By the pricking of my thumbs, and by the noisy crowd booking out half the pub, the wickedness of office party season has kicked in big time. Certainly, 'tis the season to be jolly and to suffer the indignities of itinerant workers debasing themselves in order to get invited. Another year at the Cheshire Cheese The importance of …
I don't get it, why do people dislike W8 so much! Yes MS should have given us the option of a start button but it's only a click away so why moan so much about it!
There are really good free options out there. And either way, once on the desktop, how often do you have to go back to the start screen!
I'd really like a valid argument as to why W8 is such a let down instead of the constant moan about the start button.
I don't get it, why do people dislike Windows 3 so much?
Well, actually that's obvious, it crashed a lot and was difficult to network but I don't get the grief given to Program Manager which was a perfectly usable launcher that is not too far removed from some of the better phone interfaces of today (and my phone now has a great deal higher screen resolution than my PCs of the Windows 3.x days).
How many things have you installed onto Windows 8 yet?
Of course if you really enjoy a massive, flat list of ico^Wtiles, then more power to you. If you like re-arranging TIFKAM every single time you install something, that's just gravy.. so long as you don't insist I be subject to the same crap. As for pinning shit to the start bar, that's damned retarded too. Sure if you only have one or two apps you play with constantly, but after pinning 10 or 11 apps to the taskbar just to avoid TIFKAM, it stops being a taskbar and starts being a big list of shit where it's not immediately obvious what's a running app and what's an icon.
Mind you, that's pretty much the same as TIFKAM, now. I'll decide when a program needs killing, TYVFM.
I think that for the £25 the upgrade cost it was worth it.
I think the ribbon interface for explorer is fantastic, who hidden files and file extensions are now both right there on the ribbon rather than buried on the second tab of a screen opened from a menu.
The OS is noticeably faster than 7, dual screen support has been improved. My USB 3 ports work properly, they were temperamental at best under 7.
There are some nice cloud based features, my user profile settings for desktop colours and backgrounds are synchronised from my desktop to my laptop. My list of wifi networks and keys is copied between computers for me. My music collection is available streamed from the web without me ever having to do anything with my desktop where the music lives.
There are issues though, in 7 if I want to attach my printer I just click Add a printer and windows does everything else. On windows 8, it find the printer but I have to use an advanced add screen and refresh my driver list from Windows update before it will install. The start screen is annoying, it's not useless just there's no point to it. In most ways it's a backwards step from the previous start screen.
Re: !!! - but it's only a click away
If there was a check box to turn it off that would be true. But it's not.
but it's only a click away, then another, and another...
It's worse then that old "punch the monkey" banner ad. It just keeps coming back.
Not-metro is a crapy phone interface that they stuck on computers to try and sell more phones.
I think people moan about it because it should have never come to this. There is nothing wrong with revamping the UI and in many ways I like Metro. But it breaks the fundamental rule of UI design - if you rewrite the UI make damned sure that the new thing provides the same functionality or matches the workflow better than the old thing.
This is absolutely not the case in Windows 8 where simple tasks suddenly become an exercise in frustration.
E.g. Say I want to fire up a calculator to verify something in an app. I must either to go out to metro and show all apps or I have to make incantations on the right side of the screen until the bar appears, click Search, type calc, click. It takes clicks, gestures and choices to accomplish. It causes brainfarts because the desktop disappears while trying to launch the damned app and causing the user forget the reason they ran it at all.
Metro also suffers from a pathological case of dumbing down. I can't group tiles for example, or zoom out to show more tiles at once, or see recently used apps somewhere, or sort tiles in a group by name, or multi select and pin multiple apps at once.
I hope Microsoft realise how awful it is and set about providing a decent experience. It doesn't mean bringing back the start menu but it does mean addressing the very real needs of people who aren't stabbing the screen with big fat fingers and actually have to work in front of a computer and do stuff all day.
For me the annoyance (dislike) is caused because it takes much more time and effort to do the things I want (and need) than it takes me on Win7.
