JorgeA

Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

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And just what's wrong with Windows Phone? I switched from an iPhone to Windows Phone last year, and I'm glad I did--it offers a superior user experience that's faster and more useful. I recently sold my iPad and, when Surface Pro launches, I'll also be selling my Macbook Pro to buy one. I've been a Systems Engineer for 16 years, and I'm certainly no shill.

Nobody would say that Vista was the second coming of anything but catastrophe for Microsoft. It was a bloated pig of an OS, cobbled hastily together after multiple stops and starts with failed technologies, and released to a world whose hardware was barely adequate to run the OS even at the higher end of the spectrum. Vista was TERRIBLE. But for as awful as it was, Vista actually was a positive thing to happen to Microsoft. Why? Because its failure and unilateral panning made them wake up and realize that the path of bloating up each iteration of the OS is a catastrophic mistake that can't be sustained, and it forced them to change directions. The other major catastrophe that benefited Microsoft was the emergence of iPhone and Android as the new "super" phones. They showed a new path forward, one which ultimately pointed Microsoft themselves in a new direction where they have, in many ways, outperformed their competitors in developing new and innovative ideas in the time since.

The first product to show their new direction was, of course, Windows 7, which corrected virtually everything wrong with Vista--except for the Apple-esque tendency toward glossy UI elements. It was smaller, faster and much less bloated than Vista, and has generally made both home and business users very happy.

Windows Phone 7, though it's struggled to find an audience as a consequence of Microsoft's prior reputation (Windows Mobile phones, of which I owned several, were stagnant, hard to use and lagged YEARS behind the competition, even in 2007), but it's actually a terrific product. It's light on its feet, more efficient than any other mobile OS from Apple or Google, and finally has a deep library of apps (well over 100,000, which yes, is still behind Apple and Android, but is nevertheless more than plenty for any average user and will only grow further after the "8" OS's unify Microsoft's ecosystem).

One needn't be a "shill" to appreciate what Microsoft has managed to pull off in the last few years, they only need to have *paid attention*. Those of us who've worked with Microsoft's products for the better part of 2 decades, if not longer, see the full scope of Microsoft's failures and successes, and their new direction is a very positive, very welcome change.

Will users struggle with adapting to Windows 8? Probably to some degree, yes. Will they refuse to do so en masse and cause Win8 to be a massive failure? Not likely. Even Vista, which we all acknowledge as a failure, sold over 400 million copies. Windows 8 will fair even better. As people learn to see all the benefits of Live Tiles and Deep Linking, not to mention the incredible speed and stability of the OS, especially when coupled with new UEFI hardware that makes things more secure than ever before, the synergy between Windows 8, RT and Phone 8, to say nothing of Xbox 360 and Xbox-whatever-the-next-one-is, will elevate both the reputation and the sales of each. The deep backward compatibility with existing Windows infrastructures and apps will carry the system forward, too.

Make no mistake: Windows 8 will sell, and it'll sell lots. In year one it will outsell every Mac system ever produced. The only question is how long it'll take to overcome Windows 7, and because corporations tend to live on long OS cycles, that's harder to predict. Either way, they've got very little to really fear :).

J

Those are the same people that own a Windows Phone, a brown Zune with a Zune pass, who will buy a Surface on day one, and that praised Vista as the 2nd coming of Ballmer (their idea of a deity). And a handful of people that have no need for a computer and just want a tablet instead. And I'll say it: astroturfers and paid shills.

Unfortunately for MS, that tiny minority of the population won't make any statistically relevant change in sales figures.

Edit: Windows Server 2012 has also been leaked, and non-N versions of Win 8 too.

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The "strategy" with Windows 8's graphic design is actually really simple: flat colors without garish visual effects like glass and chrome, or the hideous skeumorphism of Apple products, use fewer system resources and make for a lighter, faster OS that's more able to "get out of the way" and let you focus on the applications you use. That's the mark of solid design, and I think it'll be a smashing success :)

probably a deliberate attempts of desktop's ugly-fication,

perhaps to achieve something like: "oh look, the metro part actually look better" or similar crappy-mindset like that.

of course, if the W8 desktop were beautiful that mean less incentive to switch/use to W8' Metro/Tiles.

I believe MS knew transition to metro will even harder, if they dont' make anything non-metro more-worse than before.

