JorgeA

Windows 8 First Impressions

109 posts in this topic

Some of the programs that I use are programs that do not get "installed" in Windows. They don't appear in the Start Menu/All Programs or have icons anywhere on the taskbar. Instead, they sit quietly in their directories until I navigate to them and double-click on the .exe file.

http://www.pegtop.de/start/

http://sourceforge.net/projects/asuite/

http://www.aignes.com/psmenu.htm

http://www.ugmfree.it/SyMenu.aspx

http://blaze-wins.sourceforge.net/index.php

http://colibri.leetspeak.org/

....

:whistle:

jaclaz

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I'd be curious to know why developers would abandon MS. Is it because of the constantly changing programming environments and lack of consistent support that you describe?

Several factors:

-if MS commits suicide by moving to a horrible Metro-only environment, then I'd rather abandon ship sooner than later

-why would we waste time developing for a platform that we're all going to abandon? Especially when your software only runs on that one OS no one wants of anymore

-why would we waste time developing Win32 software when MS is pushing it aside, while pushing heavily for users to use sandboxed dinky phone-like Metro apps instead? And even ARM devices now (which won't run your apps either)

-why would we want to stick with Windows when it's crippling its desktop, pushing aside the software that makes it king (including yours), etc.

-MS is forcing on us many technologies we don't really care for, while not supporting the existing stuff well enough (again, WAY too much stuff to list). I'd call this a tragic mistake, much like Metro. If developing for your platform sucks, we will go elsewhere. This is critical. It's the reason many platforms died (OS/2) or that some aren't growing (Linux), while others are seeing tremendous growth (OS X, iOS, Android).

etc.

I'm just not sure what I'll be using next. There's lots of options (C++, Objective C, Java, etc) but none that's particularly great.

What will become of programs that do not get installed?

Same as now I guess. Not in any menu to be found, browse to it manually with explorer and double click on it.

And doesn't this mean that every developer wishing to write Windows applications will have to start jumping through whatever bureaucratic hoops MS sets up in order for the public to use their programs?

There should be several ways to install software, much like before, and with the online store too -- not that I have any faith in it. Having seen how it works with the Zune (I couldn't even manage to download a free app, even after registering, a real WTF), how they tied in their online services with WMP and so on. Online stuff never seemed to be MS' strong point and I don't think this will be any different.

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Some of the programs that I use are programs that do not get "installed" in Windows. They don't appear in the Start Menu/All Programs or have icons anywhere on the taskbar. Instead, they sit quietly in their directories until I navigate to them and double-click on the .exe file.

http://www.pegtop.de/start/

http://sourceforge.net/projects/asuite/

http://www.aignes.com/psmenu.htm

http://www.ugmfree.it/SyMenu.aspx

http://blaze-wins.sourceforge.net/index.php

http://colibri.leetspeak.org/

....

:whistle:

jaclaz

jaclaz (and @CoffeeFiend),

Thanks for the links, but I am not sure that I got my question across clearly.

It's nice to know that these application launchers exist, but all of them (except for aSuite) involved installing the launcher program. The question is: If and when the Desktop is completely eliminated, then how are we going to be able to open and use programs that DON'T have an installation procedure?

Case in point is aSuite. It was the only one that, when I clicked on it, simply opened ready to go without needing any further processing (installation). From the Metro screen, I could type the program name and click on the .exe file. But nothing seemed to happen -- I was switched to the Desktop and nothing looked different. Eventually I found aSuite as a hidden icon in the notification area, and was able to launch it. But, because it's not an "installed" program, it does not appear at all in the Metro listing (no tile, no item under "Apps"). So, if (when) there is no longer a Desktop, as Microsoft seems to be aiming for, then how is a program like this going to survive? The poor guy who wrote the program is going to have to start complying with whatever requirements Microsoft makes, in order to gain the permission necessary to get listed in their "app store."

* * *

More notes on the Windows 8 experience:

To get a taste of working without the Desktop, I carried out the entire program lookup+download process via the Metro IE10. It was befuddling. Clicking on your links, I was taken to the correct page, but there was no indication whether this was a new tab or a separate instance of IE. Therefore, when the download was finished and I wanted to return to the MSFN page to click on the next link, clicking on the "back" arrow in IE took me only as far as the linked page (sometimes it was necessary to click through a couple of additional pages to get to the actual download page) -- but not to the MSFN page where I'd started from. It took a right-click to discover that ALL of the Web pages I'd been on were still open, listed, or whatever.