I'm an admin and thus often need to check up on servers and stuff. Mostly Linux (webmin / PuTTY) but also several Windows servers. So, lets start the day lazy and check any incoming eventlogs using MMC instead of PowerShell (typing). I click start, hover over to 'Management tools' (or close enough, I'm on a Dutch version of Windows) and there I find the event logs. Now I right click and use "Run as administrator". I need to because I'm logged on as a regular user, otherwise I won't be able to access the Security logs.
Guess what? You can't do this so easily from within the Win8 void. Not without polluting your desktop.
So now I've had my coffee, I checked the stuff and need to write my weekly report on performed server updates. I click start, I hover over Word, wait for my jumplist to appear and at the top sits a pinned template: "xxxx server reports". I click it and I immediately get a new document setup by my template.
Can't do that within the void, you need desktop taskbar pollution to pull this off.
Last week I've done more with remote server management (RDP), setting up an automatically updating Excel sheet on server statistics /and/ brushing up some (minor) logo's with Gimp. As a result Excel, Gimp & Remote desktop connection sit in my "often used programs" list. Next week I'll be doing more document writing, bookkeeping and doing some hobby-based program design in C#. SO by that time you can be sure that "Minipak", "VS Express C#" and "Visual Paradigm for UML" will have replaced the previous three options (maybe apart from remote desktop connection).
You don't get this kind of automated control within Win8. If you want to have your environment adapt to the way you work you'll just have to manually add and remove tiles from the void, or do some daily or weekly icon maintenance on your desktop.
Why would I bother with all the extra hassle when Windows 7 does it all out of the box ?
Probably needless to say but I don't use a touch screen nor do I have any desire to get one for my desktop environment. Another reason why I don't see any advantages.
"I'd really like a valid argument as to why W8 is such a let down instead of the constant moan about the start button."
Our "technical" brethern will be embarrassed when, once its settled down, they look back and wonder why they whinged on like a little girl.
To the nay sayers I say, grow up! Stop bleeting on and learn to use it. May be you'll realise that the features are actually better than you thought!
DrXym, your point about simple tasks becoming complex is backed up by user testing at Computerworld. Jakob Nielsen, ever the wag, says it should be called 'Microsoft Window'. Interviewed here for IEEE Spectrum: http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/computing/software/is-windows-8s-lack-of-windows-a-mistake
I hate W8 for a few reasons:
(1) Tasks that were a 2 steps are now 3 or 4. For example: In W8 type "uninstall". Do you get "Uninstall a program"? No. Now you have to move your mouse a long way to click another menu to get to "Uninstall a program". In Windows 7, type "uninstall" and soon after that you'll see "Uninstall a program". Two steps in W7, three in W8. The same for System Restore.
(2) I love Aero. The rounded corners just look and feel refined. W8's design looks like it was designed by a child. Something about the square corners of W8 just bother me. This is subjective, but the design of the GUI just bothers me.
In short, Windows 8 violates a basic principle: a hammer is not a screwdriver. Do not make a hammer try to put in a screw. A tablet is not a laptop or desktop. Stop trying to make a desktop or laptop something it will never be. The idea to integrate operate systems across platforms is solid; The idea to standardize GUI's is not.
Just hit the "Win" key, start typing "cal..." then ENTER. There. No need to invoke any search option, gestures and such.
I too don't like the context switch while entering the start screen but I'm genuinely surprised how many people still don't know you just hit "Win" and start typing few first letters from the Windows 7 on.
"Jakob Nielsen, ever the wag, says it should be called 'Microsoft Window'. "
Theoretically you can drag and drop a metro app and plonk by the side of another app including the desktop so it just barely qualifies in the plural. But it doesn't work very well in practice so I wouldn't see a huge use until MS somehow figure a way to detach metro apps into windows on the desktop.
I don't really mind metro as I said, it's just that the desktop and keyboard and mouse are treated like an afterthought and the desktop workflow is all wrong.
The one gripe I have with metro apps is just like Windows Phone, when they're not in the foreground, they're serialized suspended and some apps really don't come back to life gracefully. e.g. Microsoft's own Mahjong game doesn't like being suspended and never resumes properly where it left off.
"or I have to make incantations on the right side of the screen until the bar appears, click Search, type calc, click."
