thinks locking things down to the level of iPhones and car computers will drive everyone to choose them and only them, they don’t understand why anybody chooses them or that we have choices, even if it means developers will need to get serious about Linux and OSX. An iPhone can be rooted, though almost nobody does because they want IOS and the non-pirate app store. Even on PCs now, MS seems to want it controlled where people will have to get any OS approved by some ill defined signature authority I wonder who will control. Linux becomes the true open alternative, and OSX the commercial worthy, just-get-your-work-done one. MS will be in the middle of those, not really worth the Apple premium, while not open enough to really justify Linux-level hobbyist time. Only monopolistic deals where you are purchasing their software just by buying a “PC” will save them, if even that will.
I go back to UEFI and hardware. I bought a TV from BEST Buy. I did not buy the cabinet from xyz, the led display from abc, and the electronics from def.
I bought a FlatScreen TV and it came with a warrantee. Presumeably, if there is a bug in the bios (microcode), then the vendor will have an upgrade for me.
Our computers will be coming this way soon. You will buy a Windows, Mac, Android desktop, Linux or whatever.
Some geeks like me will buy components (motherboards, cases, power supplies, cooling fans, etc. etc) and assemble our own. But we will be in the minority. We will be like the Car buffs, that perhaps buy old heaps and take pleasure in restoring them.
You don’t get it (or maybe you do?).
A PC is a personal computer, not a Microsoft or Apple or Ubuntu DEVICE.
Restricted boots for Microsoft approved OS only, for the majority and their clinging cheerleaders is Microsoft’s game to kill the concept of a PC as something you OWN, without even making a device worth choosing over. They just want to stretch the control of a Samsung Galaxy or iPhone over everything by default, and win by sheer monopoly deals.
Secure booting their own devices is fine (though you can boot a MacBook into Windows or root the BSD UNIX based iPhone, if you actually want to).
Trying to brute force all the other PC manufacturers into securing Microsoft “recognized” boots only hurts manufacturers and consumers.
With Secure Boot, Microsoft is simply trying to provide more security and NOT hurt manufacturers and consumers. According to Microsoft’s guidelines, on desktop PCs, manufacturers must offer the option to disable it from the BIOS. This way, enthusiasts who want to install other operating systems (like Linux) can do so without issues.
However, if you don’t care about using other operating systems then, with Secure Boot, you get an even more secure experience than you used to. Where’s the problem with that?
Secure boot cannot be disabled only on ARM tablets with Windows 8. And the OS for ARM tablets won’t even be sold in retail. There, they want to mimic the approach made by Apple with iPad. But is anyone criticizing Apple for the “lock in” mentality?
Many of the commentators who complain about Secure Boot forget that, on x86 based computers and devices they will continue to have the same freedoms as they used to. Like… “the free world” is ending when actually it is not.
I am actually fine with them locking down their own devices like real hardware designers, and some people don’t want a PC they buy for the purpose of a PC to be locked down like an iPhone or more restricted than a Mac. No other vendor decides the industry should make computers that only boot to OSes they approve of by default. Can you image if Apple said all mobile devices made by others should only boot to mobile OSes that are signed by an authority they “recognize”. Yeah, you’d really trust their motivation and be defending them…
It’s the hammer mentality that they can try to require other vendors to set up a “secure boot” that will require PC boots certified by a MICROSOFT recognized authority by default. True die hards can alter their bios to add an image or disable it for x86, which I admit makes it more tolerable on the PC side. Do you think it’s to help consumers they want Windows compatable ARM devices Windows-only? Again, this is different than them designing anything and locking it down like real manufacturers. If they want to lock the Surface, that’s actually their product. If someone is going to maliciously boot or hack a PC on site, I’m sure hackers will have an easier time than the average person just wanting to try the new Linux Mint, unless that and fork is in good with Microsoft’s new “boot authority”.
In other words, they are setting up an extremely painful environment for OS innovation, unless you have the blessing of their certificate services. The current SSL certificate system is a ripoff and I don’t think Microsoft should set up another industry it monopolizes, that is certifying what OSes are approved for PCs in general. It seems like just another way to make money off of and control other people’s work and products.
Secure Boot is a fallacy. Secure boot does not secure your operating system.
