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Oops, more than a day went by without a Windows 8 hit piece.
Long story short, it'll never make you happy, and they don't have to
24inch triple monitor setups are a minority in the Windows ecosystem and trade offs were made.
Real world statistics indicate that Windows 8 is engineered for precisely the target audience and specs of the market it hopes to capture.
And I guess I can go to hell if I'm not in that target demo?
No, but you can deal with it or not. It just serves to give context in hopes some of you can tone down the vitriol.
I guess windows 7 will be the windows 8 pro edition. I know my company has written WIn 8 off already. It seems strange to me that MS is pissing in the same pool they drink from.
Metro is just about as exciting to me as Dashboard was on OSX. Only no one expected you to get you work done in Dashboard.
It deserves vitriol because it is leaving a big hole for professionals. Even worse than Final Cut X did for video professionals. Edited 2012-05-14 23:44 UTC
Then don't update, I don't know what else you want people to say.
Then Windows 9 will come, slightly polish Windows 8 like 7 did with Vista, and people will go nuts over it, proving how fickle you all really are.
What I want is for Microsoft to listen to their customers and offer a means of opting out of Metro in favor of the current UI/desktop. I've tried, really tried to like Metro. I have it installed on my laptop but I find I keep going back to my desktop more and more because having to switch back and forth from Metro to the Desktop is just too much work. I like the live tiles in Metro but could have essentially the same from gadgets on Windows 7 (at least before Microsoft did away with most of the gadgets they had listed). I like the fact that Windows 8 boots up/shuts down faster and overall seems more responsive. But I just cannot warm up to Metro and am irritated that Microsoft is unwilling to listen to its customer base. So while I'll probably reinstall Windows 7 on my laptop, I'm also checking out Linux distros in case the day comes that I decide to ditch Windows altogether. I like the fact that at least with Linux I am offered UI choices so that I can find the one that works best for me. (Note: I consider myself a Windows fanboy in the long run but hey, sometimes you have to make a change)
My company did the same, 200k licenses Microsoft will not be collecting for any longer, there are many vendors that sell PC's without an OS so no big deal.
Worse...you can go to Linux!
In all seriousness, this is going to finally push me to move to Linux. Although, really, its going to be less painful than my last attempt back in 2006...there is a LOT better support for the hardware that is out there, and software wise, there is a lot less compromise in the quality of available apps that run native under Linux.
People are starting to realize that they don't NEED Windows anymore. If you give them an alternative that works better, is more secure, and is actually easier to use than Windows, they WILL switch!
8 years ago, when I attempted to run Fedora 5, installing applications was a TOTAL pain! It took me HOURS just to get Adobe Flash working and playing nice with Firefox! Now, they have one-click installations and app stores. Click on what you want, and it loads. The geeky command line stuff is still there, but the average non-geek doesn't ever have to see it!
In short, the only thing going for Windows is MOMENTUM, and with Windows 8, they are going to kill even that advantage. By forcing people to learn a new OS regardless of what they choose, I think you will find many that are more willing to learn Linux than learn to live with Windows 8!
P.S. I don't even want to HEAR what you guys think about Windows 9...if Windows 9 is the saving grace of MS, they are DOOMED, because by the time Win9 is released, Windows in general will be even MORE irrelevant than it is now!
Linux users are very upset with GNOME Shell and Unity. A great part of users certainly are. I don't think going anywhere bleeding edge is useful now.
If you're a Windows guy, just stick with 7. If you're a Linux, I would advise to stick with RHEL/CentOS or Debian Stable.
maybe a lab.
but not users.
in software engineering you actually have a long period of testing before deployment, and if usability is an issue, you go back and rework.
Well, you see according to some people open source should innovate and differentiate themselves from Windows but at the same time they should not really change anything and it should still work like it always has.
These people also commonly think their personal opinions reflect the user-base at large and generally assign a disproportionate large importance to themselves.
GNOME Shell and Unity are just making themselves irrelevant. One great thing about Linux is that you have more than one desktop environment to choose. KDE, XFCE, MATE (fork of GNOME 2 in reaction to GNOME Shell), etc...
This is very true. If cinnamon would not have been created I would have dumped Linux. Kde and rest just don't do it for me either. I am happy with cinnamon.
If you don't like Gnome/Unity you could always use xfce or KDE or many other DEs/WMs
Why? Is there some reason why you can't use Windows 7? Is the release of Windows 8 somehow forcing you to move to a new OS from your old one?
I personally will just continue using my Windows 7 as I have done until now and wait for 3rd parties to solve the issues I have with Windows 8.
As you've suggested elsewhere, Metro is a future path for microsoft. They won't just dump the paradigm after pushing it so forcefully on people, else they'd be a bit silly.
So when people say that they may as well move to Linux, or, Lignux as i'd like to call it, they are saying that they do not want to use the metro interface for the foreseeable future of desktop computing, which is going to be around far longer then just Windows 8.
Oh, I wish that was true. But well, just recently I upgraded the Ubuntu-installation I had running to the newest release. It started out fine, but then the installation seemed to stall. I waited for a while, then clicked on the small arrow that brings up the terminal-window and guess what? There it was, waiting for me to input stuff. Later on when the installation finished Ubuntu needed a restart, but not surprisingly things went wrong again: the system refused to boot, it would only hang there with unmountable root filesystem. Turns out there was a bunch of modules and other packages missing.
And this was all on a very standard Ubuntu installation, I hadn't even so much as installed any custom themes on it. The only things I had installed were compilers and their relevant dev libraries. No new kernels, no binary-only drivers, no nothing like that.
My point is that I *still* often have to resort to command-line to fix stuff that gets broken for no good reason.
