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Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions


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#776
JorgeA

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Another article critical of Windows 8, again from a surprising source -- one of the founders of Neowin.net.

It also appears that desktop applications can no longer register themselves as default (even if you want it) or certain file types too. The only way around this is to open the Control Panel (or Start screen) and search for Default Programs, wait for all your installed software to load and appear in the left pane, then select your preferred program and click the Set as default option. An added bonus is that you can set different file types to open in different applications, but Windows will keep reminding you that "there are other apps that can open this file type" as well.

And gaming master Gabe Newell renews his assault on Win8.


One (further) annoyance I discovered today. In Internet Explorer 8, there is a tiny down-arrow in the upper left corner, just to the right of the Forward button. I have found this to be increasingly a major timesaver, as websites cram ever more ads into their pages and you have to hit the Back button a dozen or more times to get back to the actual last page you saw on the screen. By hitting that little arrow, you can skip back nine of these at a time.

Well, there seems to be no such arrow in IE10, so you can't skip several pages (or ads) in one step. Whatever time you might save by IE10's faster graphics processing or whatever, is amply made up by the need to keep hitting the Back button repeatedly to get back to where you were.

...After some experimenting, I discovered that I can do the skip thing by right-clicking on the Back button, but how many people will know that or think of doing it? I don't get the point of removing the visibility of functional elements and leaving no hint of their existence. Then again, that's the UI design fashion now, isn't it? :rolleyes:

--JorgeA


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#777
Tripredacus

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...After some experimenting, I discovered that I can do the skip thing by right-clicking on the Back button, but how many people will know that or think of doing it? I don't get the point of removing the visibility of functional elements and leaving no hint of their existence. Then again, that's the UI design fashion now, isn't it? :rolleyes:

--JorgeA


Did you skip IE9? Its the same as that, the right-click is the way. In fact all other browsers I have (Firefox, Palemoon, Chrome) don't have an arrow and use the right-click option to go back history.
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#778
JorgeA

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...After some experimenting, I discovered that I can do the skip thing by right-clicking on the Back button, but how many people will know that or think of doing it? I don't get the point of removing the visibility of functional elements and leaving no hint of their existence. Then again, that's the UI design fashion now, isn't it? :rolleyes:

--JorgeA


Did you skip IE9? Its the same as that, the right-click is the way. In fact all other browsers I have (Firefox, Palemoon, Chrome) don't have an arrow and use the right-click option to go back history.

Tripredacus,

Yup, I'm still on IE8. I decided to pass on IE9 when I saw that there was no functional status bar (I rely on the real-time, visible info it provides as I surf the Web). ClassicShell has a feature bringing some of those functions back, but not all. (I'm using it in IE10, which is only on my various Win8 previews and not on any of my work machines.) Plus, I don't like the look of the Back and Forward buttons or the overall design. So I'll be using IE8 till it stops working.

My wife tried IE9 for even less time than I did. Her reaction was immediate and strong. After installing it and launching it for the first time, about five seconds later she asked, "Ewww -- how do I get rid of this sh*t?"

I've never understood the appeal of moving controls around from one version to the next -- what's the point? It's like having the next year's car models shuffle the location of the gearshift, the radio button, and the headlight and windshield wiper controls. Just leave 'em alone already, for Pete's sake: use your developing skills to come up with actual improvements, not things that make users spend time re-learning where everything is.

--JorgeA

P.S. Apropos of the practice of making changes seemingly for the heck of it, check this out.

Edited by JorgeA, 22 August 2012 - 09:26 AM.


#779
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Microsoft: Fresh Paint is the "#1" Windows 8 Entertainment app ( NeoWin 2012-08-22 )

Microsoft Reimagines Paint ( Technet Blogs 2012-08-22 )

"Many people are familiar with Paint, an application that has been a part of Windows for as long as I can remember so when then Fresh Paint team told me that they’d set out to completely reimagine what painting in the modern age should be — I was intrigued. What I found was a painting application of the kind I (and probably you) have never seen before."

" ... but it wasn’t until my 3 year old daughter started playing with the app that I truly realized it is quite different from any other painting app I’d seen. It’s paint for the modern age, and has a simplicity and realism that is amazing."