It locks you in to more affluent vendors and it excludes you from using your pc as a development platform. I may be wrong, but if you want to distribute software that you wrote or write, you will need to be secure boot compliant. An additional barrier to the young whiz kid in a Computer Science Program or just a great developer. For the tablet, you will be required to market your application via the MS App store. Another hand in your wallet.
My view is secure boot should be limited only to and again, only to the bios program in the motherboard. I believe that it is wrong to extend it beyond the bios against operating systems for consumer products such as netbooks, laptops or desktops.
I envisage a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) type of device wherein the bios control information is stored. The system will boot the TPM, which will check the bios, and immediately if the checksum is valid (sha512 or other powerful hash), copy via via decryption from within itself, the bios code to the bios execution area, and allow the bios to do its job.
In a military environment, even with secure boot, Windows is not appropriate, as it is too easily hacked. In this environment, all peripherals (USB, Printer, Monitor, PCI card, etc) must be validated against the TPM device contents. (Via signature at boot time). We do not want STUXNET happening for any system.
It could be we end up for the government that needs ultra security, with a use once, wipe clean computer on a plug-in interface. The danger here is that criminals could also use such an approach.
Two factor verification via tpm and bios is secure enough.
“But is anyone criticizing Apple for the “lock in” mentality?”
Yes, all of us that use non-Apple products specifically to avoid it! We don’t want Microsoft to mimic Apple. We want Microsoft to be Microsoft and Apple to be Apple and to have a genuine choice. Nobody’s pretending it’s the end of the free world! But it is yet another step toward it as commercial enterprises abandon real competition in favour of the homogenisation of products. The release of the MS “Not An iPad, Honest!” is proof that Microsoft no longer innovates but merely imitates!
I’m not sure how products such as: Windows 8, Surface, Kinect, Xbox, Microsoft Office, Windows Phone are imitations. If there is anything they stand out for is the fact that they are very different and real innovation. Yes, they have their own limitations but they are very different and don’t look like or work like their competitors.
Regarding the lock in mentality – Microsoft is applying it only to ARM tablets, NOT to desktops, servers or anything else. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that. If they want to go this way for a very specific niche of products, it is their choice and they have the right to make that choice.
Also, it has nothing to do with monopolist muscling and other invalid arguments people shared to criticize Secure Boot and other things which are not very well understood.
About 6 years ago, a coworker introduced me to Linux. At that time, I had an old Pentium 3 computer, and it was not suitable for Microsoft XP. I put Linux on it, and discovered I did not need Windows to browse the net, reply to emails, listen to music, watch videos, Flash, etc. etc. etc.
Over time, Linux has evolved, much more rapidly than Windows, and while the number of Linux users is growing as a percentage, the hacks and viruses have not. Linux has the concept of keeping the administrator logon or responsibilities away from the user. The result is by nature a very secure hack resistant, crash resistant interface. BSD, another system similar to Linux was free, for anyone to use it as they wished. Apple took BSD and made the MACINTOSH, and BSD is still the heart of the majority of their products.
In my opinion, the Linux environment is a clean, easy to use, and more efficient operating system that is less important. Android is a version of Linux, and there are several other versions on tablets that are superior to APPLE’s offerings. Samsung galaxy is today, my hand-held of choice.
I am not a Windows biggot, I am not a Linux biggot, and I am not an APPLE biggot. I am a “use the right device for the requirements of the task at hand” person.
Counter argument about secure boot. EFI is great design change to allow accessing high quantity storage devices. The boot bios It should be stripped down very substantially so that it only supports booting from a drive or a boot partition. This way, when W8 boots, it checks its own encrypted partition using keys that are dependent upon a) what a user chose, b) what MS chose, and c) what is the result of a hardware signature.
This way, on the same system I can boot a non-uefi bsd, VMware or linux system, XP, or W7, without needing the UEFI TPM functionality, and when it comes to running w8, it will find its own security module. A TPM would have done the job well, as the major fear is that if a laptop is stolen the contents would be protected. If a UEFI bios as proposed by MS is compromised, and there is no backdoor to it, and you will have to throw away the mother board, or order a new bios from the vendor. Thus, the bios will or should become a plug-in rom.