I don't understand your point here? You are suggesting that the command line is still needed right? but then you go on to give an example where the broblem was a geeky one - upgrading the OS. As a geek myself, I have NEVER come across any "normal" users that upgrade their OSs, have you? Usually they just ask someone like you or me to do it, right? So I fail to see where your example has merit. Perhaps you could give another...
That would be true in a parallel dimension, possibly, but in this dimension there is nothing stopping Joe Blow from just sticking with Windows 7. And when he buys a new PC he will just learn to use Windows 8, complain about it for a while, and then do nothing about it in the end.
And why not just learn a different OS? after all, we can see from the unprecedented growth of all things free and open source, that Microsoft is struggling to keep the "competition at bay.
I, as a geek have converted many, many computers over to Linux. The "normal" users computers I converted have become second nature to them, just like you say will happen for windows 8 converts.
So considering all this, why would you not suggest its a good idea to switch OSs? because its nothing to do with "ease of use". Edited 2012-05-16 12:23 UTC
"Go to hell" is a bit strong don't you think? I've been using it on a daily basis as my workstation since the Build conference last September and it's just not that bad.
It's like anything else...its takes a couple of days to get a new install setup with all of your tools and then it works just like you think it would.
I hardly even notice the metro parts...and I've started using the windows key more when I use win7 or 2K8. (Hit win and start typing...it's nice.)
I've started using powershell for anything and everything since you can finally do that on windows. Honestly, it's much better than it is worse.
Does it really? Interesting. +1
> 24inch triple monitor setups are a minority
If the OS treats some (even a minority) users as second class (consider designers, IDE users and others who need lot's of screen estate) - off to garbage should go such OS. Edited 2012-05-15 00:44 UTC
Thom, your article is slightly inaccurate as it deduces that the the traditional desktop shell is not an application when in fact it is (it's just explorer.exe).
In fact you used to be able to change what app to use as the shell quite easily in system.ini (change the value "shell").
After a quick google it seems you can still replace explorer.exe as the shell even on Win7. The setting is now in the registry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon Edited 2012-05-15 09:38 UTC
exactly what I'd already said - 'cept yours was the "concise" version..
Regardless, the new Start screen, charms, etc. can't be a replacement for explorer.exe because they are part of explorer.exe. They are not a new shell, but rather just a set of new features added to the existing shell.
The future computer is you smartphone. Desktops will no longer exist in a few years. The smart phone will plug into a dock then you will be able to manage it via a keyboard and mouse. Good Luck guys.
Maybe not phone per se... but, as far as the overall topic of this discussion goes (~Metro and future touchscreen-oriented UIs) - I can imagine "Metro 3.0" + a display descended from MS Surface 2.0 (tilted at some comfortable angle, like the drawing tables before CAD software came along) as being awesome, also with software fulfilling the function of After Effects.
(in fact, I suspect that's the long term plan of MS, with their apparent "forcing" of, a bit)
And probably before the end of this decade.
Plus there already were predictions of "one computer to rule it all" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcomputer_revolution#The_Home_Comp... ) ...and we already know, for a fact, that something quite a bit different happened and is still happening: more and more stuff gets its own computer, microcontrollers (often more powerful than home computers of old days) are hidden everywhere around us.
(that said, I think there is huge market for "large phone" / "small tablet" at least in developing places - people there tend o be more frugal about the amount of consumer toys they get; it will also finally give real purpose to those BT headsets ...and/or a simple GSM phone can be hidden in the headset)
Microsoft is a huge company. They can afford to create Vista's and Metro's that will ultimately become refined. Whey they have to do it in the most offensive and expensive way possible? They have a lot of cash lying around.
That's the way everyone does it. Gnome? redesigns the entire DE, changes the whole damn thing, and they still working on getting it right. KDE? Took them until 4.4 to get really useful. Unity? Holy crap, the things an unholy amalgam of OS X and Gnome 3. OS X? it took OS X until 10.2 to be truly usable, ask any OS X user who used 10.0 and 10.1.
That's the way things are done these days, MS is not the first, or the worst offender.
The old desktop is there, and Metro can be mostly ignored if you want. IT pretty much has to be right now, as there are no killer apps for it.
You mention the interface changes with Linux but you didn't mention that the user has the ability to choose alternative UIs that are closer to earlier versions of Gnome and KDE (MATE, Cinnamon, LXDE, Xfce, etc.) as well as the new UIs (Gnome 3.x, KDE 4.x, Unity). With Windows, you have three choices: Microsoft's way (Metro), remain with an earlier version of Windows, or 'take a hike'. I love Windows but am beginning to become frustrated that Microsoft refuses to listen to those that want the option to retain the Desktop UI with 'START' button (turning off Metro completely). I'm wondering just how bad their 'wake-up call' will be when Windows 8 Metro is released into the wild!
The bigger you are the harder you fall. Don't think something is too big to fail because it is not true. The cost of maintaining such a large company is enormous when the cash stops coming in they will need to shrink very quickly.
It strikes me as weird that every time an OS comes out with a different desktop it receives so much hate and frustration. KDE, GNOME Shell, Unity, Metro... They all get dumped on, even before they hit the download mirrors. I get that it does things differently and you might not like it, but then why complain about it? Why not simply file a bug report and not use it? Why complain on a tech blog or on a comments section that the developers will never read? It seems like such a waste of time and energy.
I don't like all the new desktops coming down the pipe, but when I see a change I dislike I file a bug or feature ticket (for minor things) or switch to one of the many other desktops (for major issues). We, as computer users, have so many options these days it seems foolish to get so bent out of shape over one.
I am all for discussion, weighing pros and cons, benchmarks, etc. I think that is great. What I think is pointless is the endless gripping and pointless raging.
I'm sure you can tell the difference between, "I tried Metro and found I didn't care for the new approach. I find the mouse behaviour unintuitive because.... and have so informed Microsoft," as opposed to, "Metro is an unholy mess and I will never use Win8!"