Groundbreaking originality from Redmond! They better hope Disney doesn't see this. And if they do notice the possible 'look and feel' issue Microsoft had better hope their lawyers do a better job than they did with the Metro fiasco. Disney takes anti-piracy very seriously.

Posted Image


The kids absolutely loved Magic Artist Studio, which has many amazing special effects. Those Disney characters in the screenshot are actually animated, and it doesn't begin to demonstrate the quality of that Disney program. In many ways it is practically a trainer for complex graphic design, the paint and crayons are just the tip of the iceberg.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft once threatened a lawsuit over the letter "E" ( NeoWin 2012-08-22 ) ...

Posted Image


EDIT: added a link, typos, updated image URLs

Microsoft Windows 8 : ReImagining The Future ( By Stealing from the Past )


Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 15 March 2013 - 03:42 PM.

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#780
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"Many people are familiar with Paint, an application that has been a part of Windows for as long as I can remember so when then Fresh Paint team told me that they’d set out to completely reimagine what painting in the modern age should be — I was intrigued. What I found was a painting application of the kind I (and probably you) have never seen before."

" ... but it wasn’t until my 3 year old daughter started playing with the app that I truly realized it is quite different from any other painting app I’d seen. It’s paint for the modern age, and has a simplicity and realism that is amazing."

Groundbreaking originality from Redmond! They better hope Disney doesn't see this. And if they do notice the possible 'look and feel' issue Microsoft had better hope their lawyers do a better job than they did with the Metro fiasco.

Amazing -- nothing new under the sun here, conceptually. Maybe the novel part is that, with the touch interface, now you can dip your fingers in digital paint and slosh it around.

Great, and now we can get treated to a Dumpsterful of trash painting in our inboxes and Facebook pages, just like so many of us foisted our musical genius on friends and family when inexpensive electronic keyboards first came out in the '80s. (I plead guilty to this sonic crime.)

Interestingly enough, Microsoft once threatened a lawsuit over the letter "E" (NeoWin 2012-08-22) ...

:rolleyes:

Even the MS lawyer must have thought it was idiotic, as nothing ever came out of it. Worth a shot, I guess...

--JorgeA

#781
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Even the MS lawyer must have thought it was idiotic, as nothing ever came out of it. Worth a shot, I guess...

--JorgeA


Most companies will sue just for the heck of it, because you never know. I've heard a similar story from my company's upper management about suing someone for naming rights, even though it wasn't a remotely related product. :rolleyes:
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#782
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Well, I am grateful to Sun for not having sued me/us for the use of letter J. ;)

Triprdacus, CharlottThHarlot and JorgA and xpcially Frdldingu ar smingly lucky guys sinc MS lt thm still use that lttr....

:lol:

#783
JorgeA

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Woody Leonhard weighs in with his definitive review of Windows 8:

In this review of the final, RTM version of Windows 8, I'm not going to reexamine what's come before; almost everything discussed in my Release Preview review and in my Consumer Preview review still stands. There's no Start button on the desktop, and the utilities that managed to graft Start onto older beta versions don't work with the final RTM Win8. The new Metro Start screen remains relentlessly two-dimensional with flipping tiles that look like LEDs on the Vegas Strip. Moving from Metro to desktop and back again, especially on a large and touch-deprived monitor, will have you reaching for the Dramamine.

I can confirm after months in the trenches and talking with many hundreds of testers that anyone who defines "real work" as typing and mousing won't like Windows 8 one little bit. Let's take that as a given and move on from there.

In light of the controversy in another thread as to whether MS has in fact been removing the ability to bring back the Start Menu and Start Button, I'd be curious to know what Leonhard has in mind, in the middle of that first paragraph. But the rest is pure gold.

The conclusion:

Some people think that Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro tablets will hit the market by storm. Having used Windows 8 on desktops, a laptop, and on a tablet for almost a year now, I'm considerably more skeptical. Although Win8 running on an Intel tablet will undoubtedly solve some specific corporate (and personal) requirements, I certainly don't expect a massive move to Windows 8, either in the office or at home.