UEFI will be a nightmare for hardware that is shared between operating systems. It will fail, and then the W8 software will not boot, as it should not.
why would you want to upgrade to windows 8 when you don’t get cd/dvd on the regular win8 and you have to buy windows media player? just because they are putting it on netbooks or tablets and phones. some people don’t have or want netbooks or tablets or phones. they say it cost to much to include these items, they want you to buy windows 8 pro.
You are highly misinformed. Windows Media Player is included in Windows 8. You can play a DVD or CD with Windows 8, depending on its content and the applications you have installed. Also, you can install whatever desktop applications you prefer to manage your multimedia collection and play all kinds of content.
Windows Media Center is the one not included and needs to be purchased separately.
No, I think you are confused. It is understandable due to the possibly deliberate confusing gaps or subtle twists in Microsoft marketing.
To have the DVD codecs, you will need media center or third party software. To have the option of media center, you will need the higher priced “pro” version first.
The previous person said that you have to buy Windows Media Player. That is not true. WMP is bundled for free with Windows 8.
You can play DVDs with whatever software you wish to install, from VLC to GOM, etc.
It was obvious they were referring to Microsoft’s move to strip DVD playback from default Windows, and require purchase of both Pro and Media Center to have native DVD playback, and even then only in Media Center. The fact that you can get third party software to play back DVDs seems to slyly brush over the true point they were making. Of course you an use third party software. Just as Microsoft has obscured stripping DVD playback out unless you buy Pro AND Media Center, brushing over it by saying you can use third party software if it includes the codecs is besides the point. That’s like saying you can use third party software to edit spreadsheets. Of course you can but that statement can gloss over the fact that the OS itself doesn’t support something.
For me personally this is a non-issue. I do not use Windows Media Center so I won’t miss it. None of my friends and relatives ever used it. I don’t think many people in general use it and it won’t really be missed. But the truth remains to be seen once Windows 8 is launched.
Second, not being able to play a DVD movie with Windows Media Player is again a non-issue (for me that is). I am using free codec packs and/or free video players for so many years that this decision from Microsoft won’t impact me in any way.
Without codec packs Windows Media Player was never a strong player and many people chose other solutions. If you want to keep using Windows Media Player, you install a free codec pack and there you go… problem solved. I think most WMP users installed codec packs anyway.
If you prefer other solutions then you did not have an issue in the first place.
I just didn’t want the very real and true concern mentioned brushed aside by semantics and that the user said media player instead of center. At first it seemed like obscuring the real concern and problem being mentioned. So native DVD support is removed now unless you buy the Pro version and WMC, and it will only enable DVD playback within WMC anyway.
I do get what you’re saying though, not a problem for you, as you’d use a third party program or codecs anyway, and WMC might not be the best DVD experience anyway. Still, it seems Microsoft is creating a cluster of confusion obscuring the removal of native DVD functionality with semantics.
I wasn’t trying to obscure anything. I just did not think my answer enough, to express myself better. I was in a rush at that moment in time and my reply was not clear enough. That’s why I decided to update it, later on. Sorry about that.
My intention was to clarify what tool was removed. Regarding your point… I do agree with it. This decision will cause confusion with some customers. Not sure how many though. I guess we will all find out when Windows 8 is out.
I apologize for misunderstanding. Thank you for clarifying. I can totally see how this strategy of dropping DVD playback in MP, adding it to MC as a premium add on requiring pro may have caused confusion with Rogers’s original comment. I get what your saying though. Thank you.
DRM from third parties will not be possible with UEFI bios and W8 unless the software has a signature that corresponds to the MS signature. Essentially MS is locking out everyone. They will probably make an APP store and you will have to buy your add-ons from them.
Of all the people that hate Windows 8, I wonder how many of those use X-Box. I popped open the Windows 8 Preview and immediately thought “Ah… This has been out for years.” It makes perfect sense for Windows 8 to mimic one of the top video gaming systems used by the next generation.
I think it is a great step in the right direction having used it for several hours. I do feel that touch will make it more natural and technology is way behind in supporting it such as touch LEDS. (rare as hens teach and expensive to find for a traditional pcs) I do not like all in ones as I build them myself. I do have a tablet and look forward to it in that space.