One is rational and helpful and can give others insight into an upcoming technology. The other is childish and tells us much more about the poor communication and life skills of the poster. Yet, sadly, the latter is what we regularly see, on OSnews and other tech forums.
I just wish most people put half as much effort into explaining their opinions and providing the developers with feedback as they do ranting.
I agree that "OMG Win 7 is a train wreck" is a pointless comment, but your original post doesn't seem to address that (or perhaps your first post wasn't clearly worded?). You said, "Why not simply file a bug report and not use it? Why complain on a tech blog or on a comments section that the developers will never read?"
A complaint can be very clear, detailed, and dispassionate, and a well-written complaint sheds insight on the problems with an OS relative to its competitors. I find that valuable and interesting. If people "simply filed a bug report", we would miss all of the interesting discussion here.
So I'll overlook a few childish whines to get to the good points that come along often enough to bring me back.
But in all fairness, any OS where I had to google to find out how to get back to the program launcher is pretty much a train wreck. Seriously. :-D
"Contrary to popular belief, Metro is not a replacement for the Start Menu."
Huh? Since when was the "popular belief" outside of Microsoft HQ and their marketing department that Metro is a replacement for the Start menu? You lost me on that one. The Start "screen" and Metro itself is a joke, in my opinion.
"This, right here, is the main reason why Windows 8 is such a pain to use with a mouse and keyboard. You can't directly switch to a desktop application; you always have to first switch to the Explorer Shell, and then switch to the desktop application you want running within the Explorer Shell. This is a convoluted way of using my computer, especially since Metro itself isn't mouse-friendly to begin with, with finicky hot corners and UI elements that are too volatile."
Yes... yes it is. IMO Windows 8 sucks. I wasn't able to run it too long before it sent me kicking and screaming back to Linux--almost ANY Linux distribution. Well, anything that's not GNOME 3, that is.
"It's not a technical issue. Microsoft could easily integrate the two much more efficiently and more fluently if they wanted to. No, the real issue is that Microsoft doesn't want to, because (and here's the pill that's so tough for some to swallow) the Explorer Shell is being deprecated. It's dead. It needs to be cumbersome and unpleasant because Microsoft hopes this will make users demand Metro versions of their favourite applications."
Which effectively Renders Windows dead as a doorknob to me. Edited 2012-05-15 00:40 UTC
Like a Linux fanboy was SERIOUSLY considering switching to Windows 8. LOL
I don't care if you were once a Windows user. The "I tried Windows and went running back to Linux" is typical Linux fanboy sloganeering, once common on Slashdot back in the day.
The fact that you "went running back to Linux" means that you represent less than 1% of computer users (not that that's bad in and of itself) and you do not represent Windows 8 target audience. I don't think Microsoft cares what Linux devotees have to say about Windows 8.
Many Linux users also use or have to use Windows. Certanly when Vista came out I intended to update XP but didn't because it was so awful and waited for Windows 7 (which is OK).
I'm buying a new box shortly it will run Ubuntu and I think I keep running Window 7 for a while.
Where are you getting Windows 7 Pro 64-bit from? You can get the OEM version from Amazon for $139.
Actually, once I saw the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, I thought that would be great with a real OS on it. That OS would just have to be Windows, since Android, while a decent phone OS, isn't much good for tablets and is really bad for a laptop. I thought Microsoft would come up with something here. Evidently not.
I think KDE has the right idea for flexible UIs, but it won't get there until we have modern, open hardware with good driver support. Unfortunately, it's some years off:
Technical folk such as frequent OS News tend to use a lot of different operating systems. I spend a LOT of time in Ubuntu (wrote a book there), SUSE and Red Hat (use them heavily at work), and Windows 7 (mostly at work, though we have a lone Win 7 desktop at home). I also use iOS (on a classic iPad), Maemo (on my beloved N900), and Haiku, Mint, Android and Win 8 in a VM just because I can. ;-)
So yes, when Microsoft puts out a stinker (say, Vista), folks here may make a deliberate decision to avoid it (I did). And when Microsoft puts out something serviceable like Win 7, folks here may make a deliberate decision to use it at least part time (I did).
And Win 8 looks VERY much like the former at this point, your snarky comment notwithstanding.
It's like the Mac OS Classic environment that ran within its own space when OSX was first released.
you could have made your points more succinctly, but I get them
- connecting explorer to metro doesnt work
- microsoft is okay with it, possibly because they want everyone to switch to metro anyway
good work. I would have also accepted:
- multiple simultaneous window managers is a retarded idea
- metro touchscreen interface as desktop mouse interface is a retarded idea
- microsoft is retarded
We all know that. That is why you should be using Linux Mint. Ha
How blind is everyone. I keep saying it. No one listens. It is so obvious. Whether it works or not here is what Microsoft and Apple are up to:
In the next version of OS X you will need to enable the ability to allow you to install Applications that come from anywhere but the App Store. How long do you REALLY think that ability to enable installs from anywhere but the App Store is going to be around? One or two more versions?
Now, Microsoft, not to be outdone, has said the only place you can install Metro Apps from is their store. And they're pushing this Metro interface, and making it a total pain in the ass to use your desktop. Put 1+1 together. They want nothing more than to deprecate the Desktop interface and go Metro only.
The only plan to fix this is to get everyone developing Metro apps.
I had Fedora, Windows 7, and OS X installed in the house and used them all almost daily. Call me paranoid, but, "War on General Computing" is _exactly_ what I see going on here.
I installed Fedora on all my systems and completely removed OS X and Windows. I will not pay to lose functionality of my computer. I watch media on Fedora, I play games on Fedora (I lost one of 13 or 14 games because Starforce doesn't work, oh well too bad, so sad), and I work on Fedora. To watch Netflix I bought a Roku which also happens to stream just fine from Linux using Plex.