In a more recent article, Leonhard assesses in more depth the prospects for Windows RT:

Unlike Windows XP and Win7, Windows 8 isn’t going to take the computing world by storm. PC users having thoroughly mouse- and keyboard-centric work styles aren’t going to like the eye-jarring shifts to the Metro Start screen.

On the other hand, anyone who prefers the Metro touch-screen interface won’t want to lug around a tablet that’s close to a laptop in weight and battery life. Yes, there will be specific situations where an individual or a company might want the full Windows 7–style desktop on a touch-sensitive machine, but it will most likely be a niche market.

Windows RT doesn’t have Win8′s split personality. It’s aimed directly at the tablet sweet spot — the iPad...
...
It’s hard for me to believe that any consumer, with a similarly priced Windows RT tablet in one hand and an iPad in the other, will opt for the Windows device.

And in the "has he really thought this through?" category, here's an impression from Gordon Mah Ung, deputy editor of Maximum PC (October 2012 issue):

The Metro UI with a touchscreen is a surprising joy to use. When is the last time someone said that about a personal computer UI? Yeah, I an't remember that, either. In fact, going from the Metro UI tro the traditional mouse and keyboard desktop interface is about as abrupt as dropping from a GUI to a command-line interface. Some will say that's something to be hated on too, but I say that one day we won't want to leave that Metro UI when we're surrounded by 30-inch, multitouch panels.

Gordon, just wait 'til you've tried writing articles and replying to e-mails (let alone playing PC games) all day at arm's length on those 30-inch screens...

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 23 August 2012 - 01:00 PM.


#784
vinifera

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I find UI on that fresh paint thingy totally unusable -_-
If you want true Windows user experience
try Longhorn builds: 3718, 4029, 4066

#785
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Triprdacus, CharlottThHarlot and JorgA and xpcially Frdldingu ar smingly lucky guys sinc MS lt thm still use that lttr....

Posted Image

Seriously though, what is the world coming too. Apple with "i" and Microsoft with "e". Does IBM get to use capital "I" as a prefix? Did Microsoft reserve an "m"?

Speaking of trademark issues, Dvorak finally weighs in on the whole 'Metro' fiasco ...

Metro: That's Not My Name! ( PC Magazine 2012-08-21 )

"I think the company wants to change the name because it's a diminutive term for metrosexual and a mild insult to the androgynous generation of creepy look-alike couples. Other than that, it is plain stupid."



And he also lets loose on the Surface tablets strategy ...

Microsoft Goes Off Half-Cocked ( PC Magazine 2012-08-22 )

"Microsoft's long-term strategy is to follow Apple's lead and roll out high-margin retail operations to move things like the tablet and any future hardware. The issue is that Apple has more than 300 stores and can move millions of items but Microsoft is headed toward 30 stores. This disparity makes a huge difference that apparently Microsoft cannot see. And it is already fumbling the future."



As you can imagine, the fanboys and true-believers are losing their minds over his opinions and making fools of themselves in the comments. They are so blinded by hate, rage and jealousy at both Google and Apple that they really should get blood pressure medication. To be honest, I have never seen things in technology, specifically with personal computers and Windows, so polarized and divisive. It is becoming like politics and religion to be sure. We say 'we want choices', Microsoft says 'screw you and your choices', the fanboys say 'stop your whining'. One thing they fail to understand, Microsoft and its fanboys, is the amount of ill-will that is percolating. I mean I can't really decide at this point which company to despise the most: Microsoft, Apple or Google.

EDIT: typos

Microsoft Windows 8 : We are the Borg! ( You will be Assimilated )


Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 24 August 2012 - 12:52 AM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#786
JorgeA

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Well, I am grateful to Sun for not having sued me/us for the use of letter J. ;)

Triprdacus, CharlottThHarlot and JorgA and xpcially Frdldingu ar smingly lucky guys sinc MS lt thm still use that lttr....

:lol:

VERY funny, jaclaz!! :P :)

--JorgeA

#787
JorgeA

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I find UI on that fresh paint thingy totally unusable -_-

You tried it? What was it like? (I have a little experience with traditional Paint.)