However, like with DOS and Windows 95, we need to be steered not forced, encouraged not hit over the head. As for corporate, where I have worked with desktops for almost 20 years, it will be a training nightmare if the OS stays like it is. That will take significant investment that my CTO has already said “no way”. With the GFC, companies aren’t exactly rolling in IT budget but in fact looking for way to slash and cut it. If support for a new OS will require that investment with no guaranteed pay off, how will the bean counters that rule the world be convinced? As yourself that. Think on that one.
I think the mentality is they win either way. People sticking with their Win7 weren’t buying new Windows copies anyway. People buying new PCs will be paying for Win7 or 8, making them money anyway. If businesses don’t adopt, they’ll still pay for Win7 with new PCs. This is double true if they can convince OEMs to lock the boot loaders of PCs so OSs have to be certified by a “Microsoft approved authority”, making it a pain to innovate Linux forks.
There are some good advancements of Win8, but being forced onto the desktop to encourage mobile use seems the opposite of evolution. It seems clear Microsoft has such an entrenched position there is a captive consumer mentality, rather than listening to what people actually want and are asking for.
I think you’re right. Natural gestures is towards the future.
However, in a monopoly consumer driven math doesn’t add up. I really think Microsoft is banking in the makority having no choice or not understanding what those choices are. They want to lock down the concept of PCs to Microsoft approved device with the secure boot mandate. If corporations and IT departments don’t follow the script, well, they’ll still make money off of Windows 7 until everyone follows what they’re putting down.
I feel both Microsoft and Apple have the right to lock their own specific devices they sell themselves, though even tht is a little hostile to innovation and fair use of something you buy. Even so, you can root ios without Apple’s blessing, you just lose their updates and support. What Microsoft is doing is not that and you can’t blame Appke for it. They are trying to bully all other manufacturers and producers and vendors into locking their devices for them. That is way different.
“Windows 8, Surface, Kinect, Xbox, Microsoft Office, Windows Phone”
Or as we know them …
This isn’t Windows 7 without the good bits or an IPad look-alike OS or anything like that, honest
This isn’t iPad, honest
This isn’t Wii, honest
This isn’t just another games machine, honest
For pity’s sake. The last innovatory thing that MS did was Windows 95!
You have a problem. Really! Not sure how, but you brainwashed yourself badly. I will stop my conversation with you here because it is simply pointless to continue. You are not here to have any constructive discussion. You are here to troll and repeat how Microsoft is not innovating because you say so. And your arguments are weaker with each comment. If you continue in the same line I will block your comments.
Bring some real arguments and stop being a troll!
I think this reply says a great deal more about you than it does me. It is clear to everybody from this that Microsoft has you in its pocket and the brainwashing is all yours my friend. Accusations of trolling and blocking someone simply because they have the gall to disagree with you is the last vestige of those who know that their position is ultimately unsustainable. If you can’t stand the fact that some of what you say may be disagreed with and some of it just plain wrong then I suggest that you give up pontificating in public or find a forum for your comments that does not permit reply!
Microsoft has produced many high quality products which I use and will continue to use. But it is preposterous to suggest that Microsoft is the foremost innovator in the computer industry today.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it pays to let others make the mistakes first. But in the case of W8 and Surface it definitely is a bad thing because it is so transparently concerned with attempting to steal back potential customers lost to Apple to the cost of those who have stuck to Windows through thick and thin. Them’s the facts for those that have eyes to see. Suck it up!
I am not stating that this company is the world’s most greatest innovator. I will never do so. My article was just stating that, before you give a final verdict on Windows 8, it is best to wait for it to be launched and have it evaluated on the new types of devices that Windows 8 will bring to the market. That’s because with Windows 8, more types of devices that we have not used before will be launched.
On this website you will find articles that criticize things about Microsoft software, including certain aspects of Windows 8. But you dismissing absolutely everything they do even though you are using their products and not bringing good arguments is hypocritical. Just to give you an example: comparing Xbox to Wii is really stupid. Xbox was launched years prior to Wii ever existing (5 years earlier). And when you make such comparisons that have no connection with reality, I really don’t feel like continuing a conversation.
I’m tired of the conversation the two of us had and I would like to stop here and just agree to disagree.
“Windows 8 Haters Need to Understand That Windows 8 is About the Future!”
Windows Developers and Promoters Need to Understand That if Windows 8 Doesn’t Survive the Present, it Will Have no Future to Worry About Surviving!!
