JorgeA

Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

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Speaking of games, I just coded a new one :w00t:, inspired by MS OS releases :ph34r:.

(See attached Excel worksheet) :)

jaclaz,

Cute!

I "like" how the game is rigged. The object is to avoid going on red squares, but "you" (MS) play Green and I play Red; and then my pieces (starting on red squares) can actually only move one square diagonally, which means that they will always stay on red squares!

Loved that "difference" between the short-sighted bishop and the limping knight. :yes:

--JorgeA

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a huge in depth article on Windows 8 at Ars Technica

Nice article.

My take on the same points:

-Metro: full-screen garbage, a *gigantic* step backwards in every way

-Start screen: another huge step backwards

-New explorer: ribbons add very little, but the new file copy dialogs are nice (and perhaps its best new feature)

-Task manager: heat maps are nice but process explorer still offers much more (much like ISO mounting vs Daemon Tools)

-Multimonitor: some minor improvements but it's crippled by really screwing up basic stuff like hot corners and fullscreen-everything

-Hot corners and charms: suck on VMs, suck on multimonitor setups, unintuitive on desktops, poor discoverability, high learning curve

You can see there are MANY improvements that are great for us techies

Honestly, I'm not quite sure what you're referring to here besides the few obvious things.

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Cute!

The good (but also sad) thing is that - completely missing any kind of fantasy :w00t: - I did not invent anything, I simply faked the game basing myself on my actual experience in managing - all these years - to stay clear from crappy MS OS versions (yes, it means that I have been wise :), but it also means that I am around since toooo much time :ph34r:)

jaclaz

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You can see there are MANY improvements that are great for us techies

Honestly, I'm not quite sure what you're referring to here besides the few obvious things.

The Copy-To and Move-To are good. Also the CMD/PowerShell from anywhere also. These were always reg-hacks since forever ago, but now built in.

Show hidden files/extension on the ribbon (notice it was a lot harder to get to Folder Options in Vista/7)

Pause/resume on file copy

File replace for media files now has a preview thumbnail instead of the file type icon.

Task Manager including grouping processes by user.

Analyze Wait Chain.

Taskbar properties for multimonitor.

Multimonitor that allows for stacking, tiling.

Those are basically covered on pages 2 and 3 of the Ars link.

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You can see there are MANY improvements that are great for us techies

Honestly, I'm not quite sure what you're referring to here besides the few obvious things.

The Copy-To and Move-To are good. Also the CMD/PowerShell from anywhere also. These were always reg-hacks since forever ago, but now built in.

Show hidden files/extension on the ribbon (notice it was a lot harder to get to Folder Options in Vista/7)

Pause/resume on file copy

File replace for media files now has a preview thumbnail instead of the file type icon.

Task Manager including grouping processes by user.

Analyze Wait Chain.

Taskbar properties for multimonitor.

Multimonitor that allows for stacking, tiling.

Those are basically covered on pages 2 and 3 of the Ars link.

Yes, these are good points, and if they released all that as a Windows 7 Service Pack, I'd say that would have been a nice addition.

But is this the best a completely new OS has to offer? Subtract from that all that is wrong with it, and you'd still end up far in the negative.

The gist of the article is far from praising Windows 8, every bit that could be good, is almost countered every time by something that is broken, not intuitive or simply harder than it was in Windows 7.

Here's my response.

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There's a discussion of Windows 8 over in the AVS Forum. One poster made the following excellent point:

One absolutely annoying 'feature' of Win 8 is that everytime I'm using Internet Explorer (Or any program actually) and need to do anything on the right side of the screen, like use the scroll bar, the Win 8 sidebar pops out!

He means the lovely Charms. Surprising that more reviewers haven't picked up on this, especially the ones who claim to have been working in Win8 exclusively. It's happened to me, too -- also, when in the Desktop, with the Metro app switcher on the top left. And if I want to get the mouse out of the way of something and am unlucky enough to leave it at the bottom right corner when in Desktop mode, then not only do I get the Charms, but my open windows disappear and I'm shown the desktop. That's never been one of my favorite Windows 7 behaviors, but Win8 doubles down on it. :realmad:

Who was the genius who came up with a system where the user needs to learn to AVOID doing certain things in the course of normal interaction with the screen?? A properly designed OS UI should carry out user-initiated actions ONLY when the user performs a deliberate act for the specific purpose of making it happen (i.e., by clicking), not as an accidental result of doing something else (like moving the mouse around or dragging the scroll bar).