Like I said, it may not pan out the way they want, but open your eyes to the future they are dreaming of and are certainly trying to steer towards.
"How blind is everyone. I keep saying it. No one listens. It is so obvious. Whether it works or not here is what Microsoft and Apple are up to:"
I voted you up because your overall message is right: closed computing currently being shoehorned by the most powerful corporations today is going to rip away so much of the open computing progress we've made in these past several decades.
However I don't like your generalizations about "everyone" being ignorant and blind. There are others who are fighting for open computing too. Insulting us or the people you are trying to convince is counterproductive. It just sucks that we're not important enough to make a real difference. It's good to have more visible people like Wozniak in this "war on computing", since he just might be able to spearhead this issue into the public media. I'm not confident that anyone is going to be able to stop the erosion in computing rights, but every voice helps.
Edit: I do wonder about Steve Wozniak's convictions given his relationship to apple. However he might be a sort of Warren Buffet in trying to fix bad corporate behaviors even though they are beneficiaries. Edited 2012-05-15 02:43 UTC
You are right of course, that it is a gross generalisation. But Thom is writing about how he wonders if there is something in store to fix the desktop interface. I seriously doubt it. I believe it is broken by design.
Again maybe I am being paranoid, but the changes coming from both sides really seem to make it clear that everything they are doing is deliberate and intentional with the end goal of have closed ecosystems where they approve all apps and take a chunk of the profit for every sale, whether deserved or not.
It is frustrating and I wonder why it isn't called out more. I guess some of that is that there is no 'proof', but it is still troublesome to watch.
"Again maybe I am being paranoid, but the changes coming from both sides really seem to make it clear that everything they are doing is deliberate and intentional with the end goal of have closed ecosystems where they approve all apps and take a chunk of the profit for every sale, whether deserved or not."
For me there's absolutely no doubt about it. Slowly but very surely we're loosing access to our own computers, and the pace of that trend is increasing. Corporations are assuming more access and imposing more restrictions on end user devices they weren't previously entitled to. They are continually testing the waters and because governments have been extremely lenient they go further and further each time. Pretty soon there's going to be no way for any new competing app stores to come into existence because the majority of consumers will be using locked up hardware/OS platforms. Edited 2012-05-15 04:29 UTC
Your comment got me thinking: what is "General Computing?".
Well, first, your statement was read while in bed with my tablet. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to respond. I've responded to comments with the tablet before, but even with the keyboard attachement, I prefer getting up out of bed, walking into the next room, sitting down at the computer, and navigating to the website.
Then, after finding your comment and hitting reply, I realized I wanted to see your comment while replying, so I backed up, opened Notepad.exe and typed my response in that with your comment floating behind and above it.
And all that was just to reply to an internet comment. If Windows 9 were to come about, where Metro is the only choice and there was no windowing system, I might have stayed in bed and not have bothered to reply. This would especially be the case if my keyboard and mouse were depreciated and made incompatible as well. I would not value my desktop as a desktop if it were just a big floating touch screen. There wouldn't be any point in having one. If for whatever reason access to an traditional computer were made impossible... I'd just have a tablet, and dream of better days.
Of course, even before we get to the point that everyone here seems to assume is the future, Microsoft has to avoid pissing off a lot of people. Apple doesn't have this problem because most of their customers are hip trendy people who either do nothing, or are big enough fans that they don't mind this stuff getting in the way of their work (which is probably art related).
So lets imagine a construction company, where the only computers that are available are big floating touch screens with no mice and keyboards. For the people that regularly go onto the construction site, where things are very dirty, those screens would get cloudy very fast. For the architects or drafters or BIM specialists (me), we'd have to somehow work with Revit or Autocad or Navisworks with a touch screen. Autodesk might try to optimise for it, but these programs are so in-depth and complicated that there's no way it would be nearly as usuable as they are today.
The place where I work is not upgrading to Windows 8. If Windows 9 is more of the same, we'll skip that too. The construction industry is huuuge, and totally dependant on Windows and Autodesk software to get the job done. And our sector is just one of many that will skip Windows 8.
So don't worry, Microsoft will get the message and not go all the way. At the worst, we'll just have to deal with Metro for a while. I've run it myself on my laptop... it's not terrible (ignore my rant about Metro earlier on this site).
The benifits of using it seem to outway the problems for an advanced user. Someone leery of computers, like a lot of my peers at work, will not see Metro making things easier for them. They won't be able to turn off the start screen with the registery like I would be able to, and our IT guy is certainly not going to bother installing Windows 8 on all of our machines just so that he can then turn off Metro.
The only people who will be buying this is your fellow geek, trendy hipsters, and whoever happens to be stuck with a Windows 8 machine... assuming those sell at all. It could be a disaster. And if it is one, then rejoice, because that'll be the death of whatever dystopian OS fantasies you're having about touch screen interfaces taking over the world and killing the computer. Edited 2012-05-15 02:49 UTC
Apple doesn't have this problem because most of their customers are hip trendy people who either do nothing, or are big enough fans that they don't mind this stuff getting in the way of their work (which is probably art related).
Would you like to get off your anti-apple hobby-horse and get a dose of reality?
I write software for a living and have done for 40 years. I've dumped Windows at home apart from the system I have to use for work. I write for Unix(AIX), Linux, Windows and even Z/OS at times. I choose to use OSX because it works for me. I'm hardly a hip trendy type, I'm more grumpy old man but after having tried the Win 8 preview, I have to agree with Thom. Win 8 is broken by design.
I think that many more average users will vote with their feet and move away from Windows. IMHO more than 50% will move to OSX. These won't all be hip or trendy people that is for sure.
Exactly, because normal people have more important things to do with their life, as caring about OS religion debates.
Perhaps. Of course, Symbian and Windows Mobile are so entrenched in the smartphone world that we know THAT will never change - and after iOS ignored the obvious precedents and took over the smartphone world, how many articles did you read about how Android would never make a dent in iOS sales?