It’s only about the future if they can strongarm and control enough people to use a system they don’t want to for a home PC, by pure industry deals. Metro’s been out for a while, and consumers rejected it on the very device it was designed for, so Microsoft is making the majority get used to it or abandon Windows. Don’t blame developers either, they rejected Metro, not Windows. It was Microsoft that changed it to Metro or the highway.
As far as saving Windows, I think that’s where I’m coming from. I feel Microsoft has to be worth saving first though, and if they continue along this line of abandoning the few that actually buy their devices, not really listening to consumers, strongarming the industry and the actual manufacturers making their product worth anything into restricting consumer choice for them, I’m not sure Microsoft should survive necessarily as the default OS we all pay for by buying a PC, or to be the gatekeeper of other manufacturers devices.
Sorry if this reply rambles a bit. I’m trying to make it straightforward, but my thoughts are somewhat muddled. You might have already addressed these points in another article: I’m a new reader, and this is really the first article I’ve gone through.
Certainly Microsoft perceives itself as helping promote the hardware of the future, and I think that has been a valid perception in the past. But, starting at about the time that planning began for Vista, software and hardware became “good enough” for our needs. (And yes, current computers blow computers of that time out of the water: not my point here.)
So relying on the operating system to drive technological acceptance has a problem: the consumers might not upgrade. I have a contract right now for a large organization that is still using Windows XP. As I understand it, that operating system is not even supported any more. When they change, they will change to Windows 7, probably some time next year…by which point Windows 7 will be obsolete, having been replaced by Windows 8. Microsoft did not make the money it could have made from the organization upgrading to Vista: the leap was too great.
Now, some of the changes in operatings systems and interfaces are incremental and some are major. I think we’re seeing a major change in the shift to touch interfaces, an interface that existed but before the iPhone was not particularly well accepted. (It suffered from “gorilla arm” problem, among other things.) So yes, there’s certainly an argument to be made for the importance of the operating system as a motive force in technology acceptance.
However, it’s a huge gamble. If consumers (both individuals and businesses)don’t like your changes, the alternative is that don’t upgrade (a computer that was cutting edge five years ago is inexpensive today, and it runs software from five years ago), or that they go somewhere else.
And I think that’s part of the crux, here. Apple has foisted any number of technological innovations on us because they are currently the coolmeisters of the tech world, producing what’s hot and high-status–but the innovations were always in service to something else. A phone that did other things easily and didn’t have breakable parts. Music that went anywhere with you. Painless setup and work so you could do what you wanted to do without being a tech geek.
Microsoft, by contrast, seems to be in service to the technology vendors. If the enterprise applications and infrastructure are perceived to be good enough, the corporate buyers don’t really have a reason to buy the new operating system and the consumers don’t really have a reason to buy the new operating system. And, if a substantial portion of the corporate buyers and the consumers are Windows 8 haters, it doesn’t matter if the reasons for the hatred can be debunked: there isn’t a correspondingly large benefit for these people in accepting Windows 8.
Since Microsoft can’t get by on the cool factor (only the Xbox seems to have managed), what’s the perceived benefit? What do users get besides incremental improvements in technical areas that they probably don’t notice until they go wrong?
The good thing about an article like this is that myths need to be debunked: it’s an essential part of bringing people around. It answers objections. However, it doesn’t give Windows 8 haters a reason to switch attitude.
I don’t know if Windows 8 will be a success, a flop, or somewhere in the middle. I don’t know if people will leave Microsoft for any of the alternatives. But–as they say in elections–it would be nice to have someone to vote for instead of just someone to vote against.
Thanks a lot for a very well thought comment. I appreciate it a lot.
I think that in recent years Microsoft has acted differently than in the past. Today they act more than they used to, in the service of consumers than technology vendors. Or at least they are trying to. However, it is clear than they don’t want to be Apple and say “my way or the high way”. 🙂 They want to find some balance and they started working on it very recently.
It is going to be very important how that balance is achieved and if they manage to successfully push technology vendors, so that they bring better technology & innovations to the market.
As for Windows 8, I don’t know what its fate will be. My mission and that of the team of 7 Tutorials is to inform people, debunk myths and let users make their own choices.
As soon as Windows 8 is launched, expect a lot more articles and analysis about it.
