Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 13th Sep 2011 23:33 UTC
Windows Today, at Microsoft's BUILD conference in Anaheim, California, Microsoft unveiled the biggest overhaul of Windows since Windows 95. The venue was not coincidental; in the same city, in 1993, during the first Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft unveiled Windows 95 for the first time. Steven Sinofsky, supported by an army of Microsoft executives, demonstrated a whole boatload of things for Windows 8, and make no mistake, they had a lot to show. Two important notes: the Windows 8 Developer Preview will be free to download later today (no activation, will be updated regularly, and includes the new interface), and Win32 is the past.
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Excellent Review
by fadingdust on Wed 14th Sep 2011 00:28 UTC
fadingdust
Member since:
2009-11-05

Thom, seriously man - overviews like this is why I read OSNews! While everyone is playing the "first out of the gate" game, y'all wait until the dust has settled & give me something useful to read at night!

While I'm not a "power user" (though I could be/have been) I share your sentiments on Tablets, etc. So when it comes to new developments like Win8, I'm interested, but entirely distrusting of M$. I'd love to trust 'em, but I just can't yet. Everyone else is glowing about Metro, but somewhere deep inside me, I can't believe the hype. Indeed, we shall see.

Thanks man.

Reply Score: 6

Office vNext
by n4cer on Wed 14th Sep 2011 00:35 UTC
n4cer
Member since:
2005-07-06
RE: Office vNext
by WorknMan on Wed 14th Sep 2011 01:54 UTC in reply to "Office vNext"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Screenshots of some Office vNext apps leaked in March/April:


Cool. Microsoft always seems to come out with some new API every 5+ years, but the way you know they're serious about something is when Internet Explorer, MS Office, and/or Visual Studio gets rewritten with the new APIs. With Office, it looks like they're on their way.

I haven't finished watching the Build keynote yet (I'm about halfway through), but I wonder just how robust this WinRT API is. With .NET and C#, I found that it is necessary to use pinvoke/Win32 for quite a few things such as clipboard monitoring and MIDI. Hopefully, we won't have a situation where Metro developers are having to 'dip into' the .NET or Win32 APIs to get work done.

As for Win32 itself, as many corporations are still stuck on IE6, you know Win32 is going to be around for at LEAST the next 10 years. Who knows about .NET.

One other thought - when they were showing off that you could have legacy apps in the Windows Store, the one they were showing (can't remember which), it said 'download from developers website), so I wonder if Metro apps will be the only ones you can actually download from the store?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Office vNext
by n4cer on Wed 14th Sep 2011 02:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Office vNext"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

It was Quicken or QuickBooks.
Sinofsky said the store would act as a listing service for non-Metro apps.

From the info from people who've dug into the Milestone builds, WinRT basically offers unified access to the system whether from .NET, Javascript, or unmanaged code. It'll be nice to see how much is surfaced at this point -- also nice to see if any PowerShell enhancements are included in this build (and how WinRT helps make it easier to interact with the system from PowerShell).

I'm sure the details will be on MSDN shortly ( http://dev.windows.com/ ) but until then, this article may answer some questions (of course, you can also download the SDK from dev.windows.com.

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/06/windows-8-for-softwar...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Office vNext
by WorknMan on Wed 14th Sep 2011 02:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Office vNext"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Sinofsky said the store would act as a listing service for non-Metro apps.


So they're going to host Metro apps, but simply link to non-Metro apps? Well, THAT certainly won't confuse end users ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Office vNext
by n4cer on Wed 14th Sep 2011 02:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Office vNext"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06
Metro UI in managed C++, not regular C++???
by axilmar on Wed 14th Sep 2011 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Office vNext"
axilmar Member since:
2006-03-20

So when they say Metro can be programmed in C++, they mean managed C++, not regular C++.

That is a great disappointment for us that hate Microsoft APIs with a passion.

I've gone through the API, and it's horribly complex. Most UI components, for example, inherit from more than 5 interfaces, and have tens of properties and methods, most with cryptic names.

The new style Metro UI is a real anathema for us real time application programmers. It means that we can no longer write our code with Qt, since the Metro UI means the code must be written with .NET. If our clients request Metro UI applications, then we will have to stop supporting Linux and other Unix-based OSes, because the Metro UI is exclusive to Microsoft from all sides (libraries and programming languages).

Microsoft has done it again. Instead of embracing standards, they created yet another vendor lock-in solution.

Reply Score: 5

gonzo Member since:
2005-11-10

^FALSE.

Please watch this session, it explains a lot. A lot.

http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/BUILD/BUILD2011/BPS-1005

It's XAML + *NATIVE* C++ (compiles straight into x86).

(Also, according to presenter: "We have reimplemented XAML in native code.")

Edited 2011-09-14 15:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

^FALSE.

Please watch this session, it explains a lot. A lot.

http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/BUILD/BUILD2011/BPS-1005

It's XAML + *NATIVE* C++ (compiles straight into x86).

(Also, according to presenter: "We have reimplemented XAML in native code.")


Managed C++ still compiles straight into x86.

Based on the examples given for C++, it looks to be a mangled manged C++ with .NET integrated. See "Object" - the based class: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/system.object

It directly invokes .NET in the description. Perhaps that is just a fluke, but goes to show where it's going.

EDIT: The C++ side also seems to require the /clr option as the C++ examples use the 'sealed' keywords, (see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/windows.ui.cor...) which means its Managed C++ at best, not Standard C++ but Microsoft's hacked C++ instead.

Edited 2011-09-14 17:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

So when they say Metro can be programmed in C++, they mean managed C++, not regular C++.


No, wrong. Standard C++.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Office vNext
by Laurence on Wed 14th Sep 2011 12:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Office vNext"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

As for Win32 itself, as many corporations are still stuck on IE6, you know Win32 is going to be around for at LEAST the next 10 years. Who knows about .NET.

Those sort of organisations wouldn't upgrade to Win8 let alone Win9 (or whatever follows on) anyway.

While we're on the topic though:

I'm I the only person that sees this whole drive towards offline HTML apps as completely retarded?

We shouldn't be dumbing down application development further for people who can't be bothered to learn a proper development framework.

Maybe I'm just oldskool, but we should be encouraging the use non-crappy pseudo-languages for doing real development work.

Edited 2011-09-14 12:19 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Office vNext
by WorknMan on Wed 14th Sep 2011 15:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Office vNext"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I'm I the only person that sees this whole drive towards offline HTML apps as completely retarded?

We shouldn't be dumbing down application development further for people who can't be bothered to learn a proper development framework.


On one hand, I agree with you. On the other hand, I think it's time to put C++ out to pasture and find (or invent) something else to write native code with.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Office vNext
by Alfman on Wed 14th Sep 2011 18:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Office vNext"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Laurence,

"I'm I the only person that sees this whole drive towards offline HTML apps as completely retarded?"