An alternate scenario is that the rise of web apps reduces the value proposition for Windows to the point that many people CAN switch, if an alternate platform receives some serious marketing dollars behind a compelling story. Bombers dropping ARM-based Ubuntu ultra laptops, TVs, and hybrid smartphones, per chance?
I'm not arguing that Windows WILL lose control of the desktop, but "it didn't happen with Vista" isn't a compelling argument that "it can't happen with Metro".
Yes, it can.
And if Windows goes the way of IE, and competition returns to desktops and laptops as it has to the web, it will be a Very Good Thing for the industry and its customers alike.
I do not say that it can't happen, but that it will take more than a single failed release with competitors that just stand still and offer no seriously compelling alternative.
You actually picked interesting examples with IE and Windows Mobile, because they illustrate that once they have reached the position of a major market actor, Microsoft can just leave their products stagnating and rotting for years before they start to lose some serious market share.
Symbian was killed by Nokia's own stupidity. They could have kept it for much longer if they actually took the time to clean up and refactor their faulty codebase instead of hiring that Elop chimp that just waved his arms screaming "Doom ! Doom !" while proposing an inferior product as an alternative.
So I stand my point that if Microsoft just pull a Vista with Windows 8, then understand their mistake and get a polished version released in no time (as happened with Win7), I am pretty sure that people will forgive. Only if they try to Metroize things for a very long time, in spite of obvious signs of failure, will they start to lose market share.
I agree, although (1) I don't think Microsoft's desktop competitors are standing still any longer by any stretch of the imagination, and (2) I think the alternatives are already quite compelling, what's needed is a brilliant marketing campaign to catch the market's imagination.
MacOS X? they'll gain a bit, but I suspect that Windows 7 will just end up being the next Windows XP.
50%!? That would be quite a shift. Windows (and before that DOS) has enjoyed a huge percentage of users for at least two decades. Apple, even now, is just hanging on in the teens percentage range. Most of Apple's customers are iPhone users rather than actual Mac users. Apple recognizes this and is responding in kind.
If you're lucky, Apple won't completely kill their Mac Book Pro line. But I hear the 17in model is definitely on its way out, as well as the Mac Pro tower.
So 50% of PC users running off to a company that might just kill off it's own line of PCs... hmmm probably not. Edited 2012-05-15 11:29 UTC
More importantly, it's unlikely that Apple will hold 50% of the desktop market due to their business model. They earn insane profit margins instead. (Not a bad business model, mind you, but not the volume story.)
Windows has dominated the desktop because any manufacturer can build Windows desktops. Android has taken 50% of the smartphone market with the same strategy.
So a viable challenger for 50% of the desktop market will likely be one that also allows anyone to use its OS to build products - i.e., not Apple.
people dont care much about much.
people dont care that content producers and distribution networks are merging. or that they pay for things that dont cost money. or that government makes illegal laws. or that there are people with horrible lives because we have good lives. the power abuse is so gentle. it is a bit like star wars. the part before the good movies.
I agree, but the public has embraced this approach. And Apple's stock value is due in large part on getting a 30% cut on all iOS software sales, so naturally they'll bring that model to OSX. And Microsoft figures, "We might as well follow Apple's example and get a 30% cut of all sales of Windows software."
Yes, the era of "general computing" is coming to an end. That's the REAL meaning of "post-pc" era.
What's with geeks' obsession with the end of things? Do people just do it so they can be known as the "one who called it"? Is it the same thing that gets religion nerds interested in eschatology and the "end times"?*
The evolution of humans were not the end of chimpanzees.
This is just speciation - the same kind of thing that happened when GUIs came out. The command line still lives on and has its own niche. As will traditional file cabinet/desktop metaphor interfaces. As did the original dumb terminal/central mainframe when it speciated into what is now "cloud computing".
The end times aren't coming - it's only borders being redrawn.
* I hereby invent the new psychological condition known as the "Prophet Complex". Similar to the "Messiah Complex", but with a distinct lack of optimism about being the saviour, resigning themselves to second place as the one who predicts the saviour...
BS back at you:
Your reference please?
I have heard for 'Enterprise Customers' there will be alternatives to the store, but that's not John and Jane Q. Public, now is it.
So again, your reference please?
After working with Windows 8 on my laptop, I've been trying out different Linux distros and find they're not that bad! I've got VirtualBox running with Ubuntu 12.04 with the Cinnamon UI. I plan to try Mint 13/Cinnamon as well as Fedora 17/Gnome 3.x. While I'll probably stick with Windows 7 on my main desktop, it's interesting to see what other options are out there which I may use on some older computers I have. I was surprised to find that even the new Linux UIs (Gnome 3, Unity, Cinnamon, etc.) are intuitive and easy to use (at least they work in a way my mind does which Metro does not. That's just my opinion BTW).
If the shells is changeable, in all windows versions from NT4 to windows 7 i have been able to replace explorer as a shell with litestep and the file manager with total commander. Can this no longer be done? If it is still possible, i do not see a problem with windows 8 as i will not be using either metro or explorer anyways.
I think it depends if your using metro or not. I really hope the windows 8 "desktop" isn't restricted, but I don't think it will be on x86. In the previews the ridiculous start menu changes could be reverted back using a registry hack.
An insightful post, and it got me thinking:
Is there an official statement from Microsoft stating how they expect people to "get work done" in Windows 8?
I'm currently using Haiku, and spent the last four hours doing some work in it (but my following example could have been in Windows 7 or whatever). I was programming, which meant having text editors open to look at examples and web browser windows open to read the API. I'm notified of new email with a notification icon, and if someone sends me a message a chat window will popup.