I don’t your first statement is true. They are not doing this in the interest of consumers, and are certainly going way past Apple on the “my way or the highway” approach, forcing Metro onto the desktop after users rejected it as a phone OS, trying to change the whole industry to locked devices where the average person can’t even try a live disk unless it’s been blessed by an authority Microsoft “recognizes”. Secure boot does nothing to help the average consumer and only harms them. If a hacker had access and wanted to boot, they’d do what government would also do and just disable the secure boot. Few people accidentally boot into an OS they didn’t mean to, oven more so the average consumer. Unless it is a resident scanner deciding all programs a user can run or autostart, it will do nothing to help against the occasional rogue program any more than anti-virus would, unless they really do want to control every single auto start item, and then I’d trust my own choices and a good antivirus more than Microsoft deciding what can start. Their “Windows only” mandate on “compatible” ARM hardware and making the average person jump through hoops to try a live disk really only helps create a mentality that personal computer is no longer a personal computer, but a Microsoft approved “device”. If they were like Apple, they would be locking in only their own devices they make and market themselves, but they’re trying to steer the whole personal computer industry away from personal empowerment of what you can do with your own computer. Any sandboxing Apple is accused of, for right or wrong, is trumped by Windows not only locking their own systems but trying to lock anyone running a Win8 ARM device created by another manufacturer, from ever seeing how good Android would do no the same system. MS is so predatory and dominating from deals with manufacturers so that almost every PC purchase is a backdoor Windows purchase, even if you want to wipe it out, you get no refund. I have no idea why people dis Apple when Microsoft is worse. It’s some fantasy that Microsoft is any better, and people just hate on Apple for actually being successful and providing people with hardware and an OS they want to pay for.
Secure Boot is going to be enforced ONLY on ARM tablets. Not on desktops, not on laptops, etc.
Antivirus programs on ARM and Windows RT will not have access to all system resources as it happens on the desktop. On Windows RT apps will run with very limited permissions, including antivirus software. To make that platform stronger against attacks, Secure Boot is needed.
On Windows RT antivirus software will be more similar to that present on the smartphones of today. Which means, a lot less security than on the desktop.
New systems (Desktops, laptops, netbooks) are including a secure boot bios. (UEFI). Some that do not include the TPM.
How will secure boot work with VM machines. It was already noted that a VM machine that boots under a UEFI kernel may have privileges that the host system does not have.
There will likely be revisions, hacks and concessions to get back to functional for the really geeky.
Secure boot just creates a class of OSes “not approved” by a Microsoft recognized “authority”, that will be a pain for the average person to try or promote. Along those lines, It seems like they would fix any flaws in the idea to make it work within those parameters of OSes approved by the MS approved authority. It’s not meant to kill the idea of dual booting and by nature different OSes will have privileges greater than the local OS. It’s one of the reasons you might boot into a rescue OS.
I am still OK with MS locking their own Surface tablet and tablet PCs, but it seems like they’re abusing their defacto market lock to stifle the innovation of Windows alternatives across the industry. In trying to understand the mindset and reading more about them lately, and things like their stacked ranking management that crippled innovation to the point they made this desperate move to promote Metro, I’m surprised they still have this much power over the industry, where tablet and PC manufacturers would agree to this system of MS approved OS only on ARM and make it a pain for the average person to try a live disk or dual boot. I know a dual boot OS can have greater privileges since that’s the whole purpose sometimes. I think if a VM is installed as an app on the OS, it will be limited by the host permission system, and only truly have power within its container.
We are into the era where the majority of the North American population are seniors. That is, people like me, who are well above age 60. We dont want to lug tablets around or have them fall on the floor, with shattered screens. We also don;t want to pay a tax for software that is above the hardware cost of the computer.
W8 with their tablet is facing competition that will bring in tablet costs with great functionality at under $150.00. We should see that in 2013 as manufacturing ramps up. At $150.00 the tablets will not be from MS or Apple. You will have to surmise the origins.
What most developers and designers don’t understand is radical change of an existing product seldom works. People spend millions of man hours learning how to productive in a given paradigm. When that paradigm is thrown away, so is their investment and productivity. That engenders anger and resentment. The best way is, and has always been, incremental. This is especially true when the user base is very large.