No you are not. We ought to be moving to technologies which enable fat apps to be portable and provisioned/migrated transparently. Instead the trend is going to thin apps, which can't make good use of local resources and are dependent on third parties with more modes of failure and higher latency. This downgradeds the user experience.

Some might argue that HTML/JS can be overhauled to fix it's shortcomings, but it's already in such sloppy shape that web developers are cursing it every day. It's just extremely poor at a lot of things. Take vector graphics...terrible support for that, now we're dependent upon the server to render simple shapes. Want to add audio feedback for something, can't do it reliably without a plugin. Want the webapp to inherit the look and feel of a native application, forget it. Making things work in all browsers is a major undertaking, even for a site with a simple layout. One of the most common web layouts is columnar, which is exceedingly difficult to get right using CSS, often times resulting in hanging text syndrome.

HTML was cool at document markup, but as a platform to replace desktop applications, it sucks.

Reply Score: 6

Portable Apps
by zlynx on Thu 15th Sep 2011 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Office vNext"
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

Well, there is Java.

I am actually impressed by how fast Java 7 can run Minecraft. It seems to be a good improvement over Java 6.

It is still a bit ridiculous that I have to give it a full 1 GB RAM to avoid stuttering, but it does run very well.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 14th Sep 2011 00:59 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

I'm personally excited about the upcoming changes. I think the more classic interface will be around for a while, as I think it'll be a while before touchscreens are standard on more than 50% of new PCs.

My only hope is that they keep a regular start menu for Windows 8, as I know it'll be some time before I have a touch screen, and the over-sized, finger-friendly buttons spread across a large screen is annoying for mousing.

Reply Score: 4

Images are up!
by Rooki on Wed 14th Sep 2011 01:07 UTC
Rooki
Member since:
2011-05-12
RE: Images are up!
by OSGuy on Wed 14th Sep 2011 09:20 UTC in reply to "Images are up!"
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

Thank You!

Reply Score: 2

32 bit again....
by smashIt on Wed 14th Sep 2011 01:20 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows Developer Preview English, 32-bit (x86)


let's hope it will only be sold on tablets and other appliances...

Reply Score: 3

Someone dropped the ball at MS.
by Shannara on Wed 14th Sep 2011 01:30 UTC
Shannara
Member since:
2005-07-06

Stupid Microsoft. If I wanted a phone, I'd buy one. I don't want a smart phone interface on my desktop.

Reply Score: 9

modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Try being more imaginative.

Reply Score: 2

Shannara Member since:
2005-07-06

You replied to the wrong person. You must of meant to reply to Microsoft/article.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Someone dropped the ball at MS.
by SodaAnt on Wed 14th Sep 2011 18:05 UTC in reply to "Someone dropped the ball at MS."
SodaAnt Member since:
2005-11-15

This move to a new UI isn't anything new. Anyone who has been around a while probably experienced a sense of deja vu when Microsoft announced that Metro will be the new default UI in Windows 8.

Remember back in the mid-90s when Microsoft ignored the Internet until it started getting ubiquitous and then panicked and tried to make everything look and work like a browser?

Fast forward 15 years and Microsoft is way behind iOS and Android in the smartphone market, hence they panic again and overreact and try to make everything look like a smartphone, whether it makes any sense or not.

Reply Score: 3

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Remember back in the mid-90s when Microsoft ignored the Internet until it started getting ubiquitous and then panicked and tried to make everything look and work like a browser?

That's not how I remember things.

Windows didn't look look and work like a web-browser until the birth of IE4, which came out a couple of years after Win95 had.

Windows 95 before IE4 still felt very "offline" - like a stand alone computer. However it did still have some core APIs there already and some stuff was already subtly exposed to the users (eg run and file open dialogs could accept 'http://' URI's).

So my problem with your post isn't the "over-reaction" of the IE4/Win98 layout (which actually I did like). It was that you stated MS "panicked when the started getting ubiquitous". From what I saw of the ground work in Win95, Microsoft were always heading that way. It wasn't a knee-jerk reaction, it was a staged strategy as the jump from 3.1->95 was massive enough already.

I'm sure as early back as the early 90s I had read an interview with Bill Gates where he stated he wanted to move towards web-driven software which was licensed rather than bought. I can't for the life of my find the source, so who knows if I made it u or not.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Someone dropped the ball at MS.
by tomcat on Thu 15th Sep 2011 00:48 UTC in reply to "Someone dropped the ball at MS."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Stupid Microsoft. If I wanted a phone, I'd buy one. I don't want a smart phone interface on my desktop.


Tell that to Google and Apple. Both of whom run phone OSes on their tablets.

Reply Score: 2

Shannara Member since:
2005-07-06

You do know a desktop computer is different from a tablet, right? Here's some links for education ;)

Desktop: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desktop_computer
Tablet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablet_personal_computer

Reply Score: 3

First impressions
by Ventajou on Wed 14th Sep 2011 01:38 UTC
Ventajou
Member since:
2006-10-31

I just installed the 32bits version of the developer preview on an older Dell: Pentium IV HT, 2.5GB of memory with two monitors on a Radeon 2400.

First thing I noticed: it works well and smoothly.

Second thing: the whole start menu has been replaced by the Metro UI. This is extremely confusing especially for mouse use. I know that's not even a beta so I'm sure they'll improve on this.

Oh and by the way, after many years of waiting, there is finally a taskbar on the second monitor!

Reply Score: 4

Legacy apps on the desktop only?
by joshv on Wed 14th Sep 2011 01:39 UTC
joshv
Member since:
2006-03-18

I find it bit odd that legacy apps get relegated to the desktop interface only. Why can't they be run full screen and switched between with the metro gestures?

Reply Score: 3

EternalFacepalm Member since:
2010-09-02

There are a lot of apps that create multiple windows. Think about opening up a message in Outlook or a conversation window in an IM client. I suspect Microsoft concluded it was better to go with a solution that would behave predictably for all legacy apps, even if it wasn't optimal in some cases.

Reply Score: 3

joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

Then you can make a full screen wrapper for those apps, that just shows that app's windows. Popups are also a bit of an issue, but you can host them inside the same full screen canvas of the parent app.

I realize it might be a bit difficult, and has the possibility of breaking some things, but it allows you to use all of your apps within the same shell and with the same usage model. I'd actually find it to be pretty usable and conceptually consistent.

Alternatively, just entirely separate the legacy and the new. Make legacy it's own little Win7-like bubble, with it's own start menu where apps and settings affect only that environment.

Reply Score: 2

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Those apps are written under the assumption that they're running on the "classic" desktop. For example, maybe there's an app that relies on data being drag-dropped from other apps onto it before it can actually do anything (that's just an off the top of my head example of an app that would require the classic desktop).