I assume in Windows 8 you'll be notified of new email and chat messages by tiles on Metro, which seems ok. As for the rest of my example, does Microsoft expect these users to continue using Windows 7? Or, to use applications designed for the desktop mode of Windows 8? Or, to use a Metro application that has an MDI?
Has Microsoft said anything about it? Edited 2012-05-15 04:10 UTC
The question no one asks is:
Why do we need a Windows release geared towards Metrosexuals?
Hm... Let me follow this logic here.
Since OSX is rather homogeneous in it's appearance, it's geared towards homosexuals?
Since Linux is very heterogeneous in it's appearance, it's geared towards heterosexuals.
Since Win8 sports Metro, it's geared towards metrosexuals.
(And I still use Linux...)
There is logic in wordplay
And what else did you expect from a person showing "intellectual stagnation"?
Well, we all started out with a standalone DOS box ...
Does that make a machine-2-machine interface a robosexual (BMSMA)
It is a technical issue as it looks more like a bug.
I can do what you described pretty easily using the keyboard (toggling between the desktop, classic and metro apps using alt+tab). Then I could ctrl+tab to my hearts content in Chrome.
But the classic apps won't appear seperately on the left side tasks panel. Only the one instance of Windows classic desktop.
Windows 8 is pretty comfortable use with a mouse and keyboard. I use it everyday.
If you want to do a ranticle on Windows 8, do one on the lack of Flash on the Metro IE10 and the incoming Internet shitstorm about it. Also Facebook won't like it. And Youtube seems to be taking their sweet time to convert their site into pure HTML5. lol
Hear this, Hear this. A million times Hear this. Can we stop with the "I got a boo-boo with Win8" whining and create actual stories? Win8 does very fine with mouse and keyboard. We should be discussing more interesting problems, mentioned in a glimpse here, of how MS is working to create their onw walled garden on Windows RT.
"always"? I am running dual monitors on an XP machine, and I didn't need anything but the display drivers that came with the video card!
"Windows 8 works great with mouse and keyboard. And one issue won't change that fact."
s/that fact/my opinion/
Your opinion seems to be in the minority.
I was just correcting your post, but don't assume to know what my opinion is. My opinion over the mouse and keyboard functionality in windows 8 are the least of my problems with it.
You haven't needed anything other than Windows to use dual monitors since at least 2000, at least I haven't, maybe you have some weird video card or something.
It's not just RT that Microsoft is creating a walled garden for. They will push those walls right around full desktop Windows soon enough if they have their way! Apple is planning the same thing.
Its my opinion that Windows 8 will alienate desktop and laptop users who do not have a touch screen. The Metro UI is perfect for a tablet and touch screen devices, but that's it. The fact that Windows 8 has Explorer seems more as an afterthought to keep those without a touchscreen happy, however it isn't very user friendly without the start button or orb. Removal of the start button really makes Explorer not worth keeping since now shortcuts for Explorer only apps will either need to be in folders on te desktop or on Metro which is difficult to manage with a keyboard and mouse.
Microsoft should have two different versions of Windows 8, or prompt at install if someone has a laptop or desktop without a touchscreen. If the customer chooses the version where they have a touch screen then have it boot to Metro. If they chose the version without a touchscreen it should boot to Explorer that has a Start button/orb and on the start menu have an option to enter Metro.
Basically make Windows and it's default GUI specific to the device it's being run on. This would make both desktop/laptop users happy since they won't be stuck with Metro by default, and it'll make tablet/touchscreen users happy as they have an interface built around Windows geared specifically for them.
Microsft has stated that they think that within a couple of years it will be hard to buy a computer without a touch screen display, so that's what they're going with. I agree that those without touch screens might be best off staying with Windows 7 until time comes for them to get a new computer.
I will note that Windows 8 desktop environment does have some nice advantages and advancements over Windows 7, such that if one is going to just stick with "classic" apps (and they pin their most common apps to the task bar so as to avoid the start screen), then it might still be beneficial for such users to upgrade from Windows 7 to WIndows 8.
Keyboard to the side? You might be right - I really should hook up a keyboard to my iPad and use it for a few hours to see how it works.
But having used the iPad for a couple of years now, occasionally find myself trying to pinch-zoom web pages in Chrome on my Ubuntu monitors. It's just much more natural than a mouse for most operations IMHO.
I've worked on touchscreens since NASA in the 1980's, and the affordable models really haven't worked well until the past decade - and there only on small form factors.
I just bought a dozen 30" 2560x1600 touchscreen models at work, and they are STILL very pricey - the touch surface is sold separately, in fact. It's just not economical to put touch on workstation monitors, even today.
When touch is a nominal plus-up, then we'll see if a desktop touch interface can gain traction in the mass market (other than kiosks and such). I'm not sure it can, but I certainly lack your confidence that it can't.
Having another input method available doesn't mean you have to use it 8 hours a day. You have a combination of input methods (touch, mouse, keyboard, speech, pen, gestures, etc.) and you use whichever one or ones feel appropriate and natural at any given time. If a particular posture starts to get tiring you can change postures.
Widows 8 advantages over Widnows 7, off the top of my head: Faster boot time, uses way less RAM, better task manager, better explorer, storage spaces functionality.
For multi-monitor users, there's an extra taskbar for each monitor now. A really great feature, and Microsoft executes it better than most of the third party taskbar available currently IMO.
But still, forcing Metro on us (multi-monitor users) cancels out all of that benefit
I'll also add yesterday's announcement of great enhancements for multi-monitor systems.
Get this into your thick skull. Ignore Metro. Focus on the desktop mode. If you launch Chrome there it appears just as it did in Windows 7, and you switch tabs, just like in Windows 7. The only time you may need Metro is for launching a program you don't use so often. You can change default programs so you will rarely see Metro. Nearly everything you did on Windows 7 desktop is still there in Windows 8 desktop. Ignore Metro.