First Law of engineering/development! Never change everything at once. The other First Law: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! And the final First Law: just because you can’t doesn’t mean you should! MS apparently knows none of them.
Your closing statement is VERY true and universally not understood by developers in the computer industry. A bigger misunderstanding that developers have in understanding that, and why, users do not want to have to learn to do the same thing over and over again is that they don’t realize that the computer is only a tool to perform some other task with, not the end product. The computer is the end product only to the developer and an extremely small percentage of users – EXTREMELY small percentage. The developers simply do not have the typical users’ needs and interests in mind as they design a new product. Windows 8 is a huge example of this phenomenon.
While I am not averse to change and couldn’t care less if you added a ribbon or a toilet paper interface, where people are really pissed and the same applies for Windows 8 explorer “now with a three ply toilet paper menu”, is that Microsoft should stop being dictatorial to force a very bad idea down peoples throats. Just let people choose what they want to use, not much to ask is it?
Future? Sorry, but on poor two 30″ monitors Windows 8 UI is counterproductive and useless. Reeducation. OK – to OS X. I don’t like Apple. But Apple understand what people needs tablet and PC. SEPARATED. Not frankenwin.
Yay! Another Windows 8 fanboy to through on the burn pile. Honestly, I really don’t give 2 **** of Windows 8 is the “future”. It’s going to tank akin to or worse than Vista did and when it does you sir and anyone else who supported will look quite stupid.
You all may think I’m a hater. I’m not a hater. A hater is someone who hates on something without experiencing or trying or what they are hating on. I HAVE actually tried (more like wasted my life on) Windows 8. I downloaded the final build of Windows 8 Professional from Dreamspark. So what I’m running now it what is going to be released on Oct 26 and I am disgusted by it. It us ever bit of the piece of XXXX I thought was, and know it is. I know Windows 8 sucks because I’ve actually used it.
Customers: Windows 9!!!! Get out right this here instant!!!!
Windows 9: Yes Customers?
Customers: Windows 8 left a huge pile of XXXX for you to clean up.
Windows 9: I’ll get right on it.
It’s kind of amusing that after 17 years Microsoft still hasn’t broken out their alternating OS cycle where one is good and one is an absolute failure.
Small vocabularies are from small minds. There is no reason to use low vocabularies.
Windows 8 may be an old technology with a new interface. You may not like it, but this new interface will allow MS to standardize one gui design for tablet, desktop, netbook, cellphone and TV, Consider how the W8 interface would be like as a channel selector on your TV set.
” this new interface will allow MS to standardize one gui design for tablet, desktop, netbook, cellphone and TV”
Which is exactly what we don’t want! A desktop computer is not now, never has been, and never will be a tablet or a cellphone or a TV nor vice versa. I operate my TV with a remote control sitting on my sofa (or at least I would if I could find it!) or pushing buttons on the set. I don’t expect or desire a touch screen interface. I operate my desktop with a combination of keyboard and mouse clicks as I have done for as long as there have been desktop computers. I have no desire to operate it with my TV remote control and nobody suggests I should so why does Microsoft (or anyone else) think it alone can tell me that I’m outdated or outmoded and force me to wrangle my way round an interface designed for an entirely different device? Variety is the spice of life. Monochromatic homogeneity is life-denying. I know which one I prefer!
The next time you post a comment here, it better be polite and without any swear words. My article simply expressed some opinions, it did NOT swear.
I expect a debate with polite language, not closed minded swear words.
The next comment that will not comply with the rules of a decent language will be removed.
Microsoft is facing a dilemma. Apple has taken away their market, and they are running scared. After 15 years of the Windws milk-cow (XP, NT, Windows 7) and the horrific number of virus hacks or other ware to own your pc, they are thrashing out, with the hopes of maintaining their market share.
In the very short term, the tablet will be the big profit maker. Not for the software, but for the hardware. Hardware support consists of responding to incipient failures, DOA’s and damages due to rough handling.
Important to note that the support costs are minimal vis-a’vis software and anti-virus support costs.
Tablets are great for viewing, but not for using email, writing quantities of data, or even creating spread-sheets. So, MS with W8 bites into the tablet market, will learn te strengths and weaknesses, and will be a closed tablet and semi-open desktop software vendor.