I think it's better to have a clean separation between the two environments then try to guess what a classic desktop app might need and try to simulate it in the metro environment.

Reply Score: 2

joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

So some legacy apps break or don't work, or need a new release to fix issues.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Wed 14th Sep 2011 02:08 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

I'm confident this is good under the hood. But the GUI is typical insaneo modern Microsoft. Whatever schizoid is currently in power has thrown out the start menu. Awesome. Sorry guys, we went down the wrong path... for 10 years.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Luminair
by phoenix on Wed 14th Sep 2011 05:43 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

On small screens, like palmtops, netbooks, tablets, etc (really anything under 1366x768 and 13"), the app menu metaphor doesn't work. Even with a mouse.

Not sure how well a combined 'start screen' and widget display thingy will work on a desktop. But icon-based 'start screens' like KDE's plasma-netbook work extremely well, where the 'desktop' IS the app menu.

GNOME-Shell, I believe, also does something similar, although not nearly as well.

Granted, for 20"+ screens with giant resolutions and great DPI, the app menu still works. I still use plasma-desktop on my 19" disolays, but plasma-netbook everywhere else (HTPC, laptop, netbook). Wouldn't dream of going back to an app menu on them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Wed 14th Sep 2011 18:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

I'm sorry I wasn't clear. I'm not talking about Metro or small screens.

I'm talking about the Windows 8 Desktop, where the Start Menu has been replaced with a list of 4 items: "Settings, Devices, Share, Search." It even uses the new Google art style: "White Text On Black Background." In the business we have a name for this: "Fucking Retarded."

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Luminair
by Shannara on Thu 15th Sep 2011 01:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Luminair"
Shannara Member since:
2005-07-06

With Windows 8, it looks like Microsoft is trying to commit financial suicide. Especially since most of their income comes from businesses.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Luminair
by hussam on Wed 14th Sep 2011 14:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
hussam Member since:
2006-08-17

I'm confident this is good under the hood. But the GUI is typical insaneo modern Microsoft. Whatever schizoid is currently in power has thrown out the start menu. Awesome. Sorry guys, we went down the wrong path... for 10 years.


People said the same about gnome shell and I agree with them. why suddenly change a direction that was working?

Reply Score: 2

Impressive
by gan17 on Wed 14th Sep 2011 02:23 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

I haven't really followed Windows development for a while (I'm a Linux user), and so far I've only read this article and the one over at Ars. I'm seriously impressed.

MS seem to have gotten the whole "convergence" idea down pretty good. I share Mr.Holwerda's opinion on tablets being absolutely bollocks for serious work, which is why I haven't taken the plunge, but this might change the game.

I was just talking to a mate, discussing how, maybe 3-4 years from now, the tablet might replace the laptop and mobile smartphone. Imagine a thin 10" device I could use on the go as a tablet to check mail, read the paper, play games...etc, connected wirelessly to a fancy bluetooth mini-phone (maybe similar in size to the smallest 2G phones we had some years ago, maybe even with the ability to slot into the tablet somewhere like you do with a stylus), or fancy headset with LCDs and such (single sim card still in the tablet) for me to make calls with while the tablet was in the backpack, and then I could head home and do some basic computing with it hooked up to a keyboard-dock-thingy.

Something like that (but more refined than my bollocks-primitive prediction) wouldn't fully replace my "serious work" desktop, but will probably render my current netbook or ultraportable-laptop useless.

Of course, W8 is still in development, but I hope the others are watching this, especially Google and the Linux community. They need to buck up. Ice-Cream-Sundae running on an Asus Transformer simply isn't going to stand a chance against this.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Impressive
by phoenix on Wed 14th Sep 2011 19:03 UTC in reply to "Impressive"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I'm waiting for the ultimate in portable convergence:
* a smartphone that slides into the back of a screen to create a "tablet" (where the "tablet" is just a battery and a screen)
* the "tablet" screen includes a port to attach to a keyboard (where the keyboard includes a battery and maybe some extra CPU/GPU/RAM?)
* with an option to slide the phone into the front of the keyboard to use the phone screen as the touchpad

Basically, the phone is the heart of the laptop/tablet, with all the storage, CPU, GPU, RAM, etc. And the add-ons provide extra battery power and possibly CPU/GPU/RAM.

But the way the Motorola Atrix works is just dumb. The touchscreen on the phone is wasted when docked, and the OS on the phone is not used, etc.

Basically, take the eeePC Transformer and add a smartphone dock in both the keyboard and the screen. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Impressive
by zima on Tue 20th Sep 2011 23:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Impressive"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Unlikely IMHO. Your vision reminded me the prophecies about what was supposed to happen with home computers in the 80s, using the then-widespread computer technology & UIs; one central home computer which can control pretty much everything else.

It didn't end up that way of course. It turned out that the "computer" / microprocessor part of the equation is really no big deal and almost the only one which dramatically drops in cost over time - now, most of the devices have their own computer integrated, typically at least comparable or very much surpassing the microcomputers of the 70s/80s era. Inexpensive connections between them were a larger issue. Or even, really, giving this pursuit some meaningful purpose.

Your "tablet" part would be probably pretty quickly at least as expensive as full tablets, while being less handy and limited in form factor by the need to have a standard slot for (similarly limited) standard smartphone. SoC is not such a big part of the costs ("tablet" would need quite a bit of electronic junk anyway, probably most easily implemented by... some standard SoC); but you would add a need (and cost) for a reliable, high speed connector.

IMHO only such keyboard (just a simple keyboard, NFC or BT, & battery option) maybe has some future... maybe with a holder for smartphone (but a relatively independent one, wireless synch with & control of the rest)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Impressive
by tomcat on Thu 15th Sep 2011 00:50 UTC in reply to "Impressive"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Great comments. I'm not sure that a tablet will ever really replace a phone -- since the phone has some obvious advantages with form factor that allow you to shove it in your pocket easily. That is, unless you wear "mom jeans" with huge front pockets. LOL. ;-p

Reply Score: 2

Whither ReactOS and WINE?
by joshv on Wed 14th Sep 2011 02:47 UTC
joshv
Member since:
2006-03-18

It seems Windows is presenting a wily moving target for ReactOS and WINE. By the time ReactOS is finally 'done', 95% of Windows apps will be written to the new API.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Whither ReactOS and WINE?
by dsmogor on Wed 14th Sep 2011 09:58 UTC in reply to "Whither ReactOS and WINE?"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Actually I think it's a good news for them.
It means MS is ultimately going to freeze developement of win32. That will allow Wine/Reactos to finally catch up become usefull in real scenarios and occupy a nice niche of providing legacy windows compatibility forever.