Wow, if that's their strategy, it would be remarkable for its sneakiness. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this did enter into their thinking (even if it wasn't the main reason for degrading the looks of the windows).

BTW, in addition to the flatness, note another similarity between Win1 and Win8 -- the squared-off corners.

--JorgeA

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Vista is hideously ugly, with excessive and garish visual gloss that does nothing but eat memory, processor and GPU time. Those UI's--those stale, boring, archaic UI's--are wasteful, ugly and pointless.

OK, here's an interesting visual illustration of how great an "advance" Microsoft has made with Windows 8.

First, a screenshot of Windows 1.0:

windows-1-0.jpg

And now, a screenshot of the "modern" Windows 8:

windows-8-no-aero-desktop.jpg

Note the similarity of the two in terms of the flatness of the look. Even Windows 3.1 had visual "depth" elements in the buttons!

In what sense can the Windows 8 look be considered an advance? Vista and even Windows 7 are leagues ahead of Win8 in visual sophistication.

--JorgeA

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Nobody would say that Vista was the second coming of anything but catastrophe for Microsoft. It was a bloated pig of an OS, cobbled hastily together after multiple stops and starts with failed technologies, and released to a world whose hardware was barely adequate to run the OS even at the higher end of the spectrum. Vista was TERRIBLE. But for as awful as it was, Vista actually was a positive thing to happen to Microsoft. Why? Because its failure and unilateral panning made them wake up and realize that the path of bloating up each iteration of the OS is a catastrophic mistake that can't be sustained, and it forced them to change directions. The other major catastrophe that benefited Microsoft was the emergence of iPhone and Android as the new "super" phones. They showed a new path forward, one which ultimately pointed Microsoft themselves in a new direction where they have, in many ways, outperformed their competitors in developing new and innovative ideas in the time since.

The first product to show their new direction was, of course, Windows 7, which corrected virtually everything wrong with Vista--except for the Apple-esque tendency toward glossy UI elements. It was smaller, faster and much less bloated than Vista, and has generally made both home and business users very happy.

...

The "strategy" with Windows 8's graphic design is actually really simple: flat colors without garish visual effects like glass and chrome, or the hideous skeumorphism of Apple products, use fewer system resources and make for a lighter, faster OS that's more able to "get out of the way" and let you focus on the applications you use. That's the mark of solid design, and I think it'll be a smashing success

...

Vista is hideously ugly, with excessive and garish visual gloss that does nothing but eat memory, processor and GPU time. Those UI's--those stale, boring, archaic UI's--are wasteful, ugly and pointless.

Couldn't possibly disagree with you more. Not about whether Aero glass is beautiful since that is subjective (and I'd give it a 7 out of 10 in Win7 with some room for improvement, but a 1 out of 10 in Win8 for absolute fuglyness) so you can think what you want, it's your choice (but of course there was nothing stopping you from customizing or disabling Aero all along, correct? Your choice was always available. That is the point.) My problem is with the cheerleaders rooting for Microsoft to screw up my computer as well as their own. But I digress.

These quoted comments simply express the excuses from Sinosfky and his team of Windows destroyers. Yes, we read it at their blog, Microsoft's Metro team is all about saving us from the hideous gloss of the GUI. We were too distracted and not getting our work done. I suppose we should be thanking them? This is one of many ways Microsoft demonstrates their deafness by failing to realize that what really irks people is being insulted, treated like little children, and especially lied to. This nonsense about Aero is but their latest rationale for eliminating choice - just like Apple has long been known for!. For most of the past few decades Microsoft had a well deserved reputation for user customization and Apple for iron-fisted uniformity. Oh the irony that now we have the Vista visual appearance being thrown under the bus and called Apple-esque, (as if that is what anyone was actually complaining about in Vista) while the Microsoft company itself is racing ahead to become Apple.

Microsoft never really woke up after the Vista debacle, I would say they doubled down. They produced the Mojave experiment which is their veiled way of saying that the user "just wasn't doing it right", the customer is wrong and the company is always correct. Win7 has some minor tweaks but all the underlying stuff is really the same. I'm not even going to justify Vista or the Windows 6.x decision-making (major screwups in core architecture with the 32/64 design being a monstrous mess) but picking on the Vista appearance is just plain wrong at this point. Microsoft never really said 'we screwed up' or mea culpa, they just managed to convince enough people they did in order to move on to their next projects. If anything they were only sorry that they got bad press selling a lemon OS for the average computer of the time. The arrogance up there is astounding really, they must really despise their customer base to double and triple down now with the Windows 8 and Metro decisions.