In the Desktop IE10, as in previous IE versions, you know exactly where you stand and what you need to do to get back to where you had been (the Back arrow? a different IE window?), but in Metro IE10 everything is blended together and you have to look through a bunch of icons that can look very much alike. :angry:

Moreover, when downloading, there is NO indication of where the file is being downloaded to, let alone a choice as to where you prefer to download it. :realmad: If they ever do get rid of the Desktop, this is going to be a nightmare.

* * *

Finally, with respect to a "not-installed" program like aSuite that doesn't show up on the app list, typing "aSuite" on the Metro screen leads to a listing of 106 associated files :wacko: that you then have to pick through to find the .exe file. And if the program should happen to include more than one .exe, you may have to grope your way around till you hit on the right (main) one.

In the Desktop, once you find that correct .exe file in Explorer, you can easily place a shortcut on the Desktop. Remember, we're talking about programs that do not go through an "installation" process. Is there a way to create a tile in Metro for a program that hasn't been installed? I haven't found one.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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I'd be curious to know why developers would abandon MS. Is it because of the constantly changing programming environments and lack of consistent support that you describe?

Several factors:

-if MS commits suicide by moving to a horrible Metro-only environment, then I'd rather abandon ship sooner than later

-why would we waste time developing for a platform that we're all going to abandon? Especially when your software only runs on that one OS no one wants of anymore

-why would we waste time developing Win32 software when MS is pushing it aside, while pushing heavily for users to use sandboxed dinky phone-like Metro apps instead? And even ARM devices now (which won't run your apps either)

-why would we want to stick with Windows when it's crippling its desktop, pushing aside the software that makes it king (including yours), etc.

-MS is forcing on us many technologies we don't really care for, while not supporting the existing stuff well enough (again, WAY too much stuff to list). I'd call this a tragic mistake, much like Metro. If developing for your platform sucks, we will go elsewhere. This is critical. It's the reason many platforms died (OS/2) or that some aren't growing (Linux), while others are seeing tremendous growth (OS X, iOS, Android).

etc.

I'm just not sure what I'll be using next. There's lots of options (C++, Objective C, Java, etc) but none that's particularly great.

CoffeeFiend,

Thanks very much for explaining. I understand better now.

See my reply to jaclaz for the other issues we're talking about.

Just one other thing -- from what you said, I take it that developing programs for Linux sucks isn't exactly peaches and cream?

--JorgeA

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If and when the Desktop is completely eliminated

I don't see it being completely eliminated anytime soon.

from what you said, I take it that developing programs for Linux sucks isn't exactly peaches and cream?

That's not quite what I meant, but I'm not saying that I'm saying it's not the case either. Its main problem is being fundamentally incompatible with commercial software which does suck for developers. Then again, I couldn't really care less right now if my stuff works on Linux as it basically runs nothing I need or want anyway, and I don't foresee that changing anytime soon either. Without enough quality software, nobody moves to your platform/OS, you have a hard time to keep existing users, and without users nobody develops for it. Now remove the possibility to make money from it (for the most part -- yes, there are a few exceptions but those are few and far between)...

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If and when the Desktop is completely eliminated

I don't see it being completely eliminated anytime soon.

CoffeeFiend,

From your lips to Sinofsky's ears!

I've done so much reading (and podcast listening) on Windows 8 in the last few weeks, from both official and unofficial sources, that I can't point to particular places where I've come across it, but the idea is definitely out there that the intention is for the Desktop to be eliminated altogether within one or two further generations of Windows.

Of course, when the final release comes the reception given to Metro in Win8 could be so poor as to leave Microsoft with nothing better than to stop alienating its customers, and to refocus on improving the capabilities of its OS's in a desktop setting. Hmm, maybe a Windows 8 SP1 that allows the user to obliterate Metro... or at least to never have to see it again.

--JorgeA

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the intention is for the Desktop to be eliminated altogether within one or two further generations of Windows

..but the end result being Windows eliminated within one or two further generations ;)

But yeah. That's why I haven't bought a Mac just yet: it seems like Win8 will be the biggest flop ever (as if they need more bad publicity right after Vista). So I'm hoping the shareholders will fire them (Ballmer & Sinofski) and have someone sane make Windows into a product customers actually want again, before it's too late. One can only hope! But if Win9 heads in the same direction (Win8 won't sell? Fine, let's make something even worse!) then it's truly over. That leaves us 3 painful years or so of not knowing what will happen. We'll spend them planning how to get rid of Windows, just in case they leave us no other choice (virtualizing legacy apps with vSphere and Citrix, etc).