That first observation above led to the following comment:

Interface elements that pop out just by mousing over them are a singularly bad idea, and that's been well known for over 30 years (How many OSes copied GEM's dropdown menus?). Making them an essential, primary part of operating the thing is insane, and making them completely hidden is taking craziness to a new level.

--JorgeA

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Here's my response.

belgianguy,

That is a fantastic commentary! :thumbup

My favorite part is this:

It's my expectation that Sinofsky will have to descend from his ivory tower and accept that his product is flawed and make amends by listening to the disgruntled users. That or risk damaging the Windows brand in a way that Microsoft hasn't ever experienced before. Vista wasn't bad, it was released on hardware that could not bring forward its qualities and that doomed its adoption and gave it a bad reputation. On a capable machine, Vista did fine. Win8 is something completely different, as in this case it is the product itself that is inherently flawed. No future amends in hardware will alleviate this burden.

I agree with every single word you wrote there. (I'm on Vista!)

--JorgeA

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Analyze Wait Chain.

?

this is a Vista feature.

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The Copy-To and Move-To are good.

Pause/resume on file copy

File replace for media files now has a preview thumbnail instead of the file type icon.

I considered those as the "new file copy dialogs". So I meant stuff besides that. IMO that's the best feature of Win8 and almost the only one I'd ever use.

Also the CMD/PowerShell from anywhere also. These were always reg-hacks since forever ago, but now built in.

That barely qualifies as a feature really... It's only worthwhile for power users which already know about the reg tweaks.

Show hidden files/extension on the ribbon (notice it was a lot harder to get to Folder Options in Vista/7)

Yes, but that's the kind of thing you only change once (if ever). Again, that's hardly what I'd call a feature (every version of Windows moves some settings around anyway).

Task Manager including grouping processes by user.

Which is very much inferior to process explorer's process tree IMO. Still better than what was there before.

Analyze Wait Chain.

As MagicAndre1981 said, that was in Vista and it's still in Win7.

Taskbar properties for multimonitor.

Multimonitor that allows for stacking, tiling.

Yes, the basic multimonitor changes I had already covered... But they're very much negated by all the other and far more important issues it created. If anything, multimonitor works worse overall than it did on Win7 without 3rd party utils, and it very badly loses to Win7 with some 3rd party utils. I can't say I care much for it.

TL;DR: nothing really.

He means the lovely Charms. Surprising that more reviewers haven't picked up on this, especially the ones who claim to have been working in Win8 exclusively. It's happened to me, too -- also, when in the Desktop, with the Metro app switcher on the top left. And if I want to get the mouse out of the way of something and am unlucky enough to leave it at the bottom right corner when in Desktop mode, then not only do I get the Charms, but my open windows disappear and I'm shown the desktop. That's never been one of my favorite Windows 7 behaviors, but Win8 doubles down on it. :realmad:

I fully agree about the whole thing, including Win7's annoying and very much useless corner button.

And yes, belgianguy's reply is a good read too.

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Jesus. If all this is where Windows is heading to, maybe it's time to start learning linux. Bleh!!

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Windows 8 usage has skyrocketed from 0.11 percent to 0.13 percent, according to a new report passed along by Neowin.net.

The conclusion is a bit of a hoot:

it illustrates how a new segment can rapidly develop and become a true moving force in any market

Note that the percentages are for the various Windows flavors only. IIRC, the previously seen 0.11% share counted all desktop OS's and not just those from Microsoft. If we factor in the assortment of Linux distros and Mac OS's that are out there traveling the 'Net, Win8's percentage may be hardly any greater today than it was last month.

One could argue that this reflects people who tried it and then stopped using it. Although that alone should tell us something, remember that the two articles in question are trying to cast Win8 usage as growing, which would appear not to be the case.

Jesus. If all this is where Windows is heading to, maybe it's time to start learning linux. Bleh!!

My thoughts exactly!

--JorgeA

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Well OK Resource Monitor in Win7 is pretty cool. So they just made it look different in Win8 by (basically) adding it into Task Manager.

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@JorgeA

Please keep in mind that this ranking is very far from representative when it comes to the actual World usage of Windows:

http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=11

tomasz86,

Thanks for the link -- that's where the earlier 0.11% figure came from.

A true apples-to-apples comparison (that is, a comparison from the same source) will have to wait till Net Market Share releases the numbers for April. But their methodology (checking the OS running the browser that's visiting a Web site) appears to be similar to Chitika's, so on the face of it the statistics shouldn't come out all that different from each other. We would think, anyway...

--JorgeA

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