ReactOs developer should now pledge some VC to get his milion euro to get "ReactOs 99%" ready to demonstrate on the timeframe of Win8 premiere to all disgrunted corporate users of Windows. A "window" of opportunity indeed ;) .

Think of them as FreeDos next generation. It would be ironic if in future Linux became a primary desination for legacy windows apps.

Edited 2011-09-14 10:12 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Whither ReactOS and WINE?
by joshv on Wed 14th Sep 2011 11:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Whither ReactOS and WINE?"
joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

Actually I think it's a good news for them.
It means MS is ultimately going to freeze developement of win32. That will allow Wine/Reactos to finally catch up become usefull in real scenarios and occupy a nice niche of providing legacy windows compatibility forever.

ReactOs developer should now pledge some VC to get his milion euro to get "ReactOs 99%" ready to demonstrate on the timeframe of Win8 premiere to all disgrunted corporate users of Windows. A "window" of opportunity indeed ;) .

Think of them as FreeDos next generation. It would be ironic if in future Linux became a primary desination for legacy windows apps.


Interesting analogy, and I think you are right - unless this transition to a new API fails entirely - in which case ReactOS could be like AMD64 to Intel's Itanium architecture.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Whither ReactOS and WINE?
by neticspace on Wed 14th Sep 2011 14:56 UTC in reply to "Whither ReactOS and WINE?"
neticspace Member since:
2009-06-09

There are ordinary people and businesses in China, South Korea, and Japan that still use Windows XP. And ReactOS will be a great thing for those individuals. I can't really complain.

Reply Score: 2

Interesting video about Metro apps
by Ventajou on Wed 14th Sep 2011 03:40 UTC
Ventajou
Member since:
2006-10-31

I just finished watching this really detailed and interesting presentation from Build about metro apps:

http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/BUILD/BUILD2011/BPS-1004

It's geared to developers but it has really good information about things like the tiles, search, sharing between apps, etc...

Reply Score: 3

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I just finished watching this really detailed and interesting presentation from Build about metro apps:

http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/BUILD/BUILD2011/BPS-1004

It's geared to developers but it has really good information about things like the tiles, search, sharing between apps, etc...


I only watched about 1/3 of it, but not a fan of what I'm seeing so far... as in, "Hey, let's remove all the controls and idiot-proof the interface." Take a look at the RSS example around the 5 minute mark; in the 'chrome' example they show, there's far more information on the screen at once, which I very much prefer.

And it seems like MS can't make up their mind. On one hand, they're like, "Let's create this new Metro interface and remove all the buttons and controls", and then they go and add the ribbon to Windows Explorer. Isn't the ribbon sort of a direct contradiction to the simplistic and minimalistic design of Metro?

Edited 2011-09-14 05:30 UTC

Reply Score: 3

modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

no.

Applications that are more complex in function than an RSS reader require a more complex interface...the Ribbon provides access to the more complex features of an application with out cluttering up the UI.

Reply Score: 2

Soooo......
by Phloptical on Wed 14th Sep 2011 03:57 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

....was Windows 8, my idea too? I must have been on drugs whilst imagining the metro interface. Gotta lay off the cat tranquilizers next time.

Reply Score: 5

metro UI vs iOS/Android
by pos3 on Wed 14th Sep 2011 06:02 UTC
pos3
Member since:
2010-06-25

@thom you mentioned that iPad and Android have shoehorned the desktop UI to tablet. How does the Metro UI solve this? Does the UI have url bars below like in one of the examples you had mentioned?

I don't have a iPhone, but several Android apps seemed to to be designed from a desktop perspective rather then mobile/tablet.

Reply Score: 1

Obviously a release to stay away from
by Neolander on Wed 14th Sep 2011 06:19 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Grand API revolution ? Check
New UI requiring software rewrites to work well ? Check
New programming languages and UI paradigms in a vital part of the UX ? Check
Microsoft involvement ? Check

I'm sure that by the time Windows 9 or 10 is released this will become very good, but I feel bad for all people who will be beta-testing Windows 8 RTM... And don't feel like joining them.

Let's just hope that this time, they finally have taken lessons from the past as far as future-proofing is concerned. But this "we only allow some forms of tiling because it makes software development easier" does not give me high hopes.

Reply Score: 6

bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

if history repeats itself windows 8 will be like vista where a whole bunch of changes were made and it will claim the title of vista2 or something like that. windows 9 will be like windows 7, a damage control release just before they break everything again with windows 10.

Reply Score: 2

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

I don't think there's such a clear pattern in Microsoft Windows releases. Win-DOS was pretty much bad, bad, bad, decent (3.1); Win95 series good, good, shit (ME), NT series pretty good except XP and Vista really needing a service pack or two.

After Windows 7, they really need to start breaking things again, or they'll be stuck with it for another 10 years.

Reply Score: 2

aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Yeah. Because Windows 95 was so good and Windows XP so bad?

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Playing the devil's advocate...

Compared to its predecessors in the Windows 3.x family, Windows 95 was a huge leap forward. Compared to Windows 2000 which is its technical predecessor, XP was much more of a "meh" release.

Reply Score: 2

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Windows 2000 wasn't a consumer release. I never even saw a Windows 2000 computer in my life. XP was the first NT consumer release, and that makes it major; it's not a "meh".

Edited 2011-09-14 21:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

I bought a Sony Vaio ultra compact (for the time) with Windows 2000 pre-installed.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Windows 2000 wasn't a consumer release.


Yes it was.

Reply Score: 1

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

2000 was not marketed as a consumer release, sold on everyone's computer, etc. But having used it at work like I would have used an XP box, one year ago... XP really was a mixed bag as compared to it, not big of an improvement and a bit of a regression.

Reply Score: 1

zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

Except for USB. USB support was a huge improvement in XP over 2000.

Reply Score: 2

Gaming
by joelito_pr on Wed 14th Sep 2011 07:04 UTC
joelito_pr
Member since:
2005-07-07

I wonder if PC games will suffer performance issues when ported to this platform.

Reply Score: 1

.
by Icaria on Wed 14th Sep 2011 08:28 UTC
Icaria
Member since:
2010-06-19

Going to reserve judgement until I've got the dev preview running (hopefully it'll 'just work' in Virtualbox) but I'm not expecting to have many good things to say about it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: .
by Icaria on Wed 14th Sep 2011 11:45 UTC in reply to "."
Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

Played with the Windows 8 dev preview.

If you expect to be able to close applications, keep applications open, or arrange them on your screen, Windows 8 isn't for you.

If you're one of those people who never felt like they had any control over what their computer did in the first place, I'm sure you'll love it.


