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JorgeA

Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

6,162 posts in this topic

Asok,

That's a very interesting idea, thanks! I'll try it today.

Just one question:

Note that in either case, after one logs on, it takes a couple of seconds for

the desktop background to appear after the initial root folder for the user appears.

Also, note that this method leaves a vestigial explorer.exe process that remains

in the background until a logoff occurs.

Can I kill that vestigial process in Task Manager afterward, or not without consequences?

--JorgeA

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It finally looks like Paul Thurrott doesn't care all that much for Win 8. Not only he's been describing its usage as "a jarring experience" lately but his latest article has some more interesting parts:

many wish, as I do, that Microsoft had engineered Windows 8 and “Metro” as two separate platforms, with the former focusing on PCs and the latter aimed at iPad-like tablets

That says a lot.

almost no readers reported any plans to roll out Windows 8 in corporate environments for the foreseeable future

...and I bet those that did say they would don't actually work in a corporate environment in the first place. It's simply unthinkable.

“I can say without a doubt there's no way we'll roll out Windows 8 as it exists right now,” Dwight L. told me, summing up the opinion of many emailers nicely.

I haven't emailed yet but that certainly sums it up.

pcworld's newest article (based on IDC's report) mostly agrees with me: Android and iOS gaining a bigger lead, Win8-on-ARM devices not selling, Win8 getting zero adoption in the business world (and IMO very little more in the consumer world -- 99% of it due to "it's what your Dell ships with"), etc.

It seems like it's only Microsoft management who doesn't get it. They'll have to face the truth at some point.

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It finally looks like Paul Thurrott doesn't care all that much for Win 8.

CoffeeFiend,

For better or worse, I'm afraid he's still giving off hints that he wants to like Windows 8:

So what’s the Windows 8 to Windows 7 experience like? In a test that was notably short for all the right reasons, I found myself missing Windows 8 quite a bit. Once you’ve become used to the system-level services in particular -- the new Start Search experience that can be redirected to settings, files, or any supported Metro-style app, the consistent way of accessing settings across Metro and Metro-style apps, and so on -- suddenly, Windows 7 doesn’t seem so hot anymore.
But here’s the most surprising bit. Apps that simply shouldn’t work at all for a heavy multitasker like myself -- the full-screen, Metro-style Mail, Calendar, and Internet Explorer apps, for example -- are actually pretty nice. And I find myself sticking to these apps more and more, even on my desktop.

Why anyone (and especially a power user) would prefer a crippled app like Metro IE to fully featured software like Desktop IE, is hard to fathom.

pcworld's newest article (based on IDC's report) mostly agrees with me: Android and iOS gaining a bigger lead, Win8-on-ARM devices not selling, Win8 getting zero adoption in the business world (and IMO very little more in the consumer world -- 99% of it due to "it's what your Dell ships with"), etc.

That was an interesting analysis. Too bad that they chose to throw in the bit about PCs receding "further into the background," as if they were in danger of disappearing. This is especially curious considering that earlier in the article, they say that Windows PC shipments will keep growing through 2016, the far end of IDC's forecast. Part of the justification for tabletizing Windows has been the supposed impending demise of the PC. (For anyone who might point this out -- yes, I do know about toys being expected to grow even faster.)

OTOH, given IDC's forecasts, if enterprises -- historically the biggest focus for MS products -- aren't expected to warm up to Windows 8, and Win8 isn't expected to take off on mobile devices, it's hard to see how IDC arrives at a projection of growth for Windows machines in the coming years, unless MS continues to offer Windows 7 as they did with XP after Vista was released.

It seems like it's only Microsoft management who doesn't get it. They'll have to face the truth at some point.

The discipline of the marketplace.

If MS fails to provide its own built-in solution, the only thing to save MS from itself might be a homebrewed Win8 fix such as Asok is proposing.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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Out of curiosity I ran a few benchmarks to compare performance of Windows 8 (32-bit) & Windows 2000:

CrystalMark 2004R3

Windows 2000

IhYDw.png

Windows 8

Jvqws.png

CineBench 11.5 (CPU)

Windows 2000 - 2.86

Windows 8 - 2.84

7-Zip (compression)

Windows 8 - 03:11

Windows 2000 - 03:15

Configuration:

AMD Athlon II X4 631

ASRock A55 Pro3

Samsung 8 GB DDR3 1333MHz

3x Fujitsu MAX3036RC (15k rpm SAS RAID0)

GeForce 6600

Edited by tomasz86
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Out of curiosity I ran a few benchmarks to compare performance of Windows 8 (32-bit) & Windows 2000:

tomasz86,

Thanks, that was a revealing comparison. So what exactly have we gained, in terms of performance, in the last 12 years?