No you don't, you just press Start, type "calc" and press Enter. That's admittedly a whole lot more work than on Windows 7 where you would have had instead to press Start, type "calc" and press Enter. Oh, hold on, it's exactly the same.
If you learn how to use it, it's fine. I agree that it should be intuitive enough that you don't need to actually invest time in learning, but then I remember how much trouble I had remembering to right-click things when Windows 95 came out. I pretty much got the hang of that in the end.
Re: !!! - but it's only a click away
Erm, no. If you put your mouse at the bottom left exactly where the old button was and click, the start menu appears. And it appears, amazingly, if you push the windows key on the keyboard -- just like Windows 7. And if you open a desktop app just by typing it's name in Windows 7, you still can in Windows 8.
Not one of your biggest fans, but I must admit that the Jakob N. quote just made me snort tea everywhere, thanks :)
"I think that for the £25 the upgrade cost it was worth it."
Where I live £50 is more the mark.
"I think the ribbon interface for explorer is fantastic, who hidden files and file extensions are now both right there on the ribbon rather than buried on the second tab of a screen opened from a menu."
Er, no. In Windows 7 or Server 2008 you can get to the dialogue where you can tick both checkboxes at once. With Windows 8 you have to navigate through the ribbon for each one.
The jury is out at the moment. I installed the free Pokki to get a more Windows 7 interface back, but after a reboot it came back with TIFKAM. Not impressed by that.
Well I started using Windows 8 and the biggest gripe I have for it is that the new interface has too many things hidden from the end user.
The start menu is gone and its replacement is hideous. A massive fail is with the new "hot corners", in that they are so hidden! There is nothing to indicate to the end user that there is a button there to touch besides a short easily forgotten intro screen.
Indeed the biggest no no in interface design is hiding features away from the user, and not having buttons or anything that explains what these corners do is awful.
Add in to that the fact that metro apps are practically impossible to close, the old cross in the corner has been replaced and the new close feature is well hidden.
Android and apple interfaces work so well because they are intuitive. You are given buttons to press for just about everything that are easy to find and well labelled, WIn 8 metro has everything hidden away on sidebars, corners and right clicks that makes it horrid to use.
As a desktop user, I find it annoying to continually jump between desktop and metro, If I were a touch screen user I would find it just as annoying to work the legacy style desktop with a touch screen.
Oh and add in to this that while IE can be set to use proxy server settings nothing else uses it (including the MS store), and basic admin settings that were easy to find on a desktop are now impossible to locate.
I am sure you can get used to Windows 8, but that is the same as getting used to constant pain and eventually developing a numbness to it. It is horrible and I can see nothing that would make me choose MS over Android or iOS for Touch.
" I can't group tiles for example, or zoom out to show more tiles at once"
Yes you can. You can zoom out by pressing CTRL - and CTRL + to zoom back in. Or if you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, press CTRL and use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out. When zoomed out you can also right click a group and name the groups.
With your calc example, it's no more long winded on Win 8 than in previous versions of Windows. Press Win button and type calc. Then if it's something you use a lot, you can right click on it and select pin to start.
"I don't get it, why do people dislike W8 so much!"
Because the GUI crap, that's why.
The Start Button really is a red herring.
Folks moaned (and are still moaning) about it and I did too at first.
Then I thought about it and realised that the number of times I actually used the Start Button to actually drill down through the levels of software I had installed was very little.
100% of the software I use everyday is added to the taskbar. The other applications I use quite often are shortcut icons on the desktop.
To me the Start button was just used for restarting and shutting down. It had pretty much become redundant.
I have asked many others this, to seriously think about how often with Windows 7 they actually drill down through the listings to find stuff. All of them pretty much went "hmmmm....ermmm....actually hardly at all!"
I think because it isn't a click away, and users shouldn't have to trawl google to find the way of downloading apps to fix the fact that MS think they are doing a good thing.
Java doesn't work in metro, it tells you on their website. Tells you to use the desktop, but you can't access half of what you want to do in metro, like auto detect drivers for your nvidia graphics card. Catch 22 situation. How do I get to control panel in desktop? Without downloading a third party start button before hand.