Couldn't get snap to work, possibly because no widescreen resolutions were available on my VM. Using the mouse was fatiguing (so much dragging). When you eventually figure out what's a button and what's just text, clicking said button can have any number of effects, none of which are predictable: easy example being the little Win+C/hot corner menu in the bottom left corner of the screen, it's items, once clicked, opening up a sidebar on the far right side of the screen.

Reply Score: 4

RE: .
by reconciliation on Wed 14th Sep 2011 18:37 UTC in reply to "."
reconciliation Member since:
2009-07-02

one good thing i can say about it is that you can install bblean and have it as the default shell just as on windows 7 and all that metro stuff is gone for good (doesn't even autostart or anything, metro apps don't start up either probably because the runtime is not loaded and doesn't load automatically)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: .
by Icaria on Thu 15th Sep 2011 07:39 UTC in reply to "RE: ."
Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

Good to know. Hopefully Metro will piss enough people off as to reinvigorate the alt shell community.

Reply Score: 3

Anyone try it under KVM/QEMU?
by Alfman on Wed 14th Sep 2011 08:48 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

I tried the 32bit preview ISO.

On startup, I get past the spash screen but it ultimately crashes with the following error.

http://www.pictureshoster.com/files/g2k5eprxa3jq6ur0otic.png

(qemu-kvm-0.11.0)


I don't have any other virtualization software to try at the moment, but I've never had a problem with other operating systems.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

yeah, I was tempted to try it on VMs, but I don't have much time right now. I did notice that it requires a direct x 9 compatible video card. I don't think any of my vms on my linux box can provide that.

Reply Score: 2

Steven Sinofsky
by Lava_Croft on Wed 14th Sep 2011 09:31 UTC
Lava_Croft
Member since:
2006-12-24
What will Apple do?
by dsmogor on Wed 14th Sep 2011 10:32 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

Interesting what will be the Apple response to the ( eventual) success of Win8 tablet/pc hibrid.

With iOS on tablet they are rather stuck in consuption device area.
If win8 manages to deliver a set of compeling entertainment apps while being easily convertible to conventional laptop Apple is in trouble. They will probably bring OSX and iOS closer but the api split will hurt them eventually.
Of course if Google doesn't show some real magic in IceCream release they are doomed on the tablet. All the troubled PC producers will jump ship Win8 in a heartbeat to protect their diminishing laptop business.
So far Android failed to deliver on that form factor so I wouldn't count on any sort of loyality.

The question is would that also translate to WP? Looks like MS has now a winning SDK hands down.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What will Apple do?
by bnolsen on Wed 14th Sep 2011 12:40 UTC in reply to "What will Apple do?"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

you assume a unified paradigm is the right way to do it. while I appreciate how small devices have emphasized the need to simplify application interfaces in general, I frankly don't see a way to create a unified interface for completely different devices with completely different uses. right now it sounds like windows 8 is ui wise a cluster. Apple and Google made the obvious choice to treat different devices as different and work on synchronization.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What will Apple do?
by defdog99 on Wed 14th Sep 2011 21:20 UTC in reply to "What will Apple do?"
defdog99 Member since:
2006-09-06

<sarcasm>
itunes will BE the OS.
</sarcasm>

Reply Score: 1

RE: What will Apple do?
by kristoph on Thu 15th Sep 2011 04:04 UTC in reply to "What will Apple do?"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

Yes, this is exactly the same UI as the smashing success that is Windows Phone 7 which is crushing those pitiful, archaic icon based offerings from Google and Apple.

Clearly, everyone should just pack up and go home, Microsoft conquers all!

Reply Score: 2

Cool
by Ultimatebadass on Wed 14th Sep 2011 12:23 UTC
Ultimatebadass
Member since:
2006-01-08

Not to thrilled by that metro ui from the screenshots, but hey - it's free, i'll try it ;)

I wonder if they are planning to make visual studio in metro ui? Or any other complex application for that matter? Right now i just don't see it but i've yet to play with this DP release.

Reply Score: 2

tried, forgotten
by l3v1 on Wed 14th Sep 2011 12:51 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

I installed the full dev. prev. in a virtual win7_64. All in all, might look ok for someone who likes the new interface design idea (I don't), but the UI feels fairly schizophrenic when you also have "outsider" apps (I dropped in firefox, chrome, netbeans, putty, a few others) and it keeps swithing to-and-fro. Also, I didn't find a way to add apps to the new "start" screen (the metro UI), how does one do that (I mean, like, add a new rectangle as a link to a non-metro app, as there is e.g. for vsexpress11)? Also, if your "rectangles" become a crowd of rectangles, let's say 50, will you get a large "pile" of rectangles for each app? Gosh.

Also, if one installs a multitude of non-metro apps (e.g. a dev. machine, dozens of dev- and nondev-related apps), there's no "old" start menu for them, how the hell do you access them besides placing desktop icons for dozens of apps onto the oldstyle desktop, or using win+R to launch everything?

Weirdness, I can live with that. Usability and usefullness, that's what has to be convincing.

Reply Score: 4

RE: tried, forgotten
by n4cer on Thu 15th Sep 2011 00:15 UTC in reply to "tried, forgotten"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Also, I didn't find a way to add apps to the new "start" screen (the metro UI), how does one do that (I mean, like, add a new rectangle as a link to a non-metro app, as there is e.g. for vsexpress11)? Also, if your "rectangles" become a crowd of rectangles, let's say 50, will you get a large "pile" of rectangles for each app? Gosh.

Also, if one installs a multitude of non-metro apps (e.g. a dev. machine, dozens of dev- and nondev-related apps), there's no "old" start menu for them, how the hell do you access them besides placing desktop icons for dozens of apps onto the oldstyle desktop, or using win+R to launch everything?

Weirdness, I can live with that. Usability and usefullness, that's what has to be convincing.


As in Vista and 7, press the Start button, then start typing to search for your desired app.

To pin an app, either swipe up or down on the app's tile, or right-click on it. A check mark will appear on the top-right corner of the tile, and an app bar will appear at the bottom of the screen. Click the Pin button. When you pin the app, its tile will be added to the end of the list.

Not in the Dev Pre build, but in the future, you'll also be able to create named tile groups to organize large numbers of tiles if you choose to keep many on your Start screen. See Julie Larsen-Green's demo in the Day 1 BUILD Keynote.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: tried, forgotten
by l3v1 on Thu 15th Sep 2011 16:14 UTC in reply to "RE: tried, forgotten"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Thanks for the info!

Reply Score: 2

A MS hammer
by siki_miki on Wed 14th Sep 2011 12:53 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

If I understand correcly, only Metro UI apps will be able to use WinRT, while apps for classic desktop, the ones that we actually know as desktop applications will be neglected as a "legacy" C++/win32 or .NET (without being updated)?