But even if they end up making things right again with Win9, they're currently sending us a strong message that Windows may eventually die (quicker than we expect), and that writing cross-platform code is a good idea, just in case. And of course this isn't good for MS (users not needing Windows anymore to run the software they need). That's also one more reason NOT to develop for Metro (as if we needed another) which is locked in to Win8 only and might even be short lived. Right now I'm leaning towards using modern C++11 and Qt4 (Boost might also come in handy) for my next apps.

Meanwhile, we're good for as long as we can buy Win7 PCs with downgrade rights and have drivers for it. That's long enough to see how Win9 will turn out and to plan a migration if needed.

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somehow i doubt next "windows" after win8, will named win9.

afterall such name will raise conflict with MS previous products win9x.

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I'm just not sure what I'll be using next. There's lots of options (C++, Objective C, Java, etc) but none that's particularly great.

stay at .net and compile against Mono.

btw here is the complete link to the interview I quoted earlier:

http://gizmodo.com/5882797

This designer is disrespectful and doesn't accept other opinions, only his. this is a pure id***.

I can't wait to see the get the Ubuntu 12.04 final.

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stay at .net and compile against Mono.

I did consider it. I'm just not sure I can expect Mono to still be around in a decade (or not to lag behind too much), whereas C++ will probably still be widely used on most platforms by the time we'll all be retired. It can also be quite portable. But yeah, I very much prefer C#.

btw here is the complete link to the interview I quoted earlier:

http://gizmodo.com/5882797

This designer is disrespectful and doesn't accept other opinions, only his. this is a pure id***.

Well, he sure seems to be detached from reality. I'll read the whole thing later tonight.

I can't wait to see the get the Ubuntu 12.04 final.

I really don't get why people even care for Linux (I basically couldn't really get any work done with it so it's useless to me), but if it works for you then why not :)

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It's nice to know that these application launchers exist, but all of them (except for aSuite) involved installing the launcher program. The question is: If and when the Desktop is completely eliminated, then how are we going to be able to open and use programs that DON'T have an installation procedure?

I am not sure to undersatand this as well. :unsure:

You install a launcher (the one you like it best), then you connect it to one of the stupid Windows 8 "buttons" or whatever they are called, and you have the equivalent of a "Start menu".

jaclaz

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somehow i doubt next "windows" after win8, will named win9.

afterall such name will raise conflict with MS previous products win9x.

Joseph,

Good point -- you may be the first person in the world to think of this issue!

Maybe they figure that, by then, too few people will even remember Win9x. Or, since there won't be any actual windows, maybe the next Microsoft OS will be called "Tiles." Then subsequent editions could be called Linoleum, Porcelain, and so on. ;)

--JorgeA

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btw here is the complete link to the interview I quoted earlier:

http://gizmodo.com/5882797

This designer is disrespectful and doesn't accept other opinions, only his. this is a pure id***.

I can't wait to see the get the Ubuntu 12.04 final.

Andre,

Thanks for the link to the interview, like CoffeeFiend I'll take a look at it later.

Meanwhile, see this quote from Steve Jobs (RIP): "...they don’t want a car with six wheels. They like the car with four wheels. They don’t want to drive with a joystick. They like the steering wheel."

Check out the paragraphs above and below that one, too. Insightful.

Regarding Ubuntu -- doesn't it have a similar problem as Windows 8, in that things get done via big touch-oriented buttons?

--JorgeA

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It's nice to know that these application launchers exist, but all of them (except for aSuite) involved installing the launcher program. The question is: If and when the Desktop is completely eliminated, then how are we going to be able to open and use programs that DON'T have an installation procedure?

I am not sure to undersatand this as well. :unsure:

You install a launcher (the one you like it best), then you connect it to one of the stupid Windows 8 "buttons" or whatever they are called, and you have the equivalent of a "Start menu".

jaclaz

jaclaz,

OK, that might work. One could place the launcher's Metro tile on the first screenful, to minimize the amount of scrolling. I'll have to test all of the launchers you linked, to see if there is one that will list programs that are not installed -- at least a couple of them seemed to suggest that they look for "installed" programs to populate their list.

One other note: The Metro Apps list seems to provide listings only for programs that are on the OS drive. I am using a "not installed" program that resides on the original (Windows 7) partition, and Metro doesn't know anything about it, even though it's currently running on the Win8 desktop!

--JorgeA

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