You need the metro to do basic tasks, like control panel. Which is impossible to find because of some newly created pants menu system that is bold and brash but isn't control panel, the real one is a long type away. So you ahve to save your shortcuts by pinning them everywhere and doing the same as control panel but littering basic functions across your desktop. You can't just go start - and do it. You now need to go start - and then metro and then type, adding time for basic functionality.
Full screen is god awful in metro.
Nothing is where it should be fair enough, but to quit out of the machine you used to start - shutdown. Now it is go right a bit, wait for the menu, click the cog, wait a bit, then click the power, wait a bit, then click the power off. Talk about time wasting.
Desktop isn't desktop and task bar isn't taskbar, if it was what is the slide up left and wait a bit then another menu appears just like android 4.1, showing you all currently open windows. Does a program ever actually close correctly?
The advanced options are dumbed down considerably. Not just in control panel but the so called partition manager, which stealthily hides the reserved partition where you are not told, thus making a mockery of where you want to install your OS. Granted most users won't care, but as a system admin I care.
3 internet versions of explorer, but they don't transcend favourites the two ways of accessing your data.
Navigation is a night mare as there is no real demo, does the icon mid way on the ghostly pop out menu mean take me to desktop or metro, I will try it, of it's metro, so I now click on the icon to get back to desktop. Why can't I just go back to desktop. So a three step instead of one step process.And what is the three spinning thing that looks like yingyang, is it homegroup, I am not sure?
Search should be a tool, not a requirement.
That was my first initial impressions.
A Ui is about getting things done, not about having to type everything in a search field when you should just be able to click.
Yes you can spend three years dicking round with tiles and squares to put them in a nice order, but if you like a clutter free desktop with folders of your documents then tough, the metro is useless because it just sticks them there in a nice long list, but they are still squares and awfully garish.
To me it is two OS Ui systems which shouldn't exist on the same thing. One for desktops and one for the surface. On a Pc with a mouse it is a lot of movement (I have a 24 inch monitor) for little reward.
Re: !!! - but it's only a click away
Apologies, what I meant by 'one click' away was that a free replacement start button/start menu is 'one click' away.
I would like to understand the more technical side that people are complaining about, other than the start button/start menu.
I agree MS should have given us the option but as with AVs pre W8, one had to download it. Now its a start menu replacement.
Re: Oh yeah?
Try this:http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/ instead of Pokki. I went from this to startisback - I find startisback better but its a trialware.
"Just hit the "Win" key, start typing "cal..." then ENTER. There. No need to invoke any search option, gestures and such."
Thing is you can do that in Windows 7 and it still does it better. Hit Windows button and the start menu comes up with the search in focus. Hit Windows button in Win 8 and it dumps you in start menu and you're expected to know without any visual clues that something happens. It's not intuitive, and the manner in which most people launch apps through an icon is a pain in the backside.
It's simply not better.
"Hit Windows button and the start menu comes up with the search in focus. Hit Windows button in Win 8 and it dumps you in start menu and you're expected to know without any visual clues that something happens."
Aha: now I understand. A colleague at work was trying out win8 on his laptop at home and was really confused.
As a penguin, I'm used to 'mod4 -> type stuff' from Unity and Gnome Shell, but in both of those UIs, I get visual feedback of what I'm typing.
Now, I have a valid MS Vista licence for this Thinkpad X200s laptop, and I have a hard drive image (including the thinkvantage recovery partition) which I can copy back to the hard drive using clonezilla. Would I be able to upgrade to Win8 just to try it out?
PS: we are on Win7 at work
Re: Oh yeah?
Agreed. I install this automatically from ninite.com along with the other apps I need for any customer not quite ready for the shock of windows 8
To the nay sayers I say, grow up! Stop bleeting on and learn to use it.
Yes. It is also quite obvious Microsoft feels this way. Sorry, no one nor any company with this type of 'customer' retrospective get's MY money. I expect you to kiss my behind not shove commandments at me.
Good bye Microsoft. It was bearable while it lasted.
Just hit the "Win" key,
I use an IBM model M keyboard, as do many others - where is this "Windows" key of which you speak ?
"How do I get to control panel in desktop? You need the metro to do basic tasks, like control panel."