If so, I am disappointed that they want to get rid of windowed interfaces (by forcing developers to migrate to new UI through providing them relevant API only in that mode), which is a step back in UI evolution.

The thinking disease comes from tablets and phones which are consumer devices, like gaming consoles (and it makes sense for small phone screens), but forcing it on PC crowd wich has higher expectation and needs is a mistake. It looks MS is ready to sacrifice the almost universal windowed desktop paradigm, just to have more chances of being successful in Tablet market. No thanks.

Reply Score: 3

RE: A MS hammer
by reconciliation on Wed 14th Sep 2011 18:45 UTC in reply to "A MS hammer"
reconciliation Member since:
2009-07-02

they actually did some work on win32 as well with the new task manager/explorer (that's the obvious work obviously), I wonder what else they did.
If win32 apps continue to function as they do in windows 7 I might switch as I use bblean as my window manager anyway and it does work in the dev preview (there ARE start menu shortcuts, there's just no start menu opening from the start button, so bblean loads those just fine)

Reply Score: 1

RE: A MS hammer
by tomcat on Thu 15th Sep 2011 00:54 UTC in reply to "A MS hammer"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

If I understand correcly, only Metro UI apps will be able to use WinRT, while apps for classic desktop, the ones that we actually know as desktop applications will be neglected as a "legacy" C++/win32 or .NET (without being updated)?


That's correct.

If so, I am disappointed that they want to get rid of windowed interfaces (by forcing developers to migrate to new UI through providing them relevant API only in that mode), which is a step back in UI evolution.


Nobody is forcing you to get rid of your code; especially if you already factored your code -- like many people -- so that there's a separation between how you render/composite your UI and how you get the bits to the screen. Most games will port with practically no issues at all. You can still use common languages (C/C++, C#) and new ones (HTML/JavaScript), as well. UI has to evolve.

The thinking disease comes from tablets and phones which are consumer devices, like gaming consoles (and it makes sense for small phone screens), but forcing it on PC crowd wich has higher expectation and needs is a mistake. It looks MS is ready to sacrifice the almost universal windowed desktop paradigm, just to have more chances of being successful in Tablet market. No thanks.


THe windowing paradigm is still present. You can still access the desktop, and it works pretty much exactly the same except for the Start Menu. You don't have to use Metro or run any Metro apps if you don't want to.

Reply Score: 2

Looks pretty functional
by ronaldst on Wed 14th Sep 2011 13:20 UTC
ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

One of my biggest grips with modern OSes is how functionality is introduced to the users. I think MS may have figured it out. Integration with services just like on WP7 = WINNER. And 3rd party clouds too like Flickr.

Oh and it seems that fullscreen computing and resolution independence have finally come of age. ;)

And system wide spellcheck.

PS: I still hate the tiles. Looks like something I'd see on a TV or PoS terminal. It looks so out of place on WP7 too.

Reply Score: 2

API silence
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 14th Sep 2011 14:15 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Now I think I understand why Microsoft was so silent about the languages that could be used to write metro applications.

Its not that c# and all of the other dotNet languages are forbidden, its that the api is different. Maybe no more winforms and the traditional api isn't being used. So some of the dot net developers skills will be retained ( language syntax) and some will not ( api familiarity). That sort of sucks for them.

I wonder what will become of mono. I think Migeul would like metro, but does his now independent company have the resources to support a whole new and completely different api that makes radical assumptions about the gui, while continuing to try to catch up with everything else that's in dot net?

Reply Score: 2

RE: API silence
by kristoph on Thu 15th Sep 2011 04:06 UTC in reply to "API silence"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

They just bolted that other stuff on. Sure you can build Metro UI's in C++ but why the fuck would you want to. Metro is basically made for Javascript/HTML/CSS development. Their just throwing a bone to their base.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: API silence
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 15th Sep 2011 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE: API silence"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yup. It sort of makes you wonder if they scrambled to do something dot net related after all of the complaints.

Reply Score: 2

Thom is still wrong about win32
by IanDumych on Wed 14th Sep 2011 14:56 UTC
IanDumych
Member since:
2009-02-02

Thom, when are you going to stop perpetuating this "Win32 is dead" nonsense? Metro is blatently a shell running on the same old gui. Did you even bother reading the developer overview? Metro apps can be made using the Win32 api http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/br205757 Not only that, every single demo that we've seen so far has clearly shown a typical Windows setup with the Metro UI running as an application full screen, and when you run a normal native app it pops up in the old shell, right behind metro.

I want to see a true break from the aging Win32 api as much as anyone else, but the stuff you've been saying is still fantasy.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom, when are you going to stop perpetuating this "Win32 is dead" nonsense?


I didn't say it was dead. Did you read at all? I said it was on its way out.

Metro is blatently a shell running on the same old gui.


No, it's not.

Metro apps can be made using the Win32 apip


Read that link again, and focus on what it actually says, okay?

Not only that, every single demo that we've seen so far has clearly shown a typical Windows setup with the Metro UI running as an application full screen, and when you run a normal native app it pops up in the old shell, right behind metro.


Someone clearly hasn't been paying attention. It's the other way around.

Reply Score: 1

Sabon Member since:
2005-07-06

"Thom, when are you going to stop perpetuating this "Win32 is dead" nonsense?


I didn't say it was dead. Did you read at all? I said it was on its way out.

Everyone on earth that knows anything about computers knows that Win32 and 32 bit in general is on the way out. We've knows that for about 10 years.

Metro is blatently a shell running on the same old gui.


No, it's not.

Mostly it is.

Metro apps can be made using the Win32 apip


Read that link again, and focus on what it actually says, okay?

Not only that, every single demo that we've seen so far has clearly shown a typical Windows setup with the Metro UI running as an application full screen, and when you run a normal native app it pops up in the old shell, right behind metro.


Someone clearly hasn't been paying attention. It's the other way around.
"

MS has been busy lying again. Read my other post about what they promise and what they deliver.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Interesting link. It doesn't mean that metros can be created *completely* with win32 api. It means that metros can be created with *some* win32 apis in addition to the metro api.

Why do they allow that?

From the article:

This subset of APIs was chosen to support key scenarios for Metro style apps that were not already covered by the Windows Runtime, HTML/CSS, or other supported languages or standards.


Yeah, they didn't finish the metro api. It can't completely replace win32 in all scenarios. That's less than a clean break. They'll have to keep support for those win 32 api calls now for a lot longer than they would have otherwise.

Edited 2011-09-15 14:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

Heh. Yeah.

It's my opinion that Microsoft never wants to completely replace the Win32 API. If they did, if they made it possible to really write pure CLR applications it would make projects like Mono able to replace Windows.

No, they want to keep people dependent on P/Invoke for as long as possible, although with the new ARM support they are shooting themselves in the foot by requiring developers to recompile.