--JorgeA

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It's a good thing that people who defended things like hectic start menu (it's just a search away), mandatory driver signing (it's vendors' fault that make buggy drivers), bloat (WinSxS folder too big? What's the problem, hdd space is cheap), the ribbon (you should get on with the times), forced obsolence (VS doesn't compile for older OS? You should "upgrade"), mandatory activation (it's their OS, not yours, you've just been granted a licence to use it) etc. etc. can now taste what it felt like for us all along. :whistle:

+1 on that. I want to say "serves them right" for being MS apologists over the years, but I'd rather they kept speaking up this time...

--JorgeA

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However, I discovered that overriding the default registry value:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]

"Shell"=explorer.exe

with

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]

"Shell"="explorer.exe /select,explorer.exe"

does in fact automatically skip past Metro UI (under most circumstances).

Asok,

It looks like I may be one of those cases that doesn't fall under "most."

When I tried your registry change, next time I restarted Win8 CP all I got was a black page. Clicking on the Escape key or the Windows key didn't make any visible difference. Hitting Ctrl-Alt-Del did enable me to bring up the Task Manager, from where I went back into Regedit, put the key back the way it was, and then rebooted to recover the previous behavior.

I didn't disable the lock screen as you suggested, as I had already configured Win8 not to show it at bootup so that was not an issue for me. I'll go back in and do what you said, if you think it'll help.

Thanks again for the idea -- we need to get something like this to work.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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Check this out: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=21860053#post21860053

Is there any basis for the idea that Windows 9 might be a "cloud-based" OS?

If it is, then whatever chances Win8 might have with me will be completely gone with Win9. Ain't no way in h*ll I'm relying on a remote server to run my computer, let alone to store my documents. Internet service goes down often enough to render the cloud model too risky for serious work. At least today I can keep working when my Internet isn't. Not to mention that my documents are safely tucked away in my obscure corner of the universe, rather than as part of a big juicy target in some cloud service.

--JorgeA

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Is there any basis for the idea that Windows 9 might be a "cloud-based" OS?

I don't think there is any more chance of this happening than thin clients being universally adapted in the workplace, for exactly the reasons that you gave for not wanting it. There is a place for it, and for any option, but not widespread, IMO.

Cheers and Regards

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Good, maybe it was just speculation.

--JorgeA

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Is there any basis for the idea that Windows 9 might be a "cloud-based" OS?

They're already pushing for cloud stuff with the skydrive crap in Win8 :puke:

Ain't no way in h*ll I'm relying on a remote server to run my computer, let alone to store my documents. Internet service goes down often enough to render the cloud model too risky for serious work. At least today I can keep working when my Internet isn't. Not to mention that my documents are safely tucked away in my obscure corner of the universe, rather than as part of a big juicy target in some cloud service.

Most businesses think exactly like you. MS is also desperately pushing for its azure cloud services. Too bad nobody uses it. And it goes down on leap days too. Last I checked it was significantly more expensive than most of their competitors (including Amazon which is quite popular for cloud storage, cloud hosting and cloud computing power). Low usage caps on internet usage in Canada also makes cloud-based stuff seem like a much worse option.

I don't think there is any more chance of this happening than thin clients being universally adapted in the workplace

+1 to that.

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Anyone else heard that loud bang?

Seems Silverlight got taken out back and shot.

I find it very hard to get to the core of this article, it's so vaguely worded. The applications will still work, but they do seem to hint that people who know Silverlight will have to transition to WinRT.

Some say XNA is alive and kicking, others say XNA is not supported...

It's a very weird realization to start reading an article and be less informed by the time you've reached the end.

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Anyone else heard that loud bang?

Seems Silverlight got taken out back and shot.

belgianguy,

I think you're right about Silverlight being phased out. This is the key passage IMO:

XAML and C#/VB.NET development in Windows 8 can be viewed as a direct evolution from today’s Silverlight. All of your managed programming skills are transferrable to building applications for Windows 8, and in many cases, much of your code will be transferrable as well.

It seems to suggest developers should start thinking in post-Silverlight terms.

--JorgeA

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Most businesses think exactly like you. MS is also desperately pushing for its azure cloud services. Too bad nobody uses it. And it goes down on leap days too.