And what if you try to follow the logic of using Aero as a scapegoat for Vista? Right, because when I think of waste in Windows it just has to be that 'garish' Aero that immediately springs to mind. I mean when I fire up ProcMon it's that nasty Aero and DWM just filling up the screen with thousands of entries per second, wasting all that electricity and destroying our environment right? No. It certainly couldn't be endless disk indexing to optimize searches so that typing in C-A-L saves me a whole letter 'C' or other similar nonsense. It certainly couldn't be CPU and disk gobbling from saving countless restore points for every single update even a KB sized monitor driver. It certainly couldn't be the innumerable tasks and services that do nothing except make work for other tasks and services with only a handful ever being useful to the owner of the system. It couldn't be the non-stop event recording producing an unmanageable collection of logs that save everything except the one event that helps solve a problem. This is but the tip of the CPU and disk wasting iceberg, an ongoing problem since Win2k became WinXP. So I think that singling out Aero, the most visible improvement to the visuals in a decade, out of the vast array of components making up the Windows Rube Goldberg machine is a fine example of BS from Team B&S. Here is more BS from them that focuses on the real problem ...

- 'We're doing it wrong' by carefully organizing our own desktop and start menu with multiple levels of flyouts instead of a garish sidescrolling Sesame Street selector that blasts all our program shortcuts right across the screen for our airplane seatmate or any nearby stranger to easily read without even trying to be nosy.

- 'We're doing it wrong' by enjoying the visuals of our personal computer? It has been a long slog for many of us to get to this point where we have tons of CPU and GPU power and memory available for visual frills and aesthetics after years of busting our butts on prehistoric 2-color systems with a 4.77 MHz CPU and mere KB's of memory. I believe we've earned our chance to relax in front of a computer with our own themes, colors, fonts and everything else chosen by us, not Microsoft or Generation Xbox fanboys.

- 'We're doing it wrong' by choosing to have many freely moveable and overlapping Windows open and truly inter-operating with multitasking across multiple displays and applications (since WinXP for most people, but even earlier with the right tools and parts). Who knew that we should have limited it to just two windows.

- 'We're doing it wrong' by deciding what actually appears first on our display after logging in to our own computer, perhaps a custom application, or game server, or messaging program or email or webcam or music center or an empty desktop. Steering the thing automatically to Metro is like previous versions somehow booting up into a clicked-open start menu clicked again on "All Programs" and autoscrolling through a few groups at a time.

Microsoft has an extraordinarily severe case of Apple-envy, an incurable case of jealousy which is really inexplicable because the two companies rarely compete head-to-head. It is a complete role reversal from the 80's when Apple was inexplicably anti-Microsoft with nothing but venomous and hateful criticism sent towards them and also IBM (the latter made some sense since they both competed in computer systems). But here we are today and Microsoft's plan SHOULD be crystal clear for everyone to see with the outrageous arrogance of the Start Menu removal and the patronizing "You were too distracted by the beauty" dumbing down of Aero, now set in motion since Windows 8 hit RTM. It would have been so easily solved simply with user choice yet they failed to listen, so we know their current operative plan: phase themselves into a walled garden model with a super-sized Xbox point of sale using Metro. The gradual phasing out of the desktop and x86 independent software but for a select few, using their huge monopolistic presence as the vehicle. They see the vast x86 computer user base as their own private pickings even though most of them never really chose Windows, it came installed on their computer thanks to the years of OEM backroom deals. All the other discussion is really just fluff and obsfucation and serves only to waste time and avoid focusing on the big issue. And if you are Microsoft, why not do this? They already have lots of Apple-like fanboys in place begging them to take over their personal computers -"Please dumb down my computer, please kill the Start Menu, turn Aero glass off, select my theme, make my computer easy for my 5-year old, give us uniformity!". It pains me to even think this but with all things considered, with a billion computers out there at the mercy and benevolence of couple of Redmond bureaucrats, I would support Microsoft being broken up now. I am definitely making my voice heard with my own representatives (everyone in the USA has one Rep and two Senators) and I hope others are doing the same. There is far too much at stake to be trusted under the control of a handful of people at Microsoft of very questionable temperament, ethics and intelligence.