--JorgeA

#788
hoak

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The most confounding thing about Windows 8 Metro/Destop interface integration for me (that I don't see getting much play) is that the Metro UI obviates User multi-tasking. Perhaps the lack of attention is down to no good meme to describe the problem; as obviously Windows 8 is a fully multi-tasking OS -- the Metro UI has onerous limitations and egregious issues with respect to User multi-tasking input and monitoring information:

· the Charms Bar steals the Desktop
· accessing some Windows 8 configuration options is a Metro Only proposition
· Metro can only tile two applications at a preset split of approximately 80:20
· there is no prefigured means to launch some applications without Metro

While its been exhaustively described how the Windows 8 Metro to Desktop control interface is awkward, inconsistent, obtuse and in some respects totally irreverent of the User -- there is an even bigger disconnect in multi-tasking efficacy.

There are mission critical Windows deployments where multiple applications have to be monitored and managed concurrently in real-time (these are neither small in scale or scope; from film and music production, to industrial applications, to police and rescue dispatch operations) where production is managed in the cost per second, or even life and death... It's not difficult to imagine a situation in a deployment like this where a User or Operator inadvertently (or deliberately) trips over Metro obfuscating Desktop applications ending in costly catastrophe due to critical information or input being missed...

Even in less critical roles, the onerous aspects Windows 8 interface integration is certain to interrupt everyone's ability to multi-task work flow and applications efficiently and in many cases to be costly in terms of time wasted and general inefficiency that will increase workload frustration. This is not an improvement in user interface design...

:(

Edited by hoak, 24 August 2012 - 03:12 AM.


#789
CharlotteTheHarlot

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For some reason I find this story funny. As everyone probably knows by now, yesterday it was announced that Microsoft started using a new logo, for the first time in 25 years. It is news on many many sites. Here is the logo as displayed on The Official Microsoft Blog where they have a synopsis explaining this 'new' logo (but leaving out an important detail) ...

Posted Image

Everything is all peachy, and then a funny thing happened (and props go to NeoWin for running this story down) causing a bit more egg on Microsoft's face for yet another 'fib' or 'lie' or 'oversight" (you decide) similar to the Metro was a 'codename' controversy. Here is how it went down. First the news gets posted at NeoWin that Microsoft changed it's logo ...

Microsoft updates its logo for the first time in 25 years ( NeoWin 2012-08-23 )

Some of the true believers of course are excited and breathless at this 'needed' change, with comments like: "Looks good, simple and fresh. Good job, MS!" and "I love it!" and "love the new logo i feel its like its a heart with four major sections that beat life into our lives <3" and "I like the new logo, Simple and elegant.", etc. Until one commenter recognizes it from the Windows 95 era. NeoBond (the site founder) to his great credit locates the pertinent info and starts another thread four hours later detailing this graphic recycling and breaking the bad news to the heartbroken fanboys that their modern logo isn't so modern ...

Microsoft's logo is not new, it's from 1995 [Update] ( NeoWin 2012-08-23 )

Lots of "oops" and similar comments in that thread which has taken a decidedly uglier turn with lots of sniping and anger since they inadvertently stepped into it by first praising the bold logo change and then being told it was from Windows 95! :lol: Favorite comment there is: "Hahaha this made my day! All those Windows fanboys acting sour when people said things along the lines "The 90s called, they want their interface/design/graphics/etc. back". Now we finally have proof it's actually the truth! LOL!". Earlier in this very thread at MSFN I suggested a Mojave'nix Experiment where the coffee tasters Windows 8 testers are given a copy of Ubuntu and ... well you know what could happen. 'Wow!', 'breathtaking', 'groundbreaking!', 'modern'. :yes: Trust me, the true believers wouldn't notice if Microsoft re-released Windows 3.1 at this point. As long as it plays Cut The Rope and does Facebook they'll be fine.

Anyway, here is the YouTube of the Windows 95 commercial (can't say I remember it myself). Please note the monologue, it is very ironic ("It used to be difficult for personal computers to do do more than one thing at a time ...") ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw-GGT6900s


So NeoWin asks Microsoft about this controversy and adds their 'answer' ...

"Update: We asked Microsoft for a comment and received this response from a spokesperson: "The new Microsoft logo is an evolution of the Microsoft Store logo, which was inspired by the Windows flag.""