CoffeeFiend,

Unbelievable!

I did like the bit in the article about the root cause being a "faulty software bug" (as opposed to a properly working software bug? ;) ).

--JorgeA

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Seems Silverlight got taken out back and shot.

Not that anyone will really notice. Besides, it's been shot dead before. It was already fairly well known there won't be a silverlight 6, and that silverlight won't work on Metro IE (they're "embracing HTML 5" instead). Just like usual, they've pushed ridiculously hard for something that never saw much adoption, only to kill it moments later.

The repeated cycles of this is very well known by developers. You waste so much time learning the new stuff, porting your apps to it, then they kill it off, and you start the cycle yet again. After seeing happen it enough times you being to doubt all their new offerings. I for one, won't be wasting my time with this Metro garbage.

The applications will still work

For one more version, probably in some "compatibility mode". They don't want to directly tell you "you're developing for an already dead platform", but now you know that it's no longer an option in the long-term.

they do seem to hint that people who know Silverlight will have to transition to WinRT

Yep. They expect everybody to stop using WPF and Silverlight (not that either is exactly popular), and to use WinRT (Metro) instead. I'll definitely skip on that.

Some say XNA is alive and kicking, others say XNA is not supported

That's definitely not clear. But I won't be surprised at all the day they decide it's no longer supported, no matter how soon that happens.

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Truthfully Windows 8 GUI looks like it was design by a someone who took to much acid in the 70`s and never came down.

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agree.

Gnome3

overview.pngapplication-view.png

or Unity look both much better:

ubuntu12.04-unity2d.png

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Jesus. It looks like some sort of crippled mixtureof MacOS and Windows 3.x. No way in hell I am potentially buying something that would force me to use such interface even if the whole thing was ten times as fast as Win7. And I was so stunned by that old article where they said how W8 can be ran (not used of course) on some ridiculously old hardware.

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No way in hell I am potentially buying something that would force me to use such interface even if the whole thing was ten times as fast as Win7A

Exactly. There's a handful of people obsessing over how fast it boots when I reboot like once a month. That might save me all of 2 minutes per year! Or indeed, how it would run better on a ten year old computer which I'd never want to use for anything in the first place. As if those are main concerns, especially when Win7 already works great on 5+ year old hardware.

If you take away the new task manager and explorer then there's basically no new worthwhile features left. A pair of minor features doesn't justify the price tag (I mean, SP2 for XP brought us more functionality for free), especially when it comes with that Metro trash which MS won't let you disable.

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Don't get me wrong, I like useless ehnancements. I am all up for improved efficiency. Of course five seconds shorter booting time means nothing, but it gives you the impression the engineers over there did something very good for a change.

But there are always those buts. This time frigging huge ones. I'm not buying into this at that cost, sorry (if the new UI was not there I probably wouldn't wait a single second to feed them my money, despite being extremely happy with Win7)

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Exactly. There's a handful of people obsessing over how fast it boots when I reboot like once a month. That might save me all of 2 minutes per year! Or indeed, how it would run better on a ten year old computer which I'd never want to use for anything in the first place. As if those are main concerns, especially when Win7 already works great on 5+ year old hardware.

A lot of the talking points from MS on Win8 are about increased boot time. Tossing around figures and times that remind me of my old Win95 PC as far as boot time. I think I only know one person that shuts down their computer at night. Most people just leave them on since the old days of memory corrupting and PC getting slow are things of the past OS like Win95 or 98.

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I remember I had like 100-200 days uptime on my work XP machine few years ago, and I used to do all kinds of funky stuff with it :P It DID get slower over time though, but was still very useable.

Anyway, I would love a system that boots even faster. It's not about saving time, it's about being extremely impatient :D

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From what I can tell so far, the boot time is "decreased" by moving certain functions to after the desktop shows up. So while full system functionality may take the same amount of time as Windows 7, Windows 8 will appear to boot faster because loading Metro/Desktop is earlier in the order of operations. :rolleyes:

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From what I can tell so far, the boot time is "decreased" by moving certain functions to after the desktop shows up. So while full system functionality may take the same amount of time as Windows 7, Windows 8 will appear to boot faster because loading Metro/Desktop is earlier in the order of operations. :rolleyes:

Tripredacus,

So the whole "faster booting" thing may be just an illusion. Lovely.

Speaking of Win8 performance, I came across this report from the field.

What do you think?

--JorgeA

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no, I've explained the fast boot last year:

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