But the more apps move to metro, the less valid Thom's complaint is.
If apps don't move to metro, Thom can just stay in desktop mode.
If lots of apps move to metro as time goes on, Thom can spen an increasing amount of time in metro, and his complaint regarding ease of switching between desktop apps and metro apps has less merit as time goes on.
"Now, there is also a situation where you may have two Metro-applications side-by-side, but then you need to switch to a desktop-application briefly and back: will your two Metro-applications still be side-by-side or will you have to adjust them again? "
In this case the desktop would normally take the place of the primary Metro style app (so the snapped one would still be there on the side) and then when you switched back to that app it'd take the place of the desktop again, so you'd be OK. I think this would generally work for brief use. If you felt the need to fully maximize the desktop (and unsnap the other Metro style app) you'd have to reconfigure them, though.
The main gripe I do have is that there's no convenient way to start a new Metro style app in the snapped view, unless it happens to be an app you've recently used (in which case you can drag it from the switcher). You have to go to start, tap on the tile for the new app -> it starts fullscreen so you have to bring in the previous app snapped and then move the separator (because there's no way to bring an app directly into "filled" state).
This is User Account Control (Vista) all over again.
Force developers to port their applications to the new platform.
Had to boot into the Win 8 consumer preview to try this, but Alt+Tab still works - even from a Metro app.
The explanation I've had is that Windows 8 and Metro are specifically designed for tablets and smart phones to compete with iOS and Android. So from this perspective Metro makes sense (even if you hate it).
Windows 7 is stable so they have this release to take risks with. They are going to push metro hard to get people writing desktop metro applications that can be ported to Windows Phone with ease.
This solves the application problem for Windows Phone and then they can fix the desktop problem in Windows 9 and people will trumpet it as a huge improvement. Most businesses only bother with every other Windows release anyway so that is all they need to get right.
I don't like metro but I think it is a smart play by Microsoft because they HAVE to do something about mobile to stay relevant.
Correct me if I am wrong...but didn't Microsoft try to put a shell over Windows in the past to make it "simpler" and "easier to use"? I believe it was called "Microsoft Bob". How well did that work out?
Metro has nothing in common with Bob.
Bob was about taking the concept of using real-world objects to depict computer things, and turning that concept up to eleven (ala Spinal Tap), and having Office-Clippy user agents around to guide users.
Metro is the opposite of that.
I would've thought that the so-called "tech savvy" folks that post to these kinds of sites could see the difference, but I guess not.
We all know what happens next.....
Windows 8 looks to be shaping up as an unmitigated disaster that will probably outstrip even Microsoft's expectations. They have to know it's bad and very bad. There are certainly enough people worldwide telling them so! Win8 should make WinME and Vista look like unqualified successes that turned lead into gold and brought your relatives back from the dead.
I just registered to tell Mr. Holwerda he's doing a fantastic job keeping this OSnews thing going and I appreciate everything he does.
That's simply not true. They have received a TON of positive feedback on Windows 8. It has created more interest than any of their previous versions of Windows.
Don't mistake the vocal minority with the target audience.
Presumably you've some insight as to what this "TON of positive feedback" from it's "target audience" consists of and who they might be.
Far as I can figure it consists wholly of those who'd be quite happy with an iPad instead (not as well as)of a computer. It's a large market, but it's not nearly as inclusive as the one MS has now. It's not even as if they couldn't have both.
Maybe Microsoft just tries to say that mouse is an outdated device?
Now is the age of input revolution. Capacitive multi-touch screens, kinect. Ways to interact with computer become more human-oriented.
In such a world, there is really no place for traditional desktop experience. We need the new generation of user interfaces. No one is sure how it should look like, and how it should react to our actions, and what feedback it should provide.
But everyone tries to eat his own piece of market. That's why, there are too much curious but unusable (at least currently) solutions.
Just wait - new input devices are to come, new form-factors of computers are to come.
Of course, there is no guarantee they will be free. On the contrary, they will be technically limited and restricted to their specific features. Manufacturers will try to avoid rivals by locking devices, will try to satisfy lawyers by using hardware-based DRM tools, will try to force you buy other devices of the same manufacturer.
But it is clear that Apple led us to the end of general-purpose computing devices.
Windows Mobile and Palm devices were really devices for professionals who needed to do their work on the road.
iPhone was the first real concept of feature-limited, but revolutionary device. Not because of capacitive screen. Because it was presented as a device for general public. For everyone's desire. The toy everyone wants. Not because it was best or unique. It was properly marketed.
Android and Windows Phone came to finish the process.
Several days ago I saw Microsoft's ad in subway. It told: "Windows: to be a family" (maybe my translation is not strict). Yes, this is the thing every manufacturer wants: a family of feature-limited devices using the same platform everyone wants to buy.
The thing is not good. It is just bad. But it is the market. General-purpose machines will stay here, but for the majority of ordinary people there won't be any need in them.
Who says they won't port Office to the Xbox?
Fortune 50 corporations are already permitting Apple touch devices in the workplace. Mine actually paid for my iPad, and the software to connect it to the enterprise. It's much more convenient than a laptop, and more versatile than a blackberry.
People who are easily distracted by non-work options at work already have the Internet to distract them. And there's a word for people who can't focus on work at work: "Fired".
I should have mentioned that my employer doesn't normally buy the device; I'm special. ;-) It's normally BYOD.