Since the official blog completely fails to mention its origins in Windows 95 from a television commercial it is safe to say they didn't even know that they were recycling. They were again caught flat-footed. I'm not sure what's going on up there in Redmond. How do you continually make mistakes, big and small like the Metro 'codename' and this, and expect anyone to believe that they are not rudderless and adrift. Perhaps there is a lot more truth than rumor in that Vanity Fair article after all?

Microsoft Windows 8 : ReImagination! ( You caught us, We really meant Recycling. )



EDIT: updated image URL, and again

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 06 May 2013 - 06:12 PM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#790
Tripredacus

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For some reason I find this story funny. As everyone probably knows by now, yesterday it was announced that Microsoft started using a new logo, for the first time in 25 years. It is news on many many sites. Here is the logo as displayed on The Official Microsoft Blog where they have a synopsis explaining this 'new' logo (but leaving out an important detail) ...

Posted Image


Certainly! Well I don't always get to make news posts, sometimes I make the "important" ones like nearly-new logos.
http://www.msfn.org/...ds-itself-r8942

Ah but I did not know that it was used once before, so that is "good" to know.

On the privacy front, some have found that a part of Windows 8 called SmartScreen will communicate to a Microsoft server everytime you install a program! You can see more information in the comments, especially the part about sending hashes...

http://log.nadim.cc/?p=78
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#791
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I may be old fashioned (actually I am so) but the sheer fact that they needed to explain how:

The logo has two components: the logotype and the symbol.

and additionally they had to post the image with the detailed explanation:
Posted Image

seems to me enough to hypotize that the "intended audience" is 5 years old (concepts such as "logo, symbol and text" are usually very clear in 6/7 years old).

BTW, the Segoe font is seemingly not even "original":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segoe
and definitely it is "not new" (though not as "ancient" as the symbol).

It is strange how they didn't suggest the readers of the page to sit down:



jaclaz

#792
Tripredacus

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It has been pointed out that the Segoe typeface is strikingly similar to what Apple uses.
http://imgur.com/rv5E4
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#793
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It has been pointed out that the Segoe typeface is strikingly similar to what Apple uses.
http://imgur.com/rv5E4

More evidence of "Apple envy" by Microsoft!!

--JorgeA

#794
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seems to me enough to hypotize that the "intended audience" is 5 years old (concepts such as "logo, symbol and text" are usually very clear in 6/7 years old).

Obviously aimed at the Fanboy Central audience that CharlotteTheHarlot identified...

BTW, loved that spoiler image.

--JorgeA

#795
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On the privacy front, some have found that a part of Windows 8 called SmartScreen will communicate to a Microsoft server everytime you install a program! You can see more information in the comments, especially the part about sending hashes...

http://log.nadim.cc/?p=78

That's pretty disturbing. None of their d*mn busines what programs I install on my own PC.

I did get one of those error screens the other day when I was trying to install the Metro Skip Suite. I figured that SmartSreen Filter was checking some sort of built-in list of known/approved applications (in the same model as a virus definition list). Never occurred to me that it might actually be "phoning home."

For me, that's yet another nail in the coffin for Windows 8. :realmad:

That link was a nice find, BTW.

--JorgeA

#796
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For some reason I find this story funny. As everyone probably knows by now, yesterday it was announced that Microsoft started using a new logo, for the first time in 25 years. It is news on many many sites. Here is the logo as displayed on The Official Microsoft Blog where they have a synopsis explaining this 'new' logo (but leaving out an important detail) ...

Posted Image

Rumor is (I'm starting it here ;) ) that when the Desktop is retired and Windows goes all-Metro, the four panes in the symbol will be cut down to two. One bigger pane and one smaller pane about 1/4 the size.

--JorgeA

#797
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The most confounding thing about Windows 8 Metro/Destop interface integration for me (that I don't see getting much play) is that the Metro UI obviates User multi-tasking. Perhaps the lack of attention is down to no good meme to describe the problem; as obviously Windows 8 is a fully multi-tasking OS -- the Metro UI has onerous limitations and egregious issues with respect to User multi-tasking input and monitoring information:

· the Charms Bar steals the Desktop
· accessing some Windows 8 configuration options is a Metro Only proposition
· Metro can only tile two applications at a preset split of approximately 80:20
· there is no prefigured means to launch some applications without Metro

While its been exhaustively described how the Windows 8 Metro to Desktop control interface is awkward, inconsistent, obtuse and in some respects totally irreverent of the User -- there is an even bigger disconnect in multi-tasking efficacy.