Metrosoft Windows 8 : If you don't like it, tough! ( We got you right where we want you )

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The ex-Metro interface is more difficult to use even for me, which I've used a computer since I was twelve years old.

http://xpwasmyidea.blogspot.it/2012/06/essential-features-missing-in-windows-8.html

Many features are removed from the good Windows 7 (It was slow on my netbook, but it's stable).

And I don't recommend to use a dual boot of XP and 8, unless you use something like EasyBCD, or install the two operating systems separately, because with the dual boot, seems that XP don't boot anymore!

Edited by Agorima
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Fanboy Central has published a piece that actually presented a balanced exposition of pro & con opinions about Windows 8.

--JorgeA

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A ZDNet writer cautions users eager to adopt Windows 8 Pro tablets:

I am hearing from more and more people that they see these tablets as laptop replacements. The Surface tablets will have a keyboard cover to turn it into a pseudo laptop, and others are likely to have similar accessories.

Others who plan to get a Windows tablet tell me they want to use it as their sole computer. They expect accessories to be available to let them drop the tablet into a dock that is connected to monitors, speakers, keyboard, and mouse, turning the slate into a full-blown desktop system.

...[meat of the article]...

I am excited about the Windows 8 tablets, but I hope those planning on buying the more expensive Pro version realize it's not going to be a 'do everything' computer. Non-tablet functions will not be as good as on laptops or desktops.

If buyers use them the way they are designed to be used they will be much happier with the result. They should be used primarily as tablets, running real tablet apps, with occasional use as a PC replacement an added benefit. Not the other way around.

How likely is it that this caveat will feature in the marketing for Win8 tablets (any flavor)? ;) And if not, then how will the market react as people come to realize that these devices aren't everything they thought they would be?

--JorgeA

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Make no mistake: Windows 8 will sell

Of course it will sell, manufacturers have the obligation to ship their new hardware with it pre-installed!

+ the statistics will include laptop, smartphones, notepads and desktop PCs (if any).

The issue is not whether it sells or not (when you hae monopoly and elae no choice, it sells forcibly).

The issue is: How many poeple will use it and not ask for the infamous "downgrade rights" to use 7 instead?

IMO, 1%.

Even if 99% of user uninstall W8/Metro to install a normal Windows OS, it will still be counted as a sale in the stats.

Even if poeple riot and throw stones at the MS headquarters, it will still be touted as a success because of the sales stats.

Nobody will like Metro. It will be the worse of the worse product failure ever. MS'image will be tarnished forever.

But the management won't care because the sales stats will show it was a success.

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It's incredible that since the W8 forum section is open, all the posts (or almost) are dealing with the ways of disabling Metro, re-enabling the Start Menu and hacking W8 to make it pallatable.

Still they are poeple with enough guts to predict it will be successful... :dazed:

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With apologies to Jimmy Page

Been dazed and confused for so long its not true

Wanted an OS never bargained on you

Lots of people talking

few of them know

Soul of Metro was created below

Sorry, couldnt resist

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It's incredible that since the W8 forum section is open, all the posts (or almost) are dealing with the ways of disabling Metro, re-enabling the Start Menu and hacking W8 to make it pallatable.

You know, that's right -- I hadn't realized that!

We might say that MSFN is "where people go to know." ;)

Still they are poeple with enough guts to predict it will be successful... :dazed:

Some are unthinking MS boosters (= fanboys), some are thinking about the value of their shares of MS stock, and some... actually like the Metro interface, as hard to believe as that is. :huh:

--JorgeA

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With apologies to Jimmy Page

Been dazed and confused for so long its not true

Wanted an OS never bargained on you

Lots of people talking

few of them know

Soul of Metro was created below

Sorry, couldnt resist

:thumbup

Thanks, now I've got that music bouncing around in my head!!! :D

--JorgeA

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An overview of Windows 8 RTM. It's pretty much as the RC, but the writer makes an interesting observation about the contrast between the backgrounds for the Metro screen and the Desktop:

On the Metro side, the imagery is abstract, stylized, and fundamentally unreal. On the desktop, it's photographic and natural. Having such a contrast isn't bad per se, but it makes the desktop feel as if Microsoft wasn't really sure which way to go; on the one hand, the new theme is designed to be simpler and in harmony with the "authentically digital" Metro world. On the other hand, the wallpapers are "authentically natural" as it were.

Food for thought.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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