If you need to access the Control Panel in the future, just right click in the very bottom left corner of the screen, then click 'Control Panel'.
How do you find Control Panel without Metro - right click where the start button used to be and select it. Or add the icon to the desktop.
You can close a Metro app by dragging it downwards.
The various finger gestures have consistent mouse equivalents, but it takes third party websites to summarise them properly. The information density of the MS documentation is worse than Metro apps!
One trend I've noticed with recent MS products, and I include Windows 7 and the Ribbon in this, is that it is less obvious what to do when just playing around, but if you know what you want to do it's easier to find it. I wonder if this is the reason Alastair finds Windows 8 better when doing 'real work'.
However on the retail side, and against tablets, it has to impress the customer when they play with it in store. (Unless you don't stock it in shops...hmmm)
I just bought a brand new sony vaio laptop with win8. There is an option in the bios to disable secure boot, so I don't see why secure boot is an issue. Win8 even boots with secure boot turned off.
I also dislike the full screen apps. But it's pretty easy to uninstall them, just right click and select uninstall. The win7 non full screen picture viewer, media viewer, etc are still there.
I can still use the metro ui the same way I used the start menu (hit win key, star typing application name, hit enter when it comes up). So it doesn't bother me much.
On the other hand win8 seems faster, better sleep support, so I'm not at all unhappy.
i just load start8 onto the pc Problem solved partly, i going to love how computer lessons are going to work now (i just advise them to tell them to install Start8 on there New laptops or desktops at home so they can do the computer lessons so when they get back home they can do something on windows8, i have yet to find out how to get access to documents with out having to go back to the desktop to get to the documents folder)
i have been having some issues with some windows 8 laptops where the system is hanging an bit (gets stuck on disk I/O)
The fastest way to launch calc on Windows 7 was to press the Start key on the keyboard, type calc and hit return.
The fastest way to launch calc on Windows 8 is to press the Start key on the keyboard, type calc and hit return.
And not only can you group tiles on the Start screen (and label the groups if you wish) but you can also zoom out to see all the tiles at once (so called Semantic Zoom).
It's by no means perfect, but it's not even nearly as awful as the Start Menu has been for years, indeed pretty much every revision to the Start Menu since the original Windows '95 incarnation has been a desperate attempt to try and hide most of the clutter that rapidly built up in it (whether it be through randomly hiding stuff, trying to persuade users to pin the useful bits or indeed ditching the cascading and relying entirely on search anyway)
"I use an IBM model M keyboard, as do many others - where is this "Windows" key of which you speak ?"
Try Ctrl+Escape. Or click in the bottom/left corner, like in Windows 7.
Good points.. I see much the same start menu vs screen issues. On my main PC, I have hundreds of applications, sorted by type in the menu. Without recalling the name, I can usually find what I'm looking for in seconds. The start screen doesn't allow nesting or grouping, which could deliver something similar. If you know the name, type it -- fine, back to MS-DOS days. But if you don't, you're playing "Where's Waldo", at least once you have a professional working set of apps. It's probably fine for the beginner or casual user, but I spent a few months as a beginner, decades as something more than that. No one needs a UI optimized for the beginner.
They didn't just not learn from the existing Windows desktop, they haven't learned from other very successful tablet UIs. Apple's Palm-like grid of icons doesn't deliver informational display like MS's tiles, but it was fairly efficient for finding apps, given the small tiles. Android improved upon this by making the program launcher a pop-up, and leaving a home screen for docking of often used apps, drawers full of often used apps for fast access, and informational displays with a great deal more flexibility than those of Windows. Apple added drawers of icons as well. These are things you need when you're using a tablet regularly -- the Asus Transformer I'm typing this on has over 200 apps installed.
How would I fix this. First, allow me to sort the tiles any way I like, and use at drawers of tiles, preferably nested. Allow zoom out, at least providing Android-like information density when fully zoomed. On the desktop, I'd make the Start Screen basically a screen saver -- it can automatically show up when I'm idle for awhile in the desktop, showing me useful informational tiles, etc. When I move the mouse or keyboard, the desktop pops right back. Launch from the Start Screen and the restored Start Menu would do exactly the same things. When that screen saver Start Menu is up, some hot key, screen gesture, or other thing would let me lock it in place, rather than banishing it.