Developers can write pure .NET applications. They just can't use a lot of useful Windows features.

My particular feature was memory mapped files. It took them four versions of .NET before they got that in there.

Reply Score: 2

IanDumych Member since:
2009-02-02

I really wish I could understand why you keep saying these things. Watch Brad Linder's demo video on the Eee PC. Try the developer build yourself. OPEN YOUR EYES. This is BLATANTLY the same old win32 gui with Metro running as a 3d OVERLAY. The Metro style start button hovers over the area where the old start button was, and when you launch metro apps it just brings up the rest of the overlay.

Reply Score: 1

Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

Go back to the initial showing of any M$ OS and see how much they promised and then check off what they actually delivered.

Based on past history quite a few things won't make it to production because they won't be ready in time.

Based on past history 40% of what they announced will never make it to production.

Based on past history, about 20% of it will make it to production but will be a lot less then what they "promised".

So ... expect about 40% of what they demoed to make it into Windows 8 before Windows 9 is released. Based on past history.

Reply Score: 5

disable metro?
by frantisheq on Wed 14th Sep 2011 16:28 UTC
frantisheq
Member since:
2008-07-25

is there anyway to disable this metro tablet crap or do i have to wait for Win 8 based Server? this useless tablet UI on PC is the reason why i moved from Gnome3/Unity.

Reply Score: 4

RE: disable metro?
by frantisheq on Wed 14th Sep 2011 16:31 UTC in reply to "disable metro?"
frantisheq Member since:
2008-07-25
RE[2]: disable metro?
by Luminair on Wed 14th Sep 2011 18:55 UTC in reply to "RE: disable metro?"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

this is very good, and what you'd expect to see if they still plan to sell this to businesses. it remains to be seen how much of this bridge they'll burn before release.

Edited 2011-09-14 18:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Did they learn nothing from Vista?
by dpJudas on Wed 14th Sep 2011 16:53 UTC
dpJudas
Member since:
2009-12-10

Sometimes I wonder if Microsoft is truly trying to commit suicide in the market. Check this list of APIs that are now gone:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh464945

What does this mean? It means that *every* application that doesn't use the very latest Microsoft-only technology now needs to be ported to this new platform.

Vista took a huge beating in the market partly because it ran awfully itself, and partly because the few security changes they did broke countless applications. And those security changes were actually just simple minor adjustments. Now they expect the entire world to port all their applications to effectively a new platform.

Good luck with that.

Reply Score: 2

Not liking this so far
by joshv on Wed 14th Sep 2011 16:59 UTC
joshv
Member since:
2006-03-18

I've been playing with it for about an hour and I have to say that I find the transition from Metro to the desktop and back jarring.

There should be two options for the user to select from:

1. "Full on tablet" - Metro is the shell, all apps are launched full screen, and "legacy" apps get some sort of metro proxy wrapper to make them function as part of the new UI. This could break some legacy stuff, but so be it.

2. "Corporate/Workstation" - Windows desktop is the shell, "legacy" apps launch as expected, and WinRT apps launch in a window with some restrictions on their functionality.

The compromise solution just is not working for me, and it's going to be damned confusing to normal every day desktop/laptop users with legacy apps.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Not liking this so far
by Luminair on Wed 14th Sep 2011 18:46 UTC in reply to "Not liking this so far"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

Honestly I am still shell-shocked that they think it is a good idea. What user interface textbook says you should regularly shuttle users between two COMPLETELY DIFFERENT IN EVERY WAY user interfaces. *zips back to Metro* Find that book for me. *zips back to Desktop* I dare you. *zips back to Metro* As a user I can tell you this is jarring *zips back to Desktop* like Where's Waldo projected onto my eyeballs with a strobe light. *zips back to Metro*

Edited 2011-09-14 18:52 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Not liking this so far
by joshv on Wed 14th Sep 2011 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Not liking this so far"
joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

I think it's ok to have two environents if you must, - but not the way this is done.

There are several ways this is commonly done today:

- The compatibility environment is a walled off bubble within the host. Settings within the guest environment do not propagate to the host, and integration is minimal (cut/paste and file sharing). The guess manages it's own windows and creates it's own desktop.

- Apps within the compatibility environment are re-parented (at least visually) within the host's shell. For example VMWare's "Unity" functionality. Still integration is only visual, and settings and configuration done using guest apps don't affect the host.

- The legacy binary is run via an API wrapper that maps API calls to the native equivalents and provides a graphic canvas to the app within the host environment, managed by the host's window manager. Wine is an example of this. A similar approach, requiring a recompile, is a compile time wrapper that maps legacy APIs to the new APIs (Apple's Carbon).


So this suggests some possible approaches for Windows 8:

- Semi-virtual environment for legacy apps with their own OS images and file system. Desktop is a separate app, and integrated only via copy/paste and file shares. Metro is entirely legacy free and totally un-aware of Win32 or the desktop.

- Same as the previous, but do away with the desktop entirely. Create a metro-ized wrapper for legacy apps that runs the apps within the Metro shell.

- Unified OS installation, no virtual environment, legacy applications are run via a modified win32 API that makes the apps "look" at least more native and makes them function properly within the Metro shell.

My preference would be the second. It keeps the legacy cruft walled away, but at least allows the apps to function within the native Metro shell as peers.

Reply Score: 2

Color me confused
by cmost on Wed 14th Sep 2011 18:26 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

I see from the developer preview of Windows 8 that Microsoft, too, is jumping on the smart phone interface as a desktop interface bandwagon. First Gnome, then Canonical, then Mac OS X (to a much lesser and smarter extent) and now Microsoft. Ironically, the only big name DE that maintain a "normal" interface is KDE. (I realize XFCE and LXDE offer traditional desktops too, but they're not quite as full featured, yet, as KDE.) I've been a computer geek for years (primarily a Linux user) and from everything I read on tech sites far and wide, the majority of desktop users dislike this direction in desktop interfaces. So my question is, why are all the developers headed this way? I don't have a problem with Micorosft's new interface because it will be easy to revert to a more traditional "desktop" paradigm. Canonical and Gnome 3, however do not offer this ability anymore. Most people do not use netbooks or tablets as their primary computer. For those who do, the touchscreen favorable interface should be an option THEY choose, not an interface that desktop users have to hack in order to turn off or worse, un-install their favorite OS in order to find a suitable more traditional alternative. I wish developers would stop self-aggrandizing and simply listen to what users want, even if what users want is less "cool" than what they can do.

Reply Score: 3

BeOS
by jefro on Wed 14th Sep 2011 19:50 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

Hope it is more like BeOS.

