JorgeA

Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

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well let them force their crap

when their stock falls down

when they lose loyal customers and home users (aka desktop users), and those either stay on win xp or "7" or switch to Linux

maybe they'll come to some sense

for now there's no need for panic

both XP and "7" will endure alteast next 2 win versions, if not 3

Makes sense to me. I'll stay on Vista and 7 until they're no longer getting security patches, then I'll have to decide whether to "go naked" or switch to Linux. The most I would do, in extremis, would be to hold my nose and install 8 with all the UI fixes we have lying around to make it halfway tolerable. If Windows Blue doesn't become an automatic, obligatory "update" to 8, then this might put off the final decision for another 2-3 years.

But there is some hope that Microsoft can be made to come to its senses. See this, for example --

Microsoft flips Flash whitelist policy after Windows 8 fails to drive HTML5 adoption

Because the difference between Windows RT and x86 was never well-communicated, however, Flash compatibility became one more feature that “just worked” on x86 devices in Desktop mode, and didn’t necessarily work at all on Windows RT. The new policy fixes this, but it comes too late to change public perception of RT as a broken, hobbled form of Windows.
It’s good to see Microsoft fixing this rather confusing situation, but the change highlights just how poorly the company forecast user preferences and its own ability to affect change in the tablet market.
(emphasis added)

Gee, and I thought that their UX decisions were based on unquestionable, rock-solid telemetry data.

--JorgeA

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That was pretty funny. :D

I liked especially her reaction to the Mail app, around 1:47:

That's all really cute, but what about -- can I actually just write the f***ing e-mail?! Where do I do that??

:lol:

What she doesn't realize, of course, is that Metro is for those who only ever receive e-mails. The task of composing an e-mail is too advanced and serious for the new, cool, Modern interface. ;):angry:

--JorgeA

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Second, regardless of human interface, getting to where I needed to be took objectively longer due to the context changes, mechanical travel (either hand or mouse pointer), and number of clicks to arrive at the desired destination. Having the Charms Bar change context based on location is not something I am mentally prepared for as in my mind it's a floating omni-bar, not the equivalent of a right-click context menu. It looking native to the Metro interface and not Desktop does not help, either. Something else I did, even though I knew what was going to happen, was to move the cursor down to the lower left, clicking in vain for the start menu. It's part of me being used to it, but, I think more importantly, I'm doing this because the interface is not giving me enough clues as to where else to go.

Something missing from most tech reviews is this notion of being exploratory rather than goal oriented. When you're exploring, you're going to be more patient and have more mental resources dedicated to solving interface problems because you simply have nothing better to do. When there's a goal involved you will be much more conscious about how the interface is slowing you down and how you can't spare the mental capacity when you're trying to keep the goal in mind. The reviewers who do understand this distinction were universally negative. Perhaps the best reviews are the ones where test subjects are used with minor goals provided by the host. People will behave differently with even minor pressure to perform. I feel a bit stupid for saying this because I'm describing scientific UI testing, which should be a given, but...well...

Fantastic insights that really bear repeating. I could underline or boldface almost every word there. I love the distinction that you draw between exploratory vs. goal-oriented activity. Your experience fortifies the (deeper) impression that Win8 is for play (i.e., a toy) rather than serious work.

--JorgeA

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Microsoft abandon the desktop to the Windows Blue

"Clearly, this is a serious change and there are some risks, but the company ready to take that step. This is necessary not only to bring the interface to a single concept, but for ease of reading the OS end users" - said in a private conversation, a source directly involved in the development of new OS.

:realmad: :realmad: :realmad:

is this really a translation issue? Maybe it really refers to Windows Azure?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azure_Services_Platform

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is this really a translation issue? Maybe it really refers to Windows Azure?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azure_Services_Platform

It could be (I hope so). Machine translation is literal and unreliable, and then there is the bit about azure, which as we know is a kind of blue. Plus, I haven't seen anything to confirm or deny this report elsewhere in the (English-language) press.

Maybe a Russian speaker could go to the original website and give us a human take on what it says.

--JorgeA

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PCWorld offers a good rundown of reasons NOT to move to cloud computing.

Here's one we hadn't mentioned (that I can remember):

Anyone who uses a Web-based document editor knows that overall performance can sometimes be incredibly slow. Paste text into a Google Drive spreadsheet cell and you may wait a second or two for it to appear. Complaining about a one-second delay may sound petty, but these seconds add up, particularly if you're accustomed to seeing changes instantaneously on screen.

The bigger issue, though, is the need for a fast Internet connection.