That doesn't address the problem that a very, very few applications ever want to be fullscreen on a desktop PC. It's very inefficient for anything involving productivity, most of the time. The old WIndows method of optional full screen/windowed operation works properly. Most types of content creation involve interactions between dozens of applications, data sources, assets, etc. which need to be the same visual context, at least part of the time. Not needed when I'm watching a video, but creating a video? Sure... lots of things going on: graphic arts, audio mixing/recording, video editing, special effects in other applications, DVD or BD authoring, etc. This is broken if every app is fullscreen. Or even just consider the mentioned case of a calculator pop-up. I use a pop-up, not-fullscreen calculator app in Android, because this sort of thing is precisely needed as a add-on to other things. It never needs it own full screen.... why would I devote 1920x1200 (or whatever YOUR tablet rez is) to a simple calculator? Even back in the early days of single tasking UIs, Apple realized some applications were inherently needed alongside others, even in that year or so before real multitaking arrived in GUIs (AmigaOS).
Aero is abomination. Rounded corners? Fair enough, but the the transparency and horribly thick window chrome are awful. Microsoft actually improved the Windows 2000 interface over the years such that in XP, Vista and 7 it's pretty good and makes 2000 look old, despite the theme being overshadowed by Luna and Aero. And Tahoma beats Segoe UI as a UI font.
The only flaw in the Windows standard theme is that tooltips should be yellow, but that is easily fixed.
Just hit the "Win" key,
I use an IBM model M keyboard, as do many others - where is this "Windows" key of which you speak ?
...will be my next OS, as soon as I can borrow a retail copy off a mate. Until then it's XP :/
Windows 8 can get stuffed.
Re: Windows 7
I'm sure MS will be mortified that you're going to pirate Win7 rather than Win8.
Put an heirarchical start menu back in, relegate TIFKAM to an option for running Windows Store apps, and then after a little tweaking to remove stupid pinned items and put a proper quicklaunch bar back... it might be tolerable.
Until then, Windows 8 is about as painless to use as trying to find apps in Android by wandering through the huge flat-list-of-icons App Drawer.
Of course, putting the Win8 kernel improvements into Win7 as a service pack might be nice. It's not like I've only had the damned OS for a year and it's already outdated, or anything.
"Until then, Windows 8 is about as painless to use as trying to find apps in Android by wandering through the huge flat-list-of-icons App Drawer"
Actually it's worse! At least in recent versions of Android you can have the App Drawer automatically order itself alphabetically which makes apps easy to find if you can remember the name. TIFKAM has no such feature so the app you want could be anywhere in the multicolour mess of giant squares.
And yes, I have used W8. I took the plunge due to the £14.99 offer. I was happy enough to update another laptop and my media centre using the WMC hack.
Re: personal experience
What "hack" would that be? The one where Windows Media Center can be obtained for FREE from Microsoft until January?
That would be this one probably:
Re: personal experience
Re: personal experience
Will report back as soon as I am on my laptop. But here's something to look for: http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-has-slammed-the-door-on-the-windows-8-media-center-activation-flaw
Apparently another method exists.
As someone else pointed out, use one of the several free start menu apps and we don't even notice the 'metro' interface. I only go back to it because of the app store.
Have they ...
.. discovered focus follows mouse yet? Can you enter data into a program without bringing the window to the front?
Re: Have they ...
Of course not! You're not supposed to use a mouse you silly person. You're supposed to use a touch screen for everything.
Wonder if the EULA for Windows 8 includes a cop-out absolving Microsoft from responsibility for the neck and shoulder strains people will suffer when they spend all day reaching out to touch their screens. Or indeed for the responsibility for the eye strains caused by people spending all day looking at their monitor screens through the inevitable layer of awful, greasy, finger smears. Yuk !
Won't somebody think of the children who will grow up looking all lop sided like Quasimodo from using touch screen interfaces on laptops and desktops ?
Re: Have they ...
Mouse-follows-focus for Win7:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ActiveWndTrkTimeout=dword:25 (value in ms)
No idea if this works for Win 8 but I expect it would.