Reply Score: 1

RE: BeOS
by transputer_guy on Wed 14th Sep 2011 20:19 UTC in reply to "BeOS"
transputer_guy Member since:
2005-07-08

Haiku OS is what you want, every other desktop is leaving Tracker and basic OS minimalism further and further behind (sad in my opinion). Haiku with a few more improvements in Tracker like variable sized picture/content view like say ThumbsPlus and a few dozen apps would be enough to rock my world. We'll see.

Reply Score: 2

Posting from Win8
by transputer_guy on Wed 14th Sep 2011 20:06 UTC
transputer_guy
Member since:
2005-07-08

Well I am gobsmacked by the changes.

Thank goodness I have two monitors to keep my sanity. With only one monitor you will all surely go schizoid!!

The left monitor shows the new desktop which has more than enough changes to last for a while, looks like it has some promise. I will now try and install my usual set of Win32 apps so I can get back to work on my own portable spatial desktop.

The right monitor in Metro mode is a total joke, a Noddy world for applets that would be better handled inside any browser. The apps can then be cloud based or JS or whatever is the current craze but it would just be crap inside of a webpage you can get the heck away from and don't need to have in your OS install.

I am using the 32b version on a old HD without the new developer tools, it used almost 13GB. The 64b version with the tools is too big to fit on a regular DVD, needs a DVD9 or maybe a Flash stick and a 4.8GB download. Will try that later.

I wonder how long the trial release will last?

Reply Score: 2

Good News
by lucas_maximus on Wed 14th Sep 2011 20:25 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

For me this is awesome news I can use my existing HTML/JS and C# skills to develop Applications.

This pretty much means I can do Win Phone apps, Desktop apps and webapps now which helps with my employability.

:D

Edited 2011-09-14 20:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Am I the only one?
by adinas on Wed 14th Sep 2011 21:08 UTC
adinas
Member since:
2005-08-17

that hates the new ui for a desktop?
I often have tons of open windows. I often have a couple of visual studio projects open. 3-4 skype chats (1 or 2 blinking waiting for me to respond), 5-6 notepad notes ff,ie and chrome,2-3 remote desktop sessions, outlook and maybe a couple of opned mails and 2 SQL server management studios. how can i go between them quickly by swiping? The taskbar was ms's greatest invention and they are throwing it away. The only exciting news was that you can now have the taskbar on every monitor and it will show only those apps on that monitor. Even during the presentation they would go to Desktop mode to show stats on file transfer in one window while dragging files between usb drives in explorer. Imagining a day in the future with only metro is ;)

Edited 2011-09-14 21:21 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Am I the only one?
by B.Jay on Thu 15th Sep 2011 07:02 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
B.Jay Member since:
2011-01-01

No, you're definitely not the only one...

So I got myself the VMware Workstation 8.0 upgrade and installed the Developer Preview.

After tinkering around with it for several hours - together with some friends and colleges - and resisting the urge to throw my PC against the wall...

From my/our point of view Metro perfectly aligns itself with Gnome 3, Canonical's Unity 2D/3D and KDE 4 in its current shape and form. It's sooo utterly useless for getting work done(TM) or managing your PC that I'm/we're out of words. (@possible critics: Yes, I/we keep in mind that this is a unfinished Developer Preview which can/will change on the way to RTM - that's actually what I'm/we're hoping for)

A "classic desktop" containing the start menu as we know it from Vista/Windows 7 simply HAS to be added, otherwise power users and admins won't touch it even with a 10 foot stick.

Just my two cents on what we see at this moment.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Am I the only one?
by adinas on Thu 15th Sep 2011 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Am I the only one?"
adinas Member since:
2005-08-17

So, all the desktop makers are committing suicide at the same time. nice. Didn't they ever hear of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"

Reply Score: 1

RE: Am I the only one?
by zima on Tue 20th Sep 2011 23:59 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

You also write...

So, all the desktop makers are committing suicide at the same time. nice. Didn't they ever hear of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"

Maybe it is broke? Now, perhaps not to you ...but then a) from the description of your desktop, you don't seem as a very typical user b) we did hear not entirely dissimilar wailing also when abandoning, say, paradigms of DOS era ;p (heck, or when going from 9x-style to Luna)

But, from numerous problems many people face with "computers" it seems they're nowhere near optimal for most of them. As for us?... I think we'll get through fine one way or another, we'll see (maybe partly a reintroduction of workstation concept? Hopefully not the price)

Edited 2011-09-21 00:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

One size doesn't fit anyone.
by gehersh on Wed 14th Sep 2011 21:50 UTC
gehersh
Member since:
2006-01-03

What Microsoft fails to understand (and Apple does): you can't use a laptop the same way you use iPad-like devices. Even if it's called *lap*top, keeping it on you lap while trying to do anything serious, simply isn't gonna make it. And furthermore, laptop like device needs a touch screen less than a fish needs an umbrella.

I think it was Steve Jobs who made it clear. Two different kinds of devices, too different purposes. Bringing the elements of slate OS into laptop OS is OK. Bringing the whole paradigm of slate OS into laptop OS is stupid. While iPad can be thought of as an oversides iPhone, laptop clearly isn't. So now Microsoft aggressively promoting the slate-like OS paradigm for Windows 8 which is expected to run primarily on laptops. I'm not amused.

In fact, the major reason I run Windows at all is the wealth of applications written for Windows. Nothing beats that. Not even Linux. I have quite a few applications I simply can't find Linux-equivalent. And WINE is still iffy. So, if, as somebody pointed out, we end up having Linux as a platform for legacy Windows applications (and assuming, of course, the absolute transparency, WINE or whatever, I don't care), I'll be switching to Linux without a second thought. My attitude about any OS is pragmatic and utilitarian, and certainly not religious. So, if, thanks to Microsoft, the year Windows 8 appears will become the "Year of Linux" -- well, so be it.

Reply Score: 2

what a load
by FunkyELF on Wed 14th Sep 2011 22:15 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

Trying to watch the keynote but I just hit a hicup when Steven Sinofsky said...
"The device you use and the hardware that it has and the operating system you run on, do matter to web browsing."

... and yet it shouldn't. Stupid shit like Silverlight made it that way. You're saying it matters because you made it matter. What a load. Don't know if I can watch much more of this propaganda.

Reply Score: 2

What about power users?
by tuaris on Thu 15th Sep 2011 00:10 UTC
tuaris
Member since:
2007-08-05

In this past year I've seen GNOME, Apple, and now Microsoft calling the "desktop" interface a legacy.

While these new touch screen interfaces may be productive for the less skilled, what about power users, developers, or even business users?

These new interfaces become very difficult to use for these type of usage cases where the classic desktop metaphor has worked so well.

Why are developers introducing artificial limits in computing?

Reply Score: 1

great article
by kristoph on Thu 15th Sep 2011 04:07 UTC
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

credit where credit is due Thom; please keep this type of stuff coming

Reply Score: 1