And yes, they do require a custom profile, but it's fairly benign - it simply requires a 4-digit pin to unlock. Otherwise, it's still your device.
careful Thom, posting about how bad win8 is might cause someone on this forum calling you a moron...
been toying with last years preview and again the 2nd preview, I just don't get it what MS is trying to achieve :/ My main gripe is still the forcing apps to go full screen (or 1/3 versus 2/3)
The reasoning for "full screen" is:
Most computers sold nowadays are laptops (or smaller), and that phenomenon will only increase. These laptops (and smaller devices) have small screens relative to desktop computers, and because of that most users use apps in full screen mode. So Microsoft is targetting that user scenario, yes, at the expense of lesser-used scenarios. I'm paraphrasing what I've read on the "Building Windows 8" blog.
thanks for that link, good read really.
but, to use an analogy: it's not because so many people go to MacDonalds, that I should like it :/
I'm actually in the market for a 15" laptop.. been amazed to see that the majority now have 1366x768 res.. makes me think I'm back in 1990 when IBM introduced 1024x768
Any similarities with GNOME Shell are only coincidence!!!
I for one don't like the trend of devoting huge chunks of ram, OPENGL and CPU just to run a "COOL" interface that try to think for me, please let my apps use the resources. It just reminds me clippy and annoy me. The WIMP is very effective, everybody knows how it works and it is very flexible, and that is why I switched to XFCE through Xubuntu. I use it to do some light nodejs development, 3D work in blender, video with Cinelerra, edit my vectors using Inkscape, work my audio files using Audacity... and it just works and get out of the way.
The only thing it lacks is a more comprehensive settings manager out of the box.
I for one don't like the trend of devoting huge chunks of ram, OPENGL and CPU just to run a "COOL" interface that try to think for me, please let my apps use the resources.
This, very much. I really don't understand how sacrificing functionality for appearance became the norm over the last few years, yet here we are with Aero and Gnome Shell and company. Must needs have more eyecandy, lololololololololol!!!11
(You know what's funny though? When I was a teenager I was whining about AIGLX not working. Now I hate it and wish it had never been invented. Always be careful what you wish for.)
Technical correction: At least technically, "Metro" (assuming you mean the Start screen, charms etc.) cannot a replacement for the Explorer shell because it IS the Explorer shell. It is simply a set of new features added to explorer.exe, just like the taskbar in Win7. It doesn't run on top of, underneath, or alongside Explorer, it IS Explorer. You can see this yourself by noticing that killing the Explorer process also kills the Start screen etc. Metro style apps themselves can be thought of technically a new kind of "plugin" for Explorer.
Notice that the scenario you mention is only an issue for mixed use of both desktop and Metro style apps. If you're staying on the desktop, you've got the taskbar there as before. If you're just using Metro style apps, recent apps are available directly in the switcher.
I do agree that mixed use is kind of awkward, but if that's a problem for you it implies that you want to combine use of both to begin with. If that's the case, consider the alternatives that I've seen suggested:
* Making a completely separate OS for tablets etc. whose apps can't be used on other PC form factors at all. Obviously, if you want mixed use it's worse to be completely locked out of it than to have it be kind of awkward.
* Having a big modal switch that puts the whole PC into "desktop mode" or "Metro mode" (possibly when you plug in / unplug a keyboard or something). In this case, your scenario would involve first going into desktop mode, then selecting Chrome, then selecting a tab - so just as awkward as now. But it would also block a bunch of other ways of doing this and useful ways of using desktop and Metro style apps together. In your case, you also have the option of using alt-tab to switch directly to any app (Desktop or Metro style), going directly to Chrome if it's pinned on the start screen, using Win + <n> to go directly to it if it's the nth app pinned to the taskbar, etc. These wouldn't be available if you had to put the whole system into "desktop mode". There are other scenarios like using desktop and Metro style apps side-by-side snapped or on multimon, getting notifications from Metro style apps in desktop / desktop apps in Metro style apps, having a Metro style app / desktop app playing audio in the background while using a desktop app / Metro style app, etc., that would be pointlessly blocked by this approach. The only advantage is that it's conceptually simpler, but other than that it would make everything more awkward and nothing less awkward.
That's not to say that no better approaches are possible here. I agree that "Microsoft could integrate the two much more efficiently and more fluently if they wanted to" but I disagree with "easily". It's tricky to design something that both integrates them fluently and still keeps them distinct and maintains the identity and benefits of each model. The "obvious" solutions like integrating the taskbar all have their own problems if you think about them. Considering this I think Win8 is OK for a first effort in this regard, hope to see improvements in the future.
Now I just installed windows 8 home preview on my toshiba laptop and it went fast to install and boots up even faster. Now the keyboard and mouse work just fine for me. I dont understand why every is complaining. I think they are just a bunch of winers because MS change the look and feel of things again. And instead of a start button you have a start page.
come back after using for a while and tell us if you still think the start page is better than the start button.
Windows 1.x and 2.x - Rubbish. DOS was more productive
Windows 3.x - The shape of things to come. Lots of apps and games.
Windows NT 3.x - Rubbish but stable (shape of things to come)
Windows 95 - Revolutionary. Can't say otherwise.
Windows NT 4.0 - Meh, better than NT 3.x
Windows 98 - 95 with a nicer UI
Windows ME - Tripe. Bug laden. Pretty though.
Windows 2000 - Best Microsoft OS ever.
Windows XP - 2nd best Microsoft OS ever. The fact that it's still lingering over 10 years after its release exemplifies this.
Windows Vista - Tripe. Bug laden. Pretty though.
Windows 7 - Pretty. 3rd best Microsoft OS ever.
Windows 8 - I sense a trend. From what I've used: The Start Menu cannot go. It just isn't time for it to be done with.
Extrapolating, then, we can look forward to Windows 9, the 4th best Windows OS ever?
(I won't say "best Microsoft OS" since I still carry a soft spot in my heart for MS-DOS 5) Edited 2012-05-18 07:59 UTC
Win98SE was the best 16-bit gaming OS. And when people often considered Win2K a better gaming OS the benchmarks typically still favored the 98SE. Win2K was over-rated for stability. And if you found the right mix of drivers then 98SE was good for a month at a time (before the clock bug kicked in) before a reboot was inevitable.