"In theory, the idea of Web-based software is very appealing," says Angela Nino, training director at Versitas, which offers courses for using Office software. "In practice, there are many problems that can arise when using them on a daily basis. A couple of years ago, I tried using Google Docs. I ran into a problem on day two: a slow Internet connection at a location where I was doing training for the day. I had used Google Docs to create a training handout, and just needed a couple of extra copies. I ended up having to wait until our break to be able to print the extra handouts because it took so long to access Google Docs through their wireless Internet connection."

--JorgeA

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I'll stay on Vista and 7 until they're no longer getting security patches, then I'll have to decide whether to "go naked" or switch to Linux.

You'll get a nice preview of this starting next year when XP falls out of support. Prediction: it won't be nearly as bad as some people think. The good news is you won't need to make such a decision. If things are so bad that people feel their only option is to stick with an unsupported Windows 7, by 2020 someone else will have captured Microsoft's market. Windows would still be around but it would be run in VMs like how older versions are today. Security concerns will be almost irrelevant as professionals will know not to web browse from inside the VM--just to run that one or two applications that the VM is for.

The most I would do, in extremis, would be to hold my nose and install 8 with all the UI fixes we have lying around to make it halfway tolerable.

I might have to do this anyway just to deal with the support requests that come my way.

If Windows Blue doesn't become an automatic, obligatory "update" to 8, then this might put off the final decision for another 2-3 years.

Hopefully all the 8-tweaks still work and/or Blue is an objective improvement and not yet another interface that's different for the sake of being different. I don't know if I have it in me to master at least 4 sets of interfaces across two operating systems released over a period of about 9 months. Microsoft is making it very difficult on its grassroots tech support that they've depended on since the DOS era.

That was pretty funny. :D

I liked especially her reaction to the Mail app, around 1:47:

That's all really cute, but what about -- can I actually just write the f***ing e-mail?! Where do I do that??

My moments:

  • 0:47, she talks about the silver potatoes representing the Desktop.
  • 0:55, "Budapest?!"
  • 1:00, mail fail. Really the whole section, but particularly, "It's just this big, vast sheet of white."
  • 2:19, oh my god I exited a program!
  • 3:07, when she finds the dog photo. To me, the multiple transitions are so jarring that I have no idea what happened. Meanwhile she's quite excited at her success and was stoic during the transition process.

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The problem with services like Google Docs is it doesn't matter how "fast" your internet connection is when "fast" almost always means throughput. We need a revolution in latency improvement to resolve the issues, and, at a macro level, seeking and expecting improvements of this type isn't logical. It's almost like expending resources on rock climbing gear as a method of travel when there already exists a road through or around the mountain. No matter how efficient you make the rock climbing, it's not going to beat driving through or around the mountain in a car. In the case of latency, we're dealing with the speed of light (electrons) and it's simply a shorter trip to the local CPU and RAM than it is to Google's datacenter(s). Furthermore, the work involving CPU and memory still must be done and at both sides, so even if end-to-end travel time was instantaneous, it's still effectively double the workload. This will not change. Ever. The "cloud 100% everywhere" advocates are banking on technology improvements that reduce latency to below the threshold of being noticeable, but the paradigm will never be more efficient from an interactivity point of view.

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By sheer coincidence, I just came across an article that mirrors just what @HalloweenDocument12 said about "exploratory" vs. "goal-oriented" PC use:

Something like the Ubuntu Launcher and its semi-interactive dash sound like an okay concept for people who want to explore, do things a little differently, do not mind one or two wasted seconds, and finally, work with various form factors and user interfaces. The same applies to the HUD. Short Alt, long Alt, different functions, really?

Now, imagine you're older. Wasting time is not your primary activity. On the contrary, you want to be as efficient as possible, because you fully understand the concept of time and how it gets ever faster with age. For someone in the more advanced decades of their life, the notion of having to use the Gnome 3 Activities to get to shortcuts means losing precious moments of their life on a superfluous exercise. P.S. That does not mean if you're younger you are going to like any of those, it's just the likelihood of you disliking changes for the sake of changes gets higher with age.

Never mind the title of the article, the concept really applies to anybody of practical mindset, or who doesn't have an excess of idle time to kill.

I don't mind spending some time exploring alternative ways of doing things, but if I discover that a certain new way of doing things is harder and/or takes more time, then I lose interest in it. And then if vendors try to channel my choices toward buying into this new, impractical way, then I come to dislike the new way intensely. Hence my opinion of Windows 8...