There are mission critical Windows deployments where multiple applications have to be monitored and managed concurrently in real-time (these are neither small in scale or scope; from film and music production, to industrial applications, to police and rescue dispatch operations) where production is managed in the cost per second, or even life and death... It's not difficult to imagine a situation in a deployment like this where a User or Operator inadvertently (or deliberately) trips over Metro obfuscating Desktop applications ending in costly catastrophe due to critical information or input being missed...

Even in less critical roles, the onerous aspects Windows 8 interface integration is certain to interrupt everyone's ability to multi-task work flow and applications efficiently and in many cases to be costly in terms of time wasted and general inefficiency that will increase workload frustration. This is not an improvement in user interface design...

:(

Very important points!

I'd pointed out before that Windows 8 makes it harder to follow complicated instructions (troubleshooting, installations, etc.) that involve opening the Start Menu and then clicking something in it, because the Metro Start Screen that replaced the Start Menu takes over the whole monitor, covering up the next several steps you need to follow. But what you point out has potentially vastly more serious consequences. Thanks for bringing this to attention.

--JorgeA

#798
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One thing they fail to understand, Microsoft and its fanboys, is the amount of ill-will that is percolating. I mean I can't really decide at this point which company to despise the most: Microsoft, Apple or Google.

In this corner, I'm already looking at a Linux-flavored future. That horizon just got a lot clearer when I discovered that I can run Windows programs in that environment with PlayOnLinux. First trials with Office 2007 worked great! The windows themselves are a facsimile of the classic Win98/Win2000 look.

--JorgeA

#799
hoak

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Very important points!

I'd pointed out before that Windows 8 makes it harder to follow complicated instructions (troubleshooting, installations, etc.) that involve opening the Start Menu and then clicking something in it, because the Metro Start Screen that replaced the Start Menu takes over the whole monitor, covering up the next several steps you need to follow. But what you point out has potentially vastly more serious consequences. Thanks for bringing this to attention.

--JorgeA

Yes and to amplify the issue you raise; even more of a problem is the fact that the 'Start Screen' will auto arrange, making even rough approximation of an application's icon location unknowable -- though perhaps this can be administered, it's still absurd to expect support personal to tell someone to 'count twenty-two icons over and three down and click on the one that sort of looks an abstract of something abstract'...

Back to User level multi-tasking, there are Windows 8 control and management interfaces that are 'Metro Exclusive', ergo they have no replicated functionality in the Control Panel, or MMC -- so at least at this time it's not even a practical consideration for a System Administrator to do something like lock down Metro (if that were even possible) and use a 3rd party 'Start Menu' application to launch applications.

This issue, with the shoddy craftsmanship of the Windows 8 interface in general demonstrates the egregious disregard and lack of thought that has gone into the Windows 8 user interface design that's sure to end in costly tragedy as there will no doubt be some large Enterprise that has some sort of preexisting commitment to deploy Windows 8 that won't discover their expensive mistake until it's too late...

All this for a passive consumption 'Shopping Mall' interface that forces shoppers to loiter as much as possible; who would think...

:huh:

Edited by hoak, 24 August 2012 - 05:43 PM.


#800
jaclaz

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I guess that the first programmer that publishes a program called:
please_let_me_have_back_the_desktop_and_stuff_smartscreen_up_steve_ballmers_you_know_what.exe
will have quite a number of downloads and installations :thumbup as it could be a good way to deliver the message.... :angel from the "base" to the "top" (you know, the peeps that say they are listening BUT do another thing instead)

The usage of underscores and the lack of the apostrophe is to make sure that there is no issue with names containing spaces/special characters, though I cannot guarantee that Smartscreen (or IIS 7.5 :whistle:) can manage properly a name longer than 32 characters ;) .

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 24 August 2012 - 04:57 PM.





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