My use of my laptop and desktop are a) searching for information, b) reading blogs, c) writing (example, this posting) and some business stuff (excel, spreadsheets, web browsing, listening to music and d) programming in C and C++ languages. The tablet interface is horribly ineffective for my needs.
I am sure that MS will produce a w8 desktop version because this market is too valuable to leave it to the MAC and to Linux
In closing, I want to comment about UEFI. This is a new technology which is targeted for Windows 8. With W8 or W9, your current hardware that does not have a UEFI bios will be obsolete. Start saving your pennies, as you may need a new motherboard or bios for your Windows 8 support platform.
I tried the consumer preview, and I kept an open mind, I really really wanted to like it. After a month I just could not stand it and ran back to Win 7….
I tried to have an open mind but it is simply a disaster.
Bought it, installed on my notebook and desktop. Absolutely love it. Metro is brilliant and Microsoft is right on target.
Let’s them talk bad about win 8. They will never change any one, this is the best windows ever take your time to explore and understanding how to use it. I’m mac user but since I started using win 8 I don’t wanna go back.
I love Microsoft, but Windows 8 is just not ready for prime time. I get that Microsoft is trying to move into the next generation of touch screen computers (tablets), but the product is half baked. My frustration is not based on an hour of trying to work with the new OS, I have dedicated far beyond what would be expected of a average to advanced user. They just don’t have it right. I hope they have the issues worked out by SP2 (I have no hope for SP1). It is Vista all over again!
Windows 8 can shove it, it’s the Vista of the future.
And I’m not even complaining about the one million complaints against its ugly interface, pastal colors or even the turdy ribbon. I just hope they don’t make such a horrible mistake with Windows 9, probably the worst news for M$ users is that they have now reduced the OS support lines to two years after a release of a new OS.
The future is clear upgrade to Linux or ****!
Be sure to install a spell checker when you “upgrade” to Linux.
How the hell is upgrading to linux any use? all the programs I all ready need and use don’t work on Linux. Otherwise yes I would use the linux I all ready have on a partition of my system which I never use because it does not run any of my software I use on windows. The future of linux is make every software compatible with windows software that people allready have and everyone would change.
Windows 8 is a mess. I run three businesses and I need to be productive and fast – not play with childrens fancy swipe tiles that decide for me how it will be use. This OS is crap – give me XP or Vista and let me go to work
Totaly agree with you!
If I want to write a simple note…where the hell is the notepad on windows 8? how is this any use to me? I can’t do anything on this system. IT IS NOT USER FRIENDLY… where is the calculator? this is just like apples tablet system…aweful apps… windows has yet again made us pull down our houses just to add a extension…how the hell is that the future…? You guys at windows are just copying apples useless tablet money making mode… buy this app every time you want to make your tablet any use to you other wise it can’t do anything just the way windows 8 is going. If this is your direction of the future then you really have a limited design behind windows. Imagine if the governments of your countries said every time you have to add a extension to your house first you have to pull down the house because it’s the future… how stupid is that?
To find the Notepad or the Calculator, go to the Start screen and start typing their name. Their shortcut will be displayed almost instantly.
I have a Mac in my studio and 3 PC’s running 7 at work- I’ll switch all to Apple before I run with Windows 8.
I don’t work in the future: I work in the present. If it doesn’t work for now it’s useless. Each time I go back and try the 8 OS I am amazed by it’s lack of elegance and difficulty of use. A company that totally disregards the years of learning investment of it’s customers deserves failure.
If Windows 8 is for the future – IF this is true – stick it on a shelf somewhere and pull it out in a few years to test your assessment I think Windows 8 is for never-neverland! It is that for me.
Having been on Win8.1 for about a year now, I’ve been kinda take-it-or-leave-it about it. I got it on an ASUS touch screen laptop and I was much more impressed with the touch screen aspect. I’m incredibly more productive with a touch screen and stylus.
Then I got a Toshiba 8″ tablet ($140!!!!) with Win8.1 — ***OMG!!!!*** NOW I GET IT!!!!!
You would not believe how powerful Win8.1 is on a tablet in landscape mode with your two thumbs!
Think about it: swipe left, swipe right, swipe up… tapping command icons on the left/right/bottom… all without moving your hands from their position holding the tablet!
Now I see!!!! Great job, Microsoft!!! You *were* planning for the future!