--JorgeA

P.S. Shades of Metro: The Gnome 3 article linked to in the original text from the quote above has a lot that will sound awfully (and disgustingly) familiar to anybody who's been reading our thread:

Now, it's final and official, the Power off button is back, because some people actually want to be able to shut their boxes off.
...
Now we come to the most important factor - the actual usability. Unfortunately, not only have things remained as they are, they actually got worse. More and more functionality is taken away or hidden or neutered, leaving you with a bubble wrapping of cotton candy for the mentally challenged. For example, and the list is long:

The browser - you have no idea what you're using. It looks like Chrome, but maybe it is, maybe it isn't. All of the stuff is hidden under that little cogwheel. And you are not quite sure how to minimize, resize or close the browser. Indeed, the minimize and maximize buttons are still unavailable. You also get no prompt on downloads. Flash is not included, either, in this demo.

...
The file manager - Nautilus - You've all heard how Ubuntu and Mint will no longer be using Nautilus, because the Gnome people have yanked out some important bits, including the Compact View, up/down navigation and more. The file menu is also gone. In fact, everything indicates Gnome 3.6 is gearing for touch devices, which is okay, but then, it does not belong on desktops, which happens to be its target medium. So from the fail perspective, this is even worse than Windows 8 Metro, because Windows still lets you have shortcuts, icons, documents on your desktop, and so forth....

Documents - Oh, this is the worst one. You get an empty, blank slate that just looks sad. Not a folder, but some sort of a pseudo-placeholder where your online accounts should be sorted. Why online? What's wrong with local stuff? Are we into hypes, again? Just look at that vast gray emptiness.

...
On top of all that, you get no way of knowing how many open programs you have, where they are, how to access them easily. The top panel is blank, the desktop is blank, there's nothing at the bottom of the screen, the Activities menu is just boring and slow. Two or three actions for every one you do in Gnome 2. Hell, Unity is super-elegant compared to this.
...
I know this is hard to understand, but let me paraphrase:

NOT EVERYTHING IS A SMARTPHONE OR TABLET!

Get it? Not everything. Relax with your hypes. Take off your freedom moccasins and step back. People using desktop operating systems actually need the file menu and bookmarks and such crap, as it happens to be part of the ambiance, part of the modus operandi, part of common sense and logic...

When I think of Gnome 3 as a touch interface, all of the stupid things start to make sense. For example, not seeing the shortcuts until you hit a special button. So logical for a pocket-sized device with a touch-anywhere screen. And when I look at the programs that won't minimize or close, again all very well for smartphones. The entire flow might actually work there, and Gnome 3 is not too ugly, but the single-app, single-windows mentality is just wrong on anything with a real keyboard and mouse. So bloody very wrong.

Edited by JorgeA
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... but the single-app, single-windows mentality is just wrong on anything with a real keyboard and mouse. So bloody very wrong.

Amen. :yes:

... which reminds me of (@HalloweenDocument12), OT but not much:

page__view__findpost__p__933421

@JorgeA, with reference to this:

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/150560-microsoft-flips-flash-whitelist-policy-after-windows-8-fails-to-drive-html5-adoption

let me add as a not-so-trivial note that in a perfect world the Author would have been already secluded from society in a mental asylum.

Let me see, he tested using a Seagate Goflex to stream wirelessly HDTV over his home network:

This isn’t a meaningless change. When I tested a Seagate GoFlex drive back in January, I wanted to evaluate the unit’s multimedia streaming capabilities. I had no problem streaming HDTV from the GoFlex to my iPhone across my home WiFi connection, but my attempts to watch the same content on a Windows RT tablet ran into problems.

I.e. instead of viewing HDTV on his 46" FULL HD TV, he clogged his WiFi in order to see a high resolution stream (i.e. most probably a 1920×1080) on (respectively) a tiny 4" inch display capable of 1136x640 and on a lousy 1366x768 10.6" one.

Besides the failure of Windows RT at using Flash, it is the actual idea that makes NO sense whatsoever. :realmad:

For NO apparent reason:

ocfz7gfzvm.jpg

jaclaz

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Interesting piece of spin there.

You will notice he says -

a habit... it's like smoking[/b

The clear implication that using Google search is a bad habit.

Tut Tut MrWeicz ....

That's really funny because that's exactly the same lingo Linux zealots always said about Windows (usually when all their previous conversion efforts failed): "Windows is just like an addiction, you can't change that". That MS is using the same terminology is really telling. "Nu Microsoft" are freetards redux. Microtard fanbois even refer to Microsoft's own products that way. Lest we forget that über-fanboi on Paul Thurrot's site comparing the Windows Desktop to alcohol and demanding that MS should wean off those alcoholics to metro by force.

Edited by Formfiller
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Flopface continues flopping:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-14/microsoft-s-surface-tablet-is-said-to-fall-short-of-predictions.html

Microsoft has sold little more than a million of the Surface RT version and about 400,000 Surface Pros since their debuts, according to three people, who asked not to be named because sales haven’t yet been made public. The company had ordered about 3 million Surface RTs, they said. Brent Thill, an analyst at UBS AG, had initially projected that Microsoft would sell 2 million Surface RT devices in the December quarter alone.
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Flopface continues flopping:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-14/microsoft-s-surface-tablet-is-said-to-fall-short-of-predictions.html

Microsoft has sold little more than a million of the Surface RT version and about 400,000 Surface Pros since their debuts, according to three people, who asked not to be named because sales haven’t yet been made public. The company had ordered about 3 million Surface RTs, they said. Brent Thill, an analyst at UBS AG, had initially projected that Microsoft would sell 2 million Surface RT devices in the December quarter alone.

How embarrassing, thanks for bringing it up. For the philosophically inclined, the question then arises:

If a Surface RT flips closed and no one is around to hear it, does it make a clunking sound? ;)

A couple of articles related to the RT fiasco:

IDC thinks Microsoft should forget about Windows RT, focus on Windows 8 instead

"Microsoft's decision to push two different tablet operating systems, Windows 8 and Windows RT, has yielded poor results in the market so far. Consumers aren't buying Windows RT's value proposition, and long term we think Microsoft and its partners would be better served by focusing their attention on improving Windows 8. Such a focus could drive better share growth in the tablet category down the road," said Tom Mainelli, Research Director for tablets at IDC.

IDC projects that the Windows 8 share in the tablet market will skyrocket all the way up to "nearly 7.4%" by 2017, :o while RT will remain below 3%. Not a bad "return on investment" for wrecking Windows. :angry:

Is Windows RT confusing consumers? Maybe it’s all in the name (opinion)

Maybe, it’s all in the name. Consumers have come to expect a certain level of functionality from an operating system with the name “Windows” in it. And as I have written in a previous article, it could simply be a matter of marketing. Unlike Apple or Android that clearly distinguish their tablet OS’s from their desktop or laptop OS’s, Microsoft took a different approach.

"There's a reason why Apple scaled iOS from the phone to the tablet, why Google scaled Android from the phone to the tablet," Mainelli said, addressing Microsoft’s approach. "That makes a lot of sense, there are synergies there."

That's right -- Apple and Google adapted phone OS's to work on tablet devices, unlike Microsoft they did not try to make a desktop OS's fit on the tablet.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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More from IDC:

Four months in, Windows 8 needs help

There were certain decisions that Microsoft made that were in retrospect flawed. Notably not allowing people to boot into desktop mode and taking away the start button. Those two things have come up consistently. We've done some research and people miss that.

And there are a lot of people that as soon as they boot into Windows 8, they go to desktop mode and do most their work there and occasionally back to Metro. But the point being they're much more comfortable with desktop mode.

But Windows 8 PC sales are "horribly stalled," as O'Donnell put it. So maybe Microsoft should rethink the design, as IDC -- whose business it is to get input from PC makers -- thinks the company may be doing.

"It's possible [Microsoft] is making changes to the OS [to allow a boot to desktop mode]. There's a lot of debate about it. Certainly if you talk to PC vendors, they'd like to see Microsoft do that. Because they recognize some of the challenges that consumers are facing."

No doubt the PC vendors have a better read on actual consumer preferences than do the telemetry nerds in Redmond. As to whether Microsoft is fixing Windows 8 or ever will -- we shall see.

--JorgeA

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There were certain decisions that Microsoft made that were in retrospect flawed.

I strongly disagree. :realmad:

That seems to imply that the result was unexpected or unforeseeable.

The correct sentence is:

There were certain decisions that Microsoft made that were in retrospect [evidently] flawed [and since the very beginning MS knew that but insisted on illogically going on that foolish path].

And the article:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57573370-75/four-months-in-windows-8-needs-help/

is still not-so-slightly offensive:

And that's the point. I'm guessing a lot of consumers don't get (understand) Metro.

as it seems to put the blame on the consumers not being able to understand the interface (i.e. they are retarded :w00t: ), while the point is that there is nothing to understand, a 5 years old kid can understand the UI, because it was designed for 5 years old kids, and grown-ups do understand it alright, they simply do not like it and find it an obstacle to a productive use of the PC